In the Yoruba based religions, the Orisha are angelic emanations of The Creator (God Almighty) manifesting through nature. To put it simply, God created the universe and everything in it. God then manifested bits of himself creating lesser gods or guardian angels, governing over the various forces of nature. So yes, for every force of nature, there is a spiritual being governing it.
In “The Religion,” first come the Egun (Ancestors). Those who came before us who are related to us by blood. Along with our Egun are our Spirit Guides. Next come Elegba (Eleggua) who opens the path, and The Warriors (Ogun, Oshosi, and Osun). Following are the Orisha (Your Guardian Orisha). Then comes God Almighty. “The Religion” like all spiritual paths is about elevation. The Ancestors, The Orisha, The Creator. Getting back in tune with nature.
These are the seven most worshiped Orishas of the Yoruba, the Ifa branch as well as the Afro Cuban branch of Lukumi (Santeria), and even the Brazilian branch of Candomble. Some of their characteristics, though slightly different in each branch, all evolved from the source, the Yoruba people of West Nigeria.
We all carry characteristics of two (a spiritual father and mother). But one of the two claim a more dominant role (claims our head/ crown). When comes the time for initiation, we are crowned priest or priestess of the dominant of the two.
Who do you most identify with?
The following is taken from a book I once had titled “Way of The Orisa.”
Children Of Esu/ Elegba (Eleggua) Will Enjoy:
• having fun
• large groups of people & parties
• good food
• wine or liquor
• cigarettes or cigars
• brightly colored clothes
• many friendships within their own gender
• movies & theater
You Will Have Trouble With:
• functioning within confined environments
• being monogamous
• taking orders
• working within a large corporate atmosphere
• being on time
• being structured
• quitting smoking & drinking
• sticking to a formal exercise program
• being bored
You Will Have A Highly Developed Sense Of:
• right & wrong
• practical jokes
• getting even
EBOS (Offerings) FOR ESU
As one of the pantheon of Ifa warrior orisa (orisha), Esu enjoys highly spiced foods. Chili peppers, peppercorns, and jalapeños are all suitable offerings to Esu. A strong cigar, rum, gin, or beer are highly favored by him a well. Red palm oil- a staple of all orisa with the exception of Obatala- is often poured on Esu or in front of his image. Pigeon, rooster, and male goat, are all offered to Esu. Many devotees begin each day by sprinkling cool water on or in front of Esu as a way of “cooling” his temper and asking for pleasantness in their own day.
Esu’s day is Saturday.
Like Wednesday, a bad day to undertake major projects and for the use of most charms. Favorable on this day is preparation, as opposed to use, of amulets and protective charms. The second of the “witches days.”
In the Afro Cuban branch (My branch) Eleggua (Esu/ Elegba) day is Monday.
Esu/ Elegba (Eleggua) is Guardian of The Crossroads, and the messenger of God Almighty. He opens and closes all The Paths, The Doors, The Roads. He is fate, destiny, choice. He sees all, and he knows all, past, present, and future. Nothing happens without him. He is the eternal child, old as time itself.
Ogun could be your guardian Orisha if you:
• have a profound sense of right and wrong
• are quick to take offense
• enjoy physical things
• prefer small groups to large crowds
• prefer to “do” rather than talk about doing
• tend toward a strong physique
• are attracted to metals
• prefer the woods or the mountains to the sea or the countryside
• find that others expect you to do things for them
• have trouble sharing your personal feelings
• get fuzzy headed o er the opposite sex
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OGUN
Ogun, a warrior Orisha, like all things hot and spicy. Peppers in any form, highly spiced foods, 151-proof rum, gin or vodka, black or dark cigars, red palm oil, and once in a while, honey are all suitable offerings. Rooster and male goat are also offered. Because he is the Orisha of metal, there are two particular ebos that refer to his domain. In the event of surgery, buy six different kinds of beans. Soak them overnight, and the next day fry them palm oil with plenty of pepper, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce. You may in luxe onions and garlic as well. Place this on a plate and offer it to Ogun for a successful outcome to the surgical procedure. If you are buying new car, or attempting to sell one, purchase an inexpensive cut of meat at the supermarket. Take the raw meat and rub it on all four tires of the automobile while asking Ogun for his protection and blessings. Leave the meat by the railroad track.
