They are the ones that the people adore, the ones who listen to the prayers of thousands of devotees who raise their voices in faith seeking love, health, economic stability and success in life, among many other requests.
The male Orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon Most revered by Cubans are those who stand out for their immense powers within the Yoruba pantheon and also for that degree of humanity that earns the empathy and love of the devotees.
Let us now know which are the male Orishas most revered by the Cuban people:
Obbatalá, the Creator of the world
Obatala He is the old Father Orisha, the creator of the world and everything that surrounds us. He is the father of all the children on earth and the one who made human beings in his image.
He is a head Osha and governs all parts of the human body, mainly the head, thoughts and human life and for the respect due to him and the purity that enters.aña, owns the whiteness. His name comes from the Yoruba Obbàtalá (king of purity).
It represents the creation although it is said that it is not necessarily immaculate. Therefore, in him the magnanimous and superior are united, but also pride, anger, despotism.
He is the one who listens to the prayers of all his children with patience and love and who brings intelligence, peace and calm to the world. In nature he is symbolized by the mountains.añas
If we pray to him with faith and show ourselves worthy, Obatalá will be able to intercede for us before any Osha or Orisha, because he considers himself the father of the human race and owner of all heads.
Catholic syncretism of the wise Obatala
Obatala syncretizes in the Catholic religion with the Virgin of the Mercedes, also highly revered in Cuba. Las Mercedes is considered the patron saint of prisoners, the grantor of forgiveness and peace.
Every September 24, it is customary among Cubans to celebrate the day of the Virgen de las Mercedes, in addition to celebrating Obatalá and in a single image they pray for peace and prosperity.
Shango, the God of Thunder
Shango symbolizes life itself and the joy of living it. He is a warrior Osha, the king of the Yoruba religion and one of the most popular Orishas of his pantheon, so also in Cuba he is highly revered as a great warrior and protector.
He is present in the group of the head Oshas and is considered the Orisha of justice, dance, virile strength, thunder, lightning and fire, owner of the Batá, Wemdamientos, Ilú Batá or Bembés drums, of the dance and music.
For this reason, Shango is always associated with the intensity of life, masculine beauty, passion, intelligence and wealth. He is the owner of the religious system of Osha-Ifá and represents the balance between favorable and unfavorable situations in life.
Shango was a warrior king and was the first awó, although he later changed the ashé of divination to dance with the sage Orula. And it is that Kabiosile, as it is also called, is unruly and restless.
Kabiosile Catholic Syncretism
Syncretizes in Catholicism with Santa Barbara, whose festival is December 4. Santa Barbara is the protector against injustice, envy and enemies, she is the virgin of those who fight with weapons.
In Cuba, Santa Bárbara is one of the most revered deities, and her devotees go to the National Shrine dedicated to the saint, located in the neighborhood of Párraga, in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, and they carry flowers, candles, fulfill promises and ask for miracles. .
Elegguá, the one who opens the roads
Elegua he is known by devotees and nondevotees, as the one who opens the roads. It is the first protection and the uninitiated or aleyos must receive or consecrate it as first. And it is that he is the absolute owner of the roads and destiny, and he can close or open the astral for the happiness or unhappiness of human beings.
It is an Osha from the group of Orisha Oddé, who are called The Warriors. He is the first of the warriors, a group that he integrates with Oggún, Oshosi and Osun. In nature, it is symbolized by rocks.
He is the fundamental messenger of Olofin and lives in most cases behind the door, taking care of the home of whoever owns it, from there he protects from the misfortunes of fate.
It is also the main interpreter of the lyrics of the diloggún oracle system and plays a fundamental role in the subsystems of the Biangue or Aditoto oracle.
Little Eleguá and his Catholic Syncretism
Elegguá syncretizes with the Holy Child of Atocha, figure of legend and devotion in towns of Spainaña, because they pray to him as a son of Mary, Our Lady of Atocha.
From this legend, devotion to the Santo Niño de Atocha has grown throughout the world, as many miracles linked to protection and charity are awarded to him.
Oggún, the Iron Master
Oggún is the Orisha who represents the fortress, rough and initial work and strength. For this reason it symbolizes the force that encloses the box of the human body, the thorax, where all the vital organs are.
He is the Master of iron, of all metals and symbolizes the enormous virility in the human being. He owns the tools and chains. Metals belong to him, he is the ruler of blacksmiths, of wars, watchman of human beings. Thus, its name comes from the Yoruba Òggún (war).
Oggún is an Osha from Orisha Oddé's group, commonly called Los Guerreros along with Eleguá, Oshosi and Osun. He owns the mountain together with Oshosi and the roads together with Eleguá.
Catholic Syncretism of Oggún the Warrior
Oggún syncretizes in the Catholic religion with Saint Peter the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles that appear in the New Testament, and is the main protagonist of numerous episodes in the Gospel.
San Pedro is the protector of fishermen, builders, harvesters, bakers, butchers, shoemakers, locksmiths, watchmakers and bricklayers. He is prayed against fever and aging, as it is said that he can ward off all ills.
Ochosi, the Hunter Orisha
Oshosi is the hunter of the Osha, the protector of the underdog. He is a Head Osha who is also a member of the Orisha Oddé group, commonly called Los Guerreros, made up of brave Orishas, deities of the mountain who protect and care for men.
Orisha hunter par excellence who is related to jail, justice and the persecuted.
