This article’s intention is to shed light on the actual nature and original purpose of the cosmic energies known as Orisha. The Orisha concept was developed in West Africa although the idea of cosmic entities governing evolutionary process was one that was common to all of the African continent.
Firstly, one can not separate the tenants of African Culture from the anthropomorphic characteristic and disposition of the various Orisha. As outlined in the podcast series “Unleashing your Inner Orisha”, the Orisha are formulas that one can use to gain and develop spiritual gifts. The Orisha are not cartoon characters nor are they celestial children looking to be pacified and appeased by meager offerings.
The Orisa are accessible energetic consciousnesses made available to those who have the knowledge and wisdom to invoke and embody them. These various consciousnesses manifest themselves through conceptual and natural elements.
In various traditions there are primordial celestial and earthly energies that are in place to sustain certain evolutionary and revolutionary components of what we call life, the universe, and the cosmos.
These entities are often times referred to as Angels in an attempt to bring clarification to those who function within systems that utilize God/Angelic reference. An Angel is not an Orisa just as an Orisa is not a Ntr or Loa or Ancestor. They may express themselves from a common spiritual root but, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are identical energies.
For example: The King of Swazi Land is not Barack Obama; though they both represent the energy of leadership and nationhood. In that case we can say they come from the same socio-political emanation.
In “Grasping the Root of Divine Power” I highlight the actual earth, chakra, astrological, and conceptual characteristic associations of the various Orisha. The Orisa are stewards over natural elements and what is born out of these elements are certain personality archetypes. So, an individual or deity for that matter born of the freshwater nation may have an energy that lends them to be amorous, creative, beautiful, sweet, emotional, and so on. We may consider that an Osun energy. It doesn’t mean all who have those characteristics are Osun. The energy, itself, traditionally has been called Lakshmi, Erzulie Freda, Venus, Aprhodite, etc…
Someone born of a clan of fire and iron could be prone to bouts of meditative violence, technological aptitude, heroic feats, iron/wood working, even-handedness, and an incessant desire for solitude. We can’t say all deities or people who derive from that energy prototype are Ogun but, one could say that those deities or folks born of that “nation” could possibly stem from that common energy strain.
The seven African powers that I’m going to highlight in forthcoming articles are the Orisha Obatala, Orisha Ogun, Orisha Shango, Orisha Oya, Orisha Osun, Orisha Esu, and Orisha Yemoja. Stay Tuned…