Ogun’s day is Tuesday.
Rituals for overcoming enemies or conflicts are best performed on this day. Also beneficial for business and financial events.
Ogun is the Orisha of Iron and Labor. Also Ogun is the Orisha of civilization, technology, and transportation.
Obatala may well be your guardian Orisha if:
• you are more cerebral than physical
• you love ideas
• you have a strong sense of justice and honor
• your nerves are easily frayed
• you prefer small groups to large parties
• people seek out your opinions
• you prefer to be monogamous
• you prefer classical or “quiet” music to rock or rap
• you enjoy watching the news
• you are always analyzing other people’s behavior and motives
• you need periods of being alone
• you prefer to stay home rather than travel
• you have difficulty with highly spiced foods
• you have more than your share of headaches and colds
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OBATALA
Cool water, coconuts, milk, honey, shea, butter, rice, mild cigars, bread, and cookies are all acceptable fare to this somewhat physically delicate Orisha. Snails, particularly large African land snails, or igbin, are a delicacy of Obatala. Kula nuts are also acceptable. Liquor is never offered and is a strict taboo for Obatala. White doves are offered, but the blood is never placed on the stones of Obatala. Unlike every other Orisha, Obatala is not offered palm oil.
SPECIAL EBOS (Offerings) FOR OBATALA’S CHILDREN
Because the children of Obatala must take care of their heads, and because they are often prone to feeling the excesses of stress and deadlines, they tend to run “hot.” What this means, in simple terms, is that they get overburdened or overloaded with work or responsibilities and begin to react badly to the mental pressure. A simple way of relieving this pressure is to purchases two coconuts. Offer one to Obatala. Punch two holes through the “eyes,” allowing the liquid inside to drain into a glass or a cup. Rub this liquid firmly into your scalp, with particular emphasis on the crown of your head. Ask Obatala to bring you peace and tranquillity while you are doing this. Leave the liquid on your hair for several hours overnight. The calming affects are profound.
Obatala’s day is Sunday.
The day for settling differences. Useful for long-range planning and the perfect day for the preparation of amulets and charms for longevity and good health.
Obatala is the Father of the White Cloth, Peace, Calm. His domain is the Sky, Clouds, Mountaintop.
Shango may well be your guardian Orisha if:
• you are extremely articulate
• you can talk people into whatever you want
• you are always looking ahead at the probability of people’s actions
• you have had experiences with the dead
• you often have premonitions that come true
• you have strong reactions to thunderstorms
• you love dance and music
• people either love or dislike you
• you often set the tread for your friends or family
• you are highly sexual
• you love the color red
• you have a quick temper
• you are physically attractive
• you “cut corners”
EBOS (Offerings) TO SHANGO
Six red apples, placed on a dish and set upon a shelf in your home, are a standard offering. Red palm oil, available at African food stores, is a staple that can be offered as well. Shango also enjoys spicy foods, so a plate of peppers or a portion of highly seasoned chili would make an excellent offering. Shango is the only Orisha that does not take kola nuts, except for the bitter kola nut. If you are able to obtain kola nuts at a local specialty store, be certain that you specify “bitter” kola for your Shango sacrifice. Rooster and ram are blood offerings to Shango. It is often pleasant to light a candle at the same time you make your offering. This candle can be any color (other than black), but a white candle is most commonly used. Some traditions recommend a red candle for Shango, but it is not necessary. When you make your offering ask Shango for the specific help you need. If it is possible, make your offering during a thunderstorm.
Shango’s day is Thursday.
A perfect day for marriage. For the beginning of any long-term project. For digging the foundation for your home. For any long-term goals one needs fulfilled.