It is thought, quick as your arrow, capable of moving anywhere or at any time and capturing or catching something. He is considered a magician and sorcerer and his name comes from the Yoruba Osóssí "He who works with witchcraft".
It is symbolized by weapons, the bow and arrow being its two tools of power, with which it hunts the good and the bad in life. He is closely related to Oggún, together they are excellent warriors. He is the owner of the mountain and of the game, his otá (stone) is collected there.
Justice Oshosi and his Catholic Syncretism
Ochosi syncretizes in the Catholic religion with St. Norbert, founder of the Norbertine or Premonstratensian order of canons regular. Intellectual and wise, he proclaimed the word of Jesus and always offered charity, giving his riches to those in need.
His legacy lives on in Christian believers, who invoke him to defeat enemies, and against envy and injustice.
Osain, Owner of the Mount
Osain is the Orisha Owner of the Mount who knows all its secrets, the wise man, the healer, the one who saves from death.
He represents nature and is a soothsayer, connoisseur of the greatest spells and rituals with herbs, with these he strengthens himself for war. He is a doctor and wise, knowledgeable of all the secrets of plants, bearer of their Ashe and powers.
He is the absolute owner of the mountain and of the vegetation that is gathered there, he knows each herb and its particular ashé, and he uses them to do good, never evil. Many say that he is a guardian and consultant, he hides among the undergrowth of the jungle, he is always acquiring new knowledge and wisdom.
The songs for Osain are extremely important in the ceremonies of consecration and spiritual purification and especially for the preparation of the Omiero, that sacred herbal water that is also used for the spiritual cleansing of the devotees.
Catholic Syncretism of Osain del Monte
Osain syncretizes in Catholicism with San Antonio Abad o San Antón, the patron saint of basket weavers, brush makers, cemeteries, butchers, domestic animals, a model of ascetic spirituality.
Many pray to him for the health and welfare of pets, as he is considered the protector of animals.
Aggayú Solá, the Orisha of the Volcanoes
Aggayu Solá It is the giant of the Osha. It is an Orisha and represents in nature the volcano, the magma, the interior of the earth, everything immense and powerful in the universe. It also symbolizes the forces and energies of nature, the force of an earthquake, the lava from volcanoes and the same force that makes the universe and the earth rotate.
He is also the Orisha of the deserts, of the dry land and of the raging rivers, he lives in everything natural, in the magnanimous.
It is known as the bastion of Osha and particularly of Obbatalá. He lives in the current of the river and therefore many recognize him in the image of a boatman on the river.
This Orisha represents fire and much is said in the Patakíes about his bellicose and wrathful character. Its name comes from the Yorùbá Aginjù Solá (Aginjù: desert -So: voice - Àlá: Cover), literally "The one who covers the desert with his voice."
Syncretism of the Giant of the Osha
Aggayú Solá is syncretized with the "bearer of Christ", San Cristóbal, patron saint of Havana.
San Cristóbal is a protective symbol of Havana, protector of travelers, sailors, transporters and boatmen. He is asked for help to cross rivers and waters and also provides health and cures the sick.
Osún, the Watcher of the Osha
Osun is the watchman, the messenger and the guardian of the Osha, the one who watches over everything that happens from above and warns to anticipate it. He is an Osha from the Orisha Oddé group, commonly called Los Guerreros and goes with Eleguá, Oggún and Oshosi.
It represents the ancestral spirit that is related to the individual genealogically and that guides and warns them during their path in life. He is the messenger of Father Obbatalá and the creator Olofin.
It symbolizes the ancestors of a specific individual and is closely linked to the diviner Orula. Osun is your support to obtain the powers of divination and real and transcendent knowledge.
It is in itself the verticality of the human being on the earth, and that is why its attention is so sacred in the Yoruba religion, its foundation that is presented as the shape of a rooster should not fall. When it staggers or falls alone, it is a bad omen and it is feared that whoever possesses it is being preyed upon by witchcraft, or is haunted by death, disease, and misfortune.
Osun the rooster and his Catholic Syncretism
Osun syncretizes in the Catholic religion with San Juan Bautista, Jewish preacher considered a prophet by three religions: Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith.
Currently, the celebration of the Night of San Juan is dedicated to San Juan Bautista. We pray to him for protection against the evils that plague the world and we ask for his help when we find ourselves in difficult and desperate situations.
Babalú Ayé, Orisha of Sickness
Babalu Aye He is the Orisha of diseases, and the one who provides healing. He is the Orisha of leprosy, smallpox, venereal diseases and in general of plagues and misery. He is well known and revered in an attempt to ward off ailments, although he is highly respected because he is a deity of immense power capable of filling the world with a deadly plague.
Represents skin conditions, contagious diseases, especially venereal and epidemics in humans.
Its name comes from the Yorùbá Babàlúaíyé (father of the world), although in Africa it was known as Samponá or Sakpatá, for being smallpox and leprosy deadly diseases.
Saint Lazarus and Babalú, Religious Syncretism
Saint Lazarus It is one of the most revered deities in Cuba. In San Lázaro Bendito there is the confluence of two different characters, say San Lazaro, friend of Jesus and canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and Lazaro, a beggar represented as an old man who wears rags and uses a pair of crutches, with his legs full of sores and surrounded by dogs.
He is a saint venerated by thousands of people as a protector of the sick, a miracle worker, who allows us to ward off everything bad that punishes our body, who restores health to the underprivileged.
The devotees offer the saint great offerings and sacrifices, every December 17, the day in which Saint Lazarus and Babalú Ayé are celebrated.