Heathen's Master book of write Book 1

Deities from around the world 3

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Song of the Goddess

Be careful what you ask for....

Native American (North American)

ANGUTA (Inuit/Eskimo) Gatherer of the dead. Anguta carries the dead down to the underworld, where they must sleep with him for a year.

 

ANINGAN (Inuit/Eskimo) The moon, brother to the sun whom Moon chases across the sky. Aningan has a great igloo in the sky where he rests. Irdlirvirissong, his demon cousin, lives there as well. The moon is a great hunter, and his sledge is always piled high with seal skins and meat.

 

ASGAYA GIGAGEI (Cherokee) The Red Man or Woman evoked in spells to cure the ill. Asgaya Gigagei is either male or female, depending on the sex of the patient.

 

ATIRA (Pawnee) The Earth, Sacred Mother of every living creature.

The Pawnee were hunters. When told to abandon hunting and settle down to farming, their priest replied: "You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother's hair? It is a bad law and my people cannot obey it."

 

AWONAWILONA (Pueblo Indians) "The One Who Contains Everything." The Supreme God, the Creator of All. Before the creation there was only Awonawilona; all else was darkness and emptiness. Both male and female, Awonawilona created everything from himself and taking form became the maker of light, the Sun.

 

BIG HEADS (Iroquois) Demon gods. Giand heads without bodies which fly about in storms. They find men very tasty.

 

BREATHMAKER (Seminole) Breathmaker taught men to fish and dig wells, and made the Milky Way. When the virtuous die, they follow the Milky Way to a glorious city in the western sky.

 

COYOTE (Southwestern Indians, but known in other areas as well) A trickster, a clown. The creator and teacher of men. Like Loki, Coyote is always lurking about, causing trouble and playing pranks. To the Zunis, Coyote is a hero who set forth the laws by which men may live in peace. The Pomo Indians maintain that Coyote created the human race and stole the sun to keep them warm. The Montana Sioux say that Coyote created the horse.

The Chinook tell how Coyote and Eagle went to the land of the dead to bring back their dead wives. On reaching the land of the dead, they found a meeting lodge lit only by the moon which lay on the floor. Every night an old woman would swallow the moon and the dead would appear in the meeting lodge. Recognizing their wives among the spirits of the dead, the two gods devised a plan. The next day, after the old woman had vomited up the moon and the dead had disappeared, Coyote built a huge wooden box and placed in it leaves of every kind of plant. Coyote and Eagle then killed the old woman, and Coyote donned her clothes. When the time came, Coyote swallowed the moon. The dead appeared, but Eagle had place the box outside the exit. When Coyote vomited up the moon, the dead filed out and were trapped in the box. Coyote pleaded to be allowed to carry the box, and Eagle gave it to him. But Coyote couldn't waitto see his wife and opened the box. The spirits of the dead rose up like a cloud and disappeared to the west. So it is that people must die forever, not like the plants which die in winter and are green again in a season.

 

DEOHAKO (Iroquois/Seneca) Spirits of maize, beans and gourds who live together in a single hill. Searching for dew, the maize spirit Onatha was captured by the evil spirit Hahgwehdaetgah who took her off to the underworld. Sun rescued her, and ever since she has remained in the cornfields until the corn is ripe.

 

ESTANATLEHI (Navajo) First Woman's adopted daughter. To punish mankind for pride, First Man and First Woman sent a plague of monsters to kill and devour them. The time came when First Woman repented of the evils she and First Man had visited upon men, and she sought a means for their deliverance. First Woman discovered the infant Estanatlehi lying on the ground near First Woman's mountain, and took her in. The infant Estanatlehi grew to adulthood in four days. Making love with the Sun, she gave birth to the Twin Brothers who after many adventures slew the monsters.

 

EVENING STAR (Pawnee) An evil star who drives the sun down out of the sky and send his daughter to hinder Morning Star from the sun back up again.

 

FIRST MAN AND FIRST WOMAN (Navajo) In the beginning, First Man and First Woman ascended from the underworld together with Coyote, leading the people through trials and tribulations into the surface world which became their home. Deciding that the sky was too empty with only Sun and Moon, First Man, First Woman and Coyote gathered up glittering stones and placed them in the sky to serve as stars.

