An Altar In A House Of Worship To Honor Our Ancestors…
The word Altar comes from the Latin Altarium, meaning – high and also to the Latin Adolere, which means – to ritually burn or sacrifice. Nowadays, the Altar is the place for non-sacrificial religious rites such as communion or weddings, and is a metaphor for offerings. They do not have to be big and fancy; they can be so subtle that even the people you live with can be unaware of their existence. The purpose of an Altar is an area of focus. Here is a small area within your home which serves as your outward spiritual focus. It reminds us that there is far more to life than the everyday striving for survival and success. It is a place where the small objects that are sacred and meaningful to us can be gathered together and treated with respect.
Agogo/Gankogui Of Zangbeto: Tones have a healing effect on our bodies, calm our minds and awaken our spirits. The resonance and vibration of sound releases stress and emotional blockages in the body and calms the mind. The calming of mind expands conscious awareness and connection with spirit.
Deity is an offspring of Obatala and Odudua. Aganju, a male Deity (Orisha) representing the land. The word Aganju means ” a desert ,” the worship of the Deity has fallen into disuse. He is syncretized with Saint Christopher. Aganju is strongly associated with Shango, both Deities (Orishas) being members of the deified royal family of Oyo. In the Yoruba areas of Nigeria and Danxome, Aganju is known as a deified warrior king from the town of Shaki in the present-day Oyo State of Nigeria. He was said to walk with a sword. Shaki is in the northern part of Yorubaland that is hilly and rocky. Aganjú is a Deity (Orisha) of great antiquity.
*** The leaf is his knife and his wand. Osanyin represents the two sides of herbal power. The same thing that can cure you, if used improperly can kill you.
*** No Leaf Can Fall From The Tree Without The Authority, Power and Knowledge of God…
Herbalists and Priests enlist the aid of Osanyin, the spirit of herbal medicines, in their work against mental and physical illness caused by malevolent forces and individuals. The power of Osanyin is vested in a wrought iron staff, called an Osanyin staff, that is placed on Altars to this Deity. Orisha Osanyin, the one who has the power of natural medicine, able to represent two sides of power through plants. The same that can heal you, and if used incorrectly can hurt. Health is a state in which one must keep in balance between: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Being that to achieve all this harmony, they use a lot of the power of plants to create natural medicines that will help and a lot in this process. No leaf can fall from the tree without Osanyin’s authority, power and knowledge. Therefore, no Orisha-Vodun can be consecrated without Osanyin’s permission. Osanyin is a great wizard and witch where one of his main functions is to protect his devotees from his visible and invisible enemies who attack them. Osanyin is described as an extremely disfigured and mischievous man, many believe he has only one eye, one hand, a single leg, a tiny ear that can hear anything and an ear bigger than the head that hears nothing.
**Ori Ni Kan = Ori is the One** Head (Ori) = Inu “Inner Head – Destiny” *** Head (Ori) = Akoko “First Head – Designator”
Distinction between Heaven (Orun) & World (Aiye) * Heaven contains: Owner – Deities – Ancestors… * World contains: Human – Animals – Sorcerers…
** Weriweri in heaven – Owewe, who washes away poverty with perfection. It was divined for only one Ori – also for four hundred and one heavenly divinities – Who were going to Olorun the Creator-in-chief – To attempt to split the kola nut of Ase – Ogbon (wisdom) directed them to make a sacrifice – Four hundred divinities defied his order – Only Ori complied, and his sacrifice was accepted. What was Ogbon’s directive – They were to wake up at the crack of dawn – And pay homage to Supreme Creator – All the Orisa overslept – Only Ori woke up – Rolled himself on the ground in homage Olorun. After this, They went to God, the Creator-in-chief, Who asked Ogbon to present the kola nut of authority. All tried but failed to split it, Only Ori succeeded. And when with the split Kola-nut, he divined. The outcome was favorable.
Circumcision Is Seen As Necessary For The Individual To Gain Gender…
In Dogon thought, Male and Females are born with both sexual components. The clitoris is considered Male, while the foreskin is considered Female. – Originally, for the Dogon, man was endowed with a dual soul, and circumcision eliminates the superfluous one. Rites of circumcision thus allow each sex to assume its proper physical identity. Most men, however, have only one wife, and it is rare for a man to have more than two wives. Formally, wives join their husband’s household only after the birth of their first child. After having children, divorce is a rare and serious matter, and it requires the participation of the whole village.
To understand Olokun nature we need to look at the nature of the bottom of the sea, a vast mostly unexplored dark habitat. The deep sea floor is a seemingly hostile environment and yet life thrives down there. In fact scientists believe that there is more life in the dark abyss of the Earth’s oceans than in all of the tropical rain forests put together.
She is the Goddess of the Unknown -Darkness – Realm of Dreams & Unconscious. Like her world, so is Olokun the Keeper of Secrets.
Masks and other visual forms associated with these cults contain imagery evocative of Male supremacy and vengeance. Gelede imagery, in contrast, exemplifies another approach to the Mothers. The following text from the ancient verse of the Ifa oracle known as Osa Meji re-creates the mythic origin of the Gelede masquerade. Greetings were their secret among the Ijesa Ifa told Orunmila when he was going to the grove of the Eleiye (witches), He must put on a mask, a head-wrap and leg rattles. He obeyed, he put them on, he arrived at the grove of the Witches and he was safe. He rejoiced in dancing and singing- “I have covenanted with Death, I will never die. Death, Death no more, I have covenanted with sickness, I will never die. Death, Death no more.”
Of all the New World societies, Cuba received captives from the greatest mix of African origins. They came from all parts of the coast and interior of western Africa. The size, diversity, and continual replenishment of this population allowed a rich array of African-inspired religions to flourish there, even beyond the end of the slave trade. It has long been common to call Cuban Oricha-Worship “Santería” because of the identification of the Orichas with the Saints. However the term is now being rejected by those who think it overemphasizes the Catholic and syncretistic elements. Increasingly, many within the Afro-Caribbean tradition prefer to call it La Regla de Oricha, “the order of the Orichas.
Cultural survival is not about preservation, sequestering indigenous peoples in enclaves like some sort of zoological specimens. Change itself does not destroy a culture. All societies are constantly evolving. Indeed a culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo.
“Pour libation for your Father and Mother who rest in the valley of the dead. God will witness your action and accept it. Do not forget to do this even when you are away from home. For as you do for your parents, your children will do for you also”