The Grandmother of us all

Nana Orixá v Umbandě.

Orixa Nanã is the first, original feminine Orixa of all. She is the matured, spiritualized feminine principle. She embodies a very ancient energy originating from the depths of creation. She was witness to the creation of all of the universe. Nanã is the grandmother of everyone. She represents mother Earth, from which everything is birthed and into which everything returns after death. She was here long before us and she will remain here long after we pass. She accepts, nurtures and protects. She heals through forgiveness. Nana provides deep wisdom of the ages that is necessary for further evolution. Her holiday is celebrated on the 26th of July, on the names day of Saint Anna, who was the grandmother of Jesus and the mother of Virgin Mary.

Orixa Nanã is, during our journey of self discovery, able to add malleability and motion to everything that is rigid. She is able to dissolve and pull down all negative energy to the water’s floor and she is able to set into motion any stagnation. That is why her power points in nature are lakes, swamps and still waters, where the elements of water and earth blend together into a gooey solution of mud. From her clay all living beings were formed. She guards the portal between life and death and she regulates the time of life and death. For her however, nothing ends with death. Through death she brings transmutation onto the next levels. She can appear as a farther version of our reality, but she embraces the whole cycle of life and the evolution of creation all the way to the end of time.

Nanã helps to reach calmness during emotional instabilities. From anger, anxiety, across depression, jealousy, she transforms all negative emotions in a way so that they don’t stand in the path of our spiritual development. Nanã is even able to help overcome addictions. She blesses with her discretion. She patiently awaits the right moment. She teaches respect for our elders and our ancestors.

We can see her depicted in purple or lilac dresses. Her other colours are pink, plum and even white. She can have attributes of straw, pebbles, eggshells, but never of iron. That is because Nana represents an ancient phase of creation and the human race during a time where iron wasn’t being used yet. It is possible to ask Nana for pulling away any negative energies and emotions that distract us on our path of development. She may even bring fertility and prosperity. It is best to offer her a prayer on Friday or Saturday, sing her pontos and offer her candles and flowers in her colours.

Every Orixá has their own characteristic “activation” greeting. Her greeting, during rituals in the terreiro or during work with his energy, is performed in a bow accompanied by applause as a token of respect.
Nanã’s greeting is as follows: “SALUBA, NANÃ!”