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What methods of divination are suitable for African spirituality? | Vodun F.A.Q.

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Crystal Ball Scrying Though Orunmila or a similar deity is in charge of all divination methods, the traditional African methods are the only ones that can offer traditional African information.

What that means is that Ifa, Afa, and other forms of authentic, indigenous African methods of divination are the only way that today one can find their head or their destiny accurately within African traditions. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes.

Even a seed or a stalk of grass in the hands of one observant to Orunmila can tell volumes, but it is still not Ifa. Tarot is useful for helping one to navigate life, especially in social situations. The bones and curios are excellent for telling you what’s going on around you in a very blunt way. The Obi of course, are a direct line to your ancestors, and best for yes or no or even very nuanced but straight answers. However, none of these does what Ifa does.

In the past, some other methods such as dice, dominos, and other numerically based systems that are not native to Africa could be used if someone was completely cut off. However today, in the age of the internet, when a qualified babalawo or other traditional diviner is available in a click, this is no longer the case.

Because of the diaspora allowances from the past, some are confused and may fall for shady people telling them that some other method would be able to stand in the place of Ifa or Afa. The problem is that unless it is numerically based and resorted to because maybe the trained Babalawo is in prison and has no access even to any dried seeds, it is not going to direct one to any Odu or any verse or any indigenous African culture’s lexicon of legends or wisdom.

This is why, even in the diaspora, even someone like me who has invented a new divination method, will still refer people to a Babalawo. I can tell you many things, but I can’t tell you who your head Orisha is for certain in an indigenous pantheon. I can’t tell you what traditional ebbo you need to do. I can’t tell you your traditional African anything because I am not an initiated, qualified Babalawo or Iyanifa or indigenous African diviner. I know to stay in my lane.

This does not mean that we do not study the Odu that we have access to. Most diviners with some experience will study Odu Ifa, the lineage tales some are willing to share, proverbs, patakis, and anything else we can to learn African and diaspora wisdom. It is important both in terms of perspective and since Africa is a huge continent, cultural exchange and learning what we can from our ancestral neighbors. However, Ifa and Afa are not just older than most available methods of divination, but older and living, and dynamic. Though other methods of divination are useful in some ways, there is no comparison. There just simply isn’t.

It isn’t the oldest known method, but other older methods such as scrying and osteomancy are not connected to the Odus or any known current culture’s verses. So great for some things but not for ebbo. Just skip the running to and fro looking for traditional answers in non traditional places.

Does everyone need a traditional reading?

If one was born in a culture where there are available Ifa or Afa diviners, then definitely. If not then probably. It depends whether you are okay with bumbling through or you want to have some idea what may be coming and direction.

Be prepared to pay the diviner a decent donation, and to do the recommended ebbo for your personal Odu. If you can’t afford it at the moment, it is one of those things worth putting aside for.

Supplemental Video

Please watch Obafemi’s video Tarot Is Not Ifa and thank him for his wisdom. I was not even aware before this that such confusion existed.

Blessings and Ashé!

Vodun F.A.Q. – What is the difference between Ifa and Orisha (or Orishaism)?

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 As I have mentioned in earlier articles, there are many streams of Vodun, Orisha, honored Ancestor worship, and Nature worship in Africa and the diaspora.  In Africa, because they all have a very long history, they have all gained legitimacy over time and through effective practice and aiding in the success of their people.  Every village has different specific customs, but there are fairly large centralized streams in which the village and family based groups adhere to certain norms for their stream.  There are even new streams of Agnostic and seeming Atheist Nature-ism.

The major groups that spring to mind are Benin Vodun, Yoruba Ifa and Orisha, Igbo Odinani, and the Ashanti and Akan traditional groups.

Ifa, as a specific name for a group as well as the name of the deity/Orisha of law and obligation, is one of the main Yoruba streams.

Orisa/Orisha is the term used for people who worship the Orishas but may or may not belong to an established large stream.  Most people in the diaspora are in the category of non affiliated or locally affiliated, regardless of what titles some may claim.  The only way to get a title within Ifa is to earn it from an Ifa temple or representative of an Ifa temple in Yorubaland.  Likewise, the only way to get a title in Benin Vodun is through a temple or representative of a temple in Benin.  There is no official status in an African belief system without actual Africans.

This is not to say that other streams of Orisha or African and diaspora spirituality are not legitimate.  Anyone may worship the Orishas, so long as one respects the cultures their legends and practices were crystalized in, and respects the Orishas themselves.  No problems there.  The problems start when people start claiming titles they didn’t earn, and even worse, do not even attempt to keep certain consistent norms of the culture and system they are claiming a title in.

If one is initiated into a diaspora tradition, that is fine.  They are free and even encouraged to serve their community as best as they can.  It’s just that they should qualify their title with the diaspora stream they belong to, and not lie explicitly or through omission, that they belong to or hold that rank in an African stream that they do not.

There are many people running around calling themselves babalawo or iyanifa, who did not earn these titles by Yoruba standards.  Some were initiated and bestowed rank by underqualified people who lied to them and took their money.  So they believe they have rank that they do not.  Others just lie.  Some did even worse than just lying, went to Africa, sat in people’s temple, ate their food, and were received as guests in trust, and then returned to the diaspora claiming higher titles and lording their initiation over Africans in the diaspora who could not afford to make the journey.

Recently, since more actual Ifa priests are visiting and serving in the diaspora, the ability of pretenders to run initiation mills is lessening.  It hasn’t completely died out, but it will because people will have access to authentic Ifa.

Mind that actual Ifa and other ancestral priests of other streams of Vodun and Orisha in Africa have never condemned or even put down people in the diaspora for making due, doing the best we could with what we had available.  The only problem is in the misrepresentation and the disrespect of the original cultures and practices.

For more perspective on this read:

Ifa and Orisha in the Diaspora.

The Difference Between Ifa Worship and Orisa Worship.

Blessings and Ashé!

Vodun Holidays and Orisha Birthdays

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This is a list of Vodun holidays.  It is by no means complete.  These are just the ones I know of and have gathered from a variety of people and sources.  Different cultures have different days.  Some synchronize them with Wiccan or Catholic holidays.  Follow your own soul on this.

January 10: “Voodoo Day”, or Traditions Day, which is celebrated in Benin and by some in the diaspora to give thanks for and remember our African heritage and spirituality.

January 17: Yoruba Feast of Ogun

February 2: Feast of Oya
Video

Sometime in February or March: The Festival of Obatala and Oshun

March 19: Feast of Osayin

March 25: Feast of Oshun

April 23: Santeria feast of Ogun

May 25: Feast of Ochossi (If hosting an event, you must have a dance on this day.)

June 16: Anniversary of the death of Marie Laveau, the most famous New Orleans Voudou priestess in U.S. history

June 21: Feast of Babalu Aye

June 29: Feast of Eleggua (This is an excellent day to do readings, so if you’re hosting, have an area just for this where people can have some privacy.)

Friday closest to August 15: Festa de Boa Morte (Festival of the Good Death) in Bahia Brazil.

Last Friday of August: Feast of Oshun in Oshogbo, the town in Nigeria whose official Orisha is Oshun.  Yes, you can get tickets.  Call your travel agent. Videos of the Festival of Oshun.

September 8: Feast of Oshun

September 10: Birthday of Marie Laveau

September 24: Feast of Obatala

September 29: Feast of Eleggua, also Initiation Day

September 30: Feast of Shango (Must serve some spicy foods on this day, and if you can drink but don’t get too drunk.  It’s also a good day for sparring, demos, and/or wrestling matches.)

October 4: Feast of Orunmila

October 24: Feast of Erinle

November 1-2: Day of the Dead – Synchronized with the Catholic All Saints’ Day, it’s a day when the ancestors are honored.  Different cultures have different ways of doing it, but generally, food offerings are given to the dead. 
Day of the Dead in Haiti

November 25: Feast of Oya

December 4: Feast of Shango

December 17: Feast of Babalu Aye

December 31: Feast of Yemaya

Altar

List of Known Orishas/Lwa

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Altar

A diaspora Orisha altar.

This is a list of known West African and diaspora Orishas, Vodun, Lwa, notable Spirits, and Deities.  I’ve gathered information from a variety of sources.  It is by no means a complete list, and different cultures have different names and pronunciations.  There are said to be over 400, aside of those individuals have discovered and/or adapted to their cultures.

MamiWata.com has an excellent page on the relation of the Yoruba and Fon pantheons.  It is an important read for anyone who suspects they may not be getting the whole story of what Vodun is.

If you know of more Vodun, Orishas, Lwas, and West African or syncretized diaspora Spirits, please contact us to add them to the list.  Discuss the list on Orisha List at Facebook.

Abata/Abatan – swamps and marshlands, wife of Erinle.  Associated in the Americas with the nursing and practical care professions.

