Iruke for Obatala Oshagriñan

I recently made an iruke (horsetail fly whisk) for Obatala Oshagriñan, the elder warrior Obatala. Oshagriñan is a strategist and alchemist and grants predictive vision to his children. Like Ayaguna, Oshagriñan takes a color other than funfun or the white color palette. Oshagriñan takes red or slightly orange coral (iyun), but not too much. Along with Czech glass white and clear…

When to Wear White?

The answer is ALWAYS! Guys and gals, I know you love black, I know it’s slimming, however it is a color that absorbs rather than reflects. Try and wean yourself off of black all the time – start with a light or white colored top, I promise you, you will look chic. Or, if you…

Olokun Tinaja Decorated with Seashells

Below you will see a video of an Olokun tinaja (tall lidded urn) I recently finished. It is covered in seashells, including cowries which are cemented in place. Some might think that this is for “Olokun de Ifa” as the Olokun that babalawos give is covered in cement with some shells. This tinaja is for…

Odu Odi-She (7-5 Odi Oshe)

7-5 Odi Oshe MAFEREFUN Oshún, Inle, Asojano, Oshosi, & Obatala HERBS EWE OF THE ODU: Curujey, zazafrán, hiedra, orquidea, and all parasitic plants PROVERBS OF THE ODU: The chickens don’t have any friends; if one draws near to another, it’s only to peck at her\ Many friendships that are not based on unconditional terms; people who…

Visions and Voices of Haiti by Phyllis Galembo book (vodou, vodun, vodu)

Visions and Voices of Haiti by Phyllis Galembo This is a stunning book by the photographer, Phyllis Galembo who has a keen interest in Afro-Atlantic religions, especially portraiture of practitioners. This inexpensive book is well worth buying as it has eighty-plus brilliant color photographs which are accompanied by captions and essays from experts of Haitian…

Santeria: African Spirits in America by Joseph M. Murphy

This was one of the first books I ever read on the religion, when I could only dream about visiting a botánica in NYC as beautifully written about in this book. I recommend this book and others by Joseph Murphy to anyone interested in the religion, from  personal to academic inquiry. Murphy started the book…

ELEGUA GARABATOS

ELEGUA GARABATOS These are  hand made and beaded garabatos or guava wood hooks that Elegua uses to remove obstacles from the person’s life. Eleggua also uses it to bring blessings or ire to the person. Both are made with all glass Czech beads, one has a little beaded gourd with red parrot feathers and both…

Ore Yeye O & Omi O Yemaya: Goodness and Water Shout Outs!

Each orisha has a series of praises that are exclaimed at important times in ceremonies and celebrations. For example, when you hear someone singing for Elegua, you may hear a cry of “Laroye!” It is a way of honouring the deities, and flattering them. Two of the most commonly heard praises are for Oshun and…

Oshun by Afolabi

This is an essay on Oshun by the late priest of Yemaya, Afolabi. Oshun by Afolabi I come from a House of Osha that is full of Oshun’s children. Nowhere is Oshun’s beauty more evident in all her glory, both sweet and sour, than in the forms in which she appears through her children. I am…

Shokunin: An Active Attitude to your Skill and Craft

I really like the Japanese idea of Shokunin, where you practice your craft with diligence and precision, striving for you to work your best for the betterment of the person and the process. “The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does…

Asohano’s Ha and Kacha

Asohano – Babalu Aye uses a straw broom to clean people and restore health. The ha (ha is a Fon word meaning broom) is made from palm fibers. Within the beaded handle part is an elaborate concoction that is wrapped in cloth imbibing the straw broom with the power to heal. The ha is handled…

Agogo Oduduwa Orisa Aiye

This is an agogo (sacred bell) used in the worship of Oduduwa. Oduduwa or Oddua is an orisha funfun (white orisha), he is the closest Lukumi deity we have to Olodumare. The difference between Oduduwa and Olofin in the Lukumi religion is that Oduduwa set foot on the earth, Olofin did not. Odua’s agogo is…