Tag Archives: male fertility

Orisha Oko (Okko)

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Orisha Oko

Oko

Orisha Oko is in charge of agriculture, and owns all cultivated land.  He is also a judge in many matters, including but not limited to witchcraft and the benevolence or malevolence thereof.

In the diaspora, where most of our practice has been labelled malevolent “witchcraft” by the misinformed, we depend on him to learn to use our gifts sanely and appropriately.

His sacred colors are red and white in some traditions, red and white with a little blue in others, and light pink and blue or blue and white or red and blue in others still.  The pattern these colors are usually arranged in is striped or plaid, or alternating.

His sacred number is 2 or 7.  He is strongly connected to Obatala, Yemaya, the Ibeji, Ogun, and Oshun.  Traditions vary as far as their relation.

ardenoko02In altars, shrines, and rituals, he is embodied in an iron rod, by a sword thrust into the ground, by two coconuts each painted red and white, and by the plow.  In some cases, people have represented him with a balance scale, or balanced objects.

His taboo is salt and saltwater because too much of it ruins the ground for vegetables.

He is depicted with a large set of genitalia, especially giant testicles which plow the ground, producing fertile crops as he walks by.

He is the star of the yearly yam harvest festivals in many African communities.  These take place usually in August or September.  It is a good deed to be extremely generous in all ways during the festival.  Generosity brings prosperity.  During the festival, “rain makers” who are priests and other gifted people who are specialists at bringing rain help to make the festival, and are rewarded well for this.  Vegetable dishes are cooked in the homes and establishments of adherents, and given out to the public.

All witches or actively spiritual people who are worshiping Orisha but operating outside the confines of the African priesthood, should respect and give offerings to Orisha Oko.  This will ensure that you will stay in the appropriate energy and shows that you concede to the judgement of Nature, and have no illusions of somehow operating outside of Nature.  Surely, if you screw up, Nature will do what she does anyway, but observance of Oko keeps you aware of where the boundaries are.

Food Offerings to Oko.

Oko LOVES VegetablesOko loves just about any kind of vegetable, but it is more meaningful and will help you more to give him things that are locally grown in season.  In places where yams are grown, it is a big deal to give him the newly harvested yams, but if you live in an area wherein the apple harvest or cactus fruit harvest or corn harvest is a big deal, then this is what you should give him during those harvest times.  Other times of the year, it is good to give him what is in season then.

On the other hand, it is a good idea to, at least during the time the yam festivals are going on in Africa, give him some yams or at least sweet potatoes then to express your awareness of your origins.  Some starchy root vegetable should be given at least.

Vegetable salads, stews, steamed vegetables, and fritters are all good offerings to Oko.  I have gotten good results from occasionally offering red and white fruits and vegetables, such as red delicious apples, and radishes.

Incense Offerings to Orisha Oko.

Many materials are used in observance of Orisha Oko, but charcoal in judicial proceedings, is used to mark the guilty.  So whatever you burn for Oko should result in ashes that are good for the Earth.

You can use the charcoal when you burn incense, to represent your wrongdoings, and the action of burning incense to symbolize your hope that your wrongs or inappropriate behavior will at least somehow feed some goodness or appropriateness.

With Oko, it is not a good idea to substitute loose incense on charcoal for sticks or cones unless you are sure they are made with natural ingredients.

A recipe:

  • a spoon of Eshu incense.
  • a handful of myrrh or frankincense.
  • a handful of red sandalwood (camwood).
  • a pinch of chalk.
  • a pinch of red dirt or red clay powder.
  • a pinch of powdered yam, sweet potato powder, or potato flakes.
  • a pinch of sugar.

Mix these and crush them to your desired consistency.  Pass the finished container through the smoke of Eshu incense, and give the first dose to Eshu.  Then it is ready.

Oko Oil.

Any cold pressed or gently extracted vegetable oil is sacred to Oko, but since some prefer something a little fancier, here is a recipe for something he’d like.

In one bottle put:

  • 3 drops of Eshu oil.
  • 2 heaping teaspoons red sandalwood powder.
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil.

In another bottle put:

  • 3 drops of Eshu oil.
  • 2 heaping teaspoons chalk, kaolin clay powder, or eggshell powder.
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil.

These are a pair, so you should consecrate them in Eshu incense smoke in the same incident.  Then close the bottles and give them a good shake.  Wrap them in a red and white cloth, and let them sit in a cool, dark place for 3 months.

When you are giving observance to Oko, or when you have a serious conflict or dilemma to settle, put some of the white oil on the hand you write with or that side of your head, and the red oil on the other.

You can also make an ointment using a solid oil such as coconut oil or shea butter for this.

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.