 

GAHE Also GA'AN (Apache) Supernatural beings who dwell inside mountains. The can sometimes be heard dancing and beating drums. Because they can heal and drive away disease, they are worshipped. In the ritual dances of the Chiricahua Apache masked dancers painted a different color for each point of the compass represent all the Gahe except the Grey One. The Grey One, though he appears as a clown, is really the mightiest of all the Gahe.

 

GLUSKAP (Algonquin) The Creator, or more exactly, the creator force. Generally benevolent, but often whimsical. Gluskap created the plains, the food plants, the animals and the human race from the body of the Mother Earth. His rival was his wolf brother Malsum, who made rocks, thickets and poisonous animals. After a long struggle Gluskap killed Malsum and drove his evil magic under the earth. Gluskap drove away monsters, fought stone giants, taught hunting and farming to men, and gave names to the stars. His work done, Gluskap paddled towards the sunrise in a birch bark canoe. Some day he may return.

 

HINO (Iroquois) Thunder god, god of the sky. The Rainbow is his consort. With his fire arrows, Hino destroys evil beings.

 

IRDLIRVIRISISSONG (Inuit/Eskimo) The demon cousin of the moon. Sometimes Irdlirvirissong comes out into the sky to dance and clown and make the people laugh. But if anyone is nearby, the people must restrain themselves or the demon clown will dry them up and eat their intestines.

 

KACHINAS (Hopi) Nature spirits which inhabit and control everything -- animal spirits, spirits of departed ancestors, spirits of natural resources such as wind, rain and thunder. Their exact number is not known, but at least five hundred appear in the mythologies of the different villages.

 

KANATI (Cherokee) "The Lucky Hunter." Sometimes called First Man. He lives with his wife Selu ("Corn") in the east where the sun rises, and their sons, the Twin Thunder Boys, live in the west.

 

KITCKI MANITOU (Algonquin) The Great Spirit, the Supreme Being. The Uncreated, the Father of Life, God of the Winds. The Great Spirit is present in some way in nearly every North American Indian mythology.

 

MICHABO (Algonquin) The Great Hare. A trickster. A shape-shifter. Creator of men, the earth, deer, water and fish. Michabo drives away cannibal spirits. In the House of Dawn, Michabo is host to the souls of good men, feeding them succulent fruits and fish.

 

MORNING STAR (Pawnee) A protector who leads the sun upward into the sky. A soldier god.

 

NAGENATZANI (Navajo) Elder Twin Brother.

 

NESARU (Arikara) Sky spirit. In the beginning, Nesaru had charge over all creation. Displeased with a race of giants in the underworld who would not respect his authority, Nesaru sent a new race to the underworld to replace them and sent a flood which destroyed the giants without destroying the new men. When the new men cried out to be released from the underworld, Nesaru sent the Corn Mother for their deliverance.

 

NOKOMIS (Algonquin) "Grandmother." The Sacred Earth Mother. Nokomis nurtures all living things.

 

NORTH STAR (Pawnee) A creator god. Beneficiant and venerated.

 

OCASTA (Cherokee) "Stonecoat." The name comes from his coat which was made of pieces of flint. Equally good and evil, Ocasta was one of the Creator's helpers. Ocasta created witches and drifted from village to village stirring up turmoil. Some women trapped Ocasta, pinning him to the ground with a stick through his heart. The men cremated the dying Ocasta, who while burning on his funeral pyre taught them songs and dances for hunting, fighting wars and healing. Some of the men were granted great power and became the first medicine men.

 

OLELBIS (Wintun, Pacific Coast) The Creator who lived in Olelpanti (Heaven) with two old women. When the first people destroyed the world with fire, Olelbis sent wind and rain to quench the flames, and repaired the earth. Olelbis intended men to live forever. When they grew old, they were to climb to heaven and join Olelbis in paradise. Olelbis set two vultures to the task of building a ladder to Olelpanti for men to ascend, but Coyote persuaded them to stop work.

