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Prayer for Balance (Yoruba)

Aladura is the Yoruba word for prayer. In Ifa Orisa prayers are generally spoken in a shrine following an invocation to a specific Orisa, or Egun (ancestor).
Aladura or prayers that are spoken with ase (spiritual power) are sometimes referred to as Igede or Iwure.

Ki nle 'ke odi.

Raise me above all misfortune.

Kiemaa gbe'mi n'ija kiemaa gbe mi leke isoro lojo gbogbo ni gbogbo ojo aye mi.
Raise me above all misfortune that might come my way while on this earth.

Kiemaa gbe 're.

Always bring me good fortune.

Bi'ku ba sunmo itosi ki e bami ye ojo iku.

If death is near help us to avert it.

Odun tiatibi mi sinu aye ki e bami ye ojo iku fun ara mi ati awon omo mi ti mo bi. Kiamaku ni kekere, kiamaku iku ina, kiamaku iku oro, kiamaku ike ejo,
kiamaku sinu omi.
Avert death for all my children avert death for all those I include in my prayers. May they not die young, may they not die in fire, may they not die in
tragedy, may they not die in shame, may the not die in water.

Ki e maf'foju re wo mi, ki awon omo araye lee maa fi oju rere wo mi.
I beg you to look upon me with good eyes so the world will be favorable to me and my children, may I be free from illness.

Ki e ma jeki nsaisan ki nsegun odi ki nrehin ota.

Let me overcome my enemies.

Ki e ma awon omo araye gburo, mi pe mo l'owo lowo pe mo niyi, pe mo n'ola, pe mo bimo rere ati beebee.
Let the world hear of me, know I am rich, know I have honor, know I have prestige, know my children will be good.

Ki e si'na aje fun me, ki awon omo araye wa maa bami, ra oja ti mo ba niita warawara, ipeku Orun e pehinda lodo mi.
Open the way to wealth for me, that the whole world will want the products of my work, let death pass me by.

Ki e da mi ni abiyamo tiyoo bimo rere ti won, yoo gb'ehin si sinu aye ate beebee.
May I be known as a parent who produces good children, who will stand behind me, follow my guidance and bury me at the end of my life.

Ki e ka ibi kuro lona fun mi lode aye.

Remove all obstacles wherever I go in the world.

Ki e bami ka'wo Iku, arun ejo ofo ofo efun edi apeta oso.
Protect me from death, disease, litigation, loss and hexing, prevent harm from those who work hexes.

Ki o r'omo gbe sire, ki e jeki oruko mi han si rere, ki ipa mi laye ma parun.
Let my name not be spoken with contempt, let my name be famous in the world, let my lineage flourish in the world.

Ki e jeki ngboki nto ki npa ewu s'ehin.

Let me live long and see my hair turn white.

Ase, ase, ase, 'se o.

May it be so, may it be so, may it be so.

The Orishas
The orishas are the emissaries of Olodumare or God almighty. They rule over the forces of
nature and the endeavors of humanity. They recognise themselves and are recognised through
their different numbers and colors which are their marks, and each has their own favorite foods
and other things which they like to receive as offerings and gifts. In this way we make our
offerings in the manner they are accustomed to, in the way they have always received them, so
that they will recognise our offerings and come to our aid.
The orishas are often best understood by observing the forces of nature they rule over. For
instance, you can learn much about Oshún and her children by watching the rivers and streams
she rules over and observing that though she always heads toward her sister Yemayá (the Sea)
she does so on her own circuitous route. Also observe how the babbling brook and the flash
flood reflect her changeable moods. As you observe the orishas at work in the world and in your
own lives you will gain a better understanding of them and their ways. Yes, they are complex,
but no more so than any other living being such as you or I. We are also blessed from time to
time in the religion with the opportunity to meet the orishas face to face during a wemilere
(drumming ceremony) where one or more of their priests will be mounted (see trance


Elegguá is the owner of the roads and doors in this world. He is the repository of ashé. The
colors red and black or white and black are his and codify his contradictory nature. In particular,
Elegguá stands at the crossroads of the human and the divine, as he is child-like messenger
between the two worlds. In this role, it is not surprising that he has a very close relationship
with the orisha of divination, Orunmila. Nothing can be done in either world without his
permission. Elegguá is always propitiated and called first before any other orisha as he opens
the door between the worlds and opens our roads in life. He recognises himself and is
recognised by the numbers 3 and 21.
Prayer for Eleggua: Echu obá loná tosí gbogbo ona iré o aché

