Ethnic and Spiritual Growth

The Orisha of Transformation

Elegba (Legba, Esu, or Eshu) is the messenger god who presides over crossroads, doorways, and transformation. He is a protective, benevolent spirit who serves Ifa, the chief god, as a messenger between heaven and Earth. Elegba also stands for change and uncertainty.

Story of Elegba
Elegba is a trickster who is unpredictable, sly, and fond of pranks. He became a messenger god because he tricked the High God, who was then living on Earth. Due to his tricks, the High God decided to reside in the heavens and ordered Elegba to fly to him through the sky every night and report everything that happened back on Earth. Because of his trickster characteristics, he is often paired with Ifa, the God of Order.

Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Aganju: the Orisha of Volcanoes

According to Yoruba mythology, Aganju is the Orisha of volcanoes, the wilderness, and the earth. He is associated with Saint Christopher and is believed to be the third Orisha said to have come to earth and is an Orisha of great antiquity.
In the Yoruba areas of Nigeria and the Benin Republic, Aganju is known as a revered warrior king from Shaki town in the present-day Oyo State of Nigeria. Aganju was said to walk with a sword and to fight by shooting fire.

Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

The Yoruba God of Wisdom

In the Yoruba Ifa religion, Orunmila is the God of Wisdom. In terms of Ifa, he is perhaps the most revered divination god. Orunmila is the most frequently invoked Orisa in the Ifa Yoruba religion. Olodumare bestows infinite wisdom on Orunmila, allowing her to foretell, predict, and read human minds and thoughts. He was the only Orisha permitted to witness Olorun’s creation of the universe and bears witness to our destinies. Eleri Ipin, or in other words, “Witness to Destiny in its Creation,” is derived from this. His priests, known as Babalawos or “Fathers of the Secrets,” must devote their lives to divination and the associated arts.

Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

The Orisha of Herbs: Osanyin

Osanyin refers to a lesser god credited with all knowledge of herbs, leaves, and roots for medicinal purposes. Osanyin is missing a leg, and an arm lost as punishment from all the other orishas when he attempted to conquer the world with magical domination. He is also blind in one eye. He has one arm and one leg that he lost as punishment from all the other orishas when he attempted to conquer the world with magical domination. Osanyin is a divine herbalist who knows all of the earth’s botanical secrets.

Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Beliefs and Practices of the Candomblé Religion

Candomblé is an African religion that has been developed in South America, particularly in Brazil. The enslaved Africans that arrived in the New World brought with them their beliefs. The religion is based on oral tradition. It includes various rituals such as personal worship, animal sacrifice, dance, and ceremonies. Candomblé includes some elements of indigenous South American beliefs along with Catholicism. Although Candomblé used to be a hidden religion, it has finally become public and has at least 2 million adherents across the continent in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Argentina.


Followers of Candomblé believe in a single powerful god known as Olodumare. The ultimate god is served by various deities that visit Earth. The deities communicate with people through the messenger god known as Exu. As there were similarities between Candomblé and Catholicism, each deity was hidden as a saint. For example, the god of smallpox called Omulu is quite similar to Saint Lazarus. Thus, the adherents were able to continue worshipping their deities without any trouble.

Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest