THE DAUGHTERS OF OSUN WHO ARE THE WARRIORS PART ONE

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WHO ARE THE WARRIORS

The WARRIORS are a set of FOUR principal ORISA,  ESU,  OGUN,  OCHOSSI, and  OSUN (Osoon)When you receive your personal Warriors they are made specifically for you, the individual to assist you with your personal destiny.

ESU

ESU is your personal Orisa to assist you in keeping your spiritual and physical roads open. ESU is a male force and it is recommended to have the IFA Priest of the Ile, (House) to make it.  Your personal ESU has a particular ROAD that will be suited for your personal growth, destiny and path. Your personal ESU is your personal messenger that delivers ALL your Prayers, Petitions, Desires, Goals and Communications to OLODUMARE, each ORISA and makes sure your is ROADS are cleared to RECEIVE.  When this Energy is appeased.  We refer to him as BABA ESU.   ESU has many paths, your ESU’S name and path will be given to you when you receive him keep it to your self. This will be your way to activate him.

ESU’S responsibility is to stimulate you to make choices, literally kick you off the fence.  ESU compared to the planet MERCURY.  This energy assists you SPIRITUALLY, PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY.  This energy has the ABILITY to OPEN and CLOSE DOORS for you.  OPEN the DOORS to opportunity and CLOSE the DOORS to ADVERSITIES, by your command.

ESU is the DIVINE MESSENGER trusted by OLODUMARE ‘GOD’ because of his HONEST and LOYALTIES and outstanding CHARACTER of TRUSTWORTHYNESS.  ESU energy also has a CHILD like character and is very playful, BUT never make the mistake ESU is a FULL GROWN ADULT ORISA.  As we mentioned hi is trusted by OLODUMARE and because of that HE is the only ORISA granted the PERMISSION to move freely throughout the UNIVERSE.  IT is ESU who is FIRST in all CEREMONIES, it is ESU who speaks to ALL ORISA directly.  Nothing is communicated without BABA ESU, of it simply doesn’t happen.

ESU is represented by the CROSS ROADS and maintains the power to open and close them on all levels.  Although many Ile’s (Houses) have their own set of how they do things and when at THE DAUGHTERS OF OSUN ILE, our ESU DAY is SATURDAY.  This is the Day WE honor him, by making ADIMU OFFERINGS to ESU of his choice.  His number is Three (3) and (21).  His colors are BLACK and WHITE with RED and BLACK.

ESU is made with CEMENT and COWRIE SHELLS with his SECRETS inside.  The cowries represent his Eyes, Nose, Mouth and Ears.  Some ESU’S are carved in WOOD sacred to ESU.  Some ESU’s are Made in Large or Small Seashells,  and some are simple Stones BUT are sacred to that Road of ESU. No ESU is without a stone and that Stone ‘OTON’, holds his Natural Energy and SPIRIT with in.

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ADIMU (OFFERINGS)

  1. Water
  2. Palm Oil
  3. Honey
  4. Toasted Corn
  5. Pop Corn
  6. Corn Meal Balls
  7. Cigar
  8. Gin
  9. Rum
  10. Fruit
  11. Coconut
  12. Kola Nut

ESU generally sits by the DOOR in the HOUSE, some remain OUTSIDE.  All choices are ESU’S. Once we have agreed on his space in the House the space is consecrated and cleared.  Using Libation prayer, Water, Cigar Smoke, Gin.  Once BABA ESU has agreed it is safe to put him there.  We do this in RESPECT for the ELDER ENERGY and this space is where he can emit full energy of protection.  ESU’S energy also protects the living quarters and the neighborhood.   Some are thinking, I am not comfortable putting Esu out in the open like this.  In such cases your PRIEST or PRIESTESS will assist you in a solution.

We SALUTE BABA ESU coming and GOING with a KNOCK at the door Three (3) times.  Sometimes it is a knock Three (3) times on the floor by ESU.  This alerts him to WAKE UP also.

Mojuba Ase Esu  Mojuba Ase Ogun  Three (3) times

You are Saluting Baba Esu and Petitioning his blessings to open your Road and Path going. For a safe journey.  Upon returning you are thanking him for a safe return.

See:  WHO ARE THE WARRIORS  PART TWO.

THE DAUGHTERS OF OSUN ON ORISA OBATALA

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OBATALA

Obatala is the ‘KING of the WHITE CLOTH’.  It is through the understanding of this title that much of  ‘OBATALA’S’ role in existence can be explained.

