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Bone Reading of the Day for March 25, 2011

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Bones of the day March 25, 2022Today’s reading is fairly straightforward.  Oya’s mirror is up, so we’re talking about the future.  Eshu’s protection face is up and he is touching the Sankofa symbol, and Death is facing both, which means that someone will be protected from death because of something they learned in their past.

The sun is at the center, and note that Oba, Oshun, and Oya are triangulated with Oya in the water level of the water quadrant.  This represents a balanced individual who is in tune with the Orishas or at least Nature.

The war horn and Osu are in the fire area, which means this person will have to fight their hormonal whims in order to get the good thing they’re going to get from Eshu.  It is a very hopeful reading though.  Whoever this is out there reading this, if it’s you, then you’re on the right track.

Vodun Tips: The Vodun belong to all living creatures. Never make a person feel unwelcome because of their color or ethnicity. The one who tries to cut someone off from the Orishas will find himself cut off.

Oba

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Oba

Oba

Sacred number: 8
Day of the week: Sunday or Friday
Colors: pink, pink and blue, pink belted or accented with red and white
Domain: marriage, loyalty, fidelity, female honor with regard to wife and motherhood, bonding
Herbs: various herbs and spices used in home cooking, canning, preserving, first aid, cleaning and beauty.  Aside of cooking herbs, some astringents such as horse chestnut, mahogany, and others are associated with Oba.
Symbols: interlocking wedding rings or circles, head scarves in her colors that cover the ears and neck (khimar style), the double swords (two machetes or gubasas) with attached scarves, the hooded cape, the baby sling, red and white hearts, red and white roses or other flowers, pink flowers

Oba is the first wife of Shango.  She epitomizes loyalty and dutifulness as a wife and as a mother.  She is the Orisha of home and hearth, but at the same time, fierce support and love of her husband even if it puts her life in danger.

In this age of selfishness and feminist extremism, Oba is one of the least popular Orishas who is still remembered at all.  One of the reasons she is remembered at all is due to her rivalry with Oshun.  Now that most women are being pressured by the spread of the wrong kind of western culture to get away from home and their roles as wives and mothers, of course the Orisha of feminine duty would lose followers.  I personally believe that it is time to bring it back.

Little is known about Oba aside of the fact that she was not as pretty as Oshun, but then again, neither was Oya.  It is suspected that the reason Oba was married to Shango is that she was a very good match for him, being fertile and extremely strong in mind and body.  She studied martial arts and the use of the sword under Ogun.  She was successful very likely because she was kind of a female counterpart of Ogun.  She is the practical, dutiful woman archtype.  She is straightforward, fiercely protective, and what today, we call a “ride or die” type.

Today, if someone has an affinity for Oba, they are initiated through Oshun.  Though it is probably not a sin or blasphemy, I believe that this should change.  Those who are most connected to her should meditate on regaining the paths of Oba.  If the old traditions are not revealed, new ones should be invented that give her the respect she deserves and therefore brings her back into the consciousness of womankind.

So I’m going to share what works for me.  Try it, and if it works for you, or you have anything to add or adjust, feel free to comment.

Offerings to Oba

In my experience, Oba likes wholesome, nutritious, natural food and incense made of everyday spice cabinet herbs and spices.  She especially likes things that are economical and made to feed a large family.  She absolutely hates waste and excess.

So, a food offering to Oba is a feast ebo, not a sacrifice.  Make a big pot of stew from animals that have been humanely raised and killed (free range, killed by a priest of Ogun, or at least kosher or halal) and vegetables in season.  She is not picky, and doesn’t have patience for picky children, although she is quite indulgent.  So the meals should be well balanced and end with a nice dessert made with the more economical palm syrup or sugar, rather than honey.  A little honey is fine, but don’t slather it on as you would for an offering to Oshun.  Do not use any fake foods like corn oil or canola oil in food for Oba ebos.

Oba does not like her food too spicy.  It should be flavorful but not too hot.  Peppers should however, be served on the side when you serve men.

Like her husband, Oba also likes corn grits (also known as semolina or mamaliga).  When you make a meal for Oba, you serve your husband (or boyfriend), father, or a male elder or good friend first.  Then serve the children.  Only after that, you can eat.  Do this even if you are male.  When the husband or respected man is finished and full, you start by eating what is left on his plate that is edible.

