Yoruba mythology is rich in traces of history that include from beamañaFrom warriors to forbidden loves and dazzled royalty. Many are the protagonists who head the legends of the copious Yoruba side.
The Orishas, all divided by ranks, legends and powers, embody the different energies of nature and today are objects of an extraordinary syncretic cult that began to form during the period of slavery and colonization in America and the Caribbean, and is stronger never.
The main figure in Yoruba history is Olodumare, or Almighty God, creator of the universe and everything that exists in it.
Then there are the Orishas that are divided into warriors, head, major and minor, according to the degree of spirituality, characteristics and powers.
Let's now see the leading and major Orishas of the Yoruba religion:
The Warrior Orishas
Yoruba warriors are the first that any initiate should receive and can only be delivered by the highest-ranking priests, called Oluwos or Babalawos. These are the Orishas warriors:
Eshu-Elegguá, the one who opens the roads:
Elegguá y Eshú is a particular representation in the Yoruba religion, of that constant link between the positive and the negative, of the action-reaction. This link between the two is very controversial, to the point that they are represented as the same deity.
Elegguá is an Osha and is the first protection of an individual, he is the guide, the one who has the key to open the roads and is symbolized by the rocks. It is placed behind the door to protect the house and it is necessary to have it in different situations in life and for decisions made at home. He owns the roads and the destiny of men.
Oggun, the owner of iron:
He is the patron Orisha of blacksmiths, wars, technology, army surgeons and metalworkers.
He surrenders himself as the second Orisha behind Elegguá and next to him, he owns the roads, as well as the mountains, since he is the warrior who defends those who walk the paths of life.
Oggún is a direct messenger from Obbatalá and knows the secrets of the mountains. He is the patron of blacksmiths and extremely powerful Orisha.
oshosi, the vigilante:
Orisha hunter related to prison, justice and defender of the persecuted. It is the same thought, capable of moving to any time and place to capture something.
He is considered a magician and sorcerer. His name comes from the Yoruba Osóssí "He who works with witchcraft". He owns the forest and the game and walks along the trails with his brothers. He is in charge of protecting fugitives and feeding meat to the hungry. His arrow always does justice.
Osun, the watchman of men:
He is Olofi's messenger, he represents life itself and embodies the shape of a rooster, he is the one who warns that misfortune and death are on the way. He is the custodian and watchman of the believers of the Yoruba religion, who prevents evil in the first place.
Osun is an older orisha, assistant to the diviner Orula to obtain the powers of divination and the one who watches over the heads of men. It must never fall, because it announces misfortune.
Header Oshas must always be received and are given to all who do the "Kari Osha ceremony" commonly known as "becoming a saint." These are the header Orishas:
obbatala, the sculptor of the human being:
He is the father of all children on earth, he is the creator of human beings and everything that habita in the planet. It governs all parts of the human body, mainly the head, thoughts and human life.
It represents creation and the superior but also pride, anger and despotism. He is patient and brings intelligence, peace and calm to the world.
To obtain his favor, we must show him the highest faith and great respect.
Oshún, the Goddess of love:
The Owner of the river is a head Osha and represents the intensity of feelings and spirituality, human sensuality, love and femininity.
She is the Yoruba goddess of Love and sweet waters and the most beautiful Orisha of the Yoruba pantheon. gold fish that habita in the currents, provocative woman, goddess of gold and wealth.
This Orisha protects pregnant women and women in labor from all evil, so that the little ones in the womb are born healthy and blessed and helps those in need of economic prosperity, love and goodness.
It also represents religious rigor and punishes against falsehoods and crimes, it is dire, justice and does not admit lack of respect.
Shango, the king of lightning:
He is the Orisha of justice, lightning, thunder and fire in the Yoruba pantheon. He is characterized as historical and divine and is the owner of the drums, dance and music. He is a tireless warrior and fighter, he likes to fight and always be victorious with his powerful ax.
Shango has an intense explosive character and is a person with great physique, extremely strong. Therefore, he loves that his devotees show strength and dignity in the face of his blessings. He is virile and enjoys life, happiness and parties.
But he is also a powerful warrior who always covets victory.
Yemaya, the mistress of the sea:
She is the divinity of the salty waters, she is old like Obatala, righteous, kind and as powerful as he.
Yoruba deity of the salty waters, of the currents and waves of the seas, and the orisha of motherhood. It is in nature, in the sea and on the crests of the waves. It lives on the surface of the ocean, from there it emanates a powerful protective energy, but when it is offended it is able to overflow the waters with fury.
She is the mother of all men who have been born and represents the source of life, fertility, the womb of the woman, birth and motherhood.
Yemayá is the queen of the Sea and sister of Oshún, queen of the rivers, together they are the two waters and they govern and govern the vital liquid of the universe. He protects the sailors and all those who decide to cross the sea, he likes the joy of his devotees.
Oyá, the spark queen:
Orisha of storm and rainbow, darkness and spirits, self-denial and war. She is the one that fights with her iruke (horse's tail), keeping away everything bad from the earth, provider of the oxygen that men breathe, she is a tempest and calm, mediator between life and death.
Together with her sisters Obba and Yewá, she represents the reckless warriors, the three live in the cemetery receiving the dead and spirits. They are powerful, with their dark energies they unleash storms. Oyá She owns the world of the dead and dominates the winds.
The older Orishas represent the "guardian angel" and are crowned in the Kari Osha ceremony or "become a saint". These are the Major Orishas:
Inle, the doctor of the Osha:
Represents fishing and gathering. It is the Orisha who protects doctors and fishermen, deity of the extractive economy. Patron of the doctors, fish and owner of the river.
Iroko, Orisha of good and bad wishes:
Orisha of desires, whether good or bad, is also the protector of the traveler and is the spirit that lives in the root for some and for others in the foliage of the Ceiba, a sacred and ancestral tree.
That is why this tree is not cut or burned and is sacred to the Yoruba. In fact, to cut down one of these blessed centuries-old trees, you have to consult a babalawo and ask for Iroko's permission.
It is also Iroko is one of the paths of the father of all, Obbatalá.
Nana Buruku, grandmother of evil:
She is the wise grandmother, the great mother of evil and ancestral knowledge. Powerful spirituality is attributed to it, in nature it governs the springs, the mouths of the rivers, the swamps and the lagoons.
It is also, mediator between life and death, balances the energies. He has a close bond with Eggun. She predates the arrival of Oduduwá to Ilé Ifé and her food is the spirit of beings.
Obba, custodian of the tombs:
Deity of the river that bears his name and forms together with Oyá and Yewá, the trilogy of the muerteras. obba habita the cemetery and the mountains where souls are abandoned.
She is the daughter of Obatalá and Yembó, sister of Oyá and Yewá, together they live and take care of the cemetery and the darkness of the night. She represents repressed love and sacrifice for the one she loves, as well as eternal marital fidelity. Its natural elements are lakes and lagoons.
OduduwaLord of our destiny:
Orisha of desires, is awarded the creation of the world. It is a very powerful spiritual mass that has no shape or shape. Represents the mysteries and secrets of death, rules a superior energy of great power over the universe.
Oduduwá uses the spirits to manifest and help the believers with their great powers.
Olokun, owner of the ocean:
Owner of the depths of the sea, where habita and take care of your treasures. He is the Orisha that represents the deepest secrets of life and death and is extremely powerful.
It represents the sea in its fiercest state and because of that power over the oceans and the hidden depths, it is one of the most dangerous and powerful deities of the Yoruba religion.
Olokun with his energy manages to bless his devotees with Health and Prosperity, since the bottom of the oceans accumulates immense wealth.
Orisha oko, deity of crops:
Orisha who blesses and makes the cultivation and harvest prosper, is the representative deity of the savannas, lands and cultivated fields and helps and gives benefits to those who work them.
It represents the land itself and the life of agricultural work and crops, so it helps people by providing the means of support and giving the food necessary to live. He is a farmer and blesses the crops so that the fruit is abundant and healthy for human consumption.
osain, orisha of nature:
Wise, healer, the one who saves with his herbs and the Ashé that they possess. Knowledgeable about all plants, animals and minerals. He is also a fortune teller and with all the knowledge he saves life and strengthens himself for war. He is a doctor, owner and wise man of all the secrets of nature and the universe.
Osain is the absolute owner of the forest, the green of the plants and the vegetation that is gathered there, he knows each herb and its power and uses them to do good and help with needs. He lives isolated and alone in the mountains.
Yewa, owner of the grave:
Represented in purity, chastity, virginity and sterility. She lives in the cemetery and carries the eggun or spirits of the deceased to Oyá. She is one of the dead goddesses and has a close relationship with Eggún. Her power is majestic, from the darkness of the night she guides and protects.
She is the owner of the grave, she is among the tombs and the dead and lives inside the coffin, in the tomb. Represents loneliness, sadness and containment of human feelings.
Babalu Aye, owner of the disease:
Who controls and provides health. It is responsible for healing all kinds of venereal and contagious diseases such as leprosy, smallpox and in general any type of pests. It can also cause death, it is powerful and very feared, its energy is capable of unleashing the worst plagues and epidemics.
It hides during the day among the ivy, the cundeamor and the coral reef to protect itself from the sun. He prefers to always go out at night.
All the Orishas, be they major or minor, possess powerful energies that allow the sustenance of men on earth, they are providers of air, food, water and all the vital energy that we need to exist.