Ẹgbe also known as Alaragbo in certain areas designates the heavenly comrades or astral fraternities which are one of the pillars of the Yorùbá indigenous spirituality according to which every human being possesses a “spiritual double” (ẹnikéjì orun) which is formed during the process of creation of the humanly body commonly referred to as “spiritual double” at the moment in which the primordial Source (Olódùmarè) infuses the vital breath (èmi) into the physical bodies from which we are separated at the moment of coming into existence in the earthly realm which remain in the primordial realm. Our ẹnikéjì orun organize themselves into fraternities or societies (Ẹgbe) according to their affinity.
Iyerosun is a powder used in the Yoruba Ifa tradition mainly by Diviners in Ifa divination practices to mark Odu Ifa. It is termite dust from the Irosun tree, the Irosun tree is a special tree that is said to have a connection to the spirit realm. Iyerosun is sprinkled on the Opon- Ifa (Divination tray) and scattered on its face to imprint the Odu Ifa. This powder is very important to Ifa and a competent Awo can use it to perform wonders. This powder has blessed by God and whatever a Diviner wishes to do with it shall come to pass as long as it is properly done. The position of Iyerosun in Ifa is such that Ikin cannot be used for consultation in the absence of this powder.
The Magic of Ataré…Grains of Paradise = Alligator Pepper
Ataré, aka Guinea Pepper is so called because it is a native plant from the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Other common names for this spice are Guinea grains, melegueta pepper, and grains of paradise. Alligator pepper is a West African spice which corresponds to the seeds and seed pods of Aframomum Danielli.
Guinee pepper is a close relative of grains of paradise, obtained from the closely related species, Aframomum Melegueta. However, unlike grains of paradise which are generally sold as only the seeds of the plant, alligator pepper is sold as the entire pod containing the seeds.
Ogboye – Ogboran – Ogbo Edan: Ogboni= known as Osugbo in Ijèbú is a fraternal institution indigenous to the Yoruba language-speaking polities of Nigeria, Republic of Bénin and Togo, as well as among the Edo/Benin people groups. 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 West Africa.
Father Of All Orishas & Humanity – The Orisha of Wisdom, Knowledge & Pureness. Epa Oosha Obatala Alasho Funfun. Obatalá “King of the White Cloth” and he represents peace, sober decision making, creativity, purity, and divination. The social role associated with him is that of an Elder or Sage and his elements or natural stages are the mountains, clouds, and palm trees. Some of the most distinctive features of Obatalá are the myth of creation that has been linked to him, the traditional offerings presented to him and the location of his supposed home, his “claim over individuals”, and the many associations with others Saints and Gods that he has received through time.
Known as an Ancient energy, it embodies the patience, clarity of mind and wisdom that can only be attained through thoughtfulness and careful and sober consideration. Thus, Obatala is also associated with the concept of justice. Those operating in this Orisha’s field are often highly intelligent and extremely thoughtful, possessing lofty yet realistic ideals. They are the observers and intellectuals among us who strive for peace, truth and clarity above all else.
Father of humanity, the right hand of God, Obatala is the supreme deity of justice, wisdom and life. Obatala’s color is white, which is often accented with other colors, namely red, coral, green or purple, according to the road. His symbols are a single, silver (oje) bracelet, a white horsetail switch (Irukere), a cane and a silver bell or “Agogo-Oje,” which is used when saluting him.
Obatala is the the Orisha responsible for molding the physical form of humanity before God gives us life with his divine breath. He’s always perfectly clean and expresses himself with the presence of Efun (white chalk). Liquor and red palm oil are taboo to him and his followers. Obatala is the Orisha of logic, thought, and clarity and as such children of Obatala are generally logical and “heady.”
In fact, children of Obatala invariably require more “alone time” than most other people as their lives are often ruled by their ability to think quietly and process. Obatala is symbolized by the color white, white doves and the number 8 and Sunday is said to be his sacred day of the week.