Leftovers are fair game, but make sure to store them as soon as they’ve cooled off, and eat them all before they expire.  Try not to leave anything in the pots or pans.  Use a rubber spatula if you have to.  Try not to waste a drop.

When you come into Oba awareness, your kitchen becomes a sacred space.  Keep it clean and organized.

Oba Altar

Oba can be infused into a sopera (covered soup bowl or pot).  You can buy an official Lukumi sopera, or consecrate another one that looks right to you and that you receive approval for.  Any statues or the face of any sopera you have for her should be oriented towards your Shango items.

It may not be African, but a great presence of Oba on your home altar would be Russian Matryoshka dolls.  Try to get pink ones.  If you are Christian, the ones with paintings of churches on them are good partly because one of the duties of a good wife and mother is to teach the children good values and service to their community.  Being Vodun, Gnostic, or Pagan in addition means that you have a kind of double duty of teaching them the truth that Jesus was a Jew but never attempted to recruit anyone to Judaism or alter their faith in any way but remind them of the power of the Supreme God, and the good that people who remember can do.

Oba is a river goddess, so her outdoor places are with moving water.  If you don’t have a river nearby, a fountain will do, similar to Oshun.  Look for a place that people go to for practical reasons, like to get water for their home or to bathe for healing purposes.

Oba Incense

Very little is known or remembered about Oba, so in and outside of Africa, we are doing our best with what we have.  This recipe has been acceptable in my family’s practice, so I am sharing it.  As with everything else, feel free to share your experiences with what works for you in the comments.

  • 3 star anise seeds for Eshu
  • a handfull of copal
  • a handfull finely chopped or powdered (as well as possible) pink tea roses
  • a tablespoon basil
  • a pinch of garlic
  • 1 finely chopped or powdered bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dried, crushed (as well as possible) okra seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan or Senegalese pink salt or Hawaiian red salt (for protection)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Crush these in a mortar and pestle or hand crank food processor.  Keep them in a pretty covered bowl or jar.  It should look crafty and cute, and have pink and blue.

Oba Devotional Oil

  • 6 seeds star anise, cracked, not crushed, for Eshu
  • 1 liter olive oil
  • 1 dried clove of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a handfull of tea roses
  • a teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 small sweet red pepper seed area with the seeds
  • a teaspoon pink or red salt

Put all the dry ingredients in a jar or bottle, and pour over the olive oil.  Give it a good shake with happy energy.  Consecrate, and then keep in a cool, dry, and dark place for at least 3 months, but preferably 8.

Shango, Chango

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Shango

Shango, Chango

Hot blooded heat incarnate
He is fire and lightning.
If you’re good he is a light
But if you’re bad he’s frightning.

Shango (also spelled Chango or Xango)is the Orisha of fire, lightning, dance, and martial arts.

He had three wives: Oya, the Orisha of home, hearth, and marriage; Oshun, the Orisha of beauty, prosperity, and dance; and Oya, the Orisha of wind, storms, thunder, and change.

There are many apatakis about his firey temper.  During his mortal life, he was said to have been a powerful mage who could call lightning from the sky.  Some say that the prophet Elijah was given similar powers because, unlike the distracted idol worshipping Jezebel or his equally distracted fellow Hebrews, he brought himself above politics and nitpicking about interpretations of laws, and was given the powers of Shango (to call down fire and lightning) and of Oya (to raise the dead) by the Supreme God.  As a result, he did not die, and was carried personally to heaven by Shango and Oya in the form of a chariot made of fire, carried on a whirlwind.

This is why the prophet Elijah has been raised to the status of an Orisha in his own right, by some who combine Christian beliefs with Vodun.

Offerings to Shango

Shango likes hot peppers and spicy foods.  Just about anything with some heat, he enjoys.  He also likes red apples, bananas, pumpkins, pomegranates, kola, and okra.  One of his favorite foods is cornmeal grits (also called mamaliga or polenta).

He would be very pleased if you take the time to make him some tamales or stuffed corn dumplings pan fried a little in palm oil.  He really likes palm oil (which may be why he chose to love but not reside with Oya, who hates palm oil very much).

Immolations

I have always gotten the best results from Shango by burning Opium resin oil.  He likes spicy scents very much, and every time I have both burned Opium oil or incense, and worn some on my body, I have attracted a man who changed my life for the better.  Every.  Time.

