The Òrìsàs, are Yorùbá deities who were celestial beings, each of them was given the power and the ability which we do not have to receive His help. The mission given by God (Olodumare) to the Òrìsàs was to come and create the earth and the human beings. Where Obatala, Ogun, Àjàlá, Oduduwa were those who completed this work and also had a life on earth. Thus, they lived on the earth as human beings before becoming Òrìsàs.
This is the reason behind the “mythological” stories about them. Currently, they live as nature force and we can communicate with them by means of worships, invocations and sacred rituals. Each of us is the son or daughter of an Òrìsà, who are many; no one knows exactly the number,400+1 talking about Irunmoles, but the following Òrìsàs are the most popular: Obatala aka Osaala, Ogun, Osun, Sango, Elegbara aka Esu, Obalúwayé, Orunmila aka Ifa, Oya, Osoosi, Yemoja, Olokun, Egbe aka Iyalode, Egungun, Aganju, Erinle, Òsùmàrè, Oba,Yemoo. All these Òrìsà can provide blessings and protection to all their loyal devotees.
On the other hand, I want to inform that the presence of the person in certain circumstances is not necessary for the response of an Òrìsà or the Owo Ifa Kan (Ifa’s hand).In almost all cases the response can be achieved.
Olodumare u OLORUN:Etymologically means òlò, Lord, and Òrún, sky,mean the Lord of heaven or the hereafter. El creator. The creator! Supreme God. Not direct object of worship, only could be invoked. Olódùmarè, whose other name is Olórun, is Olófin òrun (Title), which means "giver of laws in Heaven".
ÒRÙNMÍLÁ: Spirit of Destiny. He is regarded as the god of divination, wisdom and intellectual development. He is mainly worshiped by a caste of divinatory bishops called Babalawos (father of secrets) and Iyalawos (mother of secrets). Sango and Esu are their best friends. Esu is the youngest of all the Òrìsàs. Homosexual Babalawos are not accepted, only in Owo Ifa kan. Mistakes must be corrected. The colors are green and brown; in the Afro-Cuban tradition the colors are yellow and green. There are regions where green was used and a black coral was given to the Babalawos of the highest hierarchy. Olokun was one of the last wives of Òrúnmìlà.
IGBA ODU: The story says it was an extremely powerful wife of Orunmila which gave much power to Ifa gave perfection. Igba Odu Ifa condemned to marry with him, but he was much older than her, so she committed a suicide to avoid this marry. Ifa on a trip to Orun (heaven) Orunmila brought her with him and she asked him to hide it where no one could see her, only him. there are not many Babalawos with Igba Odu, She cannot see her by who does not received. Therefore it is of great importance that the Babaláwo have Igba Odu in order to be a complete Babaláwo. Different to Iyanifa (mother of secrets), they cannot see Igba Odu, but could be accomplish with all works on Ifa. The Icon of Igba Odù is totally secret and stays within Ifa.
Èsú(Esu or Elegbara). Guardian and witness of the truth
Èşù mansemi O. Èşù please do not hurt me. Aşé O!… Note: Esu is the divine messenger, who guides us in our destiny, the owner of the crossroads and, most importantly, he is in charge of the frontier between the earth and heavens. Esu is one of the most important deities in this religion; he must be informed of every action which is taken. This does not mean that a sacrifice to him must be done for every action; there are other ways to achieve his participation. He is the divine messenger and guardian of the truth in our daily lives. Esu is in charge of shaking our conscience in order to free it from self-indulgence and thoughts without changes or transformations. Esu will always remind us that the search for the human truth must never stop. In essence, it is important to be honest and to keep a balance according to the constant changes. There are different Esu who have the power to change everything: Esu Laroye (who was the first Esu to arrive on the earth). Lode, Laborni, Alawana (Cuban-natives), Eleegba, Alaje, Ija, Awure Ola, Sigidi, Agogo, etc.
