The deeper into “The Religion” (referring to Yoruba/ Ifa/ Lukumi/ Santeria/ Candomble/ Umbanda/ Palo/ Voudou) we go, the more people reveal their true selves to us. Our eyes, our spiritual eyes open more and more and we see people for who and what they truly are. They become jealous, even threaten by “The Light” that illuminates within us.
Almond oil clears skin blemishes. Tea made from the bark eliminates worms and parasites from the body…
The Almond Tree or Almendro (in Spanish) is sacred to Obatala, Yoruba Orisha of peace, clarity, Father of The White Cloth.
A few simple changes can go a long way to creating an Orisa Lifestyle. And because a healthy spirit is tied directly to a healthy environment, making Orisa Lifestyle Agreements will have a long-term impact on your relationship to the orisa.
There’s a direct link between environmental health and spiritual development. As we become spiritually and socially mature, we learn the true value of decreasing our impact on the environment while working to create healthier communities, and starting in the orisa house is essential.
To help address growing environmental concerns at the local level, OLA16 suggests following tips for those who want to make healthy, sustainable culture part of their spirituality:
1. Buy smart: Orisa Aje. Buy only the quantity that will be used and purchase durable and reusable goods whenever possible. Choose products made with recycled materials and with minimal or recyclable packaging. Shop in bulk and reduce the cost.
2. Avoid harmful chemicals: Orisa Olokun, Osun, Yemoja, Oya. Use unscented products, avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and investigate the contents of the cosmetics and personal care products you use (cosmeticsdatabase.com). Avoid children’s jewelry that contains lead and toys that contain phthalates. Use detergents that don’t contain phosphates and avoid bleach.
3. Make your own cleaning supplies: Orisa Olokun, Osun, Yemoja, Oya. Using simple ingredients such as baking soda, soap and vinegar, you can make cheap, easy and nontoxic cleaning products that work. Additionally, you save money and improve indoor air quality.
4. Reduce paper and plastic shopping bags: Orisa Ile, Osanyin. While shopping, if you buy only a few products, don’t take a bag. For larger quantities, bring your own reusable bags.
5. Buy local: Orisa Aje, Ile, Oya, Oko. Buying locally produced fruits and vegetables saves energy by reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport the items around the globe. Additionally, the food is fresher and tastier. Support local farmers’ markets.
6. Change your thermostat: Orisa Sango, Ile. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer.
7. Install energy-saving devices: Orisa Olokun, Osun, Yemoja, Oya, Sango, Ile. Install low-flow showerheads and take shorter showers to save water and energy used to heat it. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible and use a drying rack or clothesline.
8. Replace incandescent light bulbs: Sango, Ile. When incandescent lights burn out, replace them with longer-lasting, low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs.
9. Avoid bottled water: Orisa Olokun, Osun, Yemoja, Oya. Rather than using single-use bottled water, filter tap water for drinking. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it produces large amounts of container waste.
10. Eat meatless at least one day a week: Orisa Ori, Ile, Oko. The livestock sector accounts for nearly 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Americans eat about eight ounces of meat per day per person, approximately twice the global average “It has been estimated that a 20 percent reduction in meat consumption (eating only 145.5 pounds per year instead of 182.5 pounds) would save as much energy as if everyone drove a hybrid vehicle instead of a standard sedan.
Obatala may well be your guardian Orisha if:
• you are more cerebral than physical
• you love ideas
• you have a strong sense of justice and honor
• your nerves are easily frayed
• you prefer small groups to large parties
• people seek out your opinions
• you prefer to be monogamous
• you prefer classical or “quiet” music to rock or rap
• you enjoy watching the news
• you are always analyzing other people’s behavior and motives
• you need periods of being alone
• you prefer to stay home rather than travel
• you have difficulty with highly spiced foods
• you have more than your share of headaches and colds
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OBATALA
Cool water, coconuts, milk, honey, shea, butter, rice, mild cigars, bread, and cookies are all acceptable fare to this somewhat physically delicate Orisha. Snails, particularly large African land snails, or igbin, are a delicacy of Obatala. Kula nuts are also acceptable. Liquor is never offered and is a strict taboo for Obatala. White doves are offered, but the blood is never placed on the stones of Obatala. Unlike every other Orisha, Obatala is not offered palm oil.
