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A look into the Yoruba Faith

Today December 28, 2011 Andrea Viana receives her sacred elekes from the hands of her Iyatobi Belkys Negrin Okaniwe and her Yubona-kan Kristine Negrin Oba Yoko
 The people of Yoruba where enslaved and when they were brought across the seas to the New World they brought over the practices of their Orishas to help live a better life for themselves and to keep their practices alive. Out of these Orisha there is the Supreme Being whom in every religion we know as God. The name that the people of Yoruba called him is Olodumare, the Supreme Being, the father. Olodumare is the creator of all life in our world and in space. He has no direct contact with humans on earth but only through his other manifestation known as Olorun (the sun). Through Olorun we can feel Olodumare in all of his aspect feeding us the necessary energy and resource that we need in our everyday life. Olorun is the owner of Orun (heaven). Olofi who is Olodumare in his final manifestation is in charge of the skies alongside with the heavens. He is in charge to look

after humans behind the teachings of the Orishas. He seldom comes to the earth to visit and when he does itd s an immense energy that follows. Olofi tells the Orishas what is it that we need and to teach us how to live healthful, moral and respectful lives.  The Orishas consist of semi gods that look over mankind and report all of our actions to Olofi. These Orishas contain Ashe (power) given by Olofi to govern and maintain righteousness among the all that is living. Their Ashe ranges from different nature aspects to emotional aspects. These Orishas lived amongst the world and they lived everyday life trials and tribulations. Olofi taught them within their own Ashe in which they teach us humans and bestow knowledge on how to live a good and better life.  The slaves fought their enslavers to continue to practice their beliefs. They noticed that the Catholic Church in which they were forced to worship had some of the same qualities their Orishas contained. They saw the similarity that each Orisha contained with each Catholic Saint so they synchronized each of the Catholic Saints to their Orishas and were able to secretly still worship their Orishas.  There is more than 700 Orishas but only a few made it from Africa to the New World. And from those that came over you have Eleggua, the owner of the crosswords, Yemaya, the goddess of the sea, Shango, the god of thunder, Oya, the goddess of wind and the list goes on. ****Their characteristics, pataki (stories), and the way they interact with humans.

Eleggua the Messenger

Eleggua is the orisha who opens and closes all paths to mankind. He is the divider of heaven and earth. He travels between heaven and earth letting Olofi and Olodumare know what goes on in this realm. Eleggua is a child orisha in some aspects that loves to play tricks and tests the faith of man. He walks between night and day searching for mankind to test their faith for the great Olofi and the orishas. There is said to be 121 paths of Eleggua. He ranges from a young child to an old man with lots of knowledge. There is also a path of Eleggua where the essence is of a woman. In more than half of Elegua s paths, he is a young chil that sits on corners, mountain tops, seashores, hospital entrances, an cemetery

a also as thru him h unlocks th oor or th El ggua is th guar ian o th c as to walk through to r ach Olo i wh r th y will r st. In this path h is call Eshu Alagwana. In oth r r ligions or b li s you can associat him with th a Osiris, who l a s th a through th un rworl . Egyptian go o th

gates an so on. He has many names as he has been calle Elegba, Elegbara, Legba, Eshu or Exu. Eleggua is seen all aroun the worl . From continent to continent Elegua s presence is felt, praise an hear . Inseparable frien of Oggun an irst s t o orishas to r c iv Ochosi who the trio makes up the e Th Warriors in Sant ria. El ggua is any an v rywh r .

Eleggua is the one that makes you play at your own risk. In that I mean, he is the one that if you re stuck at a crossroa an you on t know which way to go, its him that testes you an watches you make your ecision. If you make the wrong ecision, Eleggua will open the oor with his garavato (hook stick ma e from the guava tree) to make you pay your consequence. While you are paying for your mistakes, he testes you again to see if you will continue to o wrong or take the right path. If you succee an take the right path he will unlock the oor to happiness an fortune. If you ve hear of a maze then you can associate it with Eleggua. Our lives are shape into mazes to see which path we go. Eleggua is the guar ian that sits at every corner an turn of the maze. If you make the wrong move, he will open the path to the wrong outcome. If you take the correct path, he will open the path that you are seeking. Eleggua knows an sees all. There is nothing that Eleggua doesnd t know. He is the messenger of Olodumare and Olofi, alongside with the orishas. Which means, he is the one that takes the messages from humankind to the orishas and the messages from the orishas to Olofi. This is why he is the first and last orisha to be praised to in every ceremony done in Santeria.

A Pataki on Eleggua
One day Olofi was greatly ill and depressed on situations among the universe. He was doing so much in the universe and here on Earth as in still creating life, giving orishas their ache (powers) and so on. He was so tired that he grew frail. All of the orishas were summoned to see if they can help cure Olofi from his dilemma. All of the orishas gathered in the great hall of Olofi where the Supreme Being sat on his throne with a lost look in his eye. You can tell his mind was going a mile a minute and due to this he wasnd t feeling very good. As he sat slumped on his throne, the orishas gathered around and were conversing amongst each other. Obatala tried to clean him with his white cloth, Olofi remained the same. Orunla prepared him a tonic to drink, and Olofi remained the same. Ozain tried to rub a medical herb and the great Olofi stayed the same. Inle tried to clean Olofi with his staff and still the same action. Every orisha tried and tried but were unsuccessful. Eleggua was amongst the orishas but since he was a child the other orishas out stood him. He shrugged on Yemayad s skirt to get her attention. He asked Yemaya if he could try, Yemaya told him to behave and be quiet. He then shrugged on Oyad s skirt and with the look that Oya gave him he ran under the legs of the

other orishas that were standing nearby. He then shrugged on Agallud s pants and Agallu told him to go outside and play that this was for the elder orishas and his presence is not needed here. Elegua grew upset and ran to Obatala and asked him why he couldnd t try to help and revive Olofi. Obatala looked at Elegua and began to tell him in a soft voice that the ache that Elegua contained had no match to heal Olofi. He went on to tell Elegua that all the other orishas are trying their best to do what they can for Olofi. Elegua looked at Obatala and asked him to please let him try. If he is also an orisha then he should be able to try as well. He said if the others are trying, why cand t him. Obatala who contains the Ashe of peace and knowledge raised his staff and ordered silence among the orishas. He told them to step aside and let Elegua try and revive Olofi. All the orishas began to whimper under their breath not to make Obatala hear them since he was the eldest and father figure to all the orishas. Elegua walked slowly to Olofid s throne and looked at him from head to toe. Olofi still with a weak look in his eyes didnd t even pay attention to Eleguad s presence. Elegua put his garavato on the floor, reached into his nap sack and pulled out 3 herbs. See Elegua was always roaming the woods and he has seen Ozain work with the different herbs of the forest. So with the herbs that he picked up he grabbed a leaf from each branch and placed it gently in the mouth of Olofi. Now all of the orishas are seeing this young child on the lap of Olofi and are wondering how long Obatala is going to make this mockery last. Elegua grabs the mouth of Olofi and manually moves it so the Supreme Being can chew and swallow what he has placed. After Olofi has swallowed the herbs, Elegua takes out a feather from his nap sack and passes it over the body of Olofi. After he is done he jumps off Olofid s lap and starts to walk down from the throne. Obatala has grief in his eyes as Olofi is still the same. All of the orishas start to talk again on how Eleguad s tactics was unforgivable and he should be reprimanded for it. While they are talking, thered s a slight glow from Olofid s chest. The glow gets brighter an brighter until the great Olofi is stan ing tall an mighty on his throne with a light so powerful that all of the eep voice calls Elegua to the throne orishas fall to their knees in respect. A lou .Olofi thanks Elegua for what he has one. He tells him that all have come an trie

