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obatala
Traditional Colors: White

Number: 8

Areas of Influence: Knowledge