The 7 African Powers: Who they are, What they are for, History and more
The seven African powers are representations of the Yoruba deities, whose invocation is made through various beliefs resulting from the syncretism derived from the arrival of African slaves to the American continent.
Who are the 7 African powers?
When we speak of the 7 African powers, direct reference is made to the 7 black princes, or to 7 spiritualities adored by Africans, known in the rule of Osha and Ifa as Orishas, whose veneration is very important within Yoruba society. This group of 7 spiritualities is made up of:
- Elegua: King and owner of the roads.
- Obatala: Represents peace and purity.
- Orunmila: Orisha diviner, wise and fair.
- Oggun: Tireless worker, owner of iron and metals.
- Oshun: Goddess of the river, considered the aphrodite of Santeria.
- Yemaya: The mother of the world, stave of the oceans.
- Shango: Owner of fire, lightning and Thunder.
These deities that make up the seven African powers, are part of the Yoruba pantheon, they are worshiped in different cults and religions.
Here is a brief description of these Orishas (Saints):
He is a saint who represents both light and shadow. His energy is constantly moving. He has the function of being the messenger and interpreter of the language of the Orishas and men, therefore, he is considered a fundamental piece in the communication process of human beings with spiritualities.
choose It predominates in a great variety of places, beginning its power over all the roads, the doors, the entrances of the city, the crossroads, the corners, among the garbage cans, in the savannah, the forest, the thickness of the mount, or it can also be found hidden among the rocks; so it is usually related to earth elements.
It is considered a spirituality ready to help its devotees to get out of the traps, the problems in which the enemies lurk or when the economic development stagnates, thanks to its power to open the roads; his intervention is essential for our spiritual works to be efficient, regardless of the deity that is invoked, he always informs them of our sacrifices in his honor; In addition, he is in charge of the protection of temples, houses and cities.
He is the King of purity, he is identified as an African spirituality of magnificent generosity, whose power is very sacred, charged with such authority, that he is seen as the father of all deities and owner of all heads. He is credited with his special involvement in the creation of man, although his work was completed by Oduduwa.
Obatala's relationship with purity makes him an exponent of morality and justice, whose principles are based on maintaining the balance of all things, on fairness, on human values such as: honesty, truth, love, loyalty, and solidarity; he intervenes in negotiations, in good relations, in artistic culture, in all that is beautiful, aesthetic and refined; he is the father of diplomacy.
Obatala He is considered a heavenly deity. In nature he is present on the mountainside, in the ceiba tree, in the moon, in all white things and in the gestation of human beings. He helps his devotees with great efficiency to achieve peace and calm in situations of great disappointment, to refresh the mind, improve physical, mental and spiritual health problems.
He is a major Orisha, around whom a complex religious structure has been formed thanks to his unique relationship with all the other Orishas. Orunmila is considered a great benefactor for human beings, because he serves as his main adviser, revealing his future and allowing them to influence him. This ability is due to the fact that he is the possessor of the secrets for the interpretation of Ifa, being the supreme oracle through which his energy is communicated.
Orunmila symbolizes transmutation, renewal, change, the mysterious, hidden forces, magic, death, destruction and regeneration, disputes, struggle, challenges, dangers of submersion, dramas, passions, envy, inheritance, donations, difficult searches, internalization, the collective unconscious and dreams.
He is considered a great doctor. It is estimated that whoever does not follow his advice, whether man or Orisha, will undoubtedly experience the inconveniences that have been warned, since his word never falls to the ground, in addition, Eshu as Orunmila's inseparable companion will make sure that what is warned is fulfilled with all security.
Ogun he is a deity whose wisdom is quite relevant to Yoruba society. Iron divinity and great warrior. Skilled in the arts of sorcery and ancient medicine, he is an excellent protector against spiritual wars, especially those caused through the use of dark spirits.
It intervenes favorably in the technological and industrial development of the peoples, due to its power over metals, extending its intervention in the evolution of the sciences. Its energy also lives in all the minerals, in the great mountain ranges, in the forests, the savannahs, and in the entire extension of the mountain.
He considers himself a tireless worker who does not stop working at any time of the day. His devotees often invoke his help to get rid of enemies, of diseases; so that his protection accompanies them during surgical interventions; as well as, so that the agreements or promises that were made to him are fulfilled.
The Orisha Oshun She is known as an extremely beautiful woman, with a very particular charm full of joviality. Her laughter and her tears are two characteristics that define her with great singularity. It is said that she has a somewhat volatile character, accompanied by a special fighting strength that allows her the ability to reach any goal, getting rid of obstacles regardless of their nature, just like the river does, a natural element that also it belongs to.
She is a stubborn defender of truth and justice, therefore, it is estimated that when she sentences something, she does so impartially and definitively. She lives in all fresh waters. Her devotees invoke her to achieve the resolution of all kinds of conflict, to find love, good fortune, or for the protection of pregnant women, since she intervenes in the formation of the fetus. Despite being a very kind deity, she is also very feared, since her anger and pride can cause great catastrophes.