Abuko Vodun, Abukir – the Fon and Dinka first woman, first female ancestor, upon her physical death merged with Dan Ayidawedo to become the sky, rain, and fertility Goddess.

Adjassou-Linguetor – Haitian Rada Lwa of spring waters.  She or he (depending which tradition) can be found under mombin trees, and reportedly has a very bad temper and protruding eyes.  Mombin trees are well known for their medicinal properties.

Afa – Anlo Ewe of the sacredness of divination.  Also known as Kpoli.

Afefe – the wind, the messenger of Oya.  Do not invoke.

Aganju, Aggayu Sola – volcanoes, wilderness, and the desert.

Agassu, Agassou – father of the Fon, was born from princess Aligbonon and a leopard or panther.

Agau – Haitian Lwa of Nature’s rumbling and noise.  He is in the rumbling of storms and the crack of lightning.

Agba Lode – outer space

Agbe – Ouidah master of humans and the sea, third son of Mawu, twin brother of Naeté, similar to or perhaps the same as Agive.  His holy day, January 10, is national Vodun Day in Benin.

Age – barren wastelands, deserts wherein there are no plants.

Agidai – in charge of the ability to speak prophetically (afudashe) and cowrie divination.

Agué – one armed or one legged or one eyed leader of all Aziza (forest Spirits) who taught men the secrets of medicinal and poisonous plants.  Similar to Ochossi and Osanyin.

Agwe, Agive – Goddess of the Sea for some in Benin.  Haitian Lwa of the sea and sea life, protector of sailors and owner of all ships and navy.  Overlaps with Yemaya and Olokun.

Aho-njoku – Ibo Spirit of yams

Aina – fire herself.

Aja – the “wild vine”, teacher of medicine/herbalism.

Aja-Oshu – Venus near the moon.

Aje (as in The Aje) – the Orisha of primordial energy once it is focused on a purpose. Creative energy. Also a name used for the witch Ancestors (Iyami Aje) in the diaspora, though there is no egbe of Iyami Aje originating in the diaspora. It is a specifically African egbe, and extremely secretive. No one outside it even knows its nature, so it is generally not discussed except when busting frauds. Like taboo breaking or fraudulent babalawo, if someone is caught faking, they will be called out, ridiculed, or worse by any aware Vodun adherents. It’s easy to spot a fake because nobody would call themselves that. See this WitchUniversity.com article for details.

Aje Shaluga – money, currency, wealth, material prosperity, and dyeing (coloring), so perhaps melanin, bilirumin, chlorophyll and other natural pigments as well.  He/She provided for Oshun during an incarnation or time of her life when she had to sell her body to survive.  As Oshun washed herself and her clothing in the river, Aje Shaluga colored them an attractive yellow, which became one of her sacred colors.  He also felt her sorrow and filled the skirt of her dress with jewels so she would no longer need to sell herself.  Link: Aje Shaluga Facebook page

Ala, Ale, Alla, Ane, Ani – Igbo Earth Mother Goddess

Amadioha – Igbo Alusi of thunder and lightning, consort of Ala.

Aña, Anya, Ania – sound/vibration of impact, percussion, percussion instruments.

Anansi – Akan trickster spider, embodiment of wisdom and cunning.

Ananagu – daughter of Olokun, similiar to Pandora, but became a guardian after opening the chest.

Ananu, Nyawe-Ananu, Nwoyeh-Ananu – suffering, more specifically the suffering from disease, daughter of Sakpata and (fraternal) twin of Zodji.

Andriamahilala – name for the first woman (who became or merged with the Moon upon her physical death) of various tribes.

Aroni – the forest, has one withered limb.

Asase Yaa – Akan Goddess of fertility and the Earth and possibly Jupiter.  Wife of Nyame, and mother of Tano, Bia, and Anansi.  She is worshiped in fields, not temples.

Ashe, Ise – divine energy or power.  Some may relate to this as a being in and of itself, while others view it as the divine thread that connects all types of matter…more of a phenomenon than a personified being since it is a part of the Great Unfathomable.  The word “Ashe!” is used as a pronouncement of giving something energy, or as a blessing of power.

Atai – Efik mother Goddess, who gave humanity conflict and death to keep the population under control.

Ayayo – younger sister of Oya, associated with malevolent witchcraft.  Do not invoke.

Ayida (or Aida) Wedo – the rainbow in Haitian Vodou, manifests with her husband, Damballa.

Ayizan, Aizan – speech, communication, and public spaces, especially the marketplace, initiations, wife or mother of Eshu.  Exorcises evil Spirits, and helps to communicate with, calm, and send away merely inconvenient ones.  In Haitian Vodou, she is also regarded as the first Mambo.

