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What is Ori?

Oriki Ori

Ori lo nda eni

Esi ondaye Orisa Lo npa da

O npa Orisa da

Orisa lo pa nida

Bi isu won sun

Aye ma pa temi da up

Ki ori mi ma se ori

Ki ori mi ma gba abodi


Ori is the creator of all things

Ori is the one that makes everything happen

Before it happens

He is the Orisa that can change man

No one can change the Orisa

Orisa that changes the life of man with

Baked yam

Aye (joint forces of enriching and negating forces), don't change my fate

For my Ori not letting people disrespect me

That my Ori don't let me be disrespected by None

My Ori, don't accept evil.



The Yoruba language translation for Ori means solely “the head.” However, the concept of Ori means more than just the head or the peak of the home. Ifa shows in odu ifa corpus, that Ori is truly an extension of Olodumare in every living being. Ori is our personal Orisa , the concept of having a soul, and the real essence of the person. Ori is the divinity that has the most vested interests in helping us Omo Eniyan (mankind) to fulfill our personal destiny and reach our highest self.

who is olodumare

In the Esin Ibile tradition, Olodumare is regarded as the Supreme Being, Supreme Consciousness, and Supreme Creator. Olodumare is said to not be defined by gender and some believe that Olodumare is not of human form but pure light. Olodumare has total dominion of both Orun (Spiritual Realm) and Aye (earth) as its creator. The holiness of Olodumare shere power transcends the comprehension of Omo-Eniyan (Humans). The creation of Aye (earth) was commissioned by Olodumare and he entrusted the Orisa(selected-heads) to facilitate his vision. Olodumare gave the Orisa the rights to also create humans, specifically the deity Obatala was giving this task. The creation of Omo-Eniyan created a task for Olodumare and requested Obatala to create procreation. With this Olodumare advised the Orisa to see to our well being on earth and be dutifully devoted to them. Olodumare is perceived also to be like a huge iroko tree and the Orisa are the branches and we are the leaves. Ifa shows in odu ifa corpus, that Ori is truly an extension of Olodumare in every living being. With this, we can all relish that we are part of the master plan, the eye of creation, the true supreme - Olodumare.

Who is the Irunmole?


These are definite beings that are not of human form. They could be spirits of different kinds who were sent the world to organize and develop the society. Obatala, who represents the purity and holiness of Olodumare; Orunmila, who brought the wisdom of Olodumare to the world; Ayan, who taught Man Music and Art; Kele taught man the art of cloth dyeing; Osanyin, taught man the science of herbs and its healing potency; Ogun who constructed the first road from heaven to Ile-Ife and who taught man all engineering art including design and construction of tools. Ogodo taught man the act of cotton processing, etc. Irunmole is propitiated like the Orisa and sometimes some Orisa is also called or referred to as Irunmole.

What is an Orisa?

Orisa means in Yoruba Selected heads, but these divinities are said to have descended to the world from the Spiritual Realm (Ref. The descent of the Sons of God in Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Mythologies). They lived on earth and carried out huge feats in their own times, some were great social organizers. However, all are known to have contributed to the advancement of humankind.

They are also known as intermediaries between Human beings (Omo Eniyan) and the Highest Olodumare. There are said to be many Orisa like Irunmole. In particular, some Orisa are also called or referred to as Irunmole. In most cities, villages homes and individuals/families in Yoruba land have their own particular Orisa who act as guardian spirits to them and whom they propitiate always. The Isese L’Agba Tradition believes deregulation and free participation in matters of Orisa.

Commonly Known Orisa :


  • Èṣù - Orisa of choice, psychopomp, and Orisa of crossroads, duality, beginnings, travelers, fertility, and death

  • Orunmila - the spirit of wisdom, divination, destiny, and foresight

  • Babalú Ayé - Orisa of the Earth and strongly associated with infectious disease and healing

  • Erinlẹ̀ - Orisa of medicine, healing, and comfort

  • Ibeji - twin Orisa of vitality and youth


  • Obàtálá - creator of human bodies ...Orisa of light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness

  • Oṣun - Orisa who presides over love, intimacy, beauty, wealth and diplomacy

  • Oya - Orisa of the Niger River..associated with wind, lightning, fertility, fire, and magic

  • Yemọja - a mother goddess..patron deity of women, and the Ogun river

  • Ògún - Orisa who presides over iron, fire, hunting, politics, and war

  • Oko - Orisa of agriculture

  • Osanyin - Orisa of herbs and medicines

  • Oṣùmàrè - divine rainbow serpent associated with creation and procreation

  • Ọ̀ṣọ́ọ̀sì - Orisa of the hunt and forest

  • Sàngó  - Orisa of thunder, lightning, and controller of rainfall.

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