to revive him, but they all have faile . He then aske Elegua how he knew what to use. Elegua looke at Olofi an tol him that he stu ie every part of the forest an its secrets. He has seen how every orisha works ifferently with their elements. He went on an tol Olofi how he wante to try but none of the orishas woul let him, only Obatala. Olofi smile an tol Elegua that from this ay forwar

he would have the virtue to open all gates and doors and pathways. He gave Elegua a gold key that unlocked Olofid s house and every door in the universe. He also blessed his feather and told him with this feather you are able to walk through time forward and backwards, through light and dark, through evil and good. Then Olofi proclaime in front of the orishas an the universe that Elegua woul be his personal messenger, since he knows an has seen all what the orishas are oing on Earth. He tol them that they will always have to count first with Elegua in all that they o. If Elegua wasn t appease , then their work an messages woul not reach his castle. He then went on an tol him that Elegua woul also be the first to eat in every ceremony. The first to be praye to in every ceremony. With that sai an Elegua. one, Olofi touche Elegua s hea an a inner light shine

from within

Elegua as a ki at heart turne an face the court of orishas an stuck his tongue out at them as to say e ha haf . Olofi smile at Elegua an sent him on his way to maintain or er in the crossroa s of humanity an the orishas. Elegua s feast ay is June 13th. His colors are re an black. In certain paths ance. He loves can ies, cakes white is also given to him. Elegua loves to play an an all types of sweets. He watches over chil ren of all ages an races. He loves games an oing mischievous stuff. Even as a chil orisha, Elegua loves to rink oti an smoke cigars. I guess since you have the key to everything given by Olofi, you can o as you please. Elegua is a glut when it comes to foo so he is never turns own any type of foo . His sacrificial foo s are male goats, chickens, roosters an possum rat. Elegua oes not eat pigeon in the majority of his paths. Only in a han ful oes him. Elegua oes have chil ren that he crowns. His chil ren are very intelligent, riven in ivi uals. Th y ar ki s at h art. Th y lov chil r n an ar by a v ntur s. In Palo Mayomb El gua is associat with Luc ro Mun o, in atuat oor op n r in Palo. th Th i r nc b tw n Eshu an i r nt El gua

Eshu an El gua ar brings th trickst r to s an h is us can say b tw n th

ntiti s that orm a bon . Eshu is th

orc

that

out an th n gativ n rgi s. Eshu is cons crat n th i r nt o rings to th orishas. Th i

through I a r nc s you

oor an b hin th so complicat that v ry tim h com s insi a hous h brings torm nt an argum nts. El gua was an orisha an Eshu was not an orisha. Eshu woul walk th

s 2 ar simpl . El gua always r si s insi o th hous Eshu r si s outsi o th hous . An this is b caus Eshu is

streets to see what torment he could do to humans because they did not pay him any homage. Elegua who is always attended to would always be seen eating because thatd s what he loves to do. He saw Eshu one day and gave him some of his offerings. Eshu and Elegua sat and ate and made fun of the people in the streets. It was time for Elegua to go inside and Eshu to continue to roam the streets. Eshu would always try to go inside the house of the humans but when he did he would cause havoc until one day Oshun saw him and devised a plan. She saw how Eshu would be controlled when he was fed so she made a pact with him. She told him that as long as us humans put a plate of food for him outside the house he promised he will not come in to cause havoc. Eshu agreed to the pact and they shook on it. Elegua who was there said that he would walk alongside Eshu and thatd s where the bond grew in between them. Obatala came down and gave Eshu and Elegua a white bead so that they can wear together to overpower the havoc and torments Eshu had. From that day Eshu Elegua would walk together side by side as one. Eshu is given by babalows in Ifa and Eshu is not allowed on the head of an initiate in the Yoruba belief. You must receive Elegua who is allowed to go to the head of an initiate. Eshu will eat alongside Elegua and the table scraps will go outside by the front door or by a tree in the front yard for Eshu. You should place a wooden bowl (jicara) with the table scrapings, a tobacco or cigarette standing up in the center and place it for Eshu so he will be content and not come inside the house of the priest/ess.

Syncretized as Catholic Saint Anthony

Feast Date: June 12 Colors of Eleggua: red and black

Eleggua Numbers: 3,7,13,21,33

Obatala The Great Wizard

The orisha of the white cloth is Obatala. Obatala is the only orisha that has male and female aspects. He is the orisha that is the owner of all heads whether crowned or not crowned. Obatala is the orisha that Olofi entrusted to judge justice on the earth. Obatala is the purest of all orishas and one of the wisest orishas. He is said to vary from an old man that is always trembling to a young person that is riding a horse. Depending on the path, his main color is white with touches of other colors. Everything put to Obatala is white. He lives in a white tureen that contains his secrets and mysteries. He is a compassionate father and a good listener. He is the father that all that the orishas look for.

Obatala created mankind and its said that Olofi came and breathed life into his creations. Obatala as much as he is the owner of peace and tranquility, he is also a great and fierce warrior when he wants to. With his sword he battles against evil and triumphs over all. But when he is summoned it is to bring order and peace. He is the white pigeon that is seen flying over to announce peace is here. Obatala is associated with the mountains and high elevated place.

Pataki of Obatala
Olofi was thinking one day in the heavens about the creation of life down on the planet earth that he and Olodumare created. The planet earth was just water where Olokun ruled. Olofi called his wise court to sit and discuss the creation. Orunla who was present told Olofi that life can be created on Olokuns kingdom but an ebbo needed to be performed. Orunla looked into the divination oracle that he had some knowledge of and told Olofi that someone wise had to perform this ebbo so that life can be created. Olofi told Obatala that he would be entrusted to perform this task. Orunla looked deeper into the oracles and told Obatala that he had to descend with some items to create the lands where civilization and life can exist. Orunla told Obatala that he had to descend on a long chain from the heavens with a hen and sand. Obatala asked Orunla if that was all in which Orunla replied yes. The day came and Obatala descended onto the watery domain of Olokun and performed the ebbo that Orunla spoke to him about. Right before his eyes the land started to appear right beneath his hanging feet. Obatala jumped down and was the first orisha to hit land. When Obatala looked up Elegua was descending on the chain. Obatala asked Elegua what was he doing and Elegua responded to him that he was seeing if he needed any type of help. Obatala started to walk the lands that were created from the heavens. Obatala and Elegua noticed how trees started to grow, grass started to grow, flowers were springing out. Obatala was happy and told Elegua to go back and tell Olofi that the work on earth is being done. Elegua climbed up the rope to tell Olofi what was going on. Olofi pleased sent a white pigeon down to earth to Obatala which this became his symbol.