‘OBATALA’ is the KING.  He is the King of the ORISA because of his age.  In YORUBA CULTURE and TRADITION, age IS the most important ingredient in the attaining and in the wielding of, POWER.  ‘OBATALA’ is the OLD MAN and is symbolic of ‘HONORED MATURITY’.  It is because of his AGE and GREAT WISDOM that he is the FIRST among EQUALS in then pantheon or ORISA.  The ORISA revere him because of his PURITY of intention.  He REPRESENTS  and  ENFORCES  the idea of ETHICAL RIGHTNESS,  which is HIS greatest and most  PERSUASIVE FORCE.  OBATALA is the KING of POWER, but his ARSENAL is HIS WISDOM.  OBATALA’S children humble, wise and with depth in HUMILITY share CLARITY, KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDIN AND WISDOM, IN THEIR POSITIVE STATE OF AWARENESS.  Arrogance, deceit, deceptions, misleading perceptions, disorderliness, unclean environments, ego, etc. is an OBATALA example of disorderly conduct, this person has fallen into the influence of Osogbo, misfortunes .  This person should seek the assistance of a Priest, Priestess, Babalawo, Iyanifa, Ifa Priest to realign themselves with blessings and Ire ase.

OBATALA, again is repeated is the KING of POWER, BUT, his arsenal is HIS POWER.  He is the FORCE in NATURE which represents the IDEA of MORAL CODE of behavior, and IS the OBLIGATION to do what is RIGHT.  HE is the CONSCIOUS FEELING of doing the RIGHT THING.  IT is HERE that OBATALA’S great POWER becomes most evident.  OBATALA demands, and sanctions HIGH MORALITY STANDARDS.

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OBATALA is one of the oldest of the ORISA, and because of his HUMILITY,  HIS CALMNESS, HIS ETHICS,  HIS CLEARNESS OF THOUGHT, AND HIS PURITY, HE WAS SELECTED BY ‘OLODUMARE,’ TO BE THE LEADER.

OBATALA IS THE HEAD!  AND HE OWNS THE TITLE TO SHAPE AND MOLD ALL HEADS, ‘ORI’ EVEN THE ONES OF ‘ORI SA’  OBATALA RULES THE HEAD AND THE HEAD RULES THE BODY.  EVERY LIVING BEING HAS A CROWN, THE CROWN IS THE ORI.  WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE AND ORI IN HEAVEN PRIOR TO BIRTH, AND OBATALA PLACES THAT ORI OF OUR CHOICE INTO OUR CROWN.  WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO CHOOSE A GOOD OR A BAD ORI.  THIS IS OUR DESTINY OF OUR OWN CHOISING.  OLODUMARE SANCTIONS OUR CHOICE.  SO GOOD OR BAD WE MADE THE CHOICE.  WE LIVE THE CONSEQUENCES.

The HEAD is the symbol of OBATALA and it is OLODUMARE’S  greatest creations. The SOUL of MAN exists in the HEAD, therefore, the HEAD is the SEAT of the SOUL. Since OBATALA is the HEAD, he sits at the TOP, not only of the ORDER of the ORISA in the philosophical sense, but at the top of the HUMAN BODY in the physical plane.  He is characterized as a judge, and HE is the one who was picked to make the right decisions.  This is not just because he OWNS the HEAD, BUT because he is a CALM, CLEAR, LUCID ORISA who represents COOLNESS, of THOUGHT, and RATIONAL DELIBERATION.

Just as OBATALA owns ALL HEADS, he can also attack the HEAD.  His attacks being characterized by LOSS of SIGHT, and or BRAIN HEMORRAGES.  His children must also be careful of INSANITY of ALL TYPES, for HE is the FATHER of INSANITY.  We do not intend to put fear into your psyche, however one needs to be aware that when one is called by spirit one must not be disobedient or stubborn or ignore.  There are blessings awaiting you in obedience to the calling.  We were brought here against our will, stripped, and denied our traditions, cultures and ways of worship and mostly our families were divided and conquered.  This is our curse and the blessing is in answering our callings and accept the great opportunity of the RE-ORIENTATING our lives, our family structures, our culture, our ways of worship, our tradition and honoring our Ancestors who suffered the abuse of slavery, to US the victims of SLAVERY.  RE-ORIENTATION is our salvation and transition to reconnect to roots, by becoming informed and conscious.  Question: Defy? or Accept?    Reform? or Transform?    Win? or Lose?   Conscious? or Insanity?  Your choice.   The choice is always our own.