“AYE” (Sekere Obatala) Aye is a percussion instrument that is used by Obatala also called (Orisanla). He uses it for entertainment, invocation, and messaging purposes, now it is used by Obatala devotees to invoke his spirit during prayers, rituals, and festival periods for his spirit to descend. Aye is very important tool in worshiping the Gods, Obatala, whoever the God sent any of his spirit or priestess to deliver a message, it’s this instrument that he or she will be beating while on the journey to word of evil and attacks and on getting there, the Aye has to be beaten for the God’s spirit to possess the priest or priestess for him to speak through him or her. Any Obatala worshiper that does not use Aye is not a complete worshiper because it is a very important tool of worship to the God. Orin: Obatala temi ni o ba mi se – bi eniyan soro fun o leyin mo mo gba o “Temin ni o ba mi se” Song: Obatala it is mine that you should do for me – If anyone gossips to you do not listen – It is mine that you should do for me. Orin: Ogede agbagba ooo Obatala gbami lowo Ki ni eyi yio se Ogede agbagba ooo. Babarugbo gbami Lowo enu Ko se kun ni Enu ijeru, Ko se kun ni Enu ijeyo o Ko se kun ni, Enu Oje ata Ko se kun ni Enu imu omi Ko se kun ni Song: Oh plantain Old man save me from gossips It is not good Mouth that eats locust beans, it is not good, Mouth that tastes salt, it is not good, Mouth that eats pepper it is not good Mouth that drink water, it is not good”
As the myth points out, Obatalá enjoyed drinking palm wine and continued to do so although it had previously led to his shame and humiliation. Due to his weakness for alcohol, he would even drink while carrying out his duties of molding and creating human bodies. Due to his carelessness, some of the beings he created were born with deformities and malformations so he was ordered by God to abstain from drinking while creating humans. Therefore, people born with birthmarks, albinos, the handicapped, or other children born with deformities are recognized as “Obatalá’s children”. This originates from the belief among people that “Obatalá always marks his children”.
Traditionally, offerings to “King of the White Cloth” are comprised of coconut, cotton, cocoa butter, cornstarch, and bitter kola. This home of this deity is said to be the mountains, and for this reason gifts and food are carried to these specific regions. The metal of Obatalá is silver (Oje) and his color is white, hence his name which means “King of the White Cloth”. His priests and priestesses always wear only white in his honor, and the vast majority of the offerings taken to Obatalá are white, such as white food, white clothes, white beads, and white flowers. Obatalá also tends to receive silver (Oje) jewelry and coins.
Obatalá is said to be the owner of all Ori, which means heads. This is an important concept because it is believed that the souls of people are located in their heads. It has been claimed that Obatalá is one of the oldest Orishas and that he is the “King of Kings”. For this reason, he is also recognized as the father of all Orishas. He is known to have two wives, Yemoo, and Igbin. Obatalá is known to be patient and to possess good judgment, he is also believed to cause earthquakes when he becomes infuriated.
Obatala is the father of all children on earth, is the creator of human beings and everything that inhabits the planet. As the creator is ruler of all human body parts, mainly the head, thoughts and human life, the white owner or where it participates essentially white to symbolize peace and purity. Obatala is the owner of the white metals, especially silver. Represents the creation that is not necessarily pristine, so magnanimous and above, also the pride, anger, despotism and those with defects and physical and mental difficulties.
Obatala embraces all her children with patience and love. Among its many qualities is that he brings intelligence, peace and calm to the world. He Intercede with any Orisha for any individual to have difficulty, because it is considered the Father of mankind and owner of all heads. When we seek to Obatala, we looked at the top of the mountain. He’s in the snow covering the mountain peak and is seen as the wise old man of the hills. Obatala provide justice, renewal and new beginnings. Their children, “direct” are Albinos and those born with physical and or mental. The unique function of Obatala within the realm of mysteries of nature is to provide the spark of light that animates consciousness. To call an Orisha the chief of the White cloth is to make a symbolic reference to that substance which makes consciousness possible.