Olofi came to the earth and told Obatala that it was needed for some type of life form to be on the earth. Olofi said that he wanted mankind to walk the earth but did not want them to have the Ashe that the orishas have. Obatala agreed and told Olofi that he would help him create mankind. Olofi told Obatala that he would give him that task as he had other things to create within the heavens and space. Obatala bowed his head and agreed to create mankind. Obatala asked how he should create mankind and Olofi told him to make them in human form just as the orishas. Olofi told Obatala to form them and when he was ready to call him and he would come down and breathe life into them. Obatala agreed and with the sands of the earth he started to form and mold what we are today. After a few hundred of molds Obatala called Olofi to come breath air and life into the molds. Olofi came and saw miles upon miles of human molds lying on the sands of the earth and proceeded to blow life into them. Once life was blown, these humans stood up and were told to make prosperous and humble lives praising Olodumare as the creator. They went in different directions and started to live their lives. This went on for days and Obatala worked hard making human forms. The sun was hot supplying light and energy to the land and it made the job hard to do. But one day Obatala grew very tired and decided to take a break of his task that Olofi asked of him. He walked over to a tree that was giving shade to the land and sat underneath it. He took a breather and reached for his white pouch where he had his oti. Obatala sat under the tree and started to drink his oti to quench his thirst. Without realizing, he drank all of his oti and he had none left. Obatala stood up and staggered over to where his molds were. He began again molding and shaping human forms. But without noticing, his molds and creations were coming out a little weird. He made molds that were missing limps, he made deformed bodies, he made molds with no type of pigmentation and so forth. When he finished he did what he usually does and summoned Olofi to breathe life into them. Olofi came to the earth and saw the molds lying lifeless on the sands and since he trusted and reviewed Obatalas work in the past he did not notice that these molds were different. Olodumare proceeded to breathe life into these humans. When life was given to them, they stood up and Olofi noticed that they all had different deformed bodies. Olofi got upset and questioned Obatala on this creation he did. Obatala seeing this, knew that he did something wrong and disrespected Olofis overall dream. Obatala told Olofi that he was drinking and it made his mind blurry and he did not mean to do this. He begged Olofi for forgiveness and told Olofi that from this day forward he would take all of those creations as children of him. He would take care of them and look after them and keep them from harm. Olofi shook his head and accepted Obatalas apology and request. Obatala also told Olofi that he would never drink again due to what he did

with the creations of man. Obatalas feast day is September 24th, the same day as the catholic image, The Virgin Mary. His number is 8 and all multiples of it. Obatala is a loving and caring father not only to his children but to the other orishas. The orishas seek advice and give a high respect to the great orisha. Obatala which means father of the cloth is said to cover all man and earth from harm. He loves all that is white and all of his offerings are made of white, whether it is foods or animal sacrifice. He loves white yams, snails, fruits, white cloths and etc. Everything given to him must be topped with efn (powdered egg shell) or or (cocoa butter). Obatala walks with a tall walking staff and with his white iruke, cleaning him and the world. Obatala does have children as said above and he is initiated on their heads. His children are very smart and wise and they can also be very sneaky. He is the patron orisha of all deformed humans such as albinos, Down syndrome humans, and the medically challenged. He also has children that he created who do not have any of these symptoms but he took their heads due to he loves them dearly. Obatalas sacrificial animals are all white and they are female goats, hens, pigeons, guinea hens. In some of his aspects he eats roosters and turtles as well. His abode is made up of nothing but the finest and purest white cloths found. He is the owner of silver that the orisha Boyuto found and gave to him. He is a swift and just judge. He is the one that contains the key to his son Ochosis house. Whenever there is war or disagreement amongst the orishas, humans or nations, Obatala is summoned to bring peace and restore order. Syncretized as Our Lady of Mercy

Feast Date: September 24 Colors of Obatala: all white with few hints of red Obatala Numbers: 8 and all multiples of 8

Oya She who holds the winds

Oya is the orisha or storms and changes. She is a much feared orisha due to her powers as she can create a storm so powerful that she can destroy towns upon towns. The winds, tornadoes and lighting are at her every command. Oya also known as Xansa, Oya Yansa (Mother of Nine) was the wife of Oggun before Shango took

her away from him. Oya is said to be a lovely tall amazonic woman who is dressed in a wine color dress with a belt that holds a grass skirt with 9 different color cloths. Oya is also the owner of the market place where she would go and sell her goods to maintain her children. Oya's main home or domain is the cemetery. Now a lot of people say or believe that she is the owner of the cemetery. That's all not true. Oya is the gatekeeper. She stands at the cemetery gates and she lets the dead into the cemetery where her sisters Obba and Yewa tends to the body. Oya is a great warrior who loves to go to battle alongside her husband Shango. Stories say the Oya would put on a pair of pants and grow a beard just to fight like a man at war. Oya has a younger sister named Ayao who is the orisha that resides in the clouds in the sky. It is Ayao that gives her sister Oya the ability to take the spirits of the dead to go fight alongside her which makes up her powerful army. Oya has brought down many men, many towns and many lands. But as a warrior she protects her children with a strong look and with her destruction she brings changes. Whenever there is a storm that brings destruction, change is needed to rebuild. Sometimes the land is expanded for new homes or new business. That's Oya. She has helped all the orishas in one time or another. As well she has feuded with the orishas at one time or another. Oya is the one that convinced Obba to cut her ear to feed to Shango. Oya is the one that brought down Osains gourd where he kept most of his secrets of the herbs. She also had a feud with her sister Yemaya in which she does not eat ram anymore. At one time she did but due to that disagreement she doesnt anymore. Let me clear something. Oya and Yemaya are not enemies. The only dilemma between them is the ram. It is said that one day Shango was eating with his mother Yemaya and Oya and

with his court and Oya saw that he was giving all of his attention to his mother and Oya became very jealous. Oya saw that Shango gave his mother Yemaya first bite of the ram and since that day, Oya said she will never eat it again. One of Oyas characteristics is the wind that causes hurricanes. Hurricanes come off the coast of Africa where her town is and logically, a hurricane needs the assistance and strength of the ocean to come on shore to bring change.

Pataki of Oya
Shango was at a party one day having the time of his life. Shango was drinking and dancing like no ever. He was swaying his hips and showing all his sexual masculinity. His crown was kept firm on his head as every moment he did, it did not move. That was to show all that he is truly Shango, a king. Everyone in the party was enjoying Shango and was cheering him on. The great king of Oyo kept on drinking and did not realize that some of his enemies were outside of the party noticing Shango. The party was dying out and Shango decided to leave the function. He went around the room giving his good bye to everyone. He was eyeing some of his mistresses that were there to see if they would go home with him. Shango staggered to one of the corners of the party where his enemies were hiding. Within a minute, his enemies grabbed him and tied him up. No one in the party saw and Shango was taken to a cell where his enemies kept him. Days passed by and Shango was nowhere to be found. Oya who was married to Oggun already had left Oggun and had a fling with Shango. Oya also did not hear anything from Shango. She did notice that Shango had left his pilon (a wooden pillar that Shango sits on) and his mortar (where Shango hides his secrets) in her house. Oya grew very weary and was worried about Shango. But