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OBATALA

OBATALA is linked with the color WHITE.  White is associated with purity, of clearness and is a symbol of something NOT to be TOUCHED.  OBATALA is the idea of BEING FREE from SPOT or BLEMISH, and FREE from MORAL IMPURITY.  OBATALA wears WHITE ROBES.  He is ABOVE touching.

OBATALA is the concept of an ORISA who is SANCTIFIED, who is in the STATE of PURITY, and WHO is above REPOACH.  OBATALA is the idea of an ORISA who shines as WHITE, BRILLIANT as the SUN.  He is portrayed as an OLD MAN who has SEEN OLODUMARE ‘GOD’ and who therefore,  EMINATES THE GLOW OF GREAT WISDOM, HAPPINESS, AND PEACE WITHIN HIS SOUL.

‘OBATALA’  is associated with cloth because he is the one who brings fabric to man.  He invented cloth.  ‘OBATALA’  made the thread from cotton, wool, and wove the cloth of man, which COVERS,  WARMS,  and  PROTECTS man from the elements.

‘OBATALA’  is the creator deity.  He is the CREATOR, and the SHAPER  of   HUMAN BEINGS  which he formed out of CLAY.  He was the FIRST  ORISA to use clay, and was the first sculptor and the first potter.  He is the one who shapes the FETUS  in the WOMB.  FOLKLORE, states that  ‘OBATALA’  got drunk from Palm Wine and misformed some of the human beings, creating  ALBINOS, DWARFS,  HUNCHBACKS, CRIPPLES,  the DUMB and BLIND.  These people, come under ‘OBATALA’  special patronage.

‘OBATALA’  is the FATHER  of  WISDOM.  He is the idea of  WISDOM that is acquired through years of countless DECISIONS and EXPERIENCES.  He represents PLANNING through WISDOM.

‘OBATALA’  is a  MOUNTAIN  DEITY.  He is said to LIVE  on a HIGH PLATEAU, therefore Mountains are sacred to ‘OBATALA’.  He is also said to live on a WOODED HILL.  ‘OBATALA’  is an orisa  who lives in a COOL,  PEACEFUL,  WOODLAND, because he is radiant like the sun, he is old and cannot stand long periods of in the DIRECT SUNLIGHT.

‘OBATALA’  is symbolized by the GORILLA,  the SNAIL,  the  ELEPHANT, the  BOA CONSTRICTOR,  and the CHAMELEON.  Each of these animals represents a specific aspect of  ‘OBATALA’.

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GORILLA

The GORILLA is an animal that has the HIGHEST mental ability of all animals.  It lives on the MOUNTAINSIDE and is a SHY forest animal.  It has the capacity to LEARN from EXPERIENCE and to ACT with REASON.  The GORILLA is the largest PRIMATE  living today.  It is not a MALICIOUS forest animal, and despite its great STRENGTH and POWER, it is a PEACEFUL and SOCIABLE soul.

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SNAIL

The SNAIL is a very s-l-o-w  m-o-v-I-n-g  ANIMAL.  It is a  animal which HIDES in its SHELL for PROTECTION.  It can survive and live in the OCEAN, in the RIVER, on the MOUNTAIN and in the plains.  It to is one of the OLDEST living animal life forms in the chain of EVOLUTION.  The SNAIL represents  OBATALA because of its COOL and MEDICINAL SECRETIONS.  The secretions from the SNAIL is used to wipe ones BROW and COOL  OFF ones HEAD.  The SNAILS life blood is also used in this way.

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ELEPHANT

The  ELEPHANT  is associated with both POWER and  WISDOM.  The  ELEPHANT is associated with ‘OBATALA’  because it displays some of the CHARASTERISTICS of the AGED.  It has poor vision and limited hearing.  The ELEPHANT does however have an extraordinary sense of  TOUCH  and  BALANCE.  This idea of BALANCE  relates to the concept of the AGED, maintaining their BALANCE in LIFE.  The ELEPHANT too, is also a SYMBOL because it is EXTREMELY intelligent.

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BOA CONSTRICTOR

The BOA CONSTRICTOR is the LARGEST SNAKE in the kingdom of the forest.  It exists in the FOREST and kills its PREY by CRUSHING it to DEATH.  It lives quietly in the TREES and HUNTS by using the HEAT sensing pits along its lips at night.

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CHAMELEON

The CHAMELEON also lives in the LOW branches of TREES in the FOREST.  The CHAMELEON defends itself  by changing COLORS adapting to the environmental surroundings.  The CHAMELEON will hide itself out of sight then TURN COLORS.

