The Orishas of the Santeria Religion

Certain Paleros, including Priests, often mix certain beliefs of other faiths into their worship practices. One of such is the reverence of the Orishas, spirits acknowledged by the Santeria religion.

These Orishas are believed to be forces of nature, spiritual energies sent by the Creator to guide and oversee the affairs of men. The belief system originally originated from the Yoruba religion and has spread through other countries, especially Cuba, the Origin of Palo Mayombe.

These Orishas include:

Oshun: This is the goddess of waters. She is also associated with love and wealth. She can also be called upon in issues affecting female fertility. She is also connected to sexuality, destiny, and divination. Friday, the day of trouble is connected to the Orisha Osun.

Sango: This is the god of forces or weather: thunder and lightning. He is associated with warfare and justice. He is known for his fierce anger and is associated with the red color. He is feared for his ability to strike with lightning when angered. Sango owns Thursday, referred to as the day of fulfillment.

Yemaya: This goddess represents motherhood. She is also associated with the ocean and seen as the bringer of prosperity. She is believed to care very deeply for her children. She protects, cures, cleanses and comforts them. She is known to be very slow to anger but can be very destructive if she reaches that threshold. She controls everything as regards feminity from child conception to safe delivery to motherhood. Monday, the day of financial success is linked to this Orisha.

Obatala: Obatala is known as the Creator of the Earth as empowered by Ifa. He is related to justice and insight. He is also associated with light and purity. Obatala is associated with the day of long life and tranquility (Sunday).

Oya: This goddess engages in warfare using very fierce elements such as tornadoes, violent storms, and wild winds. Wednesday, the day of confusion is associated with this Orisha.

Ogun: This god is in charge of metals and is known for engaging in fierce battles. He is also connected to rum and rum making. He is also associated with hunting, being referred to as the first hunter on earth clearing the path for other gods to have passage into the earth. The day of victory (Tuesday) is connected to this Orisha.

Eshu: He is referred to as the Orisha who runs messages for other Orishas. He is vibrant and vile. He is known to be tricky and full of mischief. He is connected to opportunities and crossroads. He is connected to Saturday and this day is known as the day of evil resolution.

The process of Ifa divination requires sacrifice, commitment, and patient growth. It is also a gradual ascend unto higher heights to attain a better understanding of its mysteries. However, not all Paleros acknowledge or practice Ifa Divination as the belief system is not the same as Palo Mayombe. There are similarities, as much as there are differences in its traditions and teachings.