besides her worries Oya was very inquisitive and wondered what was so special about Shangos pilon and mortar. She moved the red cloth that was covering his pilon and mortar and saw nothing special about it. When she touched the mortar she noticed that it had a gleam to it. Inside the mortar there was some kind of clear liquid that vibrated. She looked closer and an image started to form in the liquid. In the image in the mortar was the face and body of Shango. Oya saw that Shango was being held captive by his enemies. She saw that he was locked in a cage fit for a dog and his enemies were surrounding the cage making mockery of him. Oya looked harder into the mortar and saw that Shango was in a rage but he couldnt do anything because he didnt have his osh and his powers. Oya grew upset and lighting sparks started to form in her hair. She yelled up in the sky and called for a centella (lighting) to come and help her and she would ride it to find Shango. With that the image of Shangos face reflected in the liquid and Oya grabbed the liquid and put it to her lips, as in to kiss the face of her loved Shango. In that instant Oyas lips and mouth started to burn her furiously. She staggered back and forth wondering where the heat was coming from. She ran outside of her house to where she had a well to grab some water. The water did not do anything to ease the pain. She finally opened her mouth as she could not stand the burning sensation and when she did a huge fireball came from her mouth. Everywhere she turned and screamed out, fire was released from her mouth and everything was burned on fire. At this moment a centella crackled in the sky and fell right to her feet. Oya screamed and stepped onto the centella. The centella rose to the sky and Oya was standing on it and the centella proceeded to take her to where Shango was held captive. In a second the centella was above the place where Shango was kept

and when the centella started to come down, Oya who was riding it screamed a war cry and fire was released from her mouth. Another centella came from the sky that broke the locks that were holding Shango. When Shangos enemies saw Oya coming down on a centella breathing fire they all ran for cover. Shango was wondering how was he released and when he ran outside he grabbed his osh and he saw his mistress Oya standing in the fields surrounded by centellas that crackled around her and that she was breathing fire. Shango was reluctant to run the other way because he never saw Oya in this state. Oya sent another centella to grab Shango and him to be standing on a centella alongside with Oya. Shango started to throw thunderbolts with the help of his osh while Oya was throwing lighting and fire upon the enemies of Shango as they rose into the sky together. They both arrived at Oyas place safe and Shango was still in amazement of Oyas actions. He told her that the only one who knew the secret of him throwing aia (fire) was him and that secret was kept with his pilon and mortar. Oya turned to her lover and told him that she looked into his mortar and tasted the secret that he had there. Shango was upset that she discovered his secret but he was grateful that she saved him. From that day when Shango goes into battle, his mistress Oya goes in alongside him fighting. Oyas feast day is February 2nd. She is associated with Our Lady Teresa and Our Lady of Candelmas. Her number is 9 and all its association. Her color is maroon or a dark wine. Oya also takes 9 other colors that are her children. Those children make up the rainbow and they live in the skies making the crown of the orisha Ochumare. She is the queen of the dead. Oya is the official secretary of Olofi. She knows when life is being born and when life is dying. She is the air we breathe every day. Oya stands at the cemetery gates and she marks down every body that comes through the gates of ile iku (cemetery). In the house of the priest, Oya lives in a brown or

wine color tureen where her secrets and mysteries are kept. Some houses have her with water and some do not. I believe she shouldnt be with water. The only time I put water on her is to calm her down when she is upset and to refresh her. She also takes an iruke that she uses to clean the dead and clean new paths. Her crown is made up of copper in which that is her main metal. All of her tools and weapons are made up of copper. Oyas sacrificial animals are black female goats, hens, pigeons and guinea hens. Oyas children are very outgoing and strong willed people. There are very spiritual individuals at they have the gift if used correctly, to communicate with the dead. She is initiated on the heads of her followers in which is a lengthy and mysterious procedure. Her ceremonies are one of the most gorgeous due to all of the many colors that are used. Her zarasa (the throne of the dead) is made up of multiple plates that are placed for the dead. These plates range from 29 all the way to 209 plates of different offerings to the dead of her initiate and the spirits that her initiate collects to walk alongside her. Oya is the owner of the mask as she at times is wearing one. Some people say that no one can stand to look at the face of Oya because it is too horrific to look at. I dont believe so. I believe that she is a beautiful woman; she just doesnt like to be messed with or fooled with. She is good to use to take masks off of people who you believe that are being two faced with you. She is also good to use when one wants change in their lives. She is a good healer but she loves to defend and be at war when war is present. Syncretized with Our Lady of Candelmas

Oshun
Deity of Love and Motherhood

Feast Date: February 2 Color of Oya: caramel, red, wood, and dark striped mahogany Oya Numbers: all multiples of 9

Oshun is the orisha of love and happiness. She is the one that makes the spirit full of life and love. Oshun also known as Ochun, Iyalorde, and Oxum is also

known for her aide in maternity alongside with her sister Yemaya. Oshun is seen as a fair skin bronzed color woman who has a body and a smile to die for. Oshun is always seen with her revealing dresses and cocky and flirtatious ways. In the house of the priest or priestess she lives in a yellow or gold looking tureen where her secrets are kept. Her metal is of gold and she is adorned with lots of it. She is one of the happiest orishas as that is one of the attributes that she beholds. She loves the finest things in life and sometimes she is never satisfied. Oshun had many relationships with the male orishas. These included from Shango, Orunla, Oggun, Inle, Agallu and Asojano (San Lazaro). With her sensual and sexual ways, Oshun would conquer any man or obstacle that laid in her way. This orisha is not or was not a whore, it is that Oshun loved to take what she wanted and if by having a relationship with a man was one of them, and then she would get what she wanted. Oshun is the owner of the sweet river waters in which her sister Yemaya gave to her. She was watched over by the mighty orisha Nana Buruku when she was young. She shared a close connection with Ochanla and she was very close to Olofi. Her father is the great Obatala. He raised her since she was a little girl. One small pataki Im going to tell you is that one day Obatala would always sing a particular song to his little girl Oshun. Day and night he would sing her this song and one day Oshun left the house and never returned. Years passed along and the great Obatala, who was still depressed about the loss of his daughter Oshun, was walking through the woods near the riverbank. He was walking and he overheard a voice singing this particular song that brought memories back to him. Obatala said that there was only one person who knew that song and it was his daughter Oshun. He glimpsed by the river water and saw a young beautiful woman singing Sawani Ibo Eleri, Leriche Oka Di Pola (ceremonial song) and he walked up to her and asked her where did she hear that song. Oshun told him that when she was young, her father would sing that song to her every day and every night. Obatala with a tear told Oshun that he was Obatala, her father, the same orisha that taught her that song. They both hugged and cried and were never separated thereafter. Oshuns color is yellow now and when I say now I mean that is the color that represents her in this time life. When Oshun was first born she had on a white dress. This was the only dress that Oshun had and owned. But everyday Oshun would go to the river and wash her only white dress. After a while Oshun

noticed that her white dress was starting to fade into a bright yellow. Oshun was amazed and happy that she had a yellow dress because none of the adult orishas owned or had anything with the color yellow. From that day forward, yellow became the primary color to the orisha Oshun.

