Yoruba, Egun, and Orisha featuring H. Yuya Assaan-ANU
The Yoruba people have many different systems, one of which is the Egungun society. The word Egun is the word for ancestors, and can also mean bones. It is common knowledge that blood is created within our bone marrow, for that reason when the Yoruba people were calling on the Egun they were essentially dealing with melanin and DNA. The Egungun society deals strictly with situations such as the Egungun masquerade where people dress up in costumes and harass people – the Egungun masquerade is also where the modern day carnival originates from. This system, Egungun society was for ancestral veneration. Outside of this system there is the Orisha system, which deals with natural and cosmic energies and phenomenon. For example, there is the energy of the forests, lakes, bodies of saltwater, hurricanes, and the energies of space. In addition to these systems there is also IFA, which deals with the direct emanations, words and ideas from Oludumare - who is one of the aspects of the Supreme Being. Oludumare emanated himself into three different forms; Orunmila –the archetype of all knowing and omniscience, Oduduwa – the archetype of omnipotence, and Obatala – the archetype of omnipresence.
These are the three emanations of the Supreme Being. When dealing with indigenous tradition one will find many similarities. Oduduwa, means the womb of the Black woman - “odu” means womb, “dudu” means Black, and “wa” means woman. Obatala, means king of the white cloth -“Oba” which means king, and “tala” means white cloth. The white cloth represents the fabric of existence, which represents the omnipresence. There is then Orunmila which means diviner of heaven -“orun” means heaven and “ila” means diviner. Orunmila is also known as Eleri Epin, witness to creation and to all destiny. He represents the word and knowing of Oludumare. “O” means owner, “odu” means womb, and “mare” means serpent therefore, Oludumare means owner of the serpent’s womb. When one is dealing with serpents, they are dealing with DNA, kundalini, and evolution. The owner of evolution is called Oludumare. In the Khemetic tradition Oludumare is also known as Atunmare, which means atomic beginning. When dealing with Oludumare, one is dealing with atomic beginnings which is the same source, and emanate from the same beginnings. As one can see there are various similarities across many different systems.
Due to these similarities there is a new vanguard of self-actualization in today’s society, which has replaced the old ways of praying, begging and hoping something might change. The goal is to realize the power of the soul, while one is on the planet. Therefore, one needs to find a customized groove of these various systems that work for their personal divinity. In the Sadulu House students are encouraged to reach their highest ideal, by researching and developing their individual personalized “groove”.
On the topic of masculine and feminine energy, the reality is that the only way that a society advances is through the balance of masculine and feminine energy. In indigenous cultures, there was an acknowledgment of the persons divinity, because the deity should resemble the self. Even with the Orisha, they are androgynous to represent the balance of masculine and feminine energy.