Shango is the God of Thunder, War, Virility, The Master Drummer, the Master Dancer
You may well be a child of Yemonja/Olukun (Yemaya) if:
• you love children
• you have a genuine caring feeling for other people
• you are slow to anger
• you prefer to stay home with your family rather than go out and party
• you are attracted to lakes, streams, or the ocean
• you are basically calm
• you have an exceptional, but seldom expressed, temper
• you tend to be slightly heavy
• you easily see another person’s point of view
• you forgive easily and often
• you are exceptionally protective about your children
• money is easy for you to make but not your foremost consideration
• emotional sustenance is more important than material objects
• people are oftern drawn to you for comfort and understanding
• you are sensual in a quiet rather than overt fashion
EBOS (Offerings) FOR YEMONJA/OLUKUN
Fruits, particularly red or purple grapes, melons, squash, beer, gin, rum, candy, and cakes are all staple offerings. Watermelon is a favorite of this deep-water Orisha. Palm oil, kola nuts, coral, and flowers can all be used as offerings. Sheep, guinea fowl, hens, pigeons, raw or cooked fish, and palm wine are also acceptable.
Yemonja/Olukun’s day is Monday.
A good day to initiate new business ventures. The best day to perform rituals for prosperity or financial success.
In the Afro Cuban branch Yemaya (Yemonja) day is Saturday.
Yemaya is the Mother of the Ocean Waters, the Seven Seas. Her name means “Mother whose children are fish.”
Oshun may be your guardian Orisha if:
• you can not stand to be bored
• you are acutely aware of how you look
• you spend more time than most people deciding what to wear
• clothes are very important to you
• you are highly sexual
• you are more comfortable being “in control” of relationships
• you are easily offended
• you love parties
• you love to flirt
• you enjoy good food and wine
• you are partial to bright colors
• you love music
• you enjoy dancing
• you hate confinement on any level
• you understand logic but make the majority of your decisions based on your gut feelings
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OSHUN
More than any other single offering, Oshun loves honey. She is also fond of light-colored fruits, wine, beer, rum, or gin. Hens, guinea hen, quail, and male and female goats are her blood offerings. Offerings of candies, cakes, flowers, mirrors, kola nuts, red palm oil, coconuts, and cowries shells are also acceptable.
Oshun’s day is Friday.
A particular bad day for travel or moving from one home or business location to another. A good day chiefs by virtue of their intention to remain in one location for a length of time.
Oshun is the goddess of love, sensuality, sexuality, fertility, all that make life beautiful and worth living. She loves the arts, music , and dance. She loves the honey and all of it’s sweetness. Her domain is the fresh river waters.
You may be a child of Oya if:
• you have sudden burst of anger
• you have been left by a member of the opposite sex
• you love (or fear) thunderstorms and lightning
• your life has been filled with sudden change
• you enjoy darker colors
• you have had some experience or sense of the dead
• you are not bothered by funerals or cemeteries
• you are a natural gardener
• you are not afraid of physical combat
• as a woman, you enjoy the company of strong males
• as a male, you enjoy the company of strong women
• you cannot tolerate deceit or lying
• you have a natural antipathy toward the “flirty” flashy members of the opposite sex
• you were a “difficult” child
• you resent discipline and confinement
EBOS (Offerings) for OYA
Eggplants are a favorite of Oya. The dark skin matches this purple Orisha. Depending upon the circumstances, as many as nine are offered at one time. Oya also loves rum, gin, beer, wine, and dark fruit such as plums and red or purple grapes. Palm oil, kola nuts, and coconuts are also suitable offerings. Hen and female goat may be offered depending upon which aspect of this female warrior Orisha you are calling upon. Nine colored ribbons or the old fashioned children’s pinwheel toys, which harnest and react to the wind, are also excellent for Oya.
Oya’s day is Wednesday.
A bad day for new undertakings or major projects of any kind. This day as well as Saturday, is inappropriate for most ritual sacrifice. The famous herbal black soap used to dispel evil is not used on these days out of respect for the aje (witches), who are said to hold meetings on Wednesday and Saturday. This is the proper day, however, for rituals to the witches.
Oya is the goddess of the winds, the storms (hurricanes), the lightning, the market, and guards the gates to the cemetery. She is a warrior and fights along side Shango.
These are just a few of the Orisha traits to maybe narrow down who you may be a child of. Only way to confirm is to have a reading done to determine your guardian Orisha. And remember that there are 401 Orisha (all are real) governing the various forces of nature of God Almighty.