Pataki on Oshun
One day Oshun was at the river where she dwelled and was sitting at the bottom of it getting her garments ready to go to a party. She gathered all of her gold and yellow scarves and her glamorous head wrap. She grabbed her jewels and perfumes and headed to the surface of the river. She sat down and started to wrap her body in her silky scarves. She perfumed her body from head to toe and put her gold bangles and other jewelries on. She braided her hair and decorated it with shells and placed her head wrap in a fashion form that her hair style showed. All of this was done looking at her beautiful reflection in the mirror of the river water. After she was dressed Oshun started to walk through the village heading towards the party. She noticed the little children that were playing, jumping and laughing with each other and that brought a great smile and happiness to her. Oshun walked pass them and sprinkled some honey on them and they became happier and they bowed to the orisha Oshun. Oshun missed the company of children as she saw how her sister Yemaya raise the divine twins. She kept walking and now she was heading through the forest. Her thoughts became deep with the fact that she wanted some type of youth activity and she sat down near Iroko (the cieba tree). She sat there and a tear came from her eye. Iroko looked at Oshun and asked her what was wrong. Oshun went and told Iroko of how she missed having children around her. How she loved the laughter and smile in a childs heart. Iroko agreed and told her that the children of the world are truly something special to all of us. She asked Iroko to help her bare a child that she could raise own her own and love. Iroko who was magical told Oshun that he would help her indeed and she could pay him by coming by and spending time with Iroko as no one ever came by to keep the big Iroko company. Oshun said that she promise to keep him company and converse with him if she did bare a child. Time went on and Oshun had a little boy. She loved and raised this young little bundle of joy and he was the center of her eye. Oshun one day was walking through the forest and came upon where Iroko was standing. Iroko greeted

Oshun and told her that he heard that she bared a child. Oshun responded yes to Iroko and started to walk away, forgetting that Iroko helped her. Iroko asked Oshun if she was going to stay and keep him company and Oshun said politely no that she had something else pending. Iroko told Oshun that she had promised to keep him company and now she was not sticking to her deal. Oshun walking off turned and told Iroko that she was sorry and that she will bring him a goat to keep him company. Iroko agreed. A year passes by and Oshun is again walking through the forest and stumbles on Iroko. She sits for 2 minutes to fix her scarves. Iroko was happy that Oshun was sitting with him and maybe they can have some type of conversation. As the minute he thought that, Oshun stood up and was gathering her things to start walking again. Iroko asked Oshun if she was going to stay and talk. Oshun said softly no and apologized. Iroko told Oshun that he thought she was going to sit and talk with him. He also told her that he was still waiting for the goat that she was going to bring him to keep him company. Iroko was bothered and Oshun noticing this told him that she would come back later on and bring him some amala (cornmeal). Iroko agreed once again. Another year passes by and Oshun was heading to the market place and she passed by her good old friend Iroko. She was in a hurry due to the market was closing. So walking by Iroko, she saluted him and gave him a smile. Iroko told Oshun that he was tired of waiting because he did her a favor and now she couldnt live up to her words. Oshun baffled asked Iroko what words he was talking about. Iroko told Oshun that she had promised him a goat to keep him company, she promised him some amala as an offering and she has not bothered to bring neither or. Oshun hearing this felt very bad for the great Iroko and told him that she promise to bring him the child that he helped her conceive to spend some time with him. Iroko already knew how Oshun was but was gracious that she was one of the only orishas that spoke to him and with that Iroko agreed. It has been a total of 5 years now and Elegua was walking through the forest and saw his friend Iroko standing at the same spot as usual. So Elegua walked over and greeted the great Iroko. Elegua sat under the shade of Iroko for hours talking and listening to Irokos stories that he has seen in the forest. Elegua who is always noisy sat there drank his rum and played with 5 precious stones that he had in his bag. Iroko then started to tell Elegua how happy he was that he stopped and talked with him. Iroko was very grateful and told

Elegua that he loved for people to sit under his shade, in where he Iroko would give magical dreams to all. But Iroko started to tell Elegua how Oshun would also come by but she hasnt been in a while. He also told Elegua how she promised to bring him a goat and some amala and she hasnt brought it neither. Elegua who knows how his friend Oshun is told the great Iroko not to worry that he was there to keep him company but with that said and done, Elegua heard some juicy gossip in the winds that was coming from a nearby town. Iroko who knew how Elegua was, smiled and told Elegua to go about his journey and to stop by whenever he wanted to. A couple of weeks later Elegua was walking through a village and saw some kids playing. So the childish orisha stopped to play with the kids. He saw one of them who was dressed in yellow with a red slash leave the company of the other kids and started headed towards the roads that lead out of the town. Elegua followed and stopped the kid and noticed that it was Oshuns son Ideu. He asked Ideu where was he going and the little one said that he was going to meet his mother at the market place. Elegua told him that he was going the long way and showed him a short cut through the forest. Elegua also gave him 5 precious stones to give to his mother Oshun. He laid him a path and Ideu was on his way. Ideu was walking and came across a big tree that was standing in the middle of the forest alongside with the other trees. He sat under it and started to play with the stones that Elegua gave him. When Iroko opened his eyes he saw a young boy sitting at his roots playing with 5 precious stones. He remembered when Elegua was sitting there only a couple of weeks ago playing with the same stones. Iroko grew happy as he thought that he had another friend that came to hear his knowledge and share the shade of his leaves. Iroko spoke to Ideu and the little one was amazed of the great cieba tree. Ideu told Iroko that he was the son of Oshun. Iroko hearing this thought that Oshun finally gave word and sent her son to spend time with Iroko. Iroko started to tell the little one stories and Ideu was intrigued. He told Iroko not to stop to continue and Iroko brought his roots from under the earth and brought Ideu to his domain to continue his story telling. When Oshun came home she noticed that Ideu was not in the house and she wondered where he was. Days and months passed by and there was still no sign of Ideu. Oshun was frantic and searched everywhere she could possibly think of where he would be at.

5 years later Oshun who was still depressed, was walking through the forest and walked past Iroko. Iroko noticed that she didnt speak to him as to her mind has been in the disappearance of her son. The look was written all over her face and Iroko knew why the happy orisha was not happy no more. He decided to do something about it. The next morning Oshun was making her way through the forest and noticed Iroko was standing there happy as can be. She stopped and greeted him but not with the happiness as she had in the past decade. Iroko asks Oshun if she found her son and Oshun told her no. Iroko told her that she should always stay to her word and not promise something and dont pay for it. Oshun nodded her head as she indeed understood what Iroko was saying. Iroko looked at Oshun and told her that he had a gift that she would love. And by him saying that, the earth opened and a hill was rising from it. This was no ordinary hill, this was a hill full of gold, jewels, money and riches. On top of the hill was the joyous Ideu. While Ideu was under the earth with Iroko, time went by very slow and he did not realize it. Iroko told him many stories and showed him lots of riches of the earth. Oshun seeing her son cried and grabbed him. Ideu told Oshun all the stories Iroko told him and the riches of Iroko. Oshun told Ideu that he would now guard her riches the same way he guarded the riches of Iroko from beneath. Oshun looked at Iroko and thanked him but she told him that he shouldnt have done that. So from now on her children go nowhere near Iroko as she remembers what happened to Ideu. Oshuns feast day is September 8th. She is synchronized with Our Lady of Charity. Her number is 5 and all multiples of it. She loves all kinds of sweets, fine wines and champagnes. She loves all aromatic flowers and perfumes. She is the essence of flirt and seduce in both men and woman. Oshun has many children and her children are well protected under her power. She does consecrate on the head. With her main attribute the honey, she dominates everything in her path. She is an orisha that is always feared. It is said that she is sweet as honey but when you give someone too much honey what happens, they get repugnant. Oshun is an orisha to have on your good side because if she crosses your path in the wrong way, she will bring havoc to your lives. She rules the lower abdomen and the blood that runs through your veins. In Palo Mayombe Oshun is associated with Mama Chola. Syncretized as Our Lady of Charity

Feast Date: September 8 Colors of Oshun: honey yellow with markings of red, green, and black Oshun Numbers: all multiples of 5

