Monday, March 9, 2009

The Seven African gods, African, Hispanic, Religion

The religion which has become popular among Africans, Hispanics, and West Indians known as the worship of the seven African gods originated from Nigeria among the Yoruba tribe. Hence, this religion was originally known as Yoruba religion and has become known as Santeria among Hispanics. This form of spiritual practice has become very popular among Hispanics in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Venezuela, South America, Jamaica, Trinidad, Columbia, Panama, Ecuador, Bahamas, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Spain, North America, Europe and spreading worldwide.

What is it that is fascinating about this form of spiritual practice that has enabled it take roots? We will explore the core of this religion in various steps and you can decide for yourself. I will share with you my insight and knowledge of this religion with an open mind and point out the guide posts. For when undeniable spiritual power manifests and expresses itself one cannot help but to admit that there is a force of some kind in this religion.

I will give you the knowledge and practice of this religion, but it does not mean I endorse it in any way, but spirituality of all kinds is my specialty and I make it my business to know the heart and core of its practice. This religion was carried to the Hispanic islands during the slave trade, when women hid the cowrie shells in the hair and other areas. They held on strongly to their belief in their African gods and pretended to practice Christianity under the guise of the catholic saints. And today, it has flourished in some miraculous way across the continents. It has spread without force or cohesion from its practice unlike the way some other religion spreads through war and forceful accept or die concept . Its inherent power to spread on its own even indicates that there is a force of power behind the practice of this religion. While some religions are diminishing in size at an alarming rate, this religion is taking root, and I am probably the first to bring it over the internet.

The names of the seven African gods are: Obatala, Yemaya, Oshun, Shango, Eleggua, Ogun, Oya. The gods in the Yoruba language are referred to as Orishas. Each god has three objects known as Otanes that are sacred to the god. 1) stones 2) metals 3) cowries. The stones are what sacrifices are made on, the metals are the particular metal sacred to the god, the cowries are the shells that are used for divination. The process of divination of casting shells is called dillogun.
Each of the gods has sixteen cowries excerpt for Eleggua who has twenty one cowries. When casting the divination only sixteen cowries are used from each god. The sixteen cowries are picked at random and the remaining ones are put aside.
When the dillogun is cast or the shells are thrown, the results are known as Odu, and each odu has a name and a number. The cowries has an opening on one side and they are known as the mouth of the orishas (gods). When the cowries is cast the results are recorded by names and number. OKana (one mouth), Eji Oko (two mouths), Ogunda (three mouths), Frosun (four mouths), Oche (five mouths), Obara( six mouths), Odi (seven mouths,Eji Ogbe(eight mouths),osa (nine mouths),Ofun(ten mouths),Owani(eleven mouths),Ejila shebora(twelve mouths),metanla(thirteen mouths),merinla (fourtenn mouths), Marunla(fifteen mouths),Merindilogun(sixteen mouths)

The diviner of the practice of this religion are known as Italero, and can be anyone who is actually performing the divination. The italero first awakens the spirits within the cowries with prayers or litany known as mojubando. Two throws are required to extract the parent odu known as Omo odu. The first throw name the paired odu and the second throw modifies the first narrowing the reading down to 1 of 256 combinations offered by the oracle.

For example if the first throw shows nine open mouths the paired odu is Osa. Casting the cowries a second time, if the diviner counts three mouths, the odu is Ogunda has fallen. The first casting is modified by the second the rsulting odu is named Osa Ogunda. Each of these Odu form a spiritual organism, a complete entity that forebodes various blessing (known collectively as Ire) or misfortunes (known collectively as Osogbo).

The qualities of Ire and Osogbo must be extracted from the Odu once the composite letter has been cast. This is done by using eight ibo (divination tools). Depending on the question asked these eight Ibo can be used in an infinite number of pairing. Together the diviner and the client manipulate the Ibo to determine the direction of the Odu.

Summary Analysis

As Shakespear once said, that which is called a rose will smell as sweet, if it is called by any other name. God said I AM THAT I AM meaning God remains the same regardless of who or what we thing he is or by whatever name we call God. There are many spiritual forces and beings in our universe, and there are as many names of God as they are people and spirits in the universe. For a spirit or an angel or human being to exist a name of God must be within that individual or spirit. The name may not have the same power as the supreme creator, but the name is nonetheless a name of God. Whether that spirit is a good spirit or a bad spirit, regardless of its nature, the name is a name of God on a lower level than the supreme creator, and has some kind of power in it for a specific function. The name of a spirit or cannot be translated into any other language for that spirit to respond to that name. For in the spiritual world a spirit by the name Peter is not the same as the one by the name Pedro, unless that spirit tells you so, for Pedro could be the name of another spirit with totally different functions from that of Peter.
Spirituality is a science just like our physical science, and the main ingredients are 1.) the name of the
Spirit (2). Number (3). Color ( 4). Plants, herbs and flowers (5) metals (6) element (7) Animal
These seven basic characteristics identifies the spirit or man for everyone whether man or spirit has a name. (2). Everyone has a unique number derived from their date of birth, and hour of birth (3). Everyone has a color (4). Everyone whether man or spirit is attached to certain plants, herbs or flowers. A human being depends on food to live. (5) Everyone is connected to a metal of some kind, whether gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, mercury, lead. If you are wondering , we wear jewelry, use transportation , use electronic equipments; these are metals(6) Everyone is connected to one or more of the elements of fire, air, earth, and water . Humans breath and drink water basically (7) Everyone is connected to some kind of an animal, whether it be a fish in the sea, a fowl of the earth or the creature of earth. A human being is flesh a blood.

Through these seven channels both man and spirit share all of nature and are intertwined. To know any or all of these about a person or spirit is to narrow your focus to the identity of one individual or spirit.

In the next article we will examine the steps and prayers that awaken the spirit within the cowries and to cast the dillogun (divination).

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