Ogún is the god of iron, war and labor. He is the owner of all technology and because this
technology shares in his nature, it is almost always used first for war. As Elegguá opens the
roads, it is Ogún that clears the roads with his machete. He is recognised in the numbers 7 and
the colors green and black.
Prayer for Ogun: Ogún oko dara obaniché aguanile ichegún iré

Oshosi is the third member of the group known as the Guerreros or Warriors, and is received
along with Elegguá, Ogún and Osun in order to protect the Guerreros initiate and to open and
clear their roads. Oshosi is the hunter and the scout of the orishas and assumes the role of
enforcer of justice for Obatalá with whom he has a very close relationship. His colors are blue
and yellow.
Prayer for Ochossi: Ochosi Ode mata obá akofá ayé o unsó iré o wa mi Ochosi omode aché

Obatalá is the kindly father of all the orishas and all humanity. He is also the owner of all heads
and the mind. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatalá who is the creator of
the world and humanity. Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and
compassionate. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world.
His color is white which is often accented with red, purple and other colors to represent his/her
different paths. White is most appropriate for Obatalá as it contains all the colors of the rainbow
yet is above them. Obatalá is also the only orisha that has both male and female paths.
Prayer for Obatala: Obatalá obá layé ela iwo alara aché

Oyá is the ruler of the winds, the whirlwind and the gates of the cemetery. Her number is nine
which recalls her title of Yansá or "Mother of Nine" in which she rules over the egun or dead.
She is also known for the colors of maroon, flowery patterns and nine different colors. She is a
fierce warrior who rides to war with Shangó (sharing lightning and fire with him) and was once
the wife of Ogún.

Oshún rules over the sweet waters of the world, the brooks, streams and rivers, embodying love,
fertility. She also is the one we most often approach to aid us in money matters. She is the
youngest of the female orishas but retains the title of Iyalode or great queen. She heals with her
sweet waters and with honey which she also owns. She is the femme fatale of the orishas and
once saved the world by luring Ogún out of the forests using her feminine wiles. And,in her
path or manifestation of Ibú Ikolé she saved the world from draught by flying up to heaven
(turning into a vulture in the process). Ikolé means Messenger of the House (of Olodumare).
For this reason all who are to be initiated as priests, no matter what orisha rules their head, must
go to the river and give account of what they are about to do. She recognises herself in the
colors yellow and gold and her number is five. Peacocks and vultures are hers and we use them
often to represent her.
Yemayá lives and rules over the seas and lakes. She also rules over maternity in our lives as she
is the Mother of All. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja means "Mother Whose
Children are the Fish" to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable. All life started in the
sea, the amneotic fluid inside the mother's womb is a form of sea where the embryo must
transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way
Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all. She partakes of Olokun's abundance as the
source of all riches which she freely gives to her little sister Oshún. She dresses herself in seven
skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her
path of Okutti she is the queen of witches carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her
number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often
represented by the fish who are her children.
Prayer for Yemaya: Iyá eyá ayaba okun omá iré gbogbo awani Iyá

Perhaps the most 'popular' of the orishas, Shangó rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums
and dance. He is a warrior orisha with quick wits, quick temper and is the epitomy of virility.
Shangó took the form of the fourth Alafin (supreme king) of Oyó on Earth for a time. He is
married to Obba but has relations with Oyá and Oshún. He is an extremely hot blooded and
strong-willed orisha that loves all the pleasures of the world: dance, drumming, women, song
and eating. He is ocanani with Elegguá, meaning they are of one heart. When sees the quickness
with which lightning makes short work of a tree or a fire rage through an area, one has
witnessed the temper of Shangó in action. Though he traded the Table of Ifá to Orunmila in
exchange for the gift of dance, his children have an innate ability for divination. To
acknowledge the greatness of this king, all in the religion raise up on the toes of our feet (or rise
out our chairs if we are sitting) at the mention of his name. His colors are red and white and he
recognises himself in the numbers four and six. He is most often represented by a double
headed axe.
Prayer for Shango: Shangó obá adé oko, obá ina, Alafin Oyó aché o

Orunmila is the orisha of wisdom, knowledge and divination. He was the only orisha allowed to
witness the creation of the universe by Olorun and bears witness to our destinies in the making
as well. This is the source of his title of Eleri Ipin or "Witness to Destiny in its Creation". His
priests, the babalawos or "Fathers of the Secrets" must devote themselves entirely to the
practice of divination and the accompanying arts. Through the Table of Ifá his priests unfold the
secrets of the universe and the secrets of the unfolding of our lives. His colors are green and
yellow which reflect Orunmila's relationship with Osayín (the secrets of the plant world) and
with Oshún, who is his apetebí with whom he has an extremely close relationship.
Prayer for Orunmila: Orunmila Ibikeyi Oludumare ela isode aché

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