Tuesday, August 12, 2014


religion is an organized collection of beliefscultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narrativessymbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality,ethicsreligious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faithbelief system or sometimes set of dutiesMany religions may have organized behaviorsclergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include ritualssermons, commemoration or veneration of a deitygods or goddessessacrificesfestivalsfeaststranceinitiationsfunerary servicesmatrimonial servicesmeditationprayermusicartdancepublic service or other aspects of human culture. Religions may also contain mythology.

The Yoruba belief in orisha is meant to consolidate not contradict the terms of Olódùmarè. Adherents of the religion appeal to specific manifestations of Olódùmarè in the form of those whose fame will last for all time. Ancestors and culture-heroes held in reverence can also be enlisted for help with day-to-day problems. Some believers will also consult a geomantic divination specialist, known as a babalawo (Ifá Priest) or Iyanifa (Ifá's lady), to mediate in their problems.

Ifá divination, an important part of Yoruba life, is the process through which an adept (or even a lay person skilled in oracular affairs) attempts to determine the wishes of God and His Servants. Orisha is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system.
The cultural and scientific education arm of the United Nations declared Ifá a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.

Olòrún is the Yorùbá name given to one of the three manifestations of the Supreme God in the Yoruba pantheon. Olorun is the owner of the heavens and is commonly associated with the Sun. The vital energy of Olorun manifests in humans as Asé, which is the life force that runs through all living things. The Supreme God has three manifestations: Olodumare, the Creator; Olorun, ruler of the heavens; and Olofi, who is the conduit between Orun (Heaven) and Ayé (Earth).
No gender is typically assigned to Olorun because Olorun transcends human limitations. Olorun rules Orun (the Heavens), whereas humans live in Ayé (the Earth). Typically, humans do not interact directly with Olorun but they receive the life-giving energy from the sun and recognize the power of Olorun over their lives. Orisha devotees strive to obtain Ase through "Iwa-Pele" or gentle and good character, and in turn they experience alignment with the Ori, what others might call inner peace and satisfaction with life.
Ase is divine energy that comes from Olodumare, the Creator and is manifested through Olorun, who rules the heavens and is associated with the sun. Without the sun, no life could exist, just as life cannot exist without some degree of ashe. Ashe is sometimes associated with Esu, the messenger God. For practitioners of the Yoruba religion, ase represents a link to the eternal presence of God, the Orishas, and the ancestors.
The Yoruba traditionally believe that daily life depends on proper alignment and knowledge of one's Ori. Ori literally means the head, but in spiritual matters it is taken to mean a portion of the soul that determines personal destiny and success. Ase is the life-force that runs through all things, living and inanimate. Ase is the power to make things happen. It is an affirmation which is used in greetings and prayers, as well as a concept about spiritual growth. 
According to Yoruba myth, the world was originally a marshy, watery wasteland. In the sky above lived many gods, including the supreme God Olodumare or Olorun (the Owner of the Sky). These gods sometimes descended from the sky on spider webs and played in the marshy waters, but there was no land or human being there.
One day, ogun called orisha-nla (the great god) Obatala, and told him to create solid land in the marshy waters below. He gave the Orisha a pigeon, a hen and some sand. Obatala descended to the waters and threw the sand into a small space. He then set free the pigeon and hen, which began to scratch the earth and move it around. Soon, the birds covered a large area of the marshy waters and created solid ground.
The orisha reported back to Olorun, who sent a chameleon to see what had been accomplished. The chameleon found that the earth was wide but not very dry. After a while, Olorun sent the chameleon to inspect the work again. This time the chameleon discovered a wide, dry land, which was called Ife (meaning "wide") and Ile (meaning "house"). All other towns and societies later developed from of Ile-Ife, and it was respected and regarded forever as a sacred spot. It remains the home of the Oni, the spiritual leader of the Yorubas.