Bade – Haitian Lwa of wind.

Bakulu – Haitian Petro Lwa of ruin and misfortune.  Do not invoke.

Baron Samedi – Haitian Vodou Lwa of death.  Husband of Maman Brigitte.

Bayanni/Babayanmi – sister of Shango, and lives inside of the crown of cowries worn by priests of Shango.

Bia, Bea – Akan God of wild animals.

Bosou Koblamin – Haitian petro lwa of “berzerker” type warriorship and protector of night travelers.

Boyuto – mirages (on land or sea), and illusions.

Brise – Haitian lwa of the hills and woods thereon.  He is protective of children, and sometimes takes the form of an owl.  Though he is thought of as generally benevolent, he can cause insanity with overexposure.

Bromu, Boromu and Brosia, Boronisa – the companion or twin guardians of the secrets of Oduduwa.  Bromu is the child of Yewa and in charge of dessication and drying, whether for purposes of preservation or mummification or sucking of energy through the evil eye or other life sucking or vampiric magic.  Brosia is in charge of tornadoes and energy that roots things out and decimates specific areas.

Chukwu – the Igbo Odinani name for the Almighty Unfathomable.  Because it is unknowable by mere mortals, it relates to the world via the Alusi.

Da – Fon/Daxome sacred serpent who encircles the Earth to protect it.  Embodied by the Atmosphere for many modern adherents.

Dada – growth, newborns, and vegetables (Yoruba). Alternative name for the Creator (Fon).

Damballa Wedo – the powerful sky serpent of Haitian Vodou, husband of Ayida.

Ebore – the sky

Egbe, Egbe Orun – the “heavenly gang” or collective Spirit of various beings living in the Orun.  They work closely with the Egungun.  In some systems, they are or include the souls of beings from other planets, so they could be viewed by some as other life forms’ Egungun.  Also in charge of still waters including water in jars.  It is a good idea to ask for their blessing when making floor washes, vinegars, and the like.

Egungun – the collective spirit of the ancestors.

Ekwensu – Igbo Alusi who is the force of testing, bargaining, cunning, and negotiation.  He is also a trickster, but in the way of teaching.

Elusu – sand

Erinle, Inle – The Orisha of health and medicine in general, he is a hunter as well as a healer.

Erzulie – Haitian Vodou lwa of love, with many manifestations including but not limited to Erzulie Dantor, protector of women.

Eseasar – the Earth.

Eshu

Eshu

Eshu Elegbara, Elegua, Papa legba – the gatekeeper, guardian of crossroads and doorways, and of course the first approached to get into the right mind to communicate with any other spirits.  Sacred numbers: 3, 21  Sacred colors or combination: red and black

Fa, Fa Adegun, Fa Aeidegun – Fon master of destiny, keeper of fate.  He is in charge of the Du or Kpoli.

Fride – music made with strings/stringed instruments.

Gbadu – Fon/Dahomey Goddess of fate, has sixteen eyes and sees all.  She is androgynous, but often referred to as female for simplicity and because she has born children.  Among them are Minona, Gu (Ogun), and Dan (who became known as Damballa in Haiti).

Gelede – the female Ancestors.

Gran Bois, Ganga Bois – Haitian and New Orleans lwa of the forest and herbal medicine.

Ibeji – twins.

Ibu Aye – Oshun as a child or the youth of Oshun.

Ikenga – Igbo Alusi of time, passages, achievement, success, and associated benefits.

Iku – Death himself.

Ifa – divination.

Igwe – Igbo Alusi of the sky.

Irawo – the stars, shooting stars and thunderballs, astrology.

Irawo-ale – Venus as the evening star.

Irawo-oko – the star Sirius

Iroko – the sacred Iroko tree.

Iya – first woman, the Yoruba “Eve” made from clay by Obatala.

Iyam-aje, Iyam-agba, Iya-mi-aje – the secret of creation or creative spark or impulse

Iyanla – the Gelede cult’s name for the Great Mother

Jakuta – the original, pre-incarnation of Shango.

Kori – protector of children.  She has a soft spot for Abiku, children who died before the age of 12.

Korikoto – protector of anything/anyone that is gestating, from negative energy brought by hate, envy, and other types of ill will.  Often represented by a scarecrow.

Kulito – Fon Ancestors

Logun Ede, Laro – son of a manifestation of Oshun (Oshun Iponda) and Erinle, considered by some to be the patron of GLBT, but by more African minded folk it’s probably heavier on the B and T.