ÒGÙN: Spirit of Iron TheIron spirit, creator of the physical body, mainly its members, the skeleton, its color is Indigo blue and in Cuba green and black are used.He is considered the Spirit of iron, he was one of the creators of the physical body in conjunction with Obatala, Ajala mopin ... etc. He is the God of metals, of the forge, of forests, of war, metallurgy, Engineering. He is also the one who opens the paths for the descent of the Òrìsàs to earth, without the blessing of Ògún there is absolutely nothing possible. In all ceremonies he is sung and offered even before Èlègbàrá. His dances are generally of a warrior character, the dancer brandishing a machete that symbolizes him. The Ilekes of him can be green with black, but also blue. In addition, it is placed outside, never inside the house, under ceilings!
Osoosi: Spirit of hunting and justice Osoosi is the hunter, he represents in his dance the movements of a stalking hunter and he represents the divine justice. He is a lively, brave and shrewd Òrìsà who protects against injustice. He speaks through the Cowries and the Obi Abata. Note: I have personally had extremely positive experiences with Osoosi. His dance symbolizes the tireless chase of a hunter after his prey; he makes noises and pirouettes, and always carries his bow and arrow in his hands.
Òsù Ifá: Guardian of the inner spirit Osun Ifa is not a possession Òrìsà but an irradiation one. He acts as Obatalá’s and Olodumare’s messenger. Orunmila seeks his support in order to have the divination powers and the actual and transcending knowledge. He is always vigilant. He does not go up or settles. He is independently received. In Ifa, and in the Òrìsà sanctuaries in Africa, Òsù Ifá is represented by a long crosier with a cup on the upper end. He must be invoked by the Awo for protection when a divination is being performed.
Obàtàlà or Orisànlà: Spirit of the light and conscience.
He represents the power of light to transform into matter.He is the God creator of men, justice and purity. He is totally respected by everyone. His dances represent the movements of an eternal old man, with slow and tired steps, or the steps of a young warrior who impose justice with the sword. His color is white. His attribute is an Iruke, a symbol of royalty. Mo mirele amoru…Even the king of Ife. There is a great controversy about this deity; in Cuba he is known as Ọbàtálá, Òrìşànlá, Obamoro, Ayaguna and Obalofun, among others, as different types of Ọbàtálá; there are even eight who are feminine and eight masculine. Nevertheless, in the Yorùbá land this version is refuted; only one Ọbàtálá is acknowledged and the situation is that this deity had different nicknames, but he is only known as a man and his wife was Yemoo. He is the leader of the Òrìsàs in the world, he provides the destiny to the new ones, together with Ajala Mopin..etc,Ileke..Sesefun.
Yemoja: Fish Mother Spirit some people say that Yemoja is the upper of the ocean and Olokun is the deep ocean but it is not. Yemoja’s is a clear water of the river, which is located at oogun river at Nigeria and not discharged his waters directly into the sea but yes in Lagos and lagoon waters. She is saluted omio Yemoja and the color is blue.!
Sàngó,Oba Olokuso (Shango): Spirit of Lightning
He is the king of Koso city. He is the God of virility, fire, thunder, lightning and drums. His color is red. The Sango deity, masculine definition, was sent by Olódùmarè to rule and give a seed of power for humanity to help Òrúnmìlà. This deity has a lot of power and greatness; one of his specialties was to defeat death making it retreat in its intentions in Ife. He is the handsomest and gallant of the Òrìsà. His attribute is a double ax (Osé) with phallic meaning. He is saluted KABIOSILE SANGO. Sango has a unique consecration definition which is the Edun Àrá (lightning stone). He is the Emperor. He is the greatest of the Òrìsà and rules in heaven with Olodumare. It was the only Òrìsà that ascended to heaven. Also was the third Alaafin of Oyo. Sango was the king of Oyo.
Orìsà Bayanni is called; the Sango crown; this Orìsà is to bring wealth to you and is linked to Sango because it was particularly Sango who making sacrifices when he was lacking of Ire Áje (wealth). Everyone has the right to have Orìsà Bayanni, whether or not is initiated in Sango or having or not Orìsà Sango.