List of orisha

  • Olorun (Olorum, Olodumaré, Olofin) - God, the creator.
  • Eshu (Eleggua, Exú, Eṣu, Elegba, Ellegua, Legbara, Papa Legba) - Eshu is the messenger between the human and divine worlds, Orisha of duality, crossroads and beginnings, and also a phallic and fertility deity (an Embodiment of Life). Eshu is recognized as a trickster.
  • Ogun (Ogun, Ogúm, Ogou) - warrior deity; divinity of iron, war, labour, sacrifice, politics, and technology (e.g. railroads, tools, man-made objects).
  • Ochosi (Oxósse, Ocshosi, Osoosi, Oxossi) - hunter and the scout of the orishas, deity of the accused and those seeking justice or searching for something. His domain are the forests.
  • Babalu Aye (Soponna, Shonponno, Sakpata, Shakpana, Xapanã, Omulo, Omulu, Asojano, Shokponna, Obaluaye, Obaluaiê, Obaluaê, Abaluaiê, Babaluaiê, Zodji, Dada Zodji, Obaluaiye)- divinity of disease and illness (particularly smallpox, leprosy, and now AIDS), also orisha of healing and the earth, son of Iemanja.
  • Ozain (Osain, Osanyin, Ozain, Osain, Ossanhe) - Orisha of the forest, he owns the Omiero, a holy liquid consisting of many herbs, the liquid through which all saints and ceremonies have to proceed. Ozain is the keeper and guardian of the herbs, and is a natural healer. Kosi Ewe, Kosi Orisha! - Without leafs, there are no Orishas!.
  • Ochumare (Oshumare, Oxumare) - rainbow deity, divinity of movement and activity, guardian of children and associated with the umbilical cord.
  • Nana Buluku - One of the oldest Orishas. She gave the mud to Oxalá so he could mold mankind with it. Owner of the swamps.
  • Oshun (Oshún, Ọṣun, Oxum, Ochun, Osun, Oschun) - divinity of rivers and waterfalls, love, feminine beauty, fertility, and art, also one of Shango's lovers and beloved of Ogoun.
  • Oba (Ọbà, Obba) - Shango's jealous wife, divinity of marriage and domesticity, daughter of Iemanja. Her domain are all river with dangerous currents and mostly the whirlpools formed in it.
  • Yewá (Ewá) - Orisha related to the virginity, chastity of a person. Also related to the winter, to the snow, fog and mist and the cold.
  • Oya (Oyá, Oiá, Iansã, Yansá, Iansan, Yansan) - warrior deity; divinity of the wind and of the lightning, sudden change, hurricanes, tornadoes and underworld gates, a powerful sorceress and primary lover of Shango.
  • Logunede (Logun Ede, Lógunède, Laro) - The prince. Orisha that lives six months in the water eating fish with his mother Oshun and six months on land with his father Oxossi in the forest hunting. Orisha of art, prosperity and love.
  • Ayra (Ayrà) - Warrior that wears white. One of the Orishas related to the Lightning and the Wind. Often mistaken for Shango, is an Orisha of its own.
  • Iemanja (Yemaja, Imanja, Yemayá, Jemanja, Yemalla, Yemana, Yemanja, Yemaya, Yemayah, Ymoja, Yemojá) - divine mother, divinity of the water and loving mother of mankind, daughter of Obatala and wife of Aganju. Her domain is all body of water but mostly an estuary, where the river meets the sea.
  • Shango (Ṣango, Shangó, Xango, Changó, Chango, Nago Shango) - warrior deity ; divinity of thunder, fire, sky father, represents male power and sexuality.
  • Obatala (Obatalá, Oxalá, Orixalá, Orisainlá, Oshala, Orishala) - Orisha of peace. An arch-divinity, father of humankind, divinity of light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness. Orixá funfun - Owner of the white.
  • Orunmila (Orunla) - divinity of wisdom, divination, destiny, and foresight. Orunmila is the Orixá and Ifá is the divinatory system from which he talks through. They are both close conected.
  • Iroko (Iroco, Tempo, Kitembo, Roco, Loko) - The Orisha of the sacred tree called Iroco. Responsible for the seasons of the year.
  • Otin (Oti) - Protector of the animals. A huntress, wife of Oxossi. Daughter of Erinlé, was born with three breasts (some itons say she had four breasts).
  • Ibeji (Ìbejì, Ìgbejì) - The sacred twins, represent youth, happiness and vitality.
  • Erinle (Inle, Ibualamo) - orisha of medicine, healing, and comfort, physician to the gods. The fisher.
  • Olokun (Olóòkun, Olocum, Lokun) - Owner of the ocean, the abyss, and signifies unfathomable wisdom. Father of Iemanja, lives in the deep ocean.
  • Aganju (Aganyu, Agayu) - Father of Shango, he is also said to be Shango's brother in other stories. Aganju is said to be the Orisha of volcanoes.
  • Oko (Orisha Oko, Okko) - orisha of agriculture and the harvest.
  • Ori - Ruler of the head.
  • Okê - Orisha owner of the mountains.
  • Oduduwa (Odudua, Oòdua) - The first human.
  • Ajaka (Bayani, Babayanmi, Dada Ajaca, Dada Baldone) - The protector of the children not yet born.
  • Olóssa (Oloxá, Olossa) - Orisha of the lakes and lagoons. Mostly the lagoons next to the ocean. Wife of Olokun.
  • Ajé Saluga (Ajé Ṣaluga, Ajé Saluga, Ajé Chaluga, Ajé-Kalagá, Ajé Xalugã, Kowo, Cobo) - Orisha of good luck and prosperity.
  • Oranyan (Oranian, Òrànmíyàn) - The son of Oduduwa. A warrior of two colors skin, one side white and the other black.
  • Boromu - Orisha related to the desert. Guardian of the cemetery and the bones of those who left us. Husband of Yewá.
  • Axabó - An Orisha of culture. She is part of Shango's family. Not much is known about her. Worshiped in the Candomblé temples of Salvador - BA - Brazil.
  • Iyami Oxorongá (Iyami-Ajé, Ìyá Nlá) - The sorceress. Only worshiped by women.
  • Egungun - The spirits of our ancestors. Only worshiped by men.
  • Onilé (Oluaye, Aiyê, Ilê) - The Orisha owner of the earth. She is one of the first Orishas to be greeted in a ceremony.
  • Iku - Death himself. The Orisha of death.

