- THE WARRIORS/GUERREROS INITIATION
When we refer to the warriors we are speaking of ELEGGUA, OGUN, OCHOSI,
OSUN. They are called collectively the Warriors, because it is there
function to defend their owners and to open the way. Let us examine
each one of them briefly to better understand the meaning of this
ELEGGUA is the owner of all the roads in the world. He is really two
Orisha in one, ESHU and ELEGGUA. Eshu is the primordial trickster, who
has existed since the world was made. Eleggua is Eshu under the
influence of Obatala, who guides him in doing good for humanity.
Eleggua is often depicted as a child, but at other times as a very old
man. He is an Orisha of great power and can open your way or close it.
He is the first to be propitiated before any other Orisha. If
Eleggua is not propitiated first, he
(Being the Orisha of communication, owner of all roads) can prevent the
other Orishas from receiving their offerings. This Orisha you receive
along with the other warriors, so that he can open your way for
material and spiritual progress also to help you close all those doors
in your life that you are having problems with. His day is Monday, and
that is when offerings are made to him on a regular basis.
OGUN is the Orisha of iron, of steel, corresponding to the blacksmith
gods of ancient times like Vulcan. He is often associated with trains,
because the railroad tracks are made up of iron and steel. He is an
Orisha of extreme force and is very basic to the practice of this
religion. He is truly a warrior and fights to defend you against your
enemies. He never rests; he works constantly every minute of every
hour for the entire existence duration of the world, as we know it.
He lives in a cauldron of iron with his tools. His day is Tuesday.
OCHOSI is the Orisha of the hunt and corresponds to the hunter gods
that live in the
Forest. He is represented by a bow and arrow made of steel or iron
that lives with Ogun in his cauldron. Ochosi is associated not only
with the hunt, but also with prisons. He is often worked with to
resolve problems with the police and court matters. Ochosi is also an
Orisha that gives intelligence and prayers are offered to him so that
he will give the ability to resolve problems. All fauna belongs to
Ochosi and he will hunt all the good things coming your way (health for
example). He is the Master hunter of ALL, whenever and wherever he
points with his bow and arrow is a sure shot. He never misses a shot.
OSUN is also a warrior, and is represented by a small metal staff with
a metal rooster mounted on top. Osun represents your "head". His
function is to warn of danger. He is never allowed to fall over, since
that would be a sign of danger coming to you. If he falls he is
advising you and the rest of your warriors that danger is coming your
way. If he falls DON'T panic, Osun is NOT mad at you. He is just
doing his job of advising you and the rest of your warriors to be
prepared or avoid any danger coming. If he falls get in touch with
your padrino or madrina to properly investigate the situation and act
accordingly. Needless is to add to avoid overturning him even
We receive the Warriors for our material and spiritual betterment. The
warriors open the way and give protection. They make it possible for
one to advance in the religion and receive other initiations (if
necessary). That is why sometimes new members of our religion are told
that they need to receive Warriors as their first step in the religion,
because they need the protection that the warriors can give. Receiving
the Warriors is the fundamental step on our faith if you are to become
an Orisha priest.
Orisha priest sometimes do things differently depending on the house
that you belong to, your padrino/madrina's choice giving their
experience and the ever-changing particular situations. However, it is
highly recommended and advisable to receive the Warriors from an Oluo
or Babalawo, since they are the owners of the secrets of their
preparation. There are 101 "caminos" or ways of preparing Eleggua, each
in accordance with the particular Eshu that walks with you. That is not
to say that warriors given by Santeros are not valid, just that Oluos
or babalawos have a more profound knowledge of the preparation of these
When you receive the warriors, you should always receive the name of
your Eleggua, so that you know which "camino"/avatar/path of Eshu walks
The warriors are not only given to help you open, clear and cleanse
your way, but also for other reasons. Sometimes those with health
problems need to receive the warriors. Also, they may be necessary to
resolve certain problems in the life of the person.
In summary, Eleggua represents ALL the roads of life itself. Ogun is
clearing the paths/roads with his iron implements or big knife
(machete) for Ochosi to follow and hunt/ bring to you what is needed,
while Osun stands always vigilant studying the horizon all around
watchful of any dangers that may lie ahead. The Orishas are to be
adored, but also their function is to make life better. Godparents
also should be there to help you in learning how to work with the
Warriors and other Orishas/initiations that you receive.
In the words of one of my godchildren, Oni Shango....
- Hi my name is Alicia. I am a close dance student of Teresita
Dome-Perez of Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Cuba. I am only involved
the religion through performance (dance, drum, and song)
I am finding out new things about this religion everyday (as much as
an aleyo could) and I go to tambors, toques de palo, and recently I
went to a fundamental toque de Ocha. I'm usually invited to keep up
the energy in the song and dance (even though I cant dance in front
the bata during fundamental). What I've found in the houses that I
have visited, has been that most don't know all of the Orisha dances.
They were attracted to the religion for other reasons. So I guess
helps to look at someone who "studies" the dance almost everyday.
My worry is that I don't have any protection.
At the fundamental I wore a hat, mostly white, and I was told to put
some kind of oil on my feet and under my hat (coco maybe? I forgot
the moment, but I will ask again) this was to help keep out any
Is there a point where I should be thinking about getting my warriors
or should I just stick to my hat, my white, and my oil until someone
I trust tells me otherwise?