She is known as the mother of all Orishas and of all beings in creation. She is a representative of perfection, constant work, of everything related to the sea and its mysteries, since she is the owner of the waters, especially the marine waters and the great lakes. She too, she is the owner of the amniotic fluid, so she has a great influence on the development of human beings during her gestation.
Yemaya she is a saint with quite a hot temper, she can be very fickle just like the tide. At the same time, she is a selfless, wise and protective mother of her children in any situation. On the other hand, she is usually an excellent hunter, swimmer, and expert warrior in handling hunting tools and weapons, especially daggers and machetes.
Yemaya's devotees usually ask for her help in matters of health, to balance their financial development, to achieve good fortune, to solve or win conflicts and confrontations, both earthly and spiritual, because she is a sorceress specialized in the magical arts.
Chango He is the deity of thunder, fire and lightning. He is a major Orisha of vital importance in the practice of the rule of Osha and Ifa, he is considered the "King of Religion". He is known as a brave warrior, with a rather violent temperament, but with an unparalleled capacity for justice. In fact, he is estimated to ruthlessly punish wrongdoers and liars.
His spirituality is present in the candle and lives on the royal palm. His devotees ask for his help when their enemies wish to harm them; he intervenes favorably for the relief of various diseases, especially those involving burns; It also helps to relieve emotional ailments such as depression. It is very effective in achieving complex goals and protects victims of injustice.
You can read: Prayer to the 7 African Powers
Cult of the 7 African powers
Thanks to the arrival of Yoruba religious beliefs in America, after the forced transfer of African slaves to that continent, a phenomenon of fusion was generated between the various beliefs of all members of society at the time. On the one hand, the Catholic colonizers and evangelizers forced Africans to abandon their beliefs and on the other, they resisted, looking for a way to preserve their culture for the knowledge of future generations.
Then syncretism is born. Each Orisha was identified with some Catholic spirituality with which they had the greatest coincidence, and their cult merged in some way, to hide their beliefs but in order not to abandon them. It is there, where the adoration of the 7 African powers is born, which beyond its original 7 black princes, now come to be represented by saints or virgins, but who continue to be the essential energy that inhabits nature and to which, the devotees pay him deep adoration.
The practice of the cult of the 7 African powers can vary depending on the perspective from which you look at it. It can be done from the Yoruba point of view, or according to spiritualist customs, but in both practices the deities are worshiped, filling them with attention, offerings and sacrifices to obtain and thank their blessings.
What are the colors of the 7 African powers?
- Choose: red and black.
- Obatala: white.
- Orunmila: yellow and green.
- Oshun: yellow and amber.
- Ogun: green and black.
- Yemaya: blue.
- Shango: red and white.
Necklace of the 7 African powers
The necklace of the 7 African powers is made with colored beads: white, red, black, green, yellow, brown, and blue, distributed 7 by 7. The use of this religious garment stimulates a connection between the neophyte and the African Orishas. , and contributes to your protection in the activities corresponding to your life, thus providing you with support in your health matters, attracting your stability and development.
How are the 7 African powers served?
They are served mainly using the 7-color candle or candle and a glass of water, but you can also be offered: flowers, roses (black princes), coconuts, raw or fried green bananas, assorted fruits, brandy, honey, corojo oil, husks, cocoa butter, fish and smoked jutia, red wine, sweet potatoes, yams, okra, roasted corn, sweets, and tobacco.
The offerings will be left in the place that has been prepared to carry out the service while the candle is lit and as long as they are kept in good condition, withdrawing when they deteriorate.
Veladora (Velon) of the Seven African Powers
Lighting a candle of 7 colors to the 7 African powers is one of the most common and popular rituals used for their invocation. As we can see in the previous story, turning on a light to invoke these spiritualities is usually highly effective in obtaining their blessings and solving the situations that afflict us and that have been handed over to these entities.
The candle that is usually offered to the seven African powers has the 7 colors that identify each of the spiritualities that make up this group, in order to activate their energy vibration with greater efficiency.
It happened that many years ago a Yoruba King named Odigbere set out to conquer a new territory, so he decided to invade the land of Djalow (Senegal), but first, he went to the home of the village diviner, who was the Awo ni Orumila Babá Irete Meji, by divination. The awo told him that he had to take into account that before Orunmila came down to Earth, those who worked Ifa, thanks to the will of Olofin, were the Namenialabo, who had among their secrets 21 spirits, who worked in 3 groups: sky, sea and Earth.
Odigbere, on the recommendation of Ifa, had to go to these 21 Eguns, in order to win the war that was about to begin, therefore, he had to feed the 7 African Powers in the following way:
Sky: 7 Plates with Indigo and 3 doves on each one.
