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What does Odúa represent in Santería? We go to the Orisha of Creation

Odua santeria

Odùdúwà, also named Odudúa, Odúa, Oòduà, and in Afro-Cuban transcription Odduduwa or Oddúa is one of the main Orishas of the Yoruba religion, seen as one of the creators of the world, surrounded by an immense spirituality.

Even in Santería or Regla de Ocha, this Orisha syncretizes with Jesus Christ, seen as the "Blessed Sacrament", which is why the followers of this religious expression profess great respect and devotion to the cult of this deity.

Odduduwa is a being of pure energy, representative of the great Olodumare and one of the first Orishas present at the creation of the world.

The Yoruba pataki of Odduduwá, Obbatalá and the Earth

The story tells that when Obbatalá was going to the threshold of the spiritual world to go down to create the Earth by order of Olodumare, he met Eshú, who demanded that he make a sacrifice or ebbo.

But Baba refused and Eshú decided to put obstacles in his way.

Thus, he made Obbatalá tired and planted him a very spicy food and a wine palm tree.

When he glimpsed the panorama, Baba decided to rest and since he was hungry, he wanted to try the food that Eshu had prepared.

Once satisfied, he was thirsty, so he drank from the wine that flowed from the palm tree.

He drank so much that he got drunk and fell asleep, with the Sack of Creation at his side. When Olodumare found out, he then decided to entrust Odduduwa with the task of creating the planet.

And when meeting Eshu, Oòduà did make the relevant sacrifices, guided by his partner Orunmila.

Then, suspended from a chain (ẹ̀wọ̀n) of 16 links, it spilled a little dust on the surface of the water, which was the only thing that existed at the beginning of the Earth.

Finally, he let the Cinqueña hen (with five-toed legs) slide, so that it would spread the earth.

Thus, Odduduwa was the first Orisha who stepped on the earth. It was he who founded the spiritual capital of the Yorùbá (Ilé Ifẹ̀) and became their father and protector.

That is why today all practitioners of the Yoruba religion consider themselves ọmọ Odùdúwà children of Odùdúwà, because that Orisha heads the dynasty of the 21 ọba or Yoruba kings, direct descendants of the Orisha and his living incarnation.

How does Odúa present himself in Cuban Santería?

Odùdúwà is one of the most respected Orishas of the Yoruba pantheon for Cubans, especially in his Catholic syncretism with Jesus Christ.

Also, for the followers of the Yoruba religion, it holds the secrets of the ancestors and Egun death, and stands on the border between the spiritual world and earthly existence.

Among its most powerful features are:

  1. He is the first ancestor, so he is considered king of the dead and is associated with spirituality, gloom and the mysteries of darkness.

For this reason, it is recommended to protect its receptacle in the form of a silver chest closed with a padlock, and not place it in the light, because the Orisha lives in the dark.

  1. Its own material representation alludes to the formation of the world, of which the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms form part. 
  2. Odduduwa can be found in the deepest darkness of the night and has no definite physical form, but instead forms an immense mass of spiritual power that possesses a phosphorescent eye.
  3. He is seen as a creator and doer of justice, as well as being a divine and impersonal element.
  4. Oduduwá represents solitude, but also harmony and calm. This is why in front of him it is not allowed to have fights or shout.
  5. Oòduà is usually accompaniedañado of Bọrọmu and Bọrọsia, minor deities and seen as their custodians, guardians.

What is asked of Odduduwá? Offerings and attentions

Like all Orishas, ​​to pray to Oòduà, you must remember the offerings that this deity prefers.

In the Rule of Osha or Santeria you can eat any type of animal, because you have no limitations in this regard.

However, usually and because of his close relationship with Obbatalá, white animals are sacrificed to him, such as:

  • White goat, hen, quail, guinea pig and pigeons.

They put àdìmú (offerings) like:

  • Ekọ (corn tamale),
  • yam balls (işú),
  • corojo butter and cascarilla.
  • He likes sweet anise or anisete drink and others such as red wine.

3 Tips before invoking the Orisha

In religion it is a deity that is received from the hands of Babalawos, as it is an entity that should not be given by minor priests.

  1. The santeros who have settled Oddua should not argue or raise their voice in front of him, as well as not do more than two things at once.
  2. Oduduwá should not be invoked lightly, but we should think very well when we want to pray to him and do it with respect and great faith, without alterations of any kind.
  3. We must know that it is said that he can change the attitude of people, however difficult it may be, so many implore him to return a loved one to the right path.

Short prayer to Odduduwá in Yoruba with its translation

We invoke it by saying:

Baba Oduduwa Mo pe o, Baba Oduduwa Mo pe o, Baba Oduduwa Mo pe o (Baba Oduduwa I invoke you)

Olofin Aye Mo pe o, Olofin Aye Mo pe o, Olofin Aye Mo pe o (Olofin Ayé I invoke you)

Mojuba Babab Oduduwa, Mojuba Oba Egun Aye, Mojuba Olofin Aye

Baba Oduduwa wa gba me (Baba Oduduwa save me)

Olofin Aye wa gba me (Olofin Aye save me)

Baba Oduduwa gba a le (Baba Oduduwa back me up)

Also, the followers of the Rule of the Ocha indicate that Oduduwá should be invoked in times of crisis of humanity, since it is considered as a lawyer of the souls and it is said that it restores harmony, peace and happiness on Earth.

That is why many devotees pray to him in the face of wars, conflicts of all kinds and illnesses.

It should not be prayed only thinking about our particular desires and requests, but also about tranquility, world peace and the benefits for humanity.

In these times of pandemic and conflict, many are the people who come together to pray to Odduduwa to help restore harmony and well-being on Earth.

We share more about the mighty Father Oduduwa:

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