SPECIAL EBOS (Offerings) FOR OBATALA’S CHILDREN
Because the children of Obatala must take care of their heads, and because they are often prone to feeling the excesses of stress and deadlines, they tend to run “hot.” What this means, in simple terms, is that they get overburdened or overloaded with work or responsibilities and begin to react badly to the mental pressure. A simple way of relieving this pressure is to purchases two coconuts. Offer one to Obatala. Punch two holes through the “eyes,” allowing the liquid inside to drain into a glass or a cup. Rub this liquid firmly into your scalp, with particular emphasis on the crown of your head. Ask Obatala to bring you peace and tranquillity while you are doing this. Leave the liquid on your hair for several hours overnight. The calming affects are profound.
Obatala’s day is Sunday.
Manzanilla (Chamomile), which is ruled by Oshun (Orisha of the river, sweetness, love, sexuality), can be brewed into a tea which is good for the stomach; it is also a mild sedative. It is good as a vaginal or intestinal wash (douche or enema). Washing hair with it presents dandruff.
Oshun may be your guardian Orisha if:
• you can not stand to be bored
• you are acutely aware of how you look
• you spend more time than most people deciding what to wear
• clothes are very important to you
• you are highly sexual
• you are more comfortable being “in control” of relationships
• you are easily offended
• you love parties
• you love to flirt
• you enjoy good food and wine
• you are partial to bright colors
• you love music
• you enjoy dancing
• you hate confinement on any level
• you understand logic but make the majority of your decisions based on your gut feelings
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OSHUN
More than any other single offering, Oshun loves honey. She is also fond of light-colored fruits, wine, beer, rum, or gin. Hens, guinea hen, quail, and male and female goats are her blood offerings. Offerings of candies, cakes, flowers, mirrors, kola nuts, red palm oil, coconuts, and cowries shells are also acceptable.
Oshun’s day is Friday.
Shango may well be your guardian Orisha if:
• you are extremely articulate
• you can talk people into whatever you want
• you are always looking ahead at the probability of people’s actions
• you have had experiences with the dead
• you often have premonitions that come true
• you have strong reactions to thunderstorms
• you love dance and music
• people either love or dislike you
• you often set the tread for your friends or family
• you are highly sexual
• you love the color red
• you have a quick temper
• you are physically attractive
• you “cut corners”
EBOS (Offerings) TO SHANGO
Six red apples, placed on a dish and set upon a shelf in your home, are a standard offering. Red palm oil, available at African food stores, is a staple that can be offered as well. Shango also enjoys spicy foods, so a plate of peppers or a portion of highly seasoned chili would make an excellent offering. Shango is the only Orisha that does not take kola nuts, except for the bitter kola nut. If you are able to obtain kola nuts at a local specialty store, be certain that you specify “bitter” kola for your Shango sacrifice. Rooster and ram are blood offerings to Shango. It is often pleasant to light a candle at the same time you make your offering. This candle can be any color (other than black), but a white candle is most commonly used. Some traditions recommend a red candle for Shango, but it is not necessary. When you make your offering ask Shango for the specific help you need. If it is possible, make your offering during a thunderstorm.
Shango’s day is Thursday.
You may be a child of Oya if:
• you have sudden burst of anger
• you have been left by a member of the opposite sex
• you love (or fear) thunderstorms and lightning
• your life has been filled with sudden change
• you enjoy darker colors
• you have had some experience or sense of the dead
• you are not bothered by funerals or cemeteries
• you are a natural gardener
• you are not afraid of physical combat
• as a woman, you enjoy the company of strong males
• as a male, you enjoy the company of strong women
• you cannot tolerate deceit or lying
• you have a natural antipathy toward the “flirty” flashy members of the opposite sex
• you were a “difficult” child
• you resent discipline and confinement
EBOS (Offerings) for OYA
Eggplants are a favorite of Oya. The dark skin matches this purple Orisha. Depending upon the circumstances, as many as nine are offered at one time. Oya also loves rum, gin, beer, wine, and dark fruit such as plums and red or purple grapes. Palm oil, kola nuts, and coconuts are also suitable offerings. Hen and female goat may be offered depending upon which aspect of this female warrior Orisha you are calling upon. Nine colored ribbons or the old fashioned children’s pinwheel toys, which harnest and react to the wind, are also excellent for Oya.
Oya’s day is Wednesday.
