Sunday, March 25, 2012

Iroko: The Serpent Oshumare Climbs the Tree of Orishas

This is what happens when you put your hands into too many mystical systems.

This is simply my attempt to place the orishas into the cosmic file cabinet of the Kabbalistic tree of life. I'm sure there are kabbalists and orisha worshippers who'd get sick of the idea, but this my personal belief. I study and practice both traditions on their own but sometimes I find it interesting to mix things up a bit, like making fusion food.

Olodumare is Kether, which is depicted here as the sun that gives life to the tree. His sphere is separate from the rest to illustrate that he can only be felt but not known. The 24 sun drops is an allusion to the pre-genesis story of the Philippine folk magic tradition ("lihim na karunungan"). It is implied here that Olorun, "owner of the heavens", is the sky itself.

Orunmila, who is "Igbakeji Olodumare" (second in command to Olodumare) occupies the second sphere. As the lord of wisdom it is only apt that he is "Chokmah", meaning understanding. In Hermeticism, the sphere of Chokmah corresponds the domain of the fixed stars. In Yoruba, the "Orun" in orunmila means "heaven".

Oya, "Ayaba Nikua", the queen of death, occupies the sphere of Binah, which is attributed to Saturn, the planet whose color is black, and whose domain is death and destruction.

For me, these three represent the cosmic triad of creation, maintenance and destruction.

Olofin, the lowest manifestation of Olodumare, represents the sphere of Daath. The abyss through which one shall pass to reach the domain of Olorun and Olodumare.

Shango, god king and lord of thunder, occupies the sphere of Chesed, ruled by the planet Jupiter, whose name comes from the Roman god king and lord of thunder.

Oggun, warrior god and lord of iron, occupies the sphere of Geburah, ruled by the planet Mars, whose name comes from the Roman god of war and iron.

Shango for me represents the force of inspiration, which comes to the psyche like a bolt of lightning. Whereas Oggun represents putting inspiration into action. Shango's fire gives shape to the iron of Oggun.

Obatala, the father of orishas, owner of the white cloth, occupies Tipareth, the center of the tree. Like the Sun to which this sphere corresponds, his radiance shines upon all as "Orishanla", lord of all orishas. Tipareth is also to the sphere of Yeheshuah (YHShVH) who, like Obatala, is a dying and rising god.

The beauteous Oshun is Netzach, attributed to Venus, whose domain is beauty and love. Her son, the trickster child Elegua, messenger of the gods, is Hod, attributed to Mercury, whose domain is wit and communication. Beauty and trickery for me are representative of the polarities of order and chaos.

Yemaya, the mother of orishas, sits below Obatala, in the sphere of Yesod. She is the foundation of the tree, where all the other branches sprung forth.

Buried in the earth itself is the root of the tree: Babalu-Aye, father and lord of the earth, occupying the sphere of Malkuth.

Oshumare, the rainbow serpent, is the kundalini serpent uncoiling through the rainbow of colors of the seven chakras as one journeys through the states of consciousness that each sphere represents - from the earthly and humble realm of Babalu-Aye in Malkuth to the ultimate and divine realm of Olodumare in Kether.

Basbasan Nawa!


Unknown said...

Greatly appreciated, well done, friend!

(however, I must point out that you have confused the spheres of binah & chokmah! ;) )

I also feel strongly about the association of Nana with Malkuth!

Murmur said...

Darn, you're right! I just corrected it.

Thank you for your comment!

Guerric John said...

I appreciate this entry. And I like your diagram. Sometimes an eclectic mix of imagery and thought-systems can be a potent tool for spiritual growth and transformation.

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AyeAkamara Society for the Study of Ifá said...

Good attempt...but a lot of (con)fusion. Everything over Malkuth is non manistation. There are no relations to Orun and Ara Orun (yoruba). Olofin and Olodumare are the same entitites. Still missing Ela and Yami Ossoronga...reember there are 400 + 200 deities in Yoruba mythlogy. Try to map Kabbahla to the 8 Obalodus in Ifa...then you will be in the right path. Blessings 3;-)

GRAY Flores said...

Good evening,My named is Oggunda Koroso Awo Ni Orumila, very interesting cosmology of cabalistic tree and the Orishas, however I have the following observation: Since Eshu was in the creation of the universe with Oloddumare and Orumila and since Eshu down with the 200 + and 200 - Irumoles to land, Eshu would become destruction by its characteristic of the opposite of light, ie represents darkness and in this case would be the Binah sphere and the planet which receives its energy is the planet Uranus, although it is not a destruction planet is a planet low light.

GRAY Flores said...

I understand very well your view when you say you need to do a similarity between the Kabbala and osha it is not well seen. Astrology also happens when it is related to many religious IFA since the questions. However there are many oddun IFA as well OGBE IKA where astrology is associated with IFA in Pataki "Lines Hands" where Orumila saved him astrology. Ifa has a lot to do with astrology and their interpretation. Reading your article, and I made an observation as to place ESHU instead of OYA, as ESHU Orula and ensure the balance of the universe where Orula retains the old structure of the universe and tries to destroy ESHU to implement the new.To my Orula receives the energies of the planet Saturn since this is the planet that contains astrologically Man's destiny and that's Orula while ESHU receives the Planre Uranus. If you look at the IFA board and its symbols, it is based on the daily and annual path of the sun.Now reviewing the oracles of Osha and IFA, we realize that the Osha represents the shortest cycles of the energies of the planets, while IFA represent the longest. This would be the reason which Orula would be ruled by the planet Saturn whose cycle is 28 years old and Eshu Uranus whose cycle is 84 years.So I share with you that the energies of Oggun are given by the planet Mars,, Oshun by the planet Venus, eleggua mercury planet, but do not share their vision regarding Shango because for me receives the Sun astrologically it represents the personal self, while Obbatala receives the Saturn whose cycle is 12 years.Yemaya receives the Lluna whose cycle is 28 days. With this it is evident that the oracles of Osha is in the Planets whose orbits are internal to saturn and IFA in asteroids and planet beyond Saturn as in the case of Oya who receives Ceres.I hope you find it useful in my view and can complement your article or validate my puento of view.
Oggunda Koroso
Awo Ni Orumila

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