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Creating an Orisha Altar

Each Orisha has particular requirements when it comes to setting their altars. Some items or offerings are sacred to one, but taboo to another. To connect with the Orishas, it is important to have their altars correctly set up and maintained. Here are some examples of the right ritual objects for each Orisha:

Obatala

For Obatala, the eldest of all Orishas, use:

Yemaya

For Yemaya, mother of the world, place:

Elegua

Elegua, personification of destiny and the crossroads, enjoys:

Ogun

For Ogun, Orisha of creativity, iron, war, and hunting, set the altar with:

Shango

Shango, the god of thunder, dancing, virility, and fire, enjoys:

Ochosi

For Ochosi, master hunter and fisherman, set the altar with:

  • Ochosi's tools.
  • Antlers, deer heads, animal pelts, ram's horns, or turtle shells, as symbols of his hunting prowess.
  • His bow and arrows (these live in his and Ogun's soperas).
  • A statue or other image of Ochosi.
  • An Ochosi candle.
  • Offerings include game animals and fowl. He also enjoys fruits such as plantains, pomegranates, bananas, grapes and pears.

Orula

Orula, the master of divination, enjoys:

Oya

For Oya, goddess of the Niger river and ruler of storms, set the altar with:


Altars do not necessarily need to be very fancy or expensive, but care and thought must be put into setting them up. Put them in a place of honor, and keep them clean and well-maintained. Be sure to provide regular offerings of the proper foods, drinks, plants, and other objects, and you will forge a powerful spiritual relationship.

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