***An Altar Is A Symbolic Representation Of Communicating With Your Sub-Conscious Mind.
TABOO OBATALA: Palm wine or intoxicating liquor. White is the color of every item to be use by the followers of Obatala even ranging from home to car and clothe, during Obatala day of the week,(Sunday) it is not good for them to have sexual Intercourse. Salt – Palm oil – Peppers – It not good to cook maize near Obatala.
***The reference to White cloth is not a reference to the material used to make the cloth, it is a reference to the fabric which binds the universe together. The threads of this fabric are the multi-leveled layers of consciousness which Ifa teaches exist in all things on all levels of Being. The ability of forces of nature to communicate with each other, and the ability of humans to communicate with forces in nature that gives the world a sense of spiritual unity. It is the understanding of this ability which gives substance to the Ifa concept of good character, and it is Obatala who guides us towards developing this understanding.
All forces in nature come into Being through the manifestation of energy patterns called Odu. Ifa has identified and labeled different Odu which can be thought of as different expressions of consciousness. But because consciousness itself is generated by Obatala, every Odu contains an element of Obatala’s spiritual power. In metaphysical terms, this means that all of creation is linked to Obatala as the source of being. All forms of consciousness contain a spark of spiritual power from Obatala, and it is this spark that links everything that is, to its shared beginning.
The name means “Lord of the White Cloth” (Oba-ti-ala.), and is explained by the fact that white is the color sacred to Obatala, whose temples, images, and paraphernalia are always painted white, and whose followers wear white cloths. The God is always represented as wearing a white cloth.
***Obatala likes dark places. Thus when we find ourselves placed on the Altar cloth to keep it away from the light…The powerful king that reside in the town called Iranje – He that is in possession of blessings and good character – He as good character and at same time have blessings.
Husband of hunch back – husband of the cripple you are the husband of dwarf woman with big flat head – The husband of albino – You leave daily life in gorgeous beauty and greatness – Your mightiness is immense it cannot be lifted So immense in White apparel one who sleep in White apparel and wake up inside White apparel rises from glory to glory inside White apparel.
Respected father husband of Yemoo It pleasurable to see wealth. The oldest man of Ifon town He who withdraw wealth from the person who have and give it to have not he who multiply a single person to many.
The arch Divinity the owner of good clay that is use to mold character – The arc Divinity the owner of good clay that is use to mold destiny. He has absolute power to make anything he wants happen. The Divinity that wake up the does not eat anything with bone.
There are many incarnations of the Deities who had lived before and who had translated to eternity. Ogiyan in Ejigbo, Ayelala in Ekiti and Ijebu may have been incarnations of Obatala as well as Oluorogbo in the city of Ile-Ife. This is evident in the feeding preference and dressing of the devotees of these deities. These incarnations may have been his children who migrated out of Ilé-Ifè, to resettle in these new locations. They were subsequently honored and later deified probably because of their father’s magnanimity and prowess.
***The Hunchback carried it on his own back – The Dwarf wore oversized gown to the shrine – The Albino did not ask his eyes did not clearly see -Husband of Cripple that mopped the floor and spoilt it.
Obatala is the Orisha responsible for molding the physical form of humanity before God gives us life with his divine breath. He is always perfectly clean and expresses himself with the presence of Efun (white chalk). Liquor and red palm oil are taboo to him and his followers. Obatala is the Orisha of logic, thought, and clarity and as such children of Obatala are generally logical and heady. In fact, children of Obatala invariably require more alone time than most other people as their lives are often ruled by their ability to think quietly and process.