Yemaya Universal Mother

Yemaya is the ultimate universal mother. Yemaya also known as Yemoja, Yemanja Yemalla or The Siren is the orisha of the ocean and all that inhabits in it. She is the water that pushes up against the seashores. She gives life in all aspects. Yemayas domain is all waters, the sea,

rivers, lakes, lagoons all that is water she it. She is even the water that babies are held in for 9 months inside of their mothers womb. Yemaya is seen to be a woman that has big breast as she nurtures and tends to all existence. Her color is blue and all shades of it. The fishes are her children and messengers. She is the patron orisha of all women and women that bare children. She is called upon a woman who is pregnant to ensure the safety of the embryo. During pregnancy a woman calls upon the orisha to make sure that the baby is safe and flows through the vaginal walls and becomes into existence into the human world. Yemaya is said to have nurtured and raised almost all the orisha. Her followers worship her all across the globe. From Africa to Brazil. All have gone and spoken with Yemaya. Even if you dont think so, we have all at least once in our life gone to the ocean and dipped in and spoken with the ocean. Thats Yemaya and she hears all. Yemaya is that celestial being that when one wants to be held, they can feel her grasps as a mother. She is that mother figure that you can talk to and explain or pour your heart out to and she will always listen. When one doesnt have a mother to talk to, you can always speak to her by going to the ocean and sitting down by the seashore or lighting a blue candle at your place of dwelling and call upon her. You will feel that warmth embrace hover over you, thats Yemaya. Also as a mother, she is a warrior and she will defend her children very quickly. She can be stern and punish her children as well. The same way a mother gives and teaches her children, the same way she can punish and teach you a lesson.

Pataki on Yemaya
One day Olofi was having a party in ara onu. He invited all of the orisha to come to the gala. So he sent word out with Elegua to invite all of the orishas. Elegua ran with the word as Olofi was having a party and he knew there would be lots of sweets for him to pick on. So Elegua came to earth and went to each orisha and gave the invitation on the party. House to house Elegua went spreading the news and of course getting paid for it by receiving candy, oti and smoked fish. The orishas decided to take Olofi a gift as it was an honor to go to the palace of Olofi. Each orisha went on their way looking for gifts to take to Olofi. Obatala decided to take Olofi a white staff made out of pearls and gold. Oshun decided to take Olofi perfumes so the great king can perfume his body. Each orisha went picking up what they thought would be a nice gift for Olofi. Yemaya received the invitation from Elegua but she had so much work to do in the seas and all parts of the world. She was still maintaining life on the lands and bearing gifts to her followers. Time went on and the date of the party was near and the orisha of the ocean still did not get her gift for Olofi. While attending to her domain, Elegua popped in and asked her what was she getting for Olofi. Yemaya looked at Elegua and asked him in what was he talking about. Elegua reminded her that Olofi was having a party in the heavens and that all

of the orishas were required to attend and that they should all bring a gift. Yemaya with a shocked look on her face, called for one of her fishes to immediately take her to the shore so she can get something for Olofi. Her fastest fish came and rushed her to the shore where Yemaya proceeded to look for a gift that was honorable for Olofi. Yemaya though and though and she did not have any idea of what to get Olofi. She went to the only thing that was open which was the market to see what she can get. Once she arrived at the market place she noticed that Oya was still there tending to the market. She asked Oya what was she getting Olofi and Oya replied that she was getting Olofi baskets of most beautiful fruits so that he may feast upon them. Oya told Yemaya to look around and hurry up and pick something as the party was just in an hour or so. Yemaya ran to every merchant in the market place and everywhere she went either they were closed or they didnt have anything that would suit a king. Yemaya was very upset at herself because she had ample enough time to get a gift but she was tending to her children of the sea and children on land. Finally Yemaya came to the last merchant and asked him what he had. The merchant replied to Yemaya that the only thing he had was the head of 3 fishes and that was it. Yemaya looked at him with dismay and told him that she would take it. She knew she couldnt walk into the palace of Olofi empty handed. The merchant wrapped up the 3 heads and gave it to Yemaya. Yemaya went back home to the oceans and she proceeded to get dressed with her most luxurious blue dress. She adorned herself with all of her cowrie shells and pearls with corals. The great orisha had to look her best as she would be in the presence of Olofi. But in the back of her mind she still wasnt content on the gift she got Olofi. There was no more time and nothing she can do. Yemaya took off to the sky to attend the party with her gift in a basket. Yemaya arrived at the party and saw all the orishas with their best clothes on. She was saluted at the door by Elegua as the orisha of the sea. All orishas who were present bowed and paid Yemaya her honor. She mingled with all the orishas and started to ease her mind about the gift she bought to Olofi. The trumpet sounded and Olofi entered the room and every orisha, animal and trees stopped to bow their heads to the great Olofi. Olofi sat on his golden throne and started to greet his court one by one. Each orisha started to bring their gift to Olofi. The great king, very happy and surprised accepted their gifts and blessed each and every one of them. Yemaya stood all the way to the back as she did not want to be making of mockery of her gift. After the last orisha gave Olofi his gift, Olofi called out to Yemaya and asked her for hers. She walked over to Olofi and told him that she was very sorry that she did not bring him a gift as she was tending to her children in the sea. Olofi looked at Yemaya and told her he understood but since he is Olofi he knows all and asked her what was it that she brought in that basket. Yemaya bashful told Olofi that it was nothing and Olofi told her in a soft voice to give him what she had in the basket. Yemaya opened the basket and there came out, a white plate with 3 heads of a fish. She was so embarrassed because first it was Olofi and second because what would all the other orishas think of her. She bowed and gave it to

Olofi. Olofi looked at it and asked Yemaya if this was the gift that she brought to him. Yemaya responded to him that yes it was. Olofi asked Yemaya if this is the sort of gift you give to a king. Yemaya started to respond when Olofi sat back in his chair and started to laugh. All the orisha silently started to laugh at Yemaya while she put her head down. Olofi told her to keep her head straight as this was no ordinary gift. He told her that the other orishas brought him gifts of great vain and beauty but she Yemaya brought him something that had significant meaning. Yemaya wondered what he was talking about while she raised her head .Olofi stood up and walked off his throne towards Yemaya. He took the plate that held the head of the 3 fishes and told Yemaya that the same way she brought him a head, he would make her head of all waters. While he said that the head of the 3 fishes turned into 3 separate beautiful crowns made of nothing but silver and gems. He placed one crown on top of Yemaya and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the oceans. He placed the other crown on her head and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the lands and he placed the last crown on her head and told her that from this day forward she will be queen of the heavens. The 3 crowns glowed and became one big crown. Olofi then proceeded to tell her that her crown will always be recognized in every ceremonial birth. Her color blue cannot be excluded from any ceremonial births as she is a queen. She as an orisha does not have to wear her crown because it is not forever bestowed on her and she is always to be known as royalty. Yemaya saluted Olofi in the tradition of lying side by side and Olofi picked her up. He then told her to face the court and had everyone come and salute the new queen of the ocean, land and heaven. One by one all the orishas came and paid respect to Yemaya. After the party she was escorted back to the seas by Olofis high court with trumpets that sounded as she entered the ocean and saw her new castle that was given to her by Olofi. She looked up into the heavens and saw Olofi looking down on her and she crossed her hands asking for blessings. Olofi blessed her and she asked him why he bestowed her that honor as a triple queen. Olofi told her that he did it since she is always tending to her children of the seas and of the lands. He told her that she catered to her children so much that she didnt have time to even get him a gift that he did not require for anyone to bring. Olofi told her that each gift brought to him was a gift from the heart and he sees where her heart lies. Yemaya sat on her gigantic throne flushed with gold, silver, pearls and corals and all the fishes of the sea came to pay respect to the new queen of the sea Yemayas feast day is September 7. Her color is blue and all tones of it. She is synchronized with Our lady of Regla. Her number is 7 and all multiples of it. In the home of her followers she resides in a blue and white tureen where her tools and mysteries are kept. Yemaya has traveled all around the world as why she has many paths. Yemaya loves everything that is motherly. She loves jewelry, sea rocks, corals and mirrors. Her sacrificial foods are rams, roosters, ducks, guinea hens, swans and gooses. In some paths she loves turtles as well. Yemaya loves all types of fruits and sweet cakes. Plantain chips fried pork chunks are her favorite. She loves the sweetness of oni (honey) as that is he sisters gift to the world but she loves the taste of her own syrup which is melao (cane syrup). All of her offerings are taken to