 

RABBIT (Southeastern tribes) Like Coyote and Michabo, a trickster god. Through a sly trick, Rabbit brought fire to man.

 

RAVEN (Northwestern tribes) Another trickster god. Very greedy, forever seeking food. Raven stole the moon from a miser and placed it in the sky.

 

SEDNA (Inuit/Eskimo) Goddess of the sea and the creatures of the sea. A one-eyed giant. A frightfull old hag, but she was young and beautiful when her father threw her in the sea as a sacrifice. A sorcerer wishing to visit Sedna must pass through the realms of death and then cross an abyss where a wheel of ice spins eternally and a cauldron of seal meat stews endlessly. To return he must cross another abyss on a bridge as narrow as a knife edge.

 

SELU (Cherokee) "Corn." Sometimes known as First Woman. Kanati's wife. Selu created corn in secret by rubbing her belly or by defecating. Her sons, the Twin Thunder Boys, killed her when they spied upon her and decided she was a witch.

 

SHAKURA (Pawnee) Sun god. The Pawnee performed their famous Sun Dance for Shakura's sake. Young warriors attached themselves to tall poles with strips of hide which were tied to sharp stakes. The stakes were driven through the skin and flesh on the chest. The young brave would then support his entire weight with the hide ropes as he slowly circled the pole following the sun's movement in the sky. This lasted until the sun went down or the stakes ripped out of the brave's flesh.

 

SOUTH STAR (Pawnee) God of the underworld, the opposite of North Star. Magical and feared.

 

SUN (Cherokee) A goddess. When Sun's daughter was bitten by a snake and taken to the Ghost Country, Sun hid herself in grief. The world was ever dark, and Sun's tears became a flood. At last the Cherokee sent their young men and women to heal Sun's grief, which they did with singing and dancing.

 

SUN (Inuit/Eskimo) A beautiful young maiden carrying a torch who is chased through the sky by her brother Aningan, the moon. The planet Jupiter is the mother of the sun and very dangerous to magicians. If they are careless, she will devour their livers.

 

TEKKEITSERKTOCK (Inuit/Eskimo) The earth god, master of hunting to whom all deer belong.

 

TIRAWA-ATIUS (Pawnee) The Power Above, creator of the heavens and the earth.

In the beginning Tirawa-Atius called the gods together to announce his plan to create the human race and promised the gods a share of power for their help. Shakura the Sun was assigned to provide light and heat, Pah the Moon was assigned the night, and Tirwara-Atius placed the Evening Star, the Mother of All Things in the west. The Morning Star he set to guard the east. After the gods had raised dry land from the watery chaos, Tirawa Atius told Sun and Moon to make love, and they gave birth to a son. He then told Evening and Morning Star to make love, and they gave birth to a daughter. So the human race was made.

All would have been well if Coyote had not stolen a sack of storms from Lightening. Opening the sack, Coyote loosed the storms and so brought death into the world.

 

THOBADESTCHIN (Navajo) Youngest Twin Brother.

 

THOUME' (Chitimacha) Thoume' taught the people to make clothing and fire, and how to make love. After making the moon and the sun, Thoume' sent the trickster god Kutnahin to teach medicine and food preparation to men. Kutnahin traveled through the world disguised as a derelict covered with buzzard dung.

 

TORNGASAK (Inuit/Eskimo) The good spirit, representing everything in nature good and helpful to man.

 

TWIN THUNDER BOYS (Cherokee) The sons of Kanati and Selu. Kanati and Selu live in the east, the Twin Thunder Boys live in the west. When thunder sounds, the boys are playing ball.

 

WACHABE (Sioux/Osage) Black Bear. A guardian. Symbol of long life, strength and courage.

 

 

Norse Gods and Goddesses

Aesir

Principal race of gods in Norse mythology. They included Odin, Thor, Baldur among others.

Andhrimnir

The cook of the Aesir. He slaughters the cosmic boar every evening and cooks it. The boar is then returned to life that night to be cooked again the following day.

Angrboda

Goddess and wife of Loki, She mothered three beings, the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jormungand and Hel, the goddess of death.

Astrild

Goddess of love.