All of the ANIMALS that symbolize OBATALA have one of more of these characteristics.  Most of them possess enormous  hidden strength in relation to their size.  Most of them prefer to remain hidden away from plain view.  The idea hiding is an important quality here.  All of  these animals either HIDE or  KEEP their DISTANCE whenever possible.  The ELEPHANT is a possible exception, BUT then most other animals to to keep their distance from it.

This brings to mind the character in OBATALA of UNTOUCHABILITY, and THE SANCTIFICATION of OBATALA.  While OBATALA, is PEACEFUL by NATURE he is DEEPLY RESPECTED for his enormous POWER which is well hidden in the VEILS of SHY HUMILITY.  OBATALA, overflows with HUMILITY and WISDOM.

OBATALA knows through the WISDOM gained in EXPERIENCES in ones LIFE one keeps the POWER gained from that true experience. It is through the JUDICIOUS use of POWER GAINED that man finds PEACE.  Although OBATALA is associated with GREAT KINGS and KINGDOMS, the power of OBATALA is not just FORCE of arms or physical might.  OBATALA RULES, the hidden power of REASON which exist within the HEAD.

When said that OBATALA does not use witchcraft, that ELEGBA is his witchcraft, it is meant, that ESU, ELEGBA, brings to manifestation the CHOICES available in each situation that arises in ones life.  BUT, it is OBATALA who brings forth the POWER of  WISDOM, REASON, and ETHICS.  It is OUR IWA, character that stands up and chooses our course of action.  One here is reminded to be responsible for the choices we allow our character to make.  When we plant the seed of BAD, do not be SUPRISED when to see unfavorable consequences manifest.  IFA teaches one to always put IWA PELE, good character first.   IF one refuses to apply Iwa-Pele, it NOW becomes the responsibility of ESU, ELEGBA to step in and affix them, BECAUSE it is ESU, ELEGBA who is the KING of CHOICE and He OPENS or CLOSES the doors after WE have made our CHOICES.  Good choice, good consequence.  Bad choice bad consequence.  OUR CHOICES!

It is through OBATALA who is the Orisa who shapes and molds the crown, has the ability to COOL the HEAD, who has the Wisdom, Strength of Power with ethical character and is represented in the CROWN Chakra, it becomes our responsibility to guard our head and keep it clean and pure.  OBATALA energy is in the core of every beings head, ORI.   All Male and Female universal energies.

THE DAUGHTERS OF OSUN ON THE GELEDA WOMENS SECRET SOCIETY


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THE GELEDE WOMENS SECRET SOCIETY The Gelede spectacle of the YORUBA is a public display by colorful Masks which combines ART, and RITUAL DANCE, to educate, amuse and inspire worship. GELEDE celebrates MOTHERS and MOTHERHOOD, Awon Iya wa, this is a group that includes The FEMALE ANCESTORS and DIETIES as well as THE ELDERLY WOMEN of the community. The masquerade festival, is a demonstration of the combined Spiritual Powers these Women have in SOCIETY. As women transition so will their powerful energies. Nothing is more charming than a spiritually developed lady with Iwa Pele whom is aware of her innate powers with in. Here is where one develops becomes aware of consequence of choice. This power in a destructive manipulative form takes the form of negative sorcery, and witch craft. The GELEDE initiations and ceremonial rites serve to appeasement transitioning these powers. This is the function of GELEDE WOMENS SOCIETY. To teach, educate and elevate the consciousness of women creating a value for the core of the women. You can not buy your way in you are called in. You will never know who is a part of this beautiful association until you are called in. You will never know who is masked because this is very private.

GELEDA IN YORUBA BELIEF

The Gelede Social Agenda rests on the Yoruba maximum Eso I’aye, the word is fragile.  Life is delicate and should be lived with caution and with emphasis on DIPLOMACY, CONSIDERATION, RESPECT and HARMONY.