Loko – also called Papa Loko, the Haitian lwa who guards the hounfour or place of gathering/worship and community.  Husband of Ayizan in some regional traditions.

Maaselobi – the spark from which Shango was born from Olorun.

Maman Brigitte – syncretized with the Irish Brigitte, wife of Baron Samedi, Haitian Vodou Lwa of the comforting or protective aspect of death and the immune system.

Mawuga Kitikata – Anlo Ewe Creator of Earth.

Mawu Lisa – The dual Daxome Creator of Earth, Mawu (Moon) and Lisa (Sun), twin child of Minona, and parent of Da.

Minona – Fon protector Goddess, first child of Gbadu.

Nana Buruku – the primordial fertility/reproduction Goddess.  Opponent of the evolutionary and technological aspects of Ogun.

Nanu – a female manifestation of Babalu Aye.

Ndebunzi – Igbo Ancestors

Njoku Ji, Ahia Njoku – Igbo Alusi of yams.

Nsamanfo – Akan Ancestors.

Nyame – Akan deity of the Sky and leader of the Abosom (“lesser deities”) and Spirits.  Son of Ngula even though he created her.  Since Christianization, his name is used to describe the Supreme Being.

Oba – first wife of Shango, Orisha of dutiful wives, marital obligation, nurturing, motherhood, and marriage.

Obalofun – “lord of speech”, the first man.  The Yoruba “Adam” made from clay by Obatala.

Obatala – emissary of the Supreme God Olodumare, the closest the human mind can imagine to it, the “hand” of the Supreme God, assigned creator of the Earth.  Also associated with Abassi, husband of Atai.  Sacred colors: white or opalescent or transparent, and can be accented with other colors depending on the purpose of the object being made or decorated

Ochosi – Orisha of the forest and hunting.  He also gets justice against people who are unduly cruel to animals. Sacred colors: blue and yellow

Odede – father of Ochossi, father of poisons and patron of “witch doctors”.

Odu Ifa – The specific destinies or fates, the first 16 of which are each an Orisha in their own right.

Odudua, Oduduwa – father of the Yoruba people, co-creator of the world, keeper of the secrets and mysteries of the Egungun (Ancestors) and Iku (Death).

Ofere – Venus as the morning star.

Ogan – war general of the first Orishas.

Ogboni – embodies the relationship between humans and Onile (the Earth).  In charge of unity and social transactions.  Very helpful when you need to get someone on your side or to get justice against someone who has betrayed you.

Ogu – horned animals.

Ogun, Ogoun, Gu – iron, mining, farming, weapons, and technology.  Sacred number: 7  Sacred colors: green and black or green, red, and black

Oke – mountains and high hills.

Oko – agriculture and farming.

Oloaina – magma.

Olodumare – the Supreme God and Creator of the Universe.  Because He is Unfathomable, He relates to mankind or other physical beings through his emissary Obatala and avatars or children of Obatala.

Olokun – Brother and/or consort of Yemaya, an Orisha of the sea for some Yoruba peoples.  God of the sea for Bini people in Benin, he has been a little too overshadowed by the female aspect (Yemaya) in the Americas.

Olori-merin – towns, possibly civilization.  His worship has fallen out of favor (and rightly so) due to his requirement of gruesome human sacrifice that may well have been a test to see if people were sufficiently gullible.

Olosa – Orisha of lagoons, wife of Olokun.

Onile – the Earth, master or mother of the Earth, depending where you are.  Associated more with the land or mass of the Earth than the water.

Onirawo – comets

Onzocaire – a benevolent Haitian loa who is said to grant wishes in exchange for a head of a sheep and a litre of whisky. Just a warning, it is not quite so simple.

Ori, Ibori – each person’s personal Orisha, guardian, or spiritual self.

Oro – the force of law/law enforcement on Earth.  His physical manifestation or humans being ridden by him are never to be seen by women or else they will die on the spot.  He also embodies the male mysteries and mystique…that “something” that should be in all heterosexual and dominant men.

Orun – the sun or the home of the planetary Orishas for our solar system.

Orungan – the ideal male or anthropos, youth, reflection, and the love that comes from admiration.

Orunmila – the Deity of knowledge and wisdom.  Some refer to him as the Word of Olodumare, as he is the source of Ifa and Ebo.  He transmits knowledge through the Ifa oracle and some believe all forms of divination.  All priests/counselors of any flavor of Mami Wata derived faiths should pay him respect because he is from where we receive messages.

