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Telluric Deities of the Yoruba Pantheon - The Orishas and their powers

Yoruba Orishas deities

El yoruba pantheon It is made up of numerous deities that are subdivided according to their powers, into head, major and minor Orishas.

But some researchers wanted to give a scientific order to the representation of the Orishas according to their actions on earth and the elements with which they are related.

Thus, a scheme was made of the major deities of the Lucumí pantheon, which groups them into cosmogonic, telluric, human endeavor and divinatory deities.

In this article we will address the group of telluric deities, that is, belonging to or relative to the Earth, which is also subdivided into several units depending on each power of nature.

Next, we describe each unit and the deities that make up the category Telluric:

Meteorological Deities

Shango: God of thunder and fire

The King of Thunder and Lightning, the initiator of storms. Orisha major, God of fire, war, batá drums, dance, music and virile beauty. Patron and protector of men, warriors and storms.

Its colors are red and white and it represents the greatest number of human virtues and imperfections.

Oyá: The Owner of the sparks

In Africa Oyá, rainy divinity, is considered the first wife of Changó. She is the goddess of the Niger River, and in Cuba she is given the name of Yansa. Oyá She is the goddess of sparks, whirlpools and storms. She lives in the dark, she is a warrior and a fighter.

Oyá she owns the gate of the cemeteries and the one that dominates the sparks and the strong winds. She provides oxygen and maintains the course of life provided by the waters of Yemayá and Oshún.

River Deities

Ochún: Queen of the world's fresh waters

Oshún is the river and the sweet waters of the earth. She is mother, wife, lover and sister, she is the purest intensity of feelings and spirituality. It is love and femininity.

The Yoruba goddess represents the rivers and their currents and the springs in nature and also represents religious rigor, she is dire, righteous and therefore likes implacable punishment for falsehoods and crimes.

Oba: Owner of lakes and lagoons

Obbá is the Orisha of the river that bears his name and forms with Oyá and Yewá, the trilogy of the muerteras, powerful goddesses of the eggunes and spirits of the graveyard. She is related to lakes and ponds in nature.

Habita the cemetery and the mountains where souls are abandoned, symbolizes loneliness, self-sacrifice and sacrifice.  

Maritime Deities

Yemaya: Owner of the sea and salty waters

Yemayá is the divinity of the salty waters and the orisha of motherhood. It is in nature, symbolized by the waves and the sea, it represents the superior energy of the currents and the surfaces of the waters.   

She is the mother of all children on earth and represents the source of life, fertility and motherhood.

The prayers and requests to Yemayá gain energy when they are related to its representative element in nature, the sea, at the foot of its waters, blesses, cleanses and heals diseases.  

Olokún: King of the ocean depths

Olokun is the marine deity who always supports Yemayá. He is the owner of the depths of the sea, he is androgynous, that is to say that he is a human being who possesses both masculine and feminine characteristics.

He is a powerful Orisha who knows the greatest secrets of the oceans, from there he possesses all the riches that man does not know. He also knows the deepest mysteries of life and death.

It is him, the sea in its most frightening state and the darkest depths of the waters, unleashes storms and overflows the waters to land when angry.

Mineral Deities

Oggun: God of metals and war

Oggún is the lord and master of iron, he is strength, work, effort. He is the Orisha patron of noble workers, wars, blacksmiths, and metal-related work.

He is the second Orisha who is received behind Elegguá, he forms together with him, Ochosi the vigilante and Osún the lookout, the group of the 4 warriors of the mountain, the first Orishas that are received.

Plant deities

Osain: Owner of the Ashé and energy of the herbs of the mountain

Osain is the Orisha who represents nature, it is the life within it and its secrets in its entirety. It is he, knowledgeable of all plants, herbs, sticks, animals and minerals. He is a doctor, healer of diseases, owner and wise of all the secrets of nature.

Absolute owner of the forest and vegetation, with each herb he can heal, he knows the Ashe of plants, he is able to save from the worst curses and witchcraft with them. He knows each element and its power and uses them to do good and help in needs.

Deities of pathogens

Babalú-Ayé: The Owner of Diseases

In Cuba, the cult of Babalú Ayé and San Lázaro extends for centuries and devotees offer the holy orisha great offerings and sacrifices, being one of the most revered by Cubans, for being a deity that heals, protects and helps those who they have afflictions.

Babalú Ayé, is the healing orisha of many venereal and skin diseases, also of leprosy, smallpox, plagues and miseries, he is merciful, although he is also very feared, because he can unleash the worst pandemics.

Inle: The Osha Doctor

Divine physician representing fishing and gathering. It is the Orisha who protects doctors and fishermen. Knowing about diseases helps in healing.

Powerful Orisha that provides abundance, healing and well-being. It is the same health that wards off diseases, helps men with their powers as a fortune teller, warrior, hunter and fisherman. Inle is "The food that the earth gives."

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