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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

God of the Week - Shango

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This old god from Africa was honored as the God of Drum, Dance and Thunder. He is also one of the most popular Orishas, called Sky-Father. All of the major initiation ceremonies performed in the Americas, by the African descended religions, are based on his traditional ceremony. Which attests to his importance since it managed to survive the Middle Passage.

Since his energy from the Thunder is so dynamic and powerful he became the symbol of resistance by the Africans against the encroaching Europeans.

His dominance was over male sexuality and human vitality. In addition to being the owner of the Bata (double headed drums), he has dominion over the Arts of Music, Dance and Entertainment.

I found the following story from Wikipedia;

Shango had three wives, Oba, his first and legitimate wife, Oshun, his second wife, and Oya his concubine and the only one of his wives that he made his queen. At that time and in that place they would live in a compound. In that compound, Shango had his own house and each wife had her own house surrounding his. He would then visit his wives in their houses to eat and to sleep with them. Oba noticed that when Shango went to the house of Oshun he would eat all of the food that she prepared for him but when he came to her home he would just pick. Oba, wanting a closer relationship with her husband, decided to ask Oshun how she kept Shango so happy. Oshun, being asked this, was filled with resentment. As children of the first wife, Oba's children would inherit Shango's kingdom. Her children would not have nearly the same status, being born from his concubine. She decided to play a trick on Oba, out of jealousy. She told Oba that many years ago she had cut a small piece of her ear off and dried it. From this she made a powder she would sprinkle on Shango's food. As he ate it, she told Oba, Shango would desire the food and Oshun all the more. Oba, excited by this information, ran home to prepare Shango's amala, his favorite meal. Once it was done she decided that if a little piece of Oshun's ear produced such an effect her whole ear would drive Shango mad with desire for her and he would forget Oshun forever. She sliced off her ear and stirred it into Shango's food. When Shango came to eat he sat down and began eating without looking at his dish. When he finally glanced down he saw an ear floating in the stew. Shango, thinking Oba was trying to poison him, drove her from his house. Oba ran from the compound, crying, and fell to earth to become a river, where she is still worshipped today. As an Orisha she is the patron of matrimony and is said to destroy marriages that abuse either partner.

Blessed Be!

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