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The Orishas: Nana Buruku

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The Orishas: Nana Buruku

The grandmother of all Orishas, Nana Buruku is the ancient mother of the universe. This wise and revered Orisha embodies the spirit of the earth and the moon. She is known for her extraordinary healing powers and is an extremely spiritual being. Her commanding presence is felt by all who worship her and she makes it very clear that she does not tolerate being crossed.

Nana Buruku watches over all women. She is the protector of everything female, including pregnancy, and she takes her role as wisewoman and grandmother very seriously. She has very little patience for men and surrounds herself mainly with priestesses. Women find comfort in her knowledge and strength. They flock to her for guidance and spiritual healing. Her protectiveness and skepticism can be misconstrued as rudeness, but do not be misled. She is the ultimate guardian of all of her spiritual grandchildren.

She is mother to Oshun, ruler of the rivers. Mother and daughter both share a love for water. Nana Buruku prefers the streams, marshes and lagoons of the swamp waters. She is also mother to Asojano, the Orisha of epidemics and disease, Iroko, spirit of the cieba tree, and Ochumare, keeper of the rainbow. She is also mother to Ogun, but his violet ways caused her to shun him. Nana Buruku is the Orisha of the rain, mud and swamps. She can also be found in hospitals and cemeteries. In Santeria, Nana Buruku and Yemaya are considered different manifestations of the same Orisha.

The Image of Nana Buruku

Nana Buruku is depicted as a strong, large old dark-skinned woman. She is draped in robes of pink, purple and black and wears jewelry fashioned from the beads and shells of the waters she watches over. She carries with her a hook-shaped spiritual broom which she uses to guide her grandchildren on the proper path. Due to her volatile relationship with Ogun, Orisha of iron, Nana Buruku hates all things made from metal. Her sacrificial knife is made from sharpened bamboo and you will never find her wearing anything fashioned from silver, gold or any other metal. Her symbols are the moon, leaves, Baobab tree and the angelfish.

Worshiping Nana Buruku

It is important to show proper respect to this wise Orisha. Her altar should be decorated with a pink or purple handkerchief. Arrange the complete set of Nana Buruku tools on the handkerchief. Her spirit resides in a clay vase, and those worshiping her should decorate the vase with pink, purple and black paints. Light a 14 Day Plain Purple Candle before making your offerings to Nana Buruku. Once the candle is lit, place some tobacco, coconut, coffee beans and tomatoes on a clay plate. Pour some Crown Royal rum in a small glass and add it to your other offerings. Nana Buruku’s sacred number is seven, so try to incorporate that number into your gift to her - for example, place seven coffee beans on her altar.

Call upon this strong Orisha when you feel your chakras are out of balance or you need guidance on deeply spiritual matters. Her advice should never be sought out lightly, and her counsel should be respected and followed closely. Pay proper respect to Nana Buruku and she will offer you her sacred protection.