Further reading

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Ogboni have esoteric rites, rituals, and ceremonies and access to certain knowledge is hierarchically ordered, making secrecy more than merely pragmatism. Therefore, in the context of contemporary anthropological and religious studies, Theory and Practice of Secrecy:Focus on Okonko and Ogboni in Africa: Inquiries in African Religion (Afrel) work examines the practice of secrecy as a strategy of continuity. It attempts to differentiate the ancestral societies and their mysteries from other exclusive societies drawn by the allure of access to secret knowledge.

There is a practical connection between conceptions of the sacred mysteries associated with ancestral societies and the imperative of secrecy with regard to those same mysteries and rites. The mysteries and rites are precisely that which is preserved and jealously guarded by silence from the ordinary but revealed to those properly initiated. Thus, secrecy is perhaps most associated with ancestral societies like Ogboni in Africa. Theory and Practice of Secrecy:Focus on Okonko and Ogboni in Africa: Inquiries in African Religion (Afrel)  work stressed the importance and significance of secrecy in traditional Africa.

Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity  Ogboni (also known as Osugbo in Ijèbú) is a fraternal institution indigenous to the Yoruba language-speaking polities of NigeriaRepublic of Bénin and Togo. A similar group in Igbo-speaking areas is called Okonko. The society performs a range of political and religious functions, including exercising a profound influence on regents and serving as high courts of jurisprudence in capital offenses. Its members are generally considered to be part of the nobility of the various Yoruba kingdoms of The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria

 fraternity or fraternal organization is an organized society of men associated together in an environment of companionship and brotherhood; dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its members. Various fraternities in Nigeria have incorporated references and insignia from the original Ogboni, including the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, the Indigenous Ogboni, and various others. Many of these contemporary societies combine elements of Ogboni’s historical functions with superficially similar institutions like Freemasonry and Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity

Earth and the ancestors: Ogboni iconography The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and membership.

 While membership in the Ogboni generally signified a high level of power and prestige, the society held pre-eminent political authority among decentralized groups like the Ègbá, where they were intimately involved in the selection of rulers that served as little other than figureheads in practice. In contemporary Yorubaland, Ogboni members still command great power and influence in the affairs of their societies, although this is largely due to the history of their respective chieftainships and not to any official authority.

Lodges of this fraternal group are found among the various types of Yoruba polities - from highly-centralized kingdoms and empires like Oyo, to the independent towns and villages of the Ègbá and the Èkiti and benin city - the Ogboni are recognizable for their veneration of the personified earth (Ilè or Odua) and their emphasis on both gerontological authority and benevolent service to the community.