the ocean where she dwells. Her children are said to be mother figures in the world. They can be very loving and can be very stern. They can be very appeasing and very hostile in their warrior aspects of their mother Yemaya. You can call on Yemaya when you need advice, female powering, having children and wealth. Also being a warrior, Yemaya is also a smart and great witch. Her spells and magic vast far and beyond and as quick as the oceans wave move, her magic is quicker. You can use her for love spells and money spells. In Palo Mayombe Yemaya is associated with Madre Agua, a fierce water deity who is a witch not to be denied. When Yemaya makes her appearance at a festival, she mimics the ocean waves at its best and its worse. She is said to continuously spin in circles as a whirlpool. Its said that she does this because she is looking for the crown that Olofi gave her. Elegua was in her domains visiting the queen orisha and he knocked over her crown that began to fall to the bottom of her waters. She started to spin and spin looking for her crown. Once she did not find it, she went on land seeing if her son Elegua took it on land. She is the sister of Oshun in who Yemaya gave Oshun some of her riches. She is the mother in different aspects to all of the orishas. She is the orisha that raised the divine twins of Shango. Yemaya is also the protector of all fishermen. When they are out to sea, it is said that she watched over them and give them her children so that humankind can survive. When they disrespect Yemaya, she causes gigantic waves that come aboard there vessel sometimes even turning it over. It is said that her domain is also an enormous cemetery as there is so many deaths that happen at sea. Syncretized as Our Lady of Rule

Feast Date: September 7 Colors of Yemaya: light blue, clear, and light green Yemaya Numbers: all multiples of 7

Shango God of Thunder

Shango is one of the most talked about and most favorable orisha of Santeria. Shango also known as Chango, Sango, Alufina, Xango in Brazil, was a great warrior. He is the orisha of the thunder and thunderbolt. He is the thunderbolt that falls from the sky upon the land. When you hear the loud sound of thunder roaring through the heavens, it is Shango that is riding his white horse looking to serve justice. Shango is seen as a tall handsome man with an extreme physique. He is always dressed in satin outfits with his tiger skin wrapped around him. His crown is always firm on his head and it is always shining. His colors are red and white and in the home of a priest, he lives in a wooden batea (vessel), where his secrets and implements are kept. Shango loves to dance and he knows how to hype up a party. When he arrives, the party has just begun as he will dance and impress everyone that is there. He is also the owner of the bt drums (the double headed drums in Santeria). When he finishes his dance, he is quick to grab the drums to show his skills. Shango is a womanizer. He loves to flirt with all women. His dance is very seductive in which he uses to seduce his woman onlookers. Shango had many relations with females from every village. Maybe out of all the orishas he had the most with all and any woman. He had 3 wives that he loved dearly, each for their own special characteristics. Oshun, Obba and Oya. He loved Oshun for her flirtatious and cunning ways, as she kept the lust between them. Whenever Shango needed that spark for lust he will look for Oshun sometimes at a

festival where should we be dancing and flirting amongst all the orishas. Oshun would bedazzle him with her exotic dance. Obba he loved dearly for she was the way a wife is idolized. The relation he had with Obba was so pure that he made her his legitimate wife and queen of his village in Oyo. She was the one who tended to his every need and made sure that the king was satisfied as the way he should be as well with her cooking as she knew how to get to a mans stomach. She kept the castle clean and organized and for that Olofi created the first marriage to be recognized. Due to a trick by his jealous mistress Oya (before Oya and Shango were married), Obba did something so disgusting that the king never forgave her and that ended their marriage. Last Oya, who he stole from his brother Oggun, loved because she did not fear anyone. Oya was the one that gave him that life and spark that he needed. She always surprised him. She was a warrior that could stand right next to the king Shango. She would go with him into any and all battles that Shango had. It is said that Oya would ride on her horse first before any battle that Shango had. If you look today, when a storm is approaching, lightning which is also Oya, flashes across the sky, then soon after you will hear the sounds of Shangos horse galloping through the skies which is the thunder. If youre lucky enough, you will also see Shango throwing a thunderbolt down to the earth.

Pataki of Shango
One day the great orisha Shango was playing the bt drums in a nearby village. Shango as usual was beating the drums and he had the party going. He would take a heavy drink of his oti and beat harder and faster on the drums. Everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves. Yemaya came to the festivities and she was dancing and enjoying herself alongside with everyone present at the party, while Elegua who was already there was talking and playing tricks on the villagers. Elegua left the party for a moment and arrived back as it was finishing with some gossip that he had seen. When the party finished he called his good friend Shango over and told him the gossip that he saw. Elegua told Shango that he left and stopped at Obatala and Yembos house to see how they were doing. He told him that he was talking to Osun (the last orisha received alongside with The Warriors represented by a rooster standing on a silver stick) about situations that were occurring in Obatalas house. Elegua as devious as he is started to give Osun oti to see if he could keep talking. Just as he planned, Osun talked and talked and told Elegua what was going on. He told him that Oggun would come to the house drunk when Baba (another form to call a father orisha) was not there and speak rough to his mother Yembo. Osun went to

say that this has been happening for a while now and that today out of all days, Oggun came very drunk. As the two were conversing Oggun came by staggering and swaying his machete. He walked right past Elegua and Osun and did not even see them. He barged into the house and grabbed Yembo. He started to rip off her clothes and threw her onto the bed where she and Obatala lay. Yembo, who was helpless, screamed and called for help. Right before Oggun could mount her, the great Osagrinan (a path of Obatala) appeared. He screamed out to Oggun to stop and to get out. Oggun out of shame left to the woods never to stop working for his actions that he did. Elegua who saw this was very upset that Oggun violated Yembo and the great Obatala. Shango hearing all of this from Elegua was in a rage and he knew that his friend Elegua wouldnt lie about this as he knew that Elegua knew all. His rage turned into fury to hear the disrespect Oggun did to their mother Yembo. He immediately jumped on his horse and rode to the house of Oggun. When he arrived he saw that Oggun was not there but he did see the beautiful Oya wielding the new sword that her husband Oggun made for her. He has seen her in many festivals and at the marketplace but never spoke to her because of the relationship she had with his brother Oggun. Shango had a spark in his eye and proceeded to walk up to Oya. When Oya saw Shango she kept her eyes off of him as she too was infatuated with Shango but never dear follow the situation, because she was faithful to Oggun. Shango fixed his shirt and moustache and approached Oya with a great swag. Oya could not resist his swag and she looked at him directly into his eyes. She was in a trance as she noticed the gleam in the irresistible Shango. Shango asked for his brother in which Oya told him that he has not been home for hours. Shango asked Oya for a drink of oti and Oya immediately ran and gave it to him. She knew that he was a king and whatever the king wanted he must have. Oya gave him his drink and Shango took a sip of it and placed in on the table. Oya asked him if there was anything else that he requested. Shango smiled and grabbed Oya very softly and gave her a kiss. Shangos passion rose from within him straight to his lips that now caressed the lips of Oya and she fell at that moment in the arms of Shango. The great king made passionate love to Oya in Ogguns house. The same disrespect that he tried to perform on his mother Yembo would be the same disrespect he would perform in the house of his brother Oggun. Hours later Oggun arrived to his house, ashamed of his actions toward his mother and father. He was picking up his tools to begin work as that was his punishment he put on himself in front of his father Obatala and Olofi. He noticed that the house was empty and his wife Oya was nowhere in sight. He called for her but there was no answer. He noticed that there was an empty cup on the table with some left over oti in it and wondered whose