Atla

Water goddess.

Audhumla

The primeval cow, formed from the melting ice. Her milk sustained the giant Ymir.

Balder

Fairest of the gods, Balder was the epitome of light, joy, innocence and beauty. He was killed by Loki, who tricked the blind Hod into throwing a dart made of mistletoe at the god.

Beyla

The servant of Freyr. She may be related to dairy work or to mead.

Borghild

Goddess of the evening mist or moon, she slays the sun each evening.

Bragi

God of poets and the patron of all skaldi (poets) in Norse culture.

Brono

The son of Balder. He is the god of daylight.

Bylgia

Water goddess.

Dagur

The personification of day, he drives the day chariot across the sky.

Disen

A group of goddess in old Norse mythology. They are often seen as protectors and mother figures, perhaps originating in ancestor worship. Freya is often called the "Dis of the Vanir".

Eir

Goddess of healing and shamanic healers, companion of the goddess Frigg. She taught her secrets only to women, who were the only healers in Norse society.

Elli

Goddess of old age.

Fenrir

Also known as Fenris. The great wolf, child of Loki and Angrboda, who will eventually devour Odin on Ragnarok. The Aesir bound him with chains to prevent his destructive rampages, but it is foretold that on Ragnarok he will escape.

Forseti

God of justice who settles court disputes in his gilded hall.

Freya

Goddess of love, beauty and sensuality. She is the patroness of sexual encounters, as well as the foremost goddess of fertility and birth.

Freyr

God of fertility, sun and rain. He is a member of the Vanir, and is the brother of the love-goddess Freya. He is considered a gentle and kind god, but also a fierce warrior.

Frigg

Wife of Odin and the goddess of marriage and fertility. She is rumored to know the destiny of all creatures but never to reveal it.

Gefion

Goddess of agriculture and the plow. She is said to have created the island Zealand by plowing great tracks of land from Sweden, leaving the many lakes which dot the country.

Gerd

The wife of Freyr and a goddess of fertility. She is the personification of the fertile soil.

Heimdall

The guardian of the bridge to Asgard and the messenger of the gods. He is the god of light and protection.

Hel

The goddess of death and ruler of the realm of the dead. She is pictured as a hag with half of her body as a living person and half as a corpse.

Hermod

The messenger of the gods. Often equated to the Greek god Hermes.

Hod

Blind god of darkness and winter. He unintentionally killed Baldur by throwing a dart of Mistletoe at him.

Holler

God of disease and destruction. Drags people to his hall where he tortures them to death.

Idun

Goddess of the spring, eternal youth and the keeper of the golden apples which guarantee the gods immortality.

Jord

Goddess of the primitive and unpopulated earth. She is a wife of Odin and mother of Thor.

Jormungand

The Midgard Serpent, an enormous serpent that encircles the earth, biting it's own tail. One of three children of Loki and Angrboda.

Kari

Leader of the storm giants.

Kvasir

The wisest of the Vanir gods. He was killed by dwarves who mixed his blood with honel, thus forming the legendary mead of peotry.

Laga

Goddess of wells and springs.

Lofn

Goddess of forbidden love, who blesses all illicit love affairs.

Loki

Trickster god of the Norse, concerned with thievery, magic and fire. He is actually a giant, but is often considered one of the Aesir due to his blood oath with Odin. He is mischevious and handsome, but is also cruel and bloodthirsty - especially in his connections to the death of Balder. He was chained under a mountain by the other gods and left with the venom of a snake dripping on his face. During Ragnarok, his chains will break and he will lead the giants in their battle with the gods.

Magni

Son of Thor and god of brute strength. He was the only being stronger than his father.

Mani

God of the moon and brother of the sun goddess Sol. He drove the moon chariot through the sky each night.

Miming

Minor forest god.

Mimir

Wisest god of the Aesir, sent in a hostage trade to the rival Vanir gods. When the Vanir discovered they had been tricked, they hacked off Mimir's head and sent it back to the Aesir. Odin resurrected the head, which was able to talk afterwards and advise him.

Modi

God of battle wrath, he was the leader of the berserkers.