Obatala is honored with brilliant White cloth, White lace, White beads and cowries, White flowers, silver coins, and silver jewelry. He is honored with White hens, snails, White melon soup, pounded yams, and other white food such as eko, fermented corn wrapped in plantain leaves. Sunday is said to be his sacred day of the week. == Obatala Uses Elephant Teeth (Otura-Odi)
The insignia of Obàtálá is ‘Opa’, the staff; and is consequently the word to which a suffix or prefix is added to make the name complete. In other places, Orisha is used instead of Opa to delineate Obàtálá as the king of all the Orishas. It is to the same Opa that sacrifices are offered. God named Obatala with his own name Alaba–Lase (God word) through empowered authority delegated to Obatala on his journey into the earth. Obatala’s shrine is used to be designed with white chalk “efun”, Yemowo is his wife and his favorite food is pounded yam and egusi cooked with snail. A small girl or elderly women are responsible for fetching the water into the shrine, on the way to the river they must not talk to anybody and ring the bell for everyone to be aware that they are messengers of Obatala. Yemowo is a divinity worshiped in the river along with the other rites of Obatala.
May the Spirit of purity & transparency sweetens our lives today as he did with Ireke (sugarcane). If one has one’s wealth it is surely the sweetness of one’s person Obatala is he who has given sweetness to Ireke. If one has one’s own children in life It is surely the sweetness of one’s person Obatala is he who has given sweetness to Ireke.
!!!There is a myth that speaks of a time when Heaven and Earth were side-by-side. And human beings could travel back-and-forth between Heaven-Orun and Earth-Aiye with little difficulty. But as with such things a man violated a temple regarding such travel that Obatala had put in place. When Obatala became aware of the situation, he became furious. He Took the Opa in hand and begin to pound furiously on the ground. He commanded that from thence fourth, human beings would no longer be able to travel into heaven. He decreed that only after death would man be able to enter the Orun. And at Obatala’s command, the Earth and Heaven became separated…
Reference Sources: Asa Orisa Alaafin Oyo Esin Esin Ibile = Google Search/Photo = Wikipedia = Babalawo Obanifa
***We Speak Things Into Existence – Speak Your Power & Become It – We Are The All In All – Our Power Is Within Us…
Ase – Ashe = (Ah Shay) … A Yoruba Word Meaning ** Power – Command & Authority. The Ability To Make Whatever One Says Happen. Often Summarized As “So Be It” = “So It Is” = “It Definitely Shall Be”
Ashe-Power is a component of the life force breathed into each human being by God; it is spiritual power; it is the power to create everything – Gods, Ancestors, Spirits, Humans, Animals, Plants, Rocks, Rivers and Voiced words such as Songs, Prayers, Praises, Curses, or even everyday conversation. Existence, is dependent upon it; it is the power to make things happen and change. The power of the Word is an important part of harnessing Ashe.
Ashe-Power:is an African philosophical concept through which the power to make things happen and produce change. Existence, according to Yoruba thought, is dependent upon it. In addition to its sacred characteristics, Ashe-Power also has important social ramifications, reflected in its translation as “power, authority, command.” A person who, through training, experience, and initiation, learns how to use the essential life force of things to willfully effect change is called an Alaashe.
Rituals to invoke divine forces reflect this same concern for the autonomous Ashe -Power of particular entities. The recognition of the uniqueness and autonomy of the Ashe-Power of persons and Gods is what structures society and its relationship with the other-world.
The concept of Ashe-Power influences how many of the Yoruba arts are composed. In the visual arts, a design may be segmented. Such elements can be seen in Ifa trays and bowls, veranda posts, carved doors, and Ancestral masks.
The language of Ashe-Powers is profound because the Yoruba conceive of their religious discourse as such ritual language is “Deep” and stylized, and it possesses Ashe-the capacity to invoke Powers, appropriate fundamental essences, and influence the future. Rich in metaphor and poetic devices, it expresses fundamental ideas of ritual power which are highly valued and closely guarded. Because of restrictions imposed by Deity-Orisha Cults, ritual-language texts are difficult to record. Many are performed only once a year, and some only once in a lifetime. To sing or perform them at other times is infelicitous. One must bring offerings and undergo many Initiations to gain access and trust. In addition to these practical problems of restricted access, the texts themselves are difficult to understand.