it was. Oggun baffled, went to his room and noticed the bed was in a mess. Since he had been drinking heavily he did not register on what he was seeing. When he came out of the room, he saw his friend Elegua sitting by the door. He asked Elegua what happened and Elegua with a stern voice reminded him on the shameful act that he did today. Oggun who was hung over did not want to remember what happened earlier but wanted to know what happened to his wife Oya. Elegua smirked and told him a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. Oggun did not know what Elegua was saying asked him what was he talking about. Elegua told Oggun that where ever Shango is at, Oya is very near. Oggun now put the pieces together, grabbed his machete and charged out of his house running to the house of his brother Shango. Oggun ran and ran all the way to the gates of Shangos castle. He demanded to be let into the kingdom. Shangos guards notified Shango of the noise that Oggun was making outside. Shango stepped on his balcony and asked Oggun what was the ruckus and disrespect he was doing outside of his house. Oggun said the disrespect was he Shango coming to his house and taking his wife Oya. Shango brought Oya onto the balcony and showed her to her husband. Ogguns rage grew more and demanded Shango to release her. Oya told Oggun that she was not there by force but on her own will. Oggun stated to her that she was under a potion that Shango gave her. Oya told Oggun that Shango did not give her a potion and this was a day that she yearned for since the first time she saw Shango. Oggun repeated to her that Shango did something to her. Oggun turned and looked at Shango and asked him why did he disrespect him for, come to his house and take his wife. Shango with a roar told Oggun that the same way he barged into the house of his parents and violated his mother, this was pay back. And with that said and done Shango leaped from the balcony that was high up in his castle straight to where Oggun was at. Before Shango touched the floor a thunderbolt landed right next to Oggun that made him fall back quite a few feet. Shango and Oggun started a battle that lasted for hours. As Shangos guards watched in confusion because they did not want to get involved between these 2 brothers wrath. The 2 orishas fought against each other. Shango threw thunderbolt after thunderbolt hitting the ground where Ogguns feet were. Oggun with each leap got close to Shango and swayed his machete hitting Shango. These 2 orishas gave each other bruise after bruise. Oya seeing all of this wanted this to stop, so she blew her winds so far and fast until her cries reached to the ears of Obatala. She then glided on towards them both. Obatala who heard Oyas cries came fast on his horse to see what was going on. When he reached Shangos castle he saw the 2 orishas fighting each other with Oya in the middle. Oya stood in the middle of them both trying to stop the battle but they both did not listen to her. The great Obatala approached them both and as he is the king and orisha of peace, his

soft voice brought a silence over the kingdom of Shango. He demanded both of them to stop the brawl. Shango seeing his father threw himself at the great orisha of the white cloth in homage. Obatala lifted Shango up and gave him a hug. Oggun asked his father Obatala that why he was being so nice and humble to Shango when it was Shango that started all of this. Obatala asked Oggun in what way did Shango disrespect him. Oggun went and told him that Shango went to his house and took his wife Oya from him and now she is with him. Obatala turned and asked Shango if this was true and Shango proclaimed that it was. Shango then turned and told Obatala that it was revenge. Oggun screamed revenge and brought his machete high over his head to strike Shango. Immediately Shango raised his osh to strike back. Obatala raised his hands and both orishas brought down their weapons. Shango told Oggun that it was revenge for him going to their fathers house and taking advantage on their mother Yembo. Shango said the same way you went in and took advantage, I went to your house and took advantage on your wife in which now she is mines. Obatala turned to Shango and told him that 2 wrongs dont make a right and that was wrong on what he did. He continued to tell him that he shouldnt have gone and barged into Ogguns house and take Oya from him. Elegua who was present as usual bowed his head to Obatala and told him that Shango did not barge in that Oya let him in with no problem. Oya stated that it was true. She turned to her former husband Oggun and told him that she always loved and respected him but that Shango brought to her a wild fire passion that she has been yearning for a long time and it is with Shango she is going to stay with. Obatala told Shango to take Oya inside and he told Oggun to go back home and think of all the defects that he did today. Shango asked Obatala why was he so easy on his brother Oggun. Shango asked where was his punishment in which Obatala said Oggun already has received his punishment. Shango turned and took Oya inside and peace was brought back to the kingdom of Shango. Shangos feast day is December 4th. He is the owner of fire and passion as well. Shango loves to drink, dance and eat. His sacrificial animals are rams, roosters, turtles, Cornish hens and guinea hens. His favorite food is cornmeal with okra and he loves red apples and green bananas. He is the orisha that brings justice to mankind. Shango rides day and night looking to bring justice to his father Obatala and Olofi. The drums beat in his heart. He loves everything perfect and nothing deformed. His children are very outgoing people. They love to drink and party and they have a passion and fire on their tongues that they conquer all battles when they use their head. Shango is friends to all the orishas except to his brother Oggun that they are constantly in battle whenever they are in front of each. But never the less, Shango aides and loves the children of Oggun and vice versa. Shango is a

great friend and ally to have in your corner. He keeps a close eye on his children and he protects them to the fullest from everything. Shango is able to breathe fire from his mouth. He found out the secret from the herb orisha Ozain who gave him Abocun which is the secret of the fire. Shango keeps Abocun deep in his mortar locked in a safe room. When Shango is going to battle he first goes to Abocun to gain the secret of the fire. He puts it on his tongue and is instantly able to blow fire from his mouth. He then rides out with his daughter Aia, who is the heat of the fire. Abocun was found by Oya who was snooping around Shangos castle and saw the lock door. As the air we breathe she passed right through and put the secret of Abocun on her tongue and from that day she was able to breathe fire from her mouth. In the religion Palo Mayombe, Shango is represented by the palo deity Siete Rayos who share the same characteristics as the orisha Shango. They are not the same but the share a lot of similarities. While a storm is going on where there is lightning and thunder, you should always salute Shango with his salutations. Kabi O Sile The great king. If you see a thunderbolt hit the ground, after the rain has subdued, go to where the bolt hit and dig a hole. It is said that he leaves traces of his thunderbolt through a black stone that is called and odu ara (lightning bolt stone). He loves this stone and all of his followers wear this stone around their necks or on them to represent the orisha.

Syncretized with Saint Barbara of the Thunder


Feast Date: December 4 Color of Shango: red and white Shango Number: 4 and multiples of 6

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