THE ORIGINS OF GELEDE

Most YORUBA MYTHS of origin can be found in the divination narratives known in ‘ODU IFA.’  There are 256 ‘ODU IFA’ which contain a number of poems called ‘ESE IFA’.  An ‘ESE IFA’ is typically a narrative about a person or animal with a problem, and the steps or path to follow to resolve that problem(s).  In one of the ‘ESE IFA’ it is explained the origins of GELEDE as beginning with ‘YEMOJA’.  Now ‘YEMOJA’ known to be “The Mother of all the Orisa and ALL living things.”  ‘YEMOJA’ governs on the birth canal on females, the stomach is ruled by Ololun and ‘YEMOJA’ and the Breast are also ruled by ‘YEMOJA’.  YEMOJA nourishes and nurtures all living things. ‘YEMOJA’ also governs salt water and beaches, while ‘OLOKUN’ governs the depths of things and spiritual aspects of evolutionary growths.  In the beginning, ‘YEMOJA’ could not have CHILDREN and consulted IFA Oracle, whom advised her to offer Sacrifices and to also Dance with Wooden images on her Head and Metal Anklets on her Feet, to appease reverse this affliction on her.  After, performing this RITUAL, she became pregnant. Smiling!  Her first CHILD was a boy, his name was ‘EFE” for short meaning the humorist. The ‘EFE MASK’ emphasizes SONG and just because of the personality of its name sake. Smiling again! ‘YEMOJAS’ second child was a girl, she was named ‘GELEDE’ because she was very obese like her mother. ‘GELEDE’ also like her mother ‘YEMOJA’ loved dancing.

Both ‘GELEDE’ and ‘EFE’ were married themselves, neither ‘GELEDE’  or ‘EFE’S, wife could have children either.  When consulted, the IFA oracle suggested they try the same RITUAL that worked for their mother ‘YEMOJA’.  No sooner than ‘EFE’ and ‘GELEDE’ performed these RITUALS- Dancing with Wooden Images on their HEADS and METAL ANKLETS on their feet- they each started having children.  These RITUALS developed into the ‘GELEDE’ MASKED DANCE’ and was perpetuated by the descendants of ‘EFE’ and ‘GELEDE’.

This narrative is one of many stories that explains the origin of ‘GELEDE’ an outdated theory also states that the Beginning of ‘GELEDE’ might be associated with the change from a MATRIARCHAL to a PATRICHAL SOCIETY.

GELEDE SPECTACLE

Although the ‘GELEDE CEREMONY’ may be staged at anytime of the year, to better the life of an individual, or to cleanse the Society of pestilence, to induce rain, to enrich human fertility, to enlist support of super natural forces, and the ‘POWERFUL MOTHERS’ in wartime and to HONOR the DEAD, but the most elaborate performance occurs during the ANNUAL FESTIVAL.

The festival begins with an ALL-NIGHT concert called ‘EFE’ which features the ‘EFE MALE MASK’, who uses satire to entertain and educate.  Given the concern of the ‘GELEDE SOCIETY’ with Peace and Social Stability, it is surprising that didactic themes recur in ‘EFE’ songs.

After the ‘EFE DANCE’, most of the attendees spend the morning sleeping in preparation for the afternoon dance, which takes place in the market place. The dance features pairs of male dancers who perform the fast-paced music with a vigorous beat.

THE GELEDE CEREMONY INVOLVES

The ‘GELEDE’ Ceremony involves carefully choreographed dance, singing and music and especially drumming.  The performances are given by men, wearing masks that feature sculptured images of scenes including animals and people or sewing machines and drums.  The pairs of men masquerade as women to amuse, please and placate the mothers who are considered very powerful, and who may use their powers for good or destructive purposes.  These powers are especially linked to childbirth.  The abilities they possess may be activated either consciously or unconsciously.

GELEDE CUSTUME AND HEADRESS

‘GELEDE MASKS’ are worn with a costume consisting of layers of elaborate, colorful cloth.  The ‘GELEDE MASK’ is more accurately a HEADDRESS, since it rests on top of the HEAD and the wearer’s face is covered by a cloth veil.  The HEADDRESS takes the form of a HUMAN HEAD, on top of which are motifs that are intended to entertain out lookers but, in addition, usually address SOCIAL concerns that may also be expressed in SONGS that are part of the MASQUERADE.  The HEADDRESS are usually brightly painted.

Individuals or families will usually go to any length to make their HEADDRESS as attractive and humorous as possible.  The endless variety of the motifs and their combinations makes it difficult to typology of ‘GELEDE HEADDRESS’

Most of the HEADDRESS have facial adornments, ranging from lineage marks to decorative tattoos, which are either incised or painted.

The HEADDRESS is to the costume, what the HEAD, ORI is to the HUMAN BODY.  It is an index of identification and the essence  of the maskers personality as long as he is inside the mask.  In spite of the comical representations that often appear on the HEADDRESS, the FACE below the superstructure remains serene, as if stressing the paradox that is life–and the need to live life with special care.

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