Orí in jorubean means “head.” However, in traditional communities this expression doesn’t hold only one meaning, but harbours within a web of meanings, referencing different levels of its understanding. Therefore we can understand Orí also as the spiritual guidance in our lives, our higher me, our fate or as a divine essence encrypted into our material body. In the Jorubean tradition it’s honoured even as an individual orixa for this kind of sphere of influence. It is even so, that the word orixa is actually a combination of words “Orí” and “xa” (all divine), which together means: “all divine, which inhabits the head.” During rituals of the Gira, the head is the mean canal, through which the medium connects with their guides and the forces of the orixás. A medium alone is, in Umbanda, taken as a kind of horse (cavalo), which is saddled by these energies and becomes an instrument for their workings. That is why, in umbanda, there is a great emphasis put on taking care of the Orí, so that the contact with our guides and the orixás is as clear as possible.
Taking Care of Orí
The way we take care of our receptor, that’s the signal we are going to catch. It is therefore a great responsibility to protect and maintain our canal clean. It isn’t only the food and drink that we accept into our body, but also what we pay attention to, what we listen to, what we read, where we spend our time, with which people we socialise. All of this gets imprinted into our energetic field. Between the primary cleansing means in Umbanda belongs the burning of herbs, but also herb baths. If we feel as though we need to cleanse ourselves very intensively, it is appropriate to bathe in salt or lightly wash off before letting an infusion of lavender or fragrant rue dry on our skin. There also exists a special ritual amaci, which serves for a medium to connect to their guide or a lineage of an orixa through the washing of the head with infusions of herbs combined according to the duality of each orixa. Different types of means for care of one’s self and of their surroundings are able to be found on our online shop here: https://eshop.umbanda.cz/