Ogboni lodges were one of the main commissioners of brass jewelry and sculpture in pre-colonial Yorubaland, using the metal's rust-resistant qualities as an aptmetaphor for the immortal functions and beliefs of Ogboni adepts. The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and  membership with Earth and the ancestors: Ogboni iconography

The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria offers detailed descriptions of the elaborate economic, political, and social structures of the Yoruba, their complex set of religious beliefs, and their world-famous art forms.The Yoruba, with other West African groups, represent a high level of cultural achievement in sub-Saharan Africa and are one of the most interesting and important peoples of the continent. 
Ogboni is dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its society with Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wisdom of Ifá, Religion, spirituality in Abuja

Wisdom of Ifá, Religion, spirituality in Abuja

Ifa is a nature religion that helps to develop realistic relationships with the natural forces which govern the universe.This ancient wisdom known as Ifa  reflects a time-honored tradition on which the Yoruba philosophy, arts, music, customs, science, medicine, culture and religion are based.   Learn more here http://www.ifa.gnbo.com.ng

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wisdom of Ifá, Religion, spirituality in Abuja

Wisdom of Ifá, Religion, spirituality in Abuja

God - Olodumare or Olorun as the supreme, self-existing deity. He is supreme over all on earth and in heaven, acknowledged by all the divinities as the Head to whom all authority belongs and all allegiance is due. . . His status of supremacy is absolute. Learn more here  http://www.ifa.gnbo.com.ng

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Olodumare: God in The Yorùbá Ifá Traditional Religion Belief

Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief is the Supreme Being..Ifá - The Yorùbá religion comprises the traditional religious and spiritual concepts and practices of. The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria. Its homeland and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo, a region that has come to be known as Yorùbáland. Yorùbá religion is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. It has influenced or given birth to a host of thriving ways of life. Yorùbá religious beliefs are part of Itan, the total complex of songs, histories, stories and other cultural concepts which make up the Yorùbá society. Get The Handbook Yoruba Religious Concepts

According to Professor S. A. Akintoye, the Yorùbá are/were exquisite statesmen spread across the globe in an unprecedented fashion; the reach of their culture is largely due to migration of personnel. Some of this movement occurred during periods that pre-date the Egyptian dynasties; whilst the most recent migration occurred during the Atlantic slave trade of the 1300–1900. During this period, many were captured and sold into the Atlantic slave trade and transported to Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Venezuela, and other parts of the World. With them, they carried their religious beliefs. The school-of-thought integrated into what now constitutes the core of the "New World lineages" Click here tor The history of the Yorubas : from the earliest times to the beginning of the British Protectorate

According to Kola Abimbola, the Yorùbá have evolved a robust cosmology. In brief, it holds that all human beings possess what is known as "Àyànmô" (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olodumare (Olòrún, the divine creator and source of all energy). Furthermore, the thoughts and actions of each person in Ayé (the physical realm) interact with all other living things, including the Earth itself. Each person attempts to achieve transcendence and find their destiny in Òrún-Réré (the spiritual realm of those who do good and beneficial things). One's Orí-Inu (spiritual consciousness in the physical realm) must grow in order to consummate union with one's "Ipônri" (Orí Òrún, spiritual self). Those who stop growing spiritually, in any of their given lives, are destined for "Òrún-Apadi" (the invisible realm of potsherds). Life and death are said to be cycles of existence in a series of physical bodies while one's spirit evolves toward transcendence. This evolution is said to be most evident among st the Òrìṣàs, the divine viziers of God. Read Yoruba Legends (Myths, Legend and Folk Tales from Around the World)

The Yoruba believe in Àtúnwá, Reincarnation within the family. The names Babatunde (father returns), Yetunde (Mother returns), Babatunji (Father wakes once again) and Sotunde (The wise man returns) all offer vivid evidence of the Ifa concept of familial or lineal rebirth. There is no simple guarantee that your grandfather or great uncle will "come back" in the birth of your child, however. Whenever the time arrives for a spirit to return to Earth (otherwise known as The Marketplace) through the conception of a new life in the direct bloodline of the family, one of the component entities of a person's being returns, while the other remains in Heaven (Ikole Orun).

The spirit that returns does so in the form of a Guardian Ori. One's Guardian Ori, which is represented and contained in the crown of the head, represents not only the spirit and energy of one's previous blood relative, but the accumulated wisdom he or she has acquired through a myriad of lifetimes. This is not to be confused with one’s spiritual Ori, which contains personal destiny, but instead refers to the coming back to The Marketplace of one's personal blood Ori through one's new life and experiences. The Primary Ancestor (which should be identified in your Itefa) becomes – if you are aware and work with that specific energy – a “guide” for the individual throughout their lifetime. At the end of that life they return to their identical spirit self and merge into one, taking the additional knowledge gained from their experience with the individual as a form of payment. Ebora: Ifa and the Hero's Journey (The Metaphysical Foundations of Ifa) (Volume 2)

