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The Òrìṣà shouldn't be scapegoats for unbalanced character and unchecked behavioural issues

Art by Stephen Hamilton, Itan Project

We all know that Òrìṣà, like the deities of any African spiritual tradition, bring different types of energy into our lives.

One of the reasons we work with Òrìṣà is to aid us in living out our destiny to the fullest.

We DON'T work with Òrìṣà to be blindly led by whatever energies come our way.

Spirit is vast, infinite and mysterious.

Some people use this fact as justification to behave in a very wishy-washy or volatile manner, following their every inclination and impulse.

When we channel spirit it has to be filtered through our character, principles, life mission etc.

If our work with Òrìṣà or any other spiritual entity is not helping to align our lives with our destiny and to further ground us in our purpose then we are doing something wrong.

For example, having Ṣàngó on your head might bring fiery energy into your life but it is your responsibility to ensure that you don't become uncontrollably aggressive and too quick to temper.

World Sango festival, Oyo State Nigeria

Some people associate Ọ̀ṣun with extreme sensuality, but even if you have Ọ̀ṣun on your head you still have the responsibility to set boundaries and create healthy relationships.

Osun-Osogbo festival, Osun State Nigeria

Some people also think that Ọbàtálá is all about peace, love and light. Does that mean you become someone who can't defend his or herself and let people walk over you?

Absolutely NOT.

Obatala festival, Oyo State Nigeria

Understand the spiritual energies that play an active role in your life.

Learn how to work with these energies to accomplish your life mission.

Maintain discipline and learn to balance these energies so that you can be an effective person.

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Can you explain more what Òrìṣà means?

Iya Oh
Iya Oh
Feb 22, 2021
Replying to

I am not the author of this post but simply put as this is a complex question, The word itself to paraphrase author, Babalorisa, and scholar John Mason, means selected head of those who are the repository of Ase or power (Mason 4-5).

Orisa are the multiple Deities of the African traditional religions Ifa, Isese, known in the African diaspora as Orisha or Oricha in the Caribbean, North America, and other places around the world, and Orixa for the Candomble of Brazil and beyond.

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