Osanyin – owns all plants, master of herbal medicine and magic.

Osara – waterfalls, cascades, vertical or semivertical flowing waters.

Oshumare, Anyiewo – the rainbow serpent. The bridge and encircler between and around the Orishas and mankind, the spirit and physical realms.  S/he is protected by Eshu, and sometimes embodied in Oya’s garments.

Oshun – second wife of Shango, Orisha of beauty, romantic love, prosperity, fun, and feminine dance.

Osu, Oshu, Oshupa – the moon

Oti – name means “liquor” or “rum”, four breasted one, an Orisha sympathetic of the sorrow of women who are mocked or made fun of.  This could be to say that she embodies the “liquid confidence” women get when they are intoxicated.

Otin (maybe same as Oti) – the servant of Yemaya who, according to an apataki, saved her life in a battle with Oshun.

Oya, Yansa – third and favorite wife of Shango, Orisha of thunder, storms, wind, change, female strength and martial arts.

Oye, Ojo – the wind, air.  Accompanies Oya.

Ozain, Osanyin – a forest Orisha and owner of omiero.

Pomba Gira – Brazilian Candomble consort of Exu. Her paths are called upon for help in matters of love/lust.

Pulu, Pulo, Pooloo, Pululu – music made with wind/air and wind instruments.

Segbo – Fon Creator, also known as Se Medo (Master of Creation), Ainon (Owner of Earth), Dokunon (Master of all wealth/riches), or Dada (The Creator).  Segbo means “the Great Soul” or could be interpreted as “the Great Spirit”.

Shango – fire, lightning, male dance and martial arts.  Originally Jakuta.  Son of Aganju.  Associated with Heyvoso (Sogbo).

Shokponna/Babalu Aye/Sakpata – smallpox, AIDS, the plague, and other contagious diseases.

Sigidi, Shigidi, Shugudu – bringer of nightmares or tormentor of the guilty through nightmares.

Tano – Akan God of War.

Togbui Nyibla – Anlo Ewe guardian of the state.  Determines and guards legitimate kings.

Yemaya, Yemanja – Mother of life on Earth, guardian of the seas. Associated with Ala.  Said to originally be the Goddess of the Ogun river, but since she is the Mother of all waters, expanded to be all oceans and seas later.  Associations overlap with Agwe and Olokun, depending on the region.

Yembo – the old mother aspect of Yemaya who gave birth to the celestial bodies.  For the scientifically minded, this could represent the collective parent spirits of all the planets and stars, or mother of Yemaya.

Yeve – Anlo Ewe deity of Thunder and sacred drumming, also called Tohonu.

Yewa, Yeggua, Ewa – Queen of the literal underworld, decomposition, decay, and fermentation.  She also defends women who have been raped or abandoned during pregnancy.  Link: Yewa Facebook page

Yeye Lembo – mistress of the culinary arts.  She taught Oshun to cook, and as the story goes, the student surpassed the teacher, but Yeye Lembo is still very respected and called upon to find creative recipes as well as to charm food.

Zaka, Azacca – Haitian Lwa of agriculture.

Zodji, Dada Zodji, Obaluaiye – Dahomeyan king of the Earth, son of Sakpata, and twin brother of Nyawe-Ananu who is also his wife.

A few of these were harvested from or explained at
http://nigeriavillagesquare.com/forum/lounge/15827-list-401-orishas.html
http://santeria.tribe.net/thread/6b3f964a-9114-4b85-84a5-d71c14d62212
http://www.ochareo.com/articles/articles6.htm
http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/voodoo/biglist.htm
and http://www.godchecker.com

More Interesting Resources

Orisha Shrines – photos of Santeria style shrines for many Orishas

The Lukumi Pantheon – an article by Willie Ramos with a list of Orishas worshiped by the Lukumi/Santeria and associated sects.

Orishas (Deities) Worshiped in Yorubaland – a list compiled for the Old Naija blog of deities worshiped in Nigeria and surrounding areas.

Edo Deities and Spirituality – very brief overview of Edo spirituality and a partial list of Edo deities.

Arabian Paganism – the basics of spirituality in the pre-Islamic middle east and Arabia, with a list of deities.

The Mpungo of Palo Mayombe – an ebook about the deities and spirits of Palo Mayombe

Mpungo – a webpage listing some of the deities and spirits of Palo Mayombe

The Seven Worlds – a very large list of African and diaspora spirits and deities with brief descriptions. One of the longest I’ve seen to date.

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