SACRED ORISA (AWON ENI MIMO)
EGUNGUN (EGUN): Represents the spirit of our Ancestors in heaven (Ara Orun). When anyone dies he/she automatically becomes Egungun. We make offerings to Egungun to pay homage and request for them to continuously support us from Orun (heaven). Items used to propitiate Egungun include oti (gin), moin moin, akara (bean cake), eko tutu (cold pap/corn starch), obi abata (kola nuts), akuko adie (rooster), oruko (he-goat), agbo (ram), amala (yam/cassava meal). Some of the icons representing Egungun are opa iku, isan Egun, and eku Egun. The main color for Egungun is red. Gbogbo moriwo riwo!
OBATALA/ORISA-NLA: Obatala is the leader and oldest of all the Orisa. As designated by Olodumare (God), he is the molder and creator of human beings. He ensures that all newly molded creatures receive their destiny from Ajala Alamo, the Head maker. Offerings to Obatala include oti (gin), obi abata (kola nut), igbin (snails), and egusi (melon soup). Food prepared for Obatala must not contain salt or epo (palm oil) in them. Some of the icons representing Obatala are ota Obatala, oje (lead), ada Orisa (Obatala’s cutlass). The color associated with Obatala is white. The white beads associated with this Orisa are called Sesefun. Orisa eepa!
ORI APERE: Ori Apere is in charge of your destiny and can change bad destiny into good destiny. Ori Apere prevents hardships and misfortunes in one’s life. The icon, made from cowrie shells, is called Ibori and is housed in Ile Ori. Ile Ori is decorated with cowrie shells. Ibori represents your inner head/consciousness. Offerings include, obi abata (kola nut), agbon (coconut), eiye etu (guinea fowl), eja aaro (catfish), oti (gin), obe egusi (melon soup). Ori huuuu!
ORUNMILA/IFA: Orunmila is synonymous with Ifa. He is the Orisa that is known as Eleri-Ipin, the witness to our destiny. He provides us with guidance needed to ensure that good things manifest in your life. He delivers the messages of Olodumare to us through Ifa. He is the chief consultant of all Orisa. Today, Orunmila delivers these messages by way of divination performed by a Babalawo. Offerings include obi abata (kolanut), eja (fish), eku (rat), ewure (she-goat), abodie (hen), amala (yam/cassava flour), ewedu (soup), etc. Some of the icons associated with Orunmila are opele (Ifa chain), Ikin Ifa (Ifa sacred palm nuts), ide Ifa (made from beads). The colors associated with Orunmila are green and brown. Aboru aboye abosise!
SANGO: Sango was one of the Irunmole that Olodumare first sent to the world. Sango is known as the “god of thunder”, a warrior who is very agile, brave, truthful and aggressive. He does not tolerate cheating, stealing, greed, selfishness, etc. Sango loved to wear Yeri – clothes designed with cowrie shells. Wearing Yeri demonstrated his wealth. One of Sango’s source of power is Edun Ara (thunder stone). He used the stone to judge anyone who displayed bad behaviors. Sango the divinity is quite different from Sango Alaafin who was the king of the old Oyo Empire.
Sango is a deity who requires that his devotees squat to propitiate him. Offerings include agbo (ram), obuko (he-goat), akuko adie (rooster), eku (rat), eja (fish), konko (toad), ijapa (tortoise), orogbo (bitter kola), etc. Sango’s favorites foods are amala (made of yam/cassava flour), gbegiri soup (made of beans), orunla soup (made of dried okro), ilasa (made of okra leaves). Icons are ose Sango, edun ara (thunder stone), cowrie shells. The color associated with Sango is red. Kabiyesi Sango!
OGUN LAKAYE: Ogun is a warrior who successfully defeated many enemies in war. He is known as the “god of iron”. He owns all metal. Ogun protects us from unfaithful occurrences (e.g, car accidents, plane crash, knife, gun, etc.). Like Sango, he does not take lightly to cheaters and liars.
Ogun is also in charge of hunting. He was the one who cleared the path for all Orisa as they traveled to aye (earth). We appeal to Ogun to clear our path to success and victory. Offerings include agbo (ram), obuko (he-goat), akuko adie (rooster), epo pupa (red palm oil), emu (palm wine), ewa yiyan (roasted beans), esun isu (roasted yam) obi abata (kola nut), aja (dog). The icon associated with Ogun is consecrated iron. His main color is red. Ogun ye, mo ye!