Ritual language texts are of course verbal, oral-talking. They are spoken, sung, chanted, even danced in dialogue with drums. Formal categories based on stylistic criteria are always mixed in practice-praises can include proverbs and incantations extensively from Ifa. But the language itself remained a closed book. Textual fragments which possess Ashe-Power are clearly rich in metaphor and allusion-as in most poetry are sensed and intimate rather than formally explicated. Like the deeper meaning of ritual symbols, the language of Ashe-Power undermines the fundamental differences-linguistic which it outwardly reproduces. Best way to discuss ritual language is by letting it speak for itself, as it were, through transcriptions, translations…
These mystical, preternatural and esoteric powers are virtually inexplicable, but they cannot escape notice when they are manipulated by those who have access to them. Outsiders tend to dismiss such powers as superstitions; others class them as Mumbo-Jumbo and the like. But we should realize that one person’s superstition is another person’s belief. Traditional society understand the belief in mysterious and mystical powers which manifest themselves in different ways-in the form of incantations, medicine, magic, sorcery and witchcraft. Belief in these powers which can alter the course of nature is very real and prevalent among the Africans.
Incantations involve the chanting or uttering of Words purporting to have Magical power. Sometimes the incantations go with some medicinal preparation which is carried in the form of a Ring, Amulet, Girdle, Small gourd or needle. Words coupled with charms have Mysterious powers which are frequently used by “those who know how”, to escape death, to vanish in the approach of an imminent danger, to escape a ghastly accident, to destroy an enemy or wild animal, to shorten distance, and such like…
Eshu receives Ashé when all the Orishas journey to the Supreme God to find out who is the next most powerful. Each brings a huge sacrifice, carrying it on his or her head. But Eshu consults the Ifa oracle before he goes, and finds that all he needs to bring is a bright red feather set upright on his forehead. When the Supreme being sees this he grants Eshu the power of Ashé, because Eshu had shown his unwillingness to carry burdens, as well as his sensitivity to the power of information. To this day, Eshu figurines often have a large phallic plume or nail on the head. Eshu shows us that one must “cultivate the art of recognizing significant communications…or else the lessons of the crossroads–the point where doors open or close, where persons have to make decisions that may forever effect their lives–will be lost.”
Ashe is an African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and produce change. Àshe = a coming to pass; law; command; authority; commandment; imposition; power; precept; discipline; instruction; effect; consequence; is derived from the meanings: law, command, authority and power.
Ashe as the vital power, the energy, the great strength of all things. It is also the divine energy manifest in the process of procreation of life, to begin. Ashe does not signify anything particular, yet it invests all things, exists everywhere and as the warrant for all creative activity, opposes chaos and the loss of meaning in human experience. The underlying spirit of this root is “the power to cause to happen, the authority to make changes.
Ashe is power and this power is manifested in two primary forms: biological power which shapes one’s physical existence for good or ill, and political power which shapes people as moral and social beings. It is in its latter branch of meaning by which “kingship” becomes a euphemism for Ashe.
Ashe among the Yorùbá is associated with the very force which is life and brings things into being in the universe. As we will see later on, it is also associated with the power of speech as can be seen in its meanings of command, ordain, and law. We will see that there are two primary themes for Ashe – power and speech and these are derived from two different linguistic roots that were pronounced the same in ancient times. These terms have merged over time because of the similarities in associations.
***Ataré is important because its energy awakes our bodies & spirit, it increases our Ashé, it makes our words carry the heat of creation and it opens doors to the realm of the Ancestors and Orisha. However, the value of Ataré goes beyond the spiritual reasons our bright Ancestors recognized centuries ago…
Èshú : keeper of the word which is also the life-force and is master of language. In Yorùbá, one of the paths of Èshu is known as Elegbara.
Reference Sources: Google Search/Photo = Wikipedia = Babalawo Obanifa =