Njord

God of the sea, wind and fire. He bestows good fortune to those on the sea. Originally one of the Vanir, he was traded to the Aesir in a peace agreement.

Norns

The triple goddesses of fate and destiny. They were Urd ("fate"), Verdandi ("necessity") and Skuld ("being").

Nott

Goddess of night who mans the night-charion in it's track through the sky.

Odin

The chief god of the Aesir and most important of the Norse deities. He is called the AllFather, and rules the gods in their council. He is the patron of war and death, poetry, wisdom, travelers, shamans and mystics.

Ran

Goddess of storms and the drowned dead. She is the mistress of the dead claimed by the sea, and often sinks ships in order to collect the drowned sailors in her nets. She then takes them to her hall and ministers to their needs.

Saga

Goddess of poetry and history. Often identified with Frigg.

Sif

Wife of Thor, and possibly an ancient fertility goddess.

Sjofn

Goddess of love, passion and marital harmony.

Skadi

A frost giant and goddess of winter. She was married to the sea-god Njord.

Sleipnir

The eight-legged horse of Odin, he could travel throughout the nine worlds and across land and sea. He is the son of Loki and a stallion.

Sol

Goddess of the sun, who guides the sun-chariot through the sky.

Syn

Goddess of watchfulness and truth. She was often invoked by defendants at trial. She guarded the door of Frigg's palace.

Thor

Thunder-god and the protector of men and gods. Thor is a mighty warrion and keeper of the noble virtues, although he is not always at his most virtuous or noble in the stories of the gods, the Eddas. He carried a hammer, Mjollnir, which caused lightning when it was thrown.

Tyr

The original god of war in the Germanic culture, an office claimed by Odin and then by Thor. Hi is the god of warriors and justice, fairness in battle and in life. He is pictured as a man with one hand, his other being sacrificed to chain the doom-wolf Fenrir.

Ull

God of justice and dueling, archery and skiing.

Vali

Son of Odin, and the god born to avenge the death of Balder.

Valkyries

The battle-maidens, who choose the best warriors to join Odin in Valhalla to wait for the battle Ragnarok. They are also the messengers of Odin.

Vanir

A group of fertility and nature gods, constantly at war with the warrior-gods of the Aesir. They eventually made peace and all of the Vanir were welcomed into the Aesir.

Var

Goddess of contracts and marriage agreements, she takes vengance on oathbreakers.

Vidar

Son of Odin and the god of silence and vengance. He is destined to rule the new world after Ragnarok.

 

 

Orishas of Candomble

lrun

Supreme being, called lrun. He is also called Oldmar, Olmnkn, Olps or Olbkn. He created the rshs and the universe. Not considered approachable by humans, the orishas are worshiped as his representatives.

Ornml

He is second after lrun. He lives between Orun and iy, and is also known as Gbiy-gbrun because of this. He is the witness of the destiny of each individual which is chosen or given at conception(Kdr). He is considered to be the source of information that is divined by the Bblwo or reader. He is lri pn - the one who is destiny's witness. ynm or destiny may be understood if the reader is qualified and establishes a good connection with Orunmila. His most important symbol is the ikin - the seed of the oil palm. These seeds are used by the Bblwo to communicate with him to discover the subjects destiny.

Or

The first rsh. Unique to each person and created by Olirun from a piece of himself and pieces of the ancestors of the individual at birth. He gives these to an entity called jl who creates the orisha Ori for each person. The symbol of the Or is the head. His color is white. All the days of the week are his, primarily nighttime. Unlike the other rsh, Or can't receive an offering if the person isn't present, since Or never leaves it's intended person while they live.

s

Messenger of the rsh, intermediary between them and man. Malicious entity, though not necessarily evil. He dresses in red and black, and is always armed with seven swords, which correspond to the seven roads of his dominions. His day is Monday. His salutation is LARY!

gn

rsh of war, battles, metals, agriculture, roads, and justice. He has a violent character. Brother of Ooos and s. His sign, the mrw - shredded palm (igi p) fronds, is put above the doors in houses of candombl as a symbol of his protection. After s, he is the rsh closest to man. His principal symbol is an iron sword called id. His day is Tuesday, his color dark blue or light green and his salutation is GN !

