Ogun: The Orisha of Iron

Ogun is known to be a very powerful warrior who has creativity and intelligence when it comes to making new tools. He protects his people from injustice. He is known as the father of civilization because if it were not for his creative tools, the earth would be full of the wilderness. If it were not for his strength, the path from heaven to earth would never have been cleared for the Orishas and humanity to thrive on earth. Ogun’s tools were the tools which helped create new buildings and cities. Continue reading


Yemeya: the Mother Spirit

Yemeya is often also spelled as Yemoja, Yemanja, Lemanja or even Yemalla. Yemeya literally means “Mother of Water”. Even though she is the Goddess of the vast and open oceans seas, she is also worshipped near lakes, wells or lagoons. Anywhere there is water; Yemeya is likely to be present. In West Africa, they worship Yemeya as a river deity but in Brazil and Cuba, they worship her only as a sea/ocean Goddess. This mother spirit has a soft place in her heart for all the women of the world, especially pregnant women. It takes a lot to anger this Goddess because she doesn’t get easily riled up. But when she does, you should expect a huge hurricane your way. She is quite loving but she is very powerful. Continue reading


Obatala: Father Figure of the Orishas

Obatala is known to be a wise Orisha and is often also known as the chief and judge. He is married to Yemeya, who is the mother figure of all Orishas and is the Goddess of the Oceans. According to some patakis, Obatala is the father of all human beings. He and Yemeya created a lot of children. One day he got very drunk when making humans because he was thirsty and he drank some palm wine. Under the influence of the wine, he made some deformed humans. After he sobered up, he realized what he had done. He swore from that day that he would never drink and now every handicapped or deformed person has a special place in his heart. He takes extra care of them. Obatala shows mercy and compassion because of the fact that he realizes that he erred once when he got drunk on the palm wine. This is why he is also known to be the fairest Orisha of all.

Obatala was a very strong warrior when he was young and saw many injustices and wrongs being committed during those wars. Which is why when he became an Orisha, he vouched for peace. His experience on the battlefields angered him and now, as a judge, he is very much involved in the law and issues of justice. He will be involved in any kind of legal case or court issue. You can invoke him during such times for his help. However, do not invoke him if you are guilty unless you are willing to be punished for it. Obatala is also involved in karmic justice. If you think someone has done a karmic injustice to you, you can call to him for help. He will help you and make you be strong. He encourages humans to take responsibility for their irrational actions.
Obatala has no gender and is thought to be asexual. This signifies why he is rightfully thought to be the father of human beings. He has no patience for the gender fights which break out in the human community.

Sophia Shultz

Obatala is also associated with the color white. He is known as the God of white clothing and even loves his food to be white in color. He loves white offerings with no spices or even alcohol. People tend to spread a white cotton ball on the offerings they make to Obatala to please him. People can even offer him eggs, rice, mushrooms, water, milk, crushed egg shells, snail shells, myrrh or tobacco. Obatala worshippers dance in white costumes and offer white pumpkin, coconut milk and light up sandalwood incense to please this Orisha.
Obatala is often found in churches, libraries, universities, mountains, forest and the military. His number is 8 and his feast day is the 24th of September. His tool is a horsetail fly whisk. All of the animals sacrificed to Obatala should be white in color such as she-goats, guinea hens, doves, and hens.


Learn more about Santeria and the Orishas with Lucumi: The Ways of Santeria