Orisha Faith: Devotional Series Part 1

Greetings forum. While I do understand the ecclectic backgrounds of many readers and participants in this forum I wanted to make an honest attemp to demystify certian things that involves Orisha faith. While being aware of the attempt to tap into the Vodoun current has provided beneficiary to many of the readers, I should make it clear that what I am about to provide is particularly for individuals who have not only tapped into that current but have felt a particular calling for it.
I dedicate this to the Aleyos who will not be Aleyos for long. Haitian Voodoo is definitely a family member to Cuban Lukumi, whether you say cousin sister or other sibling tradition, however they are not the same. While Loa and Orisha share roots they are still dimensions apart and should be respected as such, with that having been said, we shall delve in.
Aleyo, that is the term for an individual who has not had any initiation into Lucumi or Ifé. Just because an individual doesn’t have initiation doesn’t mean they can’t interact with Orisha. The first most important fact I want to share with you is that as an Aleyo the Orisha Obatala owns your head. There is an old tradition with us that states if an individual is born with a disability most times does not even need to go through initiation because Obatala married their Ori(Head) at birth. Obatala is one of the Orishas responsible for the creation of human kind, when he became drunk on palm wine while making the first humans from clay of the earth they began to become formed disfigured by Obatalas inebriated hands, when life was breathed into them Obatala became dismayed at his irresponsible actions and vowed never to partake in palm wine again.
If you have never even met a Santero or Santera in person(that you know of) I am letting you know now that Obatala is with you and while he may seem very far away or difficult to understand he is there with each of us. If you truly have a calling in any Orisha tradition whether it be Lucumi or Candomble or any of the many other family traditions of Orisha, then perhaps I can offer you some spiritual gold here.
Before any Orisha can be addressed one needs to first venerate their Eggun (ancestors), the most common set up for the Eggun is often confused with the Boveda. The difference between the Eggun and the Boveda is a significant one. Eggun tends to be outside usually with a special stick to tap on the ground and speak to your ancestors, picures of family members who have passed can be placed there, it is usually set up in a corner with cascarilla/efun (chalk made of either eggshell or snailshell) bow with nine lines going through it separating one side from the other all sorts of personal ancestral symbols can be placed in this area.
The Boveda serves a whole other purpose but works in concert with your Eggun. The Boveda is placed inside the house, this is a white table with a cross and other items. It can be a regular table with a white cloth. The spirits at this table are called Iwin and they are you spirit guides who have no blood relation to you. There can be one glass, seven, or nine glasses depending on where your at in life or the style of your Boveda setting for example depending on how you place the glasses you can set it up as a Boveda in repose or a Boveda in defence. When setting up the Boveda always have a candle lit and always run cool water off of your hand while saying the following prayers for the Boveda the Lords Prayer, Before a Crucifix, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Apostles creed, psalm 23 can also be read but that is more for your defence positioning.
While receiving Eshu/Elegua as a warrior from an Olorisha, Oluwo, or Babalawo is perhaps the best first Orisha to be received there are ways to interact with Elegua with out having initiation. Elegua is the first and last Orisha honored in ceremony, he opens the doors and sets you on your road. If you are an Aleyo and you feel you have a calling for Orisha and hope for Elegua to help make this possible for you. Go to a cross road with two dimes and a penny a pocket full of candy (i like to give red and black licorice as those are his colors) a coconut, a canle, rum, a cigar, and cascarilla. Leave the candy and the burning candle at the Cross roads and talk to him and be respectful, draw to circles that intersect one another around the coconut, set the coconut down by the candle. Walk across the four points of the crossroads intersection until you arrive at the coconut again. Pick up the coconut holding it walking across the four points of the intersection again, set the coconut down by the candle and walk around the four points of the intersection a third and final time. If you are 21 years old bring a tiny shot sized bottle of rum and spray it on the offering and a cigar if available too. Grab your coconut and toss the 21 cents toward your offering behind you as you walk away and head home, take this coconut and leave it behind your front door. This is a primitive Elegua and does lack the Aché of a priest but he will help direct you towards the Olorishas who will play that role in your life.
Everybody has an Orisha sitting ontop of their head and until the day of initiation their mysteries can not be fully unlocked, a large part of this motivation is in Oddun(divination) itself, as there are certian readings done to help is understand the deeper mysteries of ourselves.
I intend to do a small devotional series that may help individuals gain some understanding and to enrich the practices of others.
Many blessings to all:
Mucho benediciones a los todos Ache- Akinladé Odi


One word of advice: Please use paragraph breaks. That is a whole wall of information heavy text that is hard to wade through on a screen.


Thank you for this