Osos

Divinity of the hunt that lives in the forest. His principal symbols are the bow and arrow, called of, and an ox tail called rsin. He is the brother of gn and they are very close. He is also known as the King of Ktu, the largest and most popular candombl group. His color is light blue, his day Thursday and his salutation is K AR!

Lguned

An rsh who is essentially Ijes. Hunter and fisherman. Being the son of Osos and Osun, he takes on characteristics of both. He spends half the year in the forest, the domain of his father, and the other half in freshwater, the domain of his mother. One of his symbols is the of (bow and arrow), his colors are light blue and yellow, his day is Thursday and his salutation is LOGUN!

Osnyn

The Deity of herbs, both magical and medical, and of healing. He is of great importance in candombl, since herbs are essential for rsh worship. His symbol is a crown with seven points, the central point has a bird on it. His colors are green and white and his day is Monday. His greeting is EW S!

Shng

Deity of fire and thunder. A historical King who took the place of an rsh called Jkta. He is particularly important in those traditions originating with the Yoruba. This importance is represented by his sacred instrument called sr which is treated and looked upon with much respect by any abrs or Candomble worshiper. His symbol is an double axe called os, his colors are red and white, and his day is Wednesday. His salutation is K’A W KBYSL!

smr

Shng, orisha of fire and thunder, is his master. He is seen as the rainbow. His symbol is a metal snake called dan, his color is yellow striped with green, and his day is Wednesday. His salutation is AHBBY!

mlu

One of the most feared rsh, he is orisha of sickness and health. Like his mother Nn, he is associated with death. His face and body are covered with straw, hiding his smallpox scars. His symbol is the ssr, a bundle of palm fronds (igi p) decorated with cowries. His colors are red, black, and white, and his day is Monday. His salutation is ATT!

Nn

Nana is the oldest of the orisha. She is associated with stagnant water and swamp mud. Mother of mlu and smr, she abandoned them. She is the orisha of life as well as death. Her symbol is the br - a bundle of palm fronds (igi p), with a curved part decorated with cowries, and her day is Saturday. Her salutation is SALBA!

Osun

Deity connected with freshwater, beauty, and wealth. Wife of gn, Osoos, and afterwards, Shng. From her marriage with Ooos, Lgund was born. Her symbol is a gold plated metal fan with a mirror in the middle called bb, her color is golden yellow, and her day is Saturday. Her salutation is ORE YY O!

Iyewa

Also known as Ewa or y Wa. Like Yemja and Osun, she is also known as orisha of water, and associated with fertility. She is also worshipped as the owner of the world, and mentioned as being the wife of mr. Her day is Saturday and her color is maroon (crystal). Her greeting is HIH!

Ob

Feminine deity, a warrior and huntress. Sister of ya. Wife of gn, and afterwards, third and oldest wife of Shng. She prepared a stew of her ear for Shng, in an attempt to rein in his philandering. It didn't work. When she appears, she hides her missing ear with her hand. Her symbols are a sword - id, and a bow and arrow - of. Her salutation is B or B IRE!

ya

Also called Ynsn, she is the rsh of wind and lightning. One of her symbols is a horse's tail called rkr. A warrior, she is the most agressive of the female rsh. She was Ogun's wife, and then the most important wife of Shng. Her color is maroon (copper), and her day is Wednesday. Her salutation is EPA HEY!

Yemja

Orisha of saltwater and fertility, she is considered the mother of all the rsh. A earth mother type figure. She is the most popular rsh in Brazil. Offerings are made to her on two holidays, February 2nd, and December 31. She normally uses a silver plated fan called a bebe, her colors are blue and white (silver), and her day is Saturday. Her greeting is OD Y!

sl

Orisha who created the earth and man. He appears in two forms: a young man, called sgiyn, and an old man, called slfon. The symbol of the first is an id (sword), and the second is a metal shepherd's staff, called an op sr. sgiyn’s color is white with a hint of light blue and slfon’s is pure white. The day for both is Friday. Their greeting is PA BB!