To be specific, the scents that brought in the Shango energy were pepper and cinnamon.

The Louisiana recipe of Isis oil or powder is also extremely Shango friendly for women.  Men should use the traditional Shango recipe.

Things Shango Does Not Like

Shango does not like women fighting each other.  If you are a female child of Shango or in Shango awareness because you want something from him or need to raise your fire element, you should make peace with the women around you.  This does not mean that you have to give in to their whims.  It just means you should avoid petty conflicts.

Shango also does not like women who don’t respect men or men who don’t respect women.  Respect isn’t the same thing as deference.  If you are a man, you should be behaving like a man, and lead the women in your life who 99% need to be lead.  Few women don’t need this, and if yours does, you need to do that and stop drinking the feminist koolade.

Shango does not like weakness in men.  You may not be a superathlete, but you should be taking care of yourself.  Your biology is connected to your psychology, so taking the time to work out makes you healthier mentally as well as physically.  If you’re disabled, you should be working on your emotional and intellectual dominance.

The Shango Altar

If you have a home altar for all Orishas, you should have at least one natural fire and/or lightning oriented item to be or contain your part of Shango.  It is difficult to explain in English.  One cannot actually contain an Orisha, but the idea is that the object will embody the Orisha in a way.

If you have boxes, bottles, containers, or soperas for all of the Orishas or all of the ones who are ascended ancestors, then you should have one for Shango as well.  If you do not usually use containers, then don’t start doing that with Shango, or for that matter any of the masculine or warrior type Orishas.

Your Shango items should be nearest to your Eshu items, and yet as far as is possible from the Ogun items.  If you’re limited in space, put the Shango things on the opposite side of Eshu to the Ogun things.  They are both part of the nature of balanced men, but they are also part of the conflict that men have between their brutal selves and their social selves.  So if your Eshu things are in the corner, your Shango things should be on the opposite wall or edge from your Ogun things.

If you have any Shango necklaces or jewelry, they should be stored in a red or red and white bowl or cloth in the Shango section whenever you are not wearing them.

Shango’s symbols are the double bladed axe, lightning bolts, fire balls, and related things.  There are figurines and somewhat officially designated Shango items, but one of the good things about Vodun is that we make use of what we have.

If you have the space and opportunity to make a specific Shango altar, he likes the fireplace or really anyplace where you would make a fire that is not made of iron.  Make fires for Shango on stones, clay, or any kind of earth, even Pyrex or heat save glass, but not in a metal container.  His weapons should be metal, but his fire should be in earth.

In my opinion, weapons placed on the altar for Shango should be real and be sharpened.  Some find it acceptable to use wooden or clay replicas for him, but I do not.  Perhaps this is because they just feel better to me and make me feel more connected to Shango.  Follow your own way, but if the wooden version isn’t doing it for you, try getting at least a real quality knife.

Shango Devotional Incense

This incense should be used outdoors.  Put it on the fire, and step back from the smoke or you will feel like you’ve been teargassed.

  • a spoonful of black pepper or coffee grounds for Eshu
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of red pepper
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls cinnamon
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of sandalwood powder
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of oudh/aloeswood powder
  • a spoonful of millet, yam, corn, or amaranth flour
  • a small handful of dragon’s blood resin chunks, powdered in a mortar and pestle
  • a small handful of myrrh or copal resin, powdered

Burn on charcoal or in a roll of paper in a stone, ceramic, or pyrex type vessel, and MOVE!

Shango Devotional Oil

If it needs to be said, do not wear this on your skin as it is.  You will need just a drop or two in a recipe for male attraction oil, but this is devotional oil for burning in an oil burner or consecrating or anointing Shango items.

  • 6 coffee beans or a vanilla bean cut into 3 parts, or 3 peppercorns for Eshu
  • 1 liter almond oil, or olive oil for lamps (the pure kind, not mixed with other oils)
  • 12 dried red hot peppers
  • 12 dried hot light or green peppers
  • two fingers grab of tobacco
  • the skin of a yam, sweet potato, or the hairs of an ear of corn
  • (optional) half a gram to a gram of deer musk or the oil and dried sweat from someone who has just participated in an extreme sport or combat  (it’s okay if there’s a bit of skin, hair, or blood in it)

Put the ingredients in a jar, and let stand in a cool, dry place for six months.