OBALUAYE/SANPONA: Obaluaye is the Orisa who is in charge of diseases like measles and chicken pox. He fights with these diseases and also removes them from anyone that is afflicted. Brooms should not be used near whoever is attacked by Obaluaye. He is the husband of Nana-Bukuu. His color is camwood. Offerings to Obaluaye include egbo (corn porridge), emu (palm wine), igbin (snails), ekuru (made from beans), obuko (he-goat), iyan (pounded yam). Oniwowo Ado!
OSUN: Osun is a river diety. She is the one in charge of child bearing and survival, good marriage and relationships. She provides good health and wealth to all. Osun is agile and brave like any other male Orisa. The main colors associated with Osun are blue, yellow, and white. Her icons are ota Osun (river stones), ide Osun (brass). Offerings include ewa sise (cooked beans), abodie (hen), aadun (corn powder cake), ireke (sugarcane), efo yanrin (yanrin vegetable), etc. Ore yeye o!
OYA ORIRI: Oya is the Orisa who is in charge of the wind and flood. She is appeased to ensure peaceful breeze, or rain, and to avert natural disaster. She assures good climatic condition. Some icons associated with Oya are, edun Oya (Oya stone), iwo efon (buffalo horn), etc. She is the wife of Sango. Eepa Oya!
YEMOJA: Yemoja is believed to be the mother of Sango. She is a powerful Orisa who is also in charge of solution to life tribulations. Yemoja provides long and disaster free life. Her favorite foods are pepeye (geese/duck), ewa (beans), eye etu (guinea fowl), agbado (corn). Her major color is yanrin Yemoja (sandy color). Omi o!
ORISA-OKO: Orisa-Oko is the Orisa in charge of agriculture. He gives good harvest in our jobs and work of life. Not only physical harvest but also spiritual harvest so that at the end of any kind of business, one will have good account and big profits. Offerings include iyan (pounded yam), obe egusi (melon soup), oti (gin), obi abata (kola nuts), etc.
ORISA ODU: Orisa Odu was the wife of Orunmila. She gives total perfection to what we need and helps us to overcome the conflicts of Awon Iyami (The Witches). During Itefa (initiation to Ifa), females are forbidden to see Odu. Only initiated males are allowed to see Orisa Odu. The worship and icons of Orisa Odu remains an inner most secret within the Ifa/Orisa tradition. Offerings to Odu include eyele (pigeon), abodie (hen), igbin (snails), obi abata (kola nut), atare (alligator pepper), oti (gin). Eepa Odu!
EGBE ORUN: This is the Orisa of Astral Mates, they communicate with us from orun (heaven). They assist us throughout our life’s journey and assure good progress, untimely death and diseases, and misfortunes. All edible foods are used to feast Egbe. There are multiple Egbe (e.g., Iyalode, Alaragbo, Jagun, etc). Muso muso muso!
AWON IYAMI (THE WITCHES): Olodumare give total control of this world to Iyami. They can work for us or against us. They assist, punish, allow blessings or take away blessings. It depends on how well they are appeased. Offerings to Iyami include okete (giant rats), obi abata (kola nut), ifun eran (goat intestines), epo pupa (red palm oil), eko tutu (cold pap), etc.
ESU ODARA: Contrary to what some people believe, Esu is not Satan. He is the Orisa that serves as police and a messenger of Olodumare. He stands between us and all Orisa. He punishes anyone who does not complete their Ebo or act against the wishes of Olodumare. Offerings to Esu include obuko (he-goat), akuko (rooster), epo pupa (red palm oil), obi abata (kola nuts), oti (gin). The color associated with Esu is black. Kesugba!
OGBONI: This is the Orisa in charge of mother earth (Iya Aye). Ogboni was formed as a religious but secret society. Ogboni will punish enemies and betrayers. Ogboni assists us with receiving good favors and having peace of mind in our lives. The icons associated with Ogboni are Edan and Eta Ogboni. Offerings to Ogboni include obi (kola nut), orogbo (bitter kola), oti (gin), atare (alligator pepper), igbin (snail) abodie (hen), etc. Eepa mole!
It should be noted that the list of Orisa, their foods, taboos, etc., are not exhaustive here. For more information feel free to contact us. Aboru aboye abosise, ogbo ato asure iwori wofun!