Ogun could be your guardian Orisha if you:
• have a profound sense of right and wrong
• are quick to take offense
• enjoy physical things
• prefer small groups to large crowds
• prefer to “do” rather than talk about doing
• tend toward a strong physique
• are attracted to metals
• prefer the woods or the mountains to the sea or the countryside
• find that others expect you to do things for them
• have trouble sharing your personal feelings
• get fuzzy headed o er the opposite sex
EBOS (Offerings) FOR OGUN
Ogun, a warrior Orisha, like all things hot and spicy. Peppers in any form, highly spiced foods, 151-proof rum, gin or vodka, black or dark cigars, red palm oil, and once in a while, honey are all suitable offerings. Rooster and male goat are also offered. Because he is the Orisha of metal, there are two particular ebos that refer to his domain. In the event of surgery, buy six different kinds of beans. Soak them overnight, and the next day fry them palm oil with plenty of pepper, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce. You may in luxe onions and garlic as well. Place this on a plate and offer it to Ogun for a successful outcome to the surgical procedure. If you are buying new car, or attempting to sell one, purchase an inexpensive cut of meat at the supermarket. Take the raw meat and rub it on all four tires of the automobile while asking Ogun for his protection and blessings. Leave the meat by the railroad track.
Ogun’a day is Tuesday.
You may well be a child of Yemonja/Olukun if:
• you love children
• you have a genuine caring feeling for other people
• you are slow to anger
• you prefer to stay home with your family rather than go out and party
• you are attracted to lakes, streams, or the ocean
• you are basically calm
• you have an exceptional, but seldom expressed, temper
• you tend to be slightly heavy
• you easily see another person’s point of view
• you forgive easily and often
• you are exceptionally protective about your children
• money is easy for you to make but not your foremost consideration
• emotional sustenance is more important than material objects
• people are oftern drawn to you for comfort and understanding
• you are sensual in a quiet rather than overt fashion
EBOS (Offerings) FOR YEMONJA/OLUKUN
Fruits, particularly red or purple grapes, melons, squash, beer, gin, rum, candy, and cakes are all staple offerings. Watermelon is a favorite of this deep-water Orisha. Palm oil, kola nuts, coral, and flowers can all be used as offerings. Sheep, guinea fowl, hens, pigeons, raw or cooked fish, and palm wine are also acceptable.
Yemonja/Olukun’s day is Monday.
Children Of Esu Will Enjoy:
• having fun
• large groups of people & parties
• good food
• wine or liquor
• cigarettes or cigars
• brightly colored clothes
• many friendships within their own gender
• movies & theater
You Will Have Trouble With:
• functioning within confined environments
• being monogamous
• taking orders
• working within a large corporate atmosphere
• being on time
• being structured
• quitting smoking & drinking
• sticking to a formal exercise program
• being bored
You Will Have A Highly Developed Sense Of:
• right & wrong
• practical jokes
• getting even
EBOS (Offerings) FOR ESU
As one of the pantheon of Ifa warrior orisa (orisha), Esu enjoys highly spiced foods. Chili peppers, peppercorns, and jalapeños are all suitable offerings to Esu. A strong cigar, rum, gin, or beer are highly favored by him a well. Red palm oil- a staple of all orisa with the exception of Obatala- is often poured on Esu or in front of his image. Pigeon, rooster, and male goat, are all offered to Esu. Many devotees begin each day by sprinkling cool water on or in front of Esu as a way of “cooling” his temper and asking for pleasantness in their own day.
Esu’s day is Saturday.
Obatala: Skullcap, Sage, Kola Nut, Basil, Hyssop, Blue Vervain, White Willow, Valerian
Yemoja: Kelp, Squawvine, Cohosh, Dandelion, Yarrow, Aloe, Spirulina, Mints, Passion Flower, Wild Yam Root
Shango: Plantain, Saw Palmetto, Hibiscus, Fo-ti, Sarsaparilla, Nettles, Cayenne
Oya: Mullein, Comfrey, Cherrybark, Pleurisy Root, Elecampane, Horehound, Chickweed
Ogun: Eucalyptus, Alfalfa, Hawthorn, Bloodroot, Parsley, Motherwort, Garlic
Oshun: Yellow Dock, Burdock, Cinnamon, Damiana, Anis, Raspberry, Yarrow, Chamomile, Lotus, Uva-Ursi, Buchu, Myrrh, Echinacea
Esu-Elegbara: All Herbs