Oya: Santeria’s Rider on the Storm

Oya Santeria's Rider on the Storm photo by Lilith Dorsey.

Oya is the Storm The Wind, the Tornado, the Hurricane... all of these are the domain of the great and powerful Santeria goddess Oya. She is change. Oya can very often be change in the form of severe weather. Civil rights activist Dick Gregory used to speak of the HER- icane, a powerful force of wind that started in Africa, where the roots of mass slavery began and carried it's ire over the ocean, destroying the “new world” and stopping at Canada which never has a system of enslaved peo … [Read more...]

Mojuba Means Thank You: A Praise Poem

Mojuba and Thanks by Lilith Dorsey.

 Devotees of the religion of Santeria (Lucumi) frequently recite a devoted list of prayers and thanks to their ancestors, spiritual teachers, and gods, or Orisha. These are most commonly referred to as mojubas. The word literally breaks down linguistically to the Yoruba words Mo, for "I,"  and the word for juba, which means to "give respect to." Some even believe the word "Mojo" derives from these roots. The following is a holiday praise poem I wrote to give thanks to the honored … [Read more...]

Orisha Ogun: Lord of Iron, God of War

Ogun Mural located in Spanish Harlem, NYC. Photo by Lilith Dorsey.

It's Veteran's Day today in the U.S., and it's only fitting that I talk about the African God of War,Ogun. I thought about writing a fictional post about what would happen in a Gods only throwdown death battle between Thor and Ogun, but I decided they'd probably get along pretty well and after some well placed blows would just end up drinking. So I will leave that story for another day.Ogun is a protector, a healer, a warrior. Vitality is the key to deciphering the many aspects of Ogun. He … [Read more...]

Saints, Sinners, Statues and Syncretism in Santeria and Voodoo

Oya Offering Box, featuring picture of St. Theresa. Photo by Lilith Dorsey.

One of the most puzzling things for people both inside and outside the traditions of Voodoo and Santeria, also known as Lucumi, is the inclusion of other religions' iconography. It is not uncommon to see statues for Caridad del Cobre on an Oshun shrine, or St. Patrick during a ritual for Damballa.If you inquire about this to practitioners, you will most likely get a variety of answers ranging from colonial oppression, to secrecy, to beliefs that these individuals were part of the religion … [Read more...]

Divination Space Station: Awo Robert Ogbe Di

Yoruba Divination board, photo by Cliff1066TM

Just in time for October 4th, the traditional feast day for Orunmila or Orula,the Orisha of divination, the latest installment of our divination series. We are honored to present an interview with Awo Robert Ogbe Di. When did you start divining? With what method? Wow, it's been a while! I got a tarot deck as a gift when I was a kid, maybe 14, and I played around with it until I figured out how to read with it, though it took a long time to put down the book because I was always worried I would … [Read more...]

King Chango Cashew Chili Recipe

Altar for Chango Feast and Ritual, photo by Lilith Dorsey

King Chango is the Santeria Lord of fire, passion, and the drum. His consummate masculinity shines through in all that he does, even when he wears his wife's clothing as a disguise. Chango is a warrior god, said to wield a double edged sword of justice. If you are interested in more information about Chango, I recommend the book Santeria: A Practical Guide to Afro-Caribbean Magic by Luis Manuel Nunez. This recipe is suitable to use for any Chango feast or ceremony, or when you just want to spice … [Read more...]


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