OBALUAYE = SAKPATA…

** Sakpata – Obaluaye – Soponna – Omolu  **

The Deities-Orishas… It is the view of Orunmila-Ifa that all things on earth, and in our entire universe, are conscious and alive. Everything possesses its own awareness and energy. These infinite, natural energies that comprise the universe are called Orishas. Each has its own specific function and its own myriad aspects, as well as its own unique name.

All human beings are in continuous contact with the Orishas. Our bodies and senses are constantly conversing with energy, whether we realize it or not. Much can be learned from honoring this connection and paying attention to the way Orishas work in the universe. Each energy serves its own unique part while still maintaining perfect balance with the whole. Through observing and communicating with Orishas, we come to realize that human beings do play this same active and significant role in the universe. Orishas show us exactly how the energy of our actions and our thoughts affect not only our own lives, but the lives of everyone and everything around us.

Obaluaye-Sakpata God Of Smallpox – Apparently became an important god in the smallpox plagues that were transmitted by various inter-tribal wars. Priests of Obaluaye wielded immense power; it was believed that they could bring the plague down on their enemies, and in fact the priests sometimes made a potion from the powdered scabs and dry skin of those who died from smallpox. They would pour the potion in an enemy’s house or a neighboring village to spread the disease. Today, however, smallpox has been all but eradicated; the priests of Obaluaye have lost power and the cult has vanished.

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When Obaluaye-Sakpata chooses to take a wife, the priest continues, it is something truly extraordinary. It doesn’t happen every day. Today, Sakpata has taken a wife here. Three days ago we showed the corpse of the girl to the whole village. Today, we’re going to bring the corpse out and resurrect her in front of everybody. Sometimes we try to resurrect, but the body doesn’t wake up and we call the family to come and bury it. But if Sakpata truly chose his wife and the priests do the resurrection, the person will come back to life. There is no other way…

An outside individual can only presume it is all fake, an illusion of the mind tricking one to believe the impossible. The community of Vodun believes otherwise and has gathered with the full force of their believe system to help resurrect this young woman. They will be concentrating the power of their belief to help her reawaken into the world of the living.

*** While she was working she was struck down. Sakpata took her as his royal wife.

In Vodun mythology, Sakpata is the God of well being for mind, body and spirit. He is also the God of disease. To honor Sakpata, one will remain healthy throughout life, and if one were to become ill, sick, contract AIDS or a virus, one’s sole survival tactic would rely on Sakpata, worshiping him in every waking hour until one’s last breath. Apparently this woman we’re here to see failed to honor Sakpata. She birthed a child. The child died. She visited a Vodun priest who told her to perform specific rituals for Sakpata. She ignored the prescription. This angered Sakpata and so he was out for payment, which happened to be her.

Obaluaye-Sakpata is most crucial among the Orishas that sent to the planet Earth by Olodumare. He is also known as Baba-Ode, Baba Oye, Oluaye or Olode. Obaluaye is a fantastic Orisha that gives riches, wealth, children, Wisdom, will power and other good things to people as well as conquering enemies for then.

Also Obaluaye has his favorite foods which include palm wine, snail, pounded yam, bearded matured he goat, corn pudding and cooked grinded beans. The cloth Obaluaye uses is cam wood cloth and anybody can be a devotee and get initiated but, he has his chosen mediums. Obaluaye dances to any kind of drum.

Obaluaye-Sakpata used the Ewon (chain) to come from heaven to earth, similar to the other Orishas. Obaluaye fights in the skies. Obaluaye attacks are characterized by small pricks that appear all over the victim’s body. When Obaluaye attacks, he will attack a person in their home. If someone is in a house that is being attacked by Obaluaye, they must use palm wine for protection. When fighting he cannot touch the ground. No one defeats Obaluaye, not even Ogun.

Obaluaye cannot give children but has the power to take them away and sometimes if he give you children they would be a strong one. There cannot be any smoke where he is fighting, corn (agbado), or whistling. He also cannot fight in the rain. Sapona eats alone. When feeding him he must be separated from all other Orisha. Obaluaye likes to eat Emu, Iyan Agbadu, obuko (male goat), asoro, adalu (beans and corn). His color is Red, he wears red clothes.

**Obaluaye taboo is that he cannot share his food**

He demands respect and even gratitude when he claims a victim, and so people sometimes honor him with the praise name Alápa-dúpé, meaning “One who kills and is thanked for it”. In one commonly recounted story, Obaluaye was old and lame. He attended a celebration at the palace of Obatala, the father of the Orishas. When Obaluaye tried to dance, he stumbled and fell. All the other Orishas laughed at him, and he in turn tried to infect them with smallpox. Obatala stopped him and drove him into the bush, where he has lived as an outcast ever since.

He owns the Earth and has strong associations with smallpox and other infections. His worship is very diverse in Fon communities, where many distinct manifestations of the spirit are venerated. Because the dead are buried in the Earth, the manifestation called Avimadye is considered the chief of the Ancestors.

Venerated by the Ewe, there is a similar figure with the praise name Anyigbato who is closely associated with sickness and displaced peoples. He is believed to wander the land at night, wearing a garment of rattling snail shells; the snail shells are also a key feature of his fetish.

In Santería, Babalúayé is among the most popular orishas. Syncretized with Saint Lazarus, and regarded as particularly miraculous, Babalúayé is publicly honored with a pilgrimage on December 17, when tens of thousands of devotees gather at the Church and Leprosorium of Saint Lazarus in El Rincón, in the outskirts of Santiago de Las Vegas, Havana. Arará communities in Cuba and its diaspora honor the spirit as Asojuano. Both traditions use sackcloth in rituals to evoke his humility. The spirit also appears in Palo as Pata en Llaga.

In Candomblé, Omolu face is thought to be so scarred by disease and so terrifying that he appears covered with a raffia masquerade that covers his whole body. He also manifests in Umbanda and Macumba. Some lineages of Candomblé relate myths that justify Obalúayé being the child Nana Burukú who abandons him to die of exposure on the beach where he is badly scarred by crabs. Yemoja discovers him there, takes him under her protection, nurses him back to health, and educates him in many secrets.

Because of his knowledge of the forest and the healing power of plants, Obalúayé is strongly associated with Osain, the deity of herbs. Obalúayé’s worship is frequently linked to the Earth itself, and even his name identifies him with the Earth itself.

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2 thoughts on “OBALUAYE = SAKPATA…”

  1. Thank you baba for your insightful post on this highly revered Orisa. Your thankful brother in Ifa Aseo!

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