Iwa-Pele (The Metaphysical Foundations of Ifa) (or well-balanced) meditative recitation and sincere veneration is sufficient to strengthen the Orí-Inu of most people. Well-balanced people, it is believed, are able to make positive use of the simplest form of connection between their Oris and the omnipotent Olu-Òrún: an adúra (petition or prayer) for divine support. Prayer to one's Orí Òrún produces an immediate sensation of joy. Ẹlégbara (Èṣù, the divine messenger) initiates contact with Òrún on behalf of the petitioner, and transmits the prayer to Ayé; the deliverer of àṣẹ or the spark of life. He transmits this prayer without distorting it in any way. Thereafter, the petitioner may be satisfied with a personal answer. In the event that he or she is not, the Ifá oracle of the Òrìṣà Ọ̀rúnmìlà may also be consulted. All communication with Òrún, whether simplistic in the form of a personal prayer or complicated in the form of that done by an initiated Babaaláwo (priest of divination), however, is energized by invoking àṣẹ.

Yoruba Beliefs and Sacrificial Rites In the Yorùbá belief system, Olódùmarè has àṣẹ over all that is. It is for this reason that He is considered supreme. Olódùmarè is the most important "state of existence". Regarded as being all-encompassing, no gender can therefore be assigned. Hence, it is common to hear references to "it" or "they" (although this is meant to address a somewhat singularity) in usual speech. "They" are the owner of all heads, for during human creation, Olódùmarè gave "êmí" (the breath of life) to humankind. Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief In this, Olódùmarè is Supreme.

Perhaps one of the most important human endeavors extolled within the tribe's literary corpus is the quest to better one's "Iwa" (character, behaviour). In this way the teachings transcends religious doctrine, advising as it does that a person must also better his civic, social and intellectual spheres of being; every stanza of the sacred Ifa oracular poetry (Odu Ifa) has a portion covering the importance of "Iwa". Central to this is the theme of righteousness, both individual and collective.

According to one of the Yorùbá accounts of creation, during a certain stage in this process, the "truth" was sent to confirm the habitability of the newly formed planets. The earth being one of these was visited but deemed too wet for conventional life. Irúnmọlẹ̀ are entities sent by the Supreme (Olódùmarè) to complete given tasks, often acting as liaisons between Orun (the invisible realm) and Aiye (the physical realm).Irúnmọlẹ̀(s) can best be described as ranking divinities; whereby such divinities are regarded as the principal Òrìṣàs. Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion (Orisa Worship)

After a successful period of time, a number of divinities were commanded to accomplish the task of helping earth develop its crust. On one of their visits to the realm, the arch-divinity Obàtálá took to the stage equipped with a mollusk that held in its shell some form of soil; two winged beasts and some cloth like material. He emptied the soil onto what soon became a large mound on the surface of the water and soon after, the winged-beasts began to scatter this around until the point where it gradually made into a large patch of dry land; the various indentations they created eventually becoming hills and valleys.

The Yorùbá regard Olodumare as the principal agent of creation. In another telling of the creation myth, Olódùmarè (also called Olòrún) is the creator. In the beginning there is only water. Olódùmarè sends Obatala: The Greatest and Oldest Divinity to bring forth land. Obàtálá descended from above on a long chain, bringing with him a rooster, some earth, and some iron. He stacked the iron in the water, the earth on the iron, and the chicken atop the earth. The chicken kicked and scattered the earth, creating land. Some of the other divinities descended upon it to live with Obàtálá. One of them, Chameleon, came first to judge if the earth was dry. When he said that it was, Olódùmarè called the land Ife for "wide". Obàtálá then created humans out of earth and called Olódùmarè to blow life into them. Some say Obàtálá was jealous and wished to be the only giver of life, but Olodumare put him to sleep as he worked. Conversely, it is also said by others that it is Obàtálá who shapes life while it is still in the womb.

Obatala: The Greatest and Oldest Divinity leaped onto a high-ground and named the place Ifè. The land became fertile and plant life began to flourish. From handfuls of earth he began to mold figurines. Meanwhile, as this was happening on earth, Olódùmarè gathered the gasses from the far reaches of space and sparked an explosion that shaped into a fireball. He subsequently sent it to Ifè, where it dried much of the land and simultaneously began to bake the motionless figurines. It was at this point that Olodumare released the "breath of life" to blow across the land, and the figurines slowly came into "being" as the first people of Ifè. For this reason, Ilé-Ifẹ̀ is locally referred to as the "cradle of existence"