Ibeji, as an Orisha, represents a pair of twins that include a boy and a girl in the Yoruba people. They usually resemble a small boy but are really powerful spirits in the guise of children. According to Yoruba culture and spirituality, twins are believed to be magical and are granted protection by Shango. They are supposed to bring joy, vitality, prosperity, good health, and good fortune and are invoked to protect all children. In the diasporic Yoruba spirituality of Latin America, Ibeji is syncretized with Saints Cosmas and Damian. If one twin should die, it represents bad fortune for the parents and the society they belong to. They protect every child. Depending on the myth, Ibjei’s parents change and may be Oshun and Oshossi, Oshun and Shango, or Oya and Shango.
Ibeji is also known as Ibelli, Ibryi, Meji, Melli, and Jimaguas. They are twins but the Ibeji are identified as one Orisha. ‘Ibi’ accurately means born and ‘eji’ means two. Twins are considered to be very sacred among the people of Yoruba. They have the highest rate of twin births, about 5% whereas the rest of the world has a twin-birth percentage of 0.5%. The Ibeji and all twins of this world are considered to have one soul in two bodies. The Ibeji are believed to be the original twins born on this earth and are said to be the orishas of joy, glee, and mischief. The Gemini twins in astrology are also said to be related directly to the Ibeji. The Ibejis parents are, namely, Chango and Oshun. Continue reading