Òsun (Oshun): Spirit of Erotism She is the spirit of the river, the Òrìsà of fertility and love. She was the only female Òrìsà who descended to earth in the first group of Òrìsà sent by Olodumare, and brought richness to the earth. She was the woman of Orunmila and Sango. Her colors are yellow and amber. Her dances are exotic and sensual. Midwives venerate Osun in order to achieve good results in their works. Apart from being my Iyami, there are stories in the Odu of Ose that Osun is presented as a powerful warrior capable of solving a conflict, since Osun has defeated all the spiritual Forces in the Kingdom of the Invisible. According to Ifá, each of the Òrìsà has a warrior side which is used to protect the Òrìsà from extinction.
Oya: Spirit of the Wind, tempestades Oya, whose main symbol is the Niger River in West Africa, was once a buffalo, then became human and married Ògún, divorced him and married Sàngó. When she left, she entered the earth's crust in Irá, a small town near the ancient Òyó and reappeared on the surface, like the Niger River. The wind and the whirls. Oya is related to a spiritual force called Ajàláyé which are warm winds which blow close to the earth creating whirls in it. These winds play an essential role in the process of restoring the soils by spreading the seeds of fertility on it. Also, these Ajalaye or winds play a negative role by spreading all kinds of germs which cause epidemics in Africa. She is the Goddess of market and trade, and the strongest warrior among the female Òrìsà. Her dances are violent while whirling in the air her attribute consisting of an Irukere (horse tail). Her metal is copper and she is Sango’s greatest love and his most widely acknowledged woman by the Yorùbá's.
Aganju (Agayu) Aganjú was a Alaafin of Oyo. Ajaka was the older brother of Sàngó known as Dada. Also it is known as Ajuwon. Aganjú ruled as Alaafin of Oyo after Ajaka. They were all descendants of Oranmiyan.Aganju has nothing to do with volcanoes in Yorùbá land there are no volcanoes
Oba represent a river close to Oyo: She represents marital fidelity, repressed love and the struggle for the loved one. She is strong, feared, energetic and regarded as stronger than many male Òrìsà. She lives in cemeteries keeping custody of the tombs. Oba dresses in pink and wears a headscarf covering her cutoff ears as “the sacrifice made to Sango”. There are certain discrepancies about Oba’s situation with Sango, Osun and Oya. For the Yorùbá, Oba was the one who betrayed, not Osun, but this has not been confirmed.
Ibejis: They represent the twins. According to the legend they are the twin children of Sango, the God of thunder, and his wife Oyá. They are represented by two wood dolls, one masculine and one feminine: Taiwo (the first one to arrive) and Kehinde (the second to arrive). Da Ire Omo…Benefit of children.
Òsáyìn: He is the Òrìsà who owns the medicinal herbs and is a healer. Africa is known as Èlésìjé, which means "King of Èsìé". Èsìé is a village north of Yorùbáland, Kwara, a state of Nigeria, where Osan-In, became king.
Òbalúwayé: He is the owner of the diseases and plagues. He is the deity of smallpox, venereal diseases, leprosy, etc. He is a deformed Òrìsà filled with pustules. His dances imitate the movements of a sick man, with stiffed hands and painful movements. Babalu Aye is a title which means “father of the world” and he is a very much venerated Òrìsà. His color is purple.
Erinle or Inle: He is the Òrìsà of fishing and medicine. The Yorùbás know him as a black hunter. Currently, the river where Osun is worshipped is named Erinle. He is not delivered with Abata.
Olokun: Spirit of the Ocean He lives at the bottom of the ocean. He is extremely fertile and this fertility created the earth. He descended in the first group of Òrìsà. Olókun is the divinity of the Atlantic Ocean, known as Okun Yemideregbe. It is believed that Òrúnmìlà lives in the depth of Yemideregbe, with Olokun, his last wife
He is the inner spirit. The conscience is the only thing capable of transforming the destiny. This Òrìsà is in charge of the destiny of each of us, ha can change a negative destiny to a positive one. The Yorùbá’s say that our head is an Òrìsà which requires worshipping and attention in order for us to align ourselves, find harmony and carry on in a positive manner here on earth, on the path to our destiny. Ori is received as Òrìsà as well, and ceremonies are held together with our heads (Ori). This deity makes it possible that the sacrifices are accepted by Olodumare. This deity is highly recommended for any person following the Yorùbá religion as Omo Ifá (godchildren), Iyalòrìşà or Babalòrìşà (Santera or Santero) and Awo Òrúnmìlà (Ifá’s bishops). Ifá established for the human beings that one person is not fruitful due to his/her Ifá sign; the problems of the persons do not involve the Òrìsà but the person himself. This is the reason why an Ori must be favored in order for the person to improve his/her destiny through his/her conscience. The sacrifice for any financial event will have to be a priority in order to ensure the business or the economic wellbeing.
Ègbe Òrún: Egbe is our astral double. Egbe is in heavens (Ikole Orun) and we are here on earth (Ikole Aye); each of us must have Egbe and offerings must be made in order for our spirit to prevent us from different obstacles here on earth. There are different types of Egbe. He is received! Egbe Orun Egbe Aje, the fraternity of heavens and earth represents the spiritual world. This river deity generally lives near a banana tree or on a river bank. He represents an important ceremonial help for an Awo Òrúnmìlà, Babalòrìşà or Iyalòrìşà.
Odùdúwà / OLOFIN AYE: He was a King in the Yorùbá land, the supervisor of creation, Odùdúwà is the complete form of his name, the diminutive is Oòduwà. Its title is Olófin or Olófin Ayé, which means "giver of laws on Earth" In some parts of Nigeria this spirit, is the original God in Ilé Ifè this Spirit is the original male ancestor of the Yorùbá culture. Obàtálá’ s youngest brother, was in charge of creating the mainland.
Igba Ajé: She is the Goddess of richness, the Òrìsà of richness and economic fortune.
Iyami Osoronga, AJE OSA ELEJE: Spirit of the mothers (they are not Òrìsà) Great mother witch. In my opinion powerful woman. They are several entities gathered in the same term; sacrifices must be constantly made to the witches. They are in charge of establishing balance on earth; the Iyamis are the ones governing the earth. The offerings must be made by Olòrìsàs who know about this, this is very delicate. These are evil entities that represent the destruction of humanity; their activities are based on creating problems such as diseases and poverty. They can make a debtor pay or relieve a person from a debt; the only one with enough power to face them is Òrúnmìlà, no other Òrìsà could face the great mothers. They are not a deity or Irúnmọlè and are not received. They support, help, punish or resuscitate depending on how the offerings are made to obtain their help, But they can also do good they love, they can make you rich and powerful. They represent the feminine power.
Ancestors, Egungun represents the spirit of all those who die, any person who dies automatically becomes an Egungun. The Egungun festivals are celebrated to remember those who are in Orun (heavens). It is represented with Opa Iku, Isàegùn, etc.
The power of light that create us”. As a spiritual force according to Ifá’s writings, Ajàlá Mòpín molds each head while it is being formed in the uterus. As Obatala’s assistant to the conscience, ensures that each head is provided with Ire or Obi, depending on what it is predestined.
The Òrìsà in charge of the motherland (Iya Aye) and is worshipped through the E…, the maximal representation of Ogboni. It started as a secret society but to some extent is part of today’s religion. Ogboni offers peace of mind and the help from others. E… and E… are the Icons of Ogboni. Ogboni punishes the Enemies and the Traitors!
The Òrìsà who descended on earth in the first group of 16 sent by Olodumare are:
Ogun, Obatala, Oduduwa, Sango, Esu, Obaluwaye, Egungun, Osoosi, Ija (Ogun’s brother), Oro, Òsun, Òrìsà Oko, Òsanyìn, Oya, Oba, Yemoja, Òlókún
Note: Òsun was the first and only female Òrìsà who descended in this first group, later, Oya descended and then some more.
“Ògún has come once again, those that know it do not see it, those that see it do not know it, I see you and I know you, your you are the rich man that you fight in the wars, as the slave, you are the king who protects the city as a guardian, please protect me today and every day of my life. Who can break the way of Ògún? Only a person who returns to the house with the head v covered of blood. Please Ògún, come and open the door of the wealth and all the fortunes for me and my dear beings". Àse.