 

Orishas of Santeria

Agallu

The Orisha of transporters, rivers, the earth and volcanoes. Agallu was a very important Orisha in Africa and stil is considered one of the most powerful. Agallu and Yemaya are the children of Obatala and Oddudua. They married and are the parents of Chango. The Ceiba is considered to belong to Agallu and to be a holy tree which shelters the dead. His river forms the boundary between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

Elegba

The Orisha of communication. Acts as a messenger between people and the other Orishas. A child at times, at others an old man. His colors are red and black or white and black. He is recognised by the numbers 21 and 3. He is really two Orisha in one, Eleggua and Echu. He is the first to receive any offering to the orishas because without him there is no communication possible. His favorite gifts are candies, candles, toys, rum and cigars. Nothing can be done without his approval.

Ibeii

The Divine Twins. Both are healers and help to maintain good health. The twins are often represented by a monkey. They are also known as the Melli. Wooden statues are made and consecrated to represent the Orisha Ibeii. In Nigeria their names are Taiwo and Kehinde, but in Cuba they are Taebo and Kainde. They are considered to be the children of Shango and Ochun, however they were raised by Yemaya. They must never be separated or it will result in a loss of magical power.

Inle

Orisha which represents the spirit of good. He has never done evil to anyone, he is a fisherman and hunter as well as a healer. Many invoke him to cure illnesses. His wife is Abbata who is represented as a serpent. Inle was formerly with Yemaya. While they lived together he learned her secrets. When he left her, she cut his tongue out so he does not speak of them. When Inle is contacted witht the shell oracle he speaks through Yemaya because he cannot speak. His symbol is a metal arrow wrapped with two serpents like a caduceus.

Obatala

Obatal is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity. He is also the owner of all heads and the mind. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatal who is the creator of the world and humanity. Obatal is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate. He is the oldest of the Orishas, King of the Dead, and the first ancestor of the Yoruba. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world. His color is white which is often accented with red, purple and other colors to represent his/her different paths. White is most appropriate for Obatal as it contains all the colors of the rainbow yet is above them. Obatal is also the only orisha that has both male and female paths. Invoked for health, peace and harmony.

Obba

The legitimate wife of Shango. She is the Orisha of the home and marriage. She represents the devoted wife who waits at home for her husband. The story is told that she was tricked by Oshun into preparing a stew of her ear for Shango to attempt to stop him from cheating on her. It did not work, and now when she appears she hides her missing ear with her hand or a head wrap. She is nevertheless invoked to aid faultering marriages and end infidelity. She is the treasurer of the Orishas and is represented by a jewelbox. She can be quite influential in bringing money and prosperity into the home.

Ode

The father of Ochossi. Deer are very connected to both Ode and Ochossi, their antlers are used in preparing the Fundamento or basis of the Orisha. Ode is a special Orisha and can only be given by babalawos who are the only ones who know the secrets of the ceremonies. Pictures of this orisha are not for public display. Ode does not live with the other Orishas in the home, he prefers to live outside. An Orisha of much respect, Ode is associated with court cases. He is a hunter like Ochossi.

Ogun

He is the God of iron, metal and metal working, war and labor. He is responsible for all technology. His recognised in the number 7 and the colors green and black. He is often associated with trains and railroad track where offerings are often left for him. His day is Tuesday. He lives in an iron cauldron with his tools. Ogun is brute force, the power to defeat enemies. he protects you from those who would harm you.

Oko

The Orisha of cultivated land, the harvest, and plenty. Represented by a metal farmer with a team of oxen, a painted tile and two coconuts which are painted red and white. An Orisha of fertility, there is a secret society of women who work with Oko to insure fertility in women. Oko is the judge of the Orisha. Whenever there is a dispute between them, he settles it.

Oloddumare

The central creative force, the concept of God. He is viewed as being remote from humans who worship him through the Orishas rather than directly. He is in all things and created the Orishas who act as his intermediaries.