Land: 7 Jícaras with flour, waste, jutia and smoked fish, corojo butter, honey from bees and a rooster for each jícara.
Sea: 7 jícaras with white flowers and a sea fan, 7 white roosters, sea shells, a throne and a wick lamp, with 7 chameleons, 7 stones, 7 arrows, oil, among other elements.
Edibere made the corresponding sacrifices and after 7 days of going out with the army to the conquest, carrying the lighted lamps, he left them on the mountain near the enemy territory. The Senegalese, seeing those bright lights in the distance, approached, but when they appreciated them better, frightening images resulted and they were frightened. At that time Odi Ogbe's soldiers entered Kjunda, his capital, and took over the kingdom. The loss of the Senegalese in the forest and the triumph of Edibere was thanks to the intervention of the 7 African powers.
The 7 powers in spiritualism
In spiritism, especially in Venezuelan spiritism, there is a controversy about the appreciation of 7 African powers and the relationship that has been attributed to the Orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon.
In some spiritual practices it is estimated that when speaking of the 7 African powers, reference is made to 7 ancestral spirits, without being the Orishas, with whom the only relationship in common could be their relationship and influence on certain elements of nature.
In other spiritualist beliefs, these 7 spirits are related to the 7 Catholic entities that are the product of Afro-Cuban syncretism, that is, that the 7 powers are made up of:
- San Antonio de Padua, who is syncretized with Elegua due to his similarity in terms of the great diffusion and knowledge of his cult in many places and ways.
- The Virgin of Our Lady of Mercedes, syncretized with Obatala for keeping relationships with the energy of peace, justice, whiteness, purity and tranquility.
- Saint Francis of Assisi, syncretized with Orunmila for his outstanding piety, wisdom and mercy ready to serve everyone.
- The Virgin of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, syncretized with Oshun with whom she shares her valuable work of protecting pregnant women.
- San Juan Bautista, syncretized with Oggun for his qualities of tireless faith and conviction in his actions that do not stop when they want to achieve a goal.
- The Virgin of Regla, who is syncretized with Yemaya for being patron saints of sailors and their close relationship with the waters.
- Santa Bárbara, syncretized with Chango due to the use of common attributes such as: the castle, lightning, the chalice or mortar, the double-edged sword, the red cape, among others.
Spiritual work to the seven powers
To carry out a spiritual mass in which the 7 African powers will work, 7 mediums are needed to transport Congo spirits through their matter. Each one will be served with a jícara with liquor and their respective tobacco. In the spiritual vault 7 glasses of fresh water are placed, each with a black prince rose. Before beginning mass, a lot of roasted corn should be sprinkled throughout the house.
The person offering the mass will sit in front of the vault with the 7 mediuns around him until they sit up and give their advice. When the session is over, the entire house is swept from the back to the front door and everything is thrown out.
Ritual with the 7 powers to remove witchcraft
This ritual is performed as a cleansing and protection against bad energies, low vibrations, dark spirits, spells and witchcraft.
- A candle or candle of the 7 powers (7 colors).
- 1 white plate.
- 2 glass bowls, each with fresh water.
- 7 white roses.
- 7 red roses.
- 2 dried coconuts.
- 1 glass cup with holy water.
- Incense of the 7 African powers.
- A table with a white tablecloth.
- An image of the 7 African powers.
Execution of the ritual:
Before starting, the entire space will be prepared and cleaned by lighting the incense. Then, on a table designated for this ritual, the image of the 7 African powers will be placed, with the crystal glass with water in front and then the candle on the white plate. On the right side you will place the white flowers and on the left side the red flowers, both inside the bowl with water. When it is in the recommended order, the person to be cleaned will be placed in front of the table, the candle will be lit and the person will be cleaned from head to toe with the two coconuts performing the following prayer:
«In this holy hour and in this holy moment I implore the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I invoke the spiritual force of the 7 African powers. Pure and ancestral spirits, ancient forces lodged in nature.
Be you, spirits of kindness, who assist me in this good work that I am doing today at your feet. Thus allowing my hands to be thrust into his healing power to cure this afflicted creature of all spiritual illness.
I revoke and transmute in the name of the 7 African powers all evil, spell, spell, evil eye, spell, work with shadows, with demons, with darkness, with lamps, candles, burials, moorings, and any other spiritual damage that may exist against this creature of God who goes by name (say the name of the person who is cleansed).
Thanks to the 7 African powers, today and forever I defeat every incarnated or disincarnated demon, with God's blessing ahead. Amen and so be it, so be it amen.”
Those coconuts will be taken to a corner by the interested person and he will break them by throwing them behind his back, trying not to look back. When the candle is consumed, the offered flowers will be prepared for a bath to be carried out. Subsequently, the space will be stripped again by lighting incense of the 7 African powers, to prevent any low vibration from being lodged in the place.