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Functions and Powers of the Orishas

Characteristics of the Orishas

The Orishas govern the forces of nature, they are sent by the Supreme God of the Yoruba religion "Olodumare" to establish contact with men on earth and attend to the affairs of humanity.

Many characteristics are attributed to these Yoruba deities, among them, specific colors and numbers, attributes of nature, offerings made to them, days of the week they are attended to or dates of celebration in his honor.

In this post we will focus on those characteristics that define the functions of the Orishas within the religion, although they are not all, they are the most popular of the Yoruba pantheon.

The Seven African Powers:

It is considered that Seven African Powers It is made up of the main deities of the Yoruba religion. They are characterized by their great power and spirituality within the Yoruba cult.

OrishasFunction
ObatalaCreator of the human race, owner of thoughts, intelligence, peace and purity. Father of all children on earth.
ElegguaOwner of the destiny of men, roads, crossroads and messenger of the gods. He is the one who opens and closes human paths.
ShangoGod of fire, drums, thunder, music and dance. A righteous warrior with an impetuous character and sharp wit.
OggunGod of war, metals and mountains. Owner of the irons and the strength of the human body.
OrulaChief counselor of humanity and great curator. It is the divination, the advice and the revealer of the destiny of all.
YemayaShe is the Orisha of motherhood and mistress of the seas. Mother of all children on earth, she represents the source of life.
OshunGoddess of love and the sweet waters of the world. She personifies fertility, abundance and is protective of pregnant women.

The reckless warriors of the Yoruba religion:

These three deities form a trilogy, called the reckless warriors. They are female Orishas who live in the cemetery. These death Orishas are sisters: Oyá lives at the door of the cemetery, Obba guards the tombs and Yewá lives inside the coffin.

HeyShe is the protection of death, guardian of the cemetery, owner of the spark, the rainbow and the storms.
ObbaIt represents conjugal self-denial and the bones of the human body. Grave keeper and owner of lakes and ponds.
YewaOwner of the cemetery and the grave. Represents repressed love and loneliness. It is female chastity and virginity.

Orishas protectors of nature:

These Orishas have a direct relationship with the forces of nature, they represent the energies of nature that surrounds us, they protect us by controlling everything living to provide us with abundance.

osainHe is a fortune teller, doctor and owner of all the plants of nature and of the mountain. Give your children the Ashé of knowledge.
Aggayu SoláIt represents the devastating force and the immense energies of nature. It is the giant of Osha and the bastion of Obatala.
Orisha okoProtector of crops and lands providing fertility and prosperity. It offers the necessary food to live.

Medical and protective Orishas:

Orishas that protect us with their knowledge and wisdom, their medicinal plants, energies of the universe and nature:

oshosiGod of the hunt, of prisons, of justice, of lawyers and the law. Protector of the persecuted, wizard and sorcerer, the fairest.
OsunIt represents life, custodian and guardian of everyone's head. Announces death, watchman and guardian who lives on high.
Babalu AyeOwner of disease and protector of the afflicted. Miraculous Orisha with the sick and the poorest.
InleOsha's doctor and fortune teller. Fishing and gathering pattern. Protector of doctors and fishermen.
Nana BurukuShe is the great mother and grandmother of evil. She has a great spirituality, mediator between life and death, mistress of mud and drizzles.
OlokunOrisha who holds the secrets of life and death, connoisseur of the great mysteries of the oceans, provides health and evolution.
IbeyisThey are luck, fortune and prosperity. Protectors of humanity, saviors of evil and protectors of walkers.
OduduwaIt governs the secrets of the Eggun (ancestors) and Ikú (death). It represents the mysteries of death and was the creator of the animal, plant and mineral world.

The Supreme God Olodumare and his manifestations:

OlodumareUnique and supreme God in the Yoruba religion, creator of everything that exists and who gives destiny to everything living.
OlofinIt is the third manifestation of Olodumare, he is in indirect contact with men through the Orishas. Everything is resolved with your will.
OlorunIt is the second manifestation of Olodumare, he is in direct contact with men. He is the owner of life, colors, light and air.

All the Orishas are powerful deities with important functions and powers within the religion, some provide us with intelligence, thoughts and words; others love, abundance and fertility; the food on our table, the air necessary to breathe and the correct functioning of our organs; so every day we must thank everyone for their great protection and guidance in our lives.

Characteristics of the Orishas
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