Orunmilla

Orunmila is the orisha of wisdom and divination. He was the only orisha allowed to witness the creation of the universe by Olorun and bears witness to our destinies in the making as well. This is the source of his title of Eleri Ipin or "Witness to Destiny in its Creation". His priests, the babalawos or "Fathers of the Secrets" must devote themselves entirely to the practice of divination and the accompanying arts. Through the Table of If his priests unfold the secrets of the universe and the secrets of the unfolding of our lives. His colors are green and yellow which reflect Orunmila's relationship with Osayn (the secrets of the plant world) and with Oshn, with whom he has an extremely close relationship. Orunmila is wisdom and Oshn is knowledge, for wisdom without knowledge is useless, and one who has knowledge without wisdom is merely a danger to themselves and others.

Osain

Orisha of the trees and plants that grow wild in the rainforest. His day is Sunday and his colors are white, yellow and red. A great herbalist, he must receive an offering before his plants may be gathered. He was master of all the medicinal plants which he stored in his calabash gourd hung high in a tree. The other Orishas were jealous of his knowledge and brought up a great wind to blow the calabash out of the tree. They then grabbed as many plants as they could for themselves. The knowledge of medical and magical uses of herbs is granted to those upon whom Osain is made. Osain has a servant named Aroni who has a human form but the tail of a dog. He also has great knowledge of plants. It is he who enforces Osains ownership of the plants of the forest. He can kill or blind those who come with fear in their hearts. Osain is a celebate Orisha who has no parents. He grew directly from the earth like a plant. He is a brujo, or witch and has great magical powers.

Oshosi

The third warrior, he is the hunter and scout of the Orishas and assumes the role of translator for Obatala with whom he is very close. He is the Orisha of the hunt and is represented by a bow and arrow made of iron. He is associated with prisons, the police and court matters, and is the Orisha that grants intelligence and the ability to resolve problems. He is also represented by deer antlers as his secret implement. Oshosi is the owner of dogs, a brujos or witch he lives in the rainforest. Ochossi has great magical powers. His colors are blue and yellow.

Oshun

Orisha of love, wealth, fertility and water, Oshn rules the fresh water, the brooks, streams and rivers, and embodies love and fertility. She is invoked in money matters. She is the youngest of the female Orishas but is referred to as Iyalode or Great Queen. She heals with her water and with honey which she also owns. She recognises herself in the colors yellow and gold and her number is five. Peacocks and vultures are used to represent her. Offerings are left at waterfalls for her, and ceremonies are done on riverbanks. She is a master of divination and her children are often psychic. She is often invoked to aid troubled marriages or in matters of matrimony.

Osun

The fourth warrior, he is represented by a small metal staff with a metal rooster mounted on top. He represents the head and his function is to warn of danger. He is often placed high in the house so that he will be better able to see approaching danger.

Oya

A female Orisha and ruler of the winds, fire, thunderbolts, and the gates of the cemetary. Her number is 9 for her title of Mother of Nine or Yansa, in which she rules ofthe the egun or dead. Her color is maroon, flowery patterns and 9 different colors. She is a fierce warrior who goes to war at the side of Shango and was once the wife of Ogun. She is strong, assertive, courageous and independent. Oya is a witch and guardian of the gates of death. She is invoked when there is a serious illness or when transformation is needed.

Shango

Perhaps the most popular of the Orishas, Shang rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums and dance. He is a warrior Orisha with quick wits, quick temper and is the epitomy of virility. Shang took the form of the fourth Alafin (supreme king) of Oy on Earth for a time. He is married to Obba but has relations with Oy and Oshn. He loves all the pleasures of the world: dance, drumming, women, song and eating. Though he traded the Table of If to Orunmila in exchange for the gift of dance, his children have an innate ability for divination. His colors are red and white and he recognises himself in the numbers four and six. He is most often represented by a double headed axe.

Yemaya

Rules maternity as she is the mother of all. She lives in and rules over lakes and seas. Her full name is Yeye Omo Eja which means Mother whose children are the Fish for the uncountable number of her children. She wears seven skirts of blue and white and like the oceans she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the Queen of Witches, carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is 7 for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children. She is ruler of the collective unconsious and ancient wisdom. She is often invoked in fertility rituals for women and in any ritual concerning women's issues.

 

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