Orixás are divine forces from which this world is created and which are manifested in different qualities of nature, but also in ourselves – in the way we act, in our emotions… in fact, everywhere. The name itself comes from west African Jorubs. For their better human understanding they personified Gods and Goddesses, where each one represents and rules over different domains and phenomenons in this world. And yet, they are all divine forms of the one God (in Jorubean cosmology Olurum). Through a conscious contact with these defined forces a person can better get to know, get to understand their destiny here on Earth and become holistic again. You can find the offer of statuettes of Orixás on our e-shop here: https://eshop.umbanda.cz/sosky-orisu-a-pruvodcu/
The Origin of Orixás
Just like the faith of Umbanda, Orixás got to the American continent along with the brought-in African slaves. Because African cultures were new and suspicious for the Catholic church (sometimes even labelled as witchcraft), these African traditions resorted to quite the syncretism. Therefore, under the guise of Saints of Catholic church, they continued to worship their African Gods. That is why in Umbanda we can meet these Gods in their original African rendition as well as in renditions of Christian Saints. During the study of Umbanda you will inevitably come across the term “axé.” When you would like to express that something was really “strong,” the only thing an Umbandee could ever need to express this sentiment without much thought or long explanations is merely: “Axé…” It can also serve as an expression of agreement or greeting.
Axé is the prime resurgent energy ever present everywhere, in ourselves and in everything created. No wonder that in regional studies “axé” is likened to the more known term “mana.” From the view of Umbanda, sickness and other such problems are the result of the lack of axe or its blockage. Rituals are supposed to recharge the axé and/or harmonise it. Through every being flows a different amount of axé and the biggest, most concentrated amount of creative forces are believed to flow through the Orixás.
Oxalá. The Divine Father. The creator of humanisation and the universe. The Orixá of faith, purity, life. The energy of Oxalá represents our faith in God, our relating to spirituality, which is why its alternate from Christianity is Jesus Christ.
Yemanjá, Goddess of all seas and oceans. From her salt waters rose all life on Earth, she is therefore the mother of us all. Her strength is unmatched. Thanks to her maternal qualities and protective qualities, in Christianity she is identified as the Virgin Mary.
Ogum is the general of Umbanda. His energy is never-compromising. His strength slices through all darkness. He guards the bridge between our world and the astral world. Just like Saint George, who is his Christian equivalent.
Oxóssi, the noble huntsman, is the lord of the rainforest and everything that grows. He abounds with great wisdom, which comes from the knowledge of the heart. His principle teaches valuing the law of nature, the law of life.
Oxum, Goddess of clear sweet waters, rivers, waterfalls and creeks. She teaches the fullness of love. The love of one’s self and of others. She is the Goddess of prosperity and of the physical and spiritual wealth.
Iansã, Goddess of the wind, storm and thunder. She is the great female warrior, who is brave, decisive, hot-tempered, sharp and passionate. She brings radical cleansing and change. She rules the circle of destruction and renewal.
Oxumaré, lord of the rainbow, cycles and fertility, is a beautiful, colourful Orixá. He rules the principles of changeability as well as the balance in life. Whatever he touches he transforms and renews.
The Orixá of hidden love, Obaluaê brings the great gift of real healing through the understanding of the teachings that come from every ailment. He is the lord of life and death and many rebirths, which we can meet in our lives.
Nanã is the first of all female Orixás. She was a witness to all of the universe’s creation. Nanã is the grandmother of us all. She represents Mother Earth, from which everything is born and into which everything returns.