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Creating an Orisha Altar

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Creating an Orisha Altar

Each Orisha has particular requirements when it comes to setting their altars. Some items or offerings are sacred to one, but taboo to another. To connect with the Orishas, it is important to have their altars correctly set up and maintained. Here are some examples of the right ritual objects for each Orisha:

Obatala


For Obatala, the eldest of all Orishas, use:

Yemaya


For Yemaya, mother of the world, place:

Elegua


Elegua, personification of destiny and the crossroads, enjoys:

Ogun


For Ogun, Orisha of creativity, iron, war, and hunting, set the altar with:

Shango


Shango, the god of thunder, dancing, virility, and fire, enjoys:

Ochosi


For Ochosi, master hunter and fisherman, set the altar with:

  • Ochosi's tools.
  • Antlers, deer heads, animal pelts, ram's horns, or turtle shells, as symbols of his hunting prowess.
  • His bow and arrows (these live in his and Ogun's soperas).
  • A statue or other image of Ochosi.
  • An Ochosi candle.
  • Offerings include game animals and fowl. He also enjoys fruits such as plantains, pomegranates, bananas, grapes and pears.

Orula


Orula, the master of divination, enjoys:

Oya


For Oya, goddess of the Niger river and ruler of storms, set the altar with:


Altars do not necessarily need to be very fancy or expensive, but care and thought must be put into setting them up. Put them in a place of honor, and keep them clean and well-maintained. Be sure to provide regular offerings of the proper foods, drinks, plants, and other objects, and you will forge a powerful spiritual relationship.

The Orishas: Shango

The history of Shango has traveled over centuries and continents, from the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin. Also known as Chango, Sango or Xango, this African deity was elevated to an Orisha after his death. The fourth king of the Yoruba Oyo Empire, he is the god of thunder, drumming, dancing, fire and male virility. Known for his [...]

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