Iyami Osoronga: Who are they, Offerings, Worship, Initiation

Iyami osoronga, Iyami Oshoronga or choronga, is a deity of the Orisha and Ifa cult, which has spread to other religions with African roots. This deity is the one who governs the cult of sorcery or witchcraft, or they can be said to be the mothers of sorcery, their followers are given the name of Aje, or witches. 

A very powerful deity to which we must have a lot of respect, there are several signs of Ifa that teach us how to attend to her and the negative situations that they can generate if we do not avoid her anger.

Legend has it that if the Iyami transform into birds, White, Red and Black, this transformation is used to attack those who want to harm.

En Osa Meji It was where the Iyami Osoronga came to earth (Oddun Isalaye).

The tree associated with Iyamí Ochooronga is the African teak, La ceiba or Iroko

Who are the Iyami Osoronga? 

Who are the Iyami Osoronga?

Followers of the cult of sorcery are known by different names:

  • Ajogun: Dignitaries of the Night or Elders of the Night
  • Aje.Awon Iyami: which means "my mothers"
  • Eniyan or Eleye: when they appear in the form of birds;
  • Oghhudian ni yason: as it is named in the Benin region;
  • Iquenromo: also called this way in the Benin region.

The power that the followers of this cult have was granted by Olodumare (God) himself at the time when he lived physically with the other deities. The Witches were given the exclusive power to keep vigil every time Olodumare was taking the bath, exactly before the crowing of the rooster as it was forbidden to see Olodumare naked.

To the divinity of Iyami Osoronga was the only one who was given that authority.

On occasions the witch divinity gave the signal to the rooster that Olodumare had taken his bath, after which the rooster crowed for the first time in the morning.

A powerful witch doctor from Heaven, named "Eye to yu Oke To Qu Orun" was engaged in the destruction of the earthly divinities as a consequence of her evil and destructive behavior on Earth, but Olodumare nonetheless did not leave the rest of creation. hopelessly at the mercy of Las Brujas. God proclaimed that the ground (Otá Olé) was the only force that would destroy any witch or divinity who transgressed any of the natural laws.

You can read: What is witchcraft?

The cult

The cult of the Iyami Osoronga is fundamentally feminist, enhancing the power of women within Yoruba beliefs.

The iyami have different classifications: White Aje, Red Aje, Black Aje.

  • The white Aje are generally more peaceful, they help other women who are starting in worship.
  • The Black Aje, are more aggressive and macabre than the white ones, it is said that they torture their victims to death.
  • Las Rojas, are more lethal, they directly go and attack their victims in order to execute them.

In general, the Iyami are quite dangerous, they generate diseases, conflicts, infertility and chaos.

This cult is very hermetic, the women who are part of this society, handle very strict rules, their meetings are sectarian, at night and in secret places, it is said that they meet in the mountains where a Ceiba (Iroko) is found.

The Yoruba believe that witches possess birds that have a peculiar screech when they fly in the middle of the night on their way to their meeting place. The elderly who are outside their houses or those who are still awake inside them, generally address the bird saying: A kiioso pe ki ode orisa o ma de, bi ko ba ti de wara eni, Onaire o !, "One cannot decree that the hunters of the divinities do not hunt, as long as they do not hunt our close neighbor, have a good trip!"

This is a way of begging the witches not to do harm. It also shows that people believe that witches are terrible beings and that they are a source of fear. Just as hunters go on expeditions, witches go on a mission to search for human beings whom they can destroy, that is why they say:

The witch's bird screeched last night;

the child dies today.

Who doesn't know that

It was the squeaky witch from the night before

the one who killed the child?

Initiation to the Cult of the Iyami Osoronga

"No one can choose to initiate in Iyami, they choose who they want to initiate and" call "that person, (whether they want to or not). No one can say that it has started in Iyami or the one who started it, can say that it has started it. No one can have a throne or receive an attribute from Iyami. (Chief Ifawole Aworeni 2011).

The Initiation process consists of the white women starting a recruitment process, the chosen ones go through some kind of pact, then they begin to be instructed and educated in the doctrines of the cult. The chosen ones will only be able to have contact with the whites.

Under no circumstances in the Yoruba branches, or Afro-descendants, in rules such as that of Osha and Ifa, fundamentals of the Iyami Osoronga are given or received.

What are the Offerings and Adimu to the Iyami Osoronga:

The Iyami Osoronga

Like all deities with African roots, the Iyami Osoronga also have their offerings with which to entertain and appease the witches.

The Ifa signs show us different ways and different sacrifices, offerings or adimuses that can be made. The Odu of Ifa Osa meyi reflects a standard way of making such offerings.

A clay pot or container is used that is placed at a crossroads.

The ifa board is placed with iyefa which the Oddun of Ifa Osa Meyi, Oshe Nilogbe, Oshe Nilogbe prayed there, then sprinkled on the food or adimu that are being offered.

They can be offered: Eggs, corojo, beans, rice, meat, pork, goat, rabbit, fish, chickens, sweets, different fruits, gin, wines, brandy, honey. All these materials must be produced raw.

The animals that are offered can be rabbit, goat, goat, sheep, snapper, hen, guinea, rooster. The viscera of animals are also offered, although they have a predilection for the liver. The ingredients to be used must be indicated by Ifa in divination.

“The negative dimension of the Iyami is expressed in the term Aje, terrible or destructive mother or simply, Witch. You can see the fearful faces of the informants as they speak very carefully about the subject:

"The one who has water in the house, and still washes her face with blood" and
"The one whose vagina we can never get close to."
It represents the mystical powers of femininity in its most dangerous and destructive aspect ”. (Beier)

Procedure for feeding the Witches (Iyami)

A clay pot placed on top of an incinerator, on one side the Orúnmila board filled with divine powder is placed and the Odu Oyekun Bika is prayed, at the end of the sacrifice this divine powder is made as a seasoning for the offering.

Ingredients for the work.

  • 8 raw eggs.
  • 8 cooked eggs
  • Abundant palm oil.
  • Rice beans,
  • Beef,
  • Goat meat,
  • Pork Meat,
  • Sheep meat
  • Rabbit meat
  • Fish
  • Gallina
  • Food

Everything must be well cooked, it is also added: Salad, Fruits, Sweets, Wine, Gin, brandy, Kolá Nut, Honey, A snail, Animals: 1 goat, 1 white rabbit, 1 hen, 1 fish.

Preliminary ceremony.

Before performing this ceremony, one Goat will be given to Eshu and two Adie dun dun to Orunmila.

This procedure is reflected in the Oddun of Ifa Oyekun Bika.

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