Obbatalá, also known as Oxalá or Ochalá is the father Orisha, the wise old man who sculpted the human being so that Olodumare could give him the breath of life.
Powerful and ancient, he is one of the main Orishas of the Yoruba pantheon and it is included in the group of 7 African powers.
Devotees come to Obbatalá in search of:
- harmony and
People require his guidance and advice to make decisions and move forward on the right path, and they also seek his intercession with other deities for any request.
5 Characteristics that demonstrate the great power of Obatala
Who is Obatalá in Santeria or the Rule of Osha-Ifá?
- Obbatalá, according to Yoruba legends, is the Father of many other Orishas such as Shangó, Oshún, Elegua, Oggun, among others, and is also considered the father of all people.
- He is regarded as possessing great intelligence, and it is said that he knows what the devotees think or dream.
- Obatalá is the kindest God of all, he is a counselor and loved by his followers, as he helps his children to overcome difficulties and avoid obstacles, pointing out the best decisions they can make.
- It is said that, at the beginning of the world, human beings had no head and were very clumsy and did not live well. Obatalá then created human heads and the world began to function in a better way.
- That is why Baba, as the wise Orisha is also affectionately said, is the Owner of all human heads, and as such, of thoughts, dreams, and of our mind in general.
Why is Obbatalá the Orisha Father of humanity?
According to the Yoruba legends or patakíes, the Supreme God Olodumare sent Obatala to command the world and maintain peace and harmony on Earth.
In addition, he was granted the ability to appease other Yoruba deities such as Shangó and Oggún, to avoid the misfortunes and catastrophes that could result from the confrontation of these powerful gods.
Obbatalá was also given the task of sculpting the image of the human being in clay, so that Olodumare would then infuse him with vital energy.
For this reason, in the Yoruba religion, the devotees and the daughters of Obbatalá are taught that the orisha always listens as a wise father from whom we can ask for advice on any occasion.
It is said that after creating all living organisms, Baba also created feelings such as greed, lust, selfishness and rage as punishment for those individuals who altered the course of life and the harmony of the Earth.
As we see and because it is of great importance, Obbatalá is the leading Orisha of all the other orishas of the Yoruba pantheon.
In this sense, he is the one who intercedes with the other deities to protect all his children and devotees from problems and misfortunes.
In the cult of the Rule of Ocha-Ifá, the person who wants to initiate and consecrate himself in Santeria and it cannot be established exactly which Orisha should take, then he will be entrusted to Obatalá.
Attentions and prayers to Obbatalá, the representative of purity
We go to the wise Orisha Obbatalá for his guidance and advice, as she is a deity characterized by purity and great spirituality.
For this reason, within his patronage we find the color white, which is his favorite above all.
In addition, he is known for being very merciful, with great patience and love for people.
He also likes the symbols and attributes of white and silver metals, a characteristic that his devotees and faithful take into account when venerating him.
How to attend Obbatalá and show him our devotion?
We must honor Father Orisha and counselor of all his children on September 24 of every year, in syncretism with the Catholic cult of the Virgen de las Mercedes.
It is usually celebrated with offerings of all kinds, various foods and even herbs or ewes that are especially liked by the Orisha.
Offerings to Obbatalá usually include:
- Sweets like rice pudding, coconut candy or meringue.
- Fruits like soursop; always white foods.
- White flowers such as gladioli, daisies or roses.
- No alcoholic beverages or offerings that include salt are placed on it.
Some tips when providing care to Obatalá:
The offerings can be delivered to the deity on an altar in his honor, placed in a quiet place in our home, preferably without much light, and with slight ventilation.
Cleanliness and neatness should reign around this altar, since as Obatalá is the patron of all things pure, he does not allow dirt or disorder, as he considers it a lack of respect.
To satisfy the Orisha we can also dedicate a prayer from the depths of our heart, with great faith and devotion, in order to establish a spiritual one with the elderly father.
Powerful prayers on behalf of Obatala to thank and beg for his help
The prayers or prayers destined for Obatala are originally performed in the Yoruba language, as it is the traditional way of that African people to venerate their deities.
In addition, this custom comes from the first ancestors and the original language connects us in a special way to the prayers that are dedicated to the Orishas.
That is why many prayers to Obatalá are still in Yoruba, but they have their translation into Spanish.
For example, we can pray with this prayer to invoke Baba:
I pray in their original language:
Orishanal okenrin ati obinrini / a / ye e / ecfa ni gbogbo na daradara ati buruku oba ati ayaba afin oga ni na tala ati gbogbo na cheche baba a / a / ye I praise my ati my gbogbo na ejun daradara, baba wá afin alano kekua badami Oducue
Its meaning en español:
Great saint, man and woman, creator world of all good healthy and bad, king and queen, albino owner of purity and all justice, great father of the world and protector of me and of all good and healthy things.
Our merciful albino father. Long live my Father. Thanks.
A beautiful prayer dedicated to the white father:
King of purity, I congratulate you, since you are the patron of everything white.
I ask for your complete protection, and blessing for me.
I who always praise you Obatala, I praise the King of all Heavens, I salute the only owner of white textiles.
You are the head of the white enlightenment to which I surrender.
You are the Orisha who helps me. The Owner of the White Light whom I always accompany.
Orisha who sleeps in white, deity who awakens in white, Obatalá is in everything white.
He is the one who creates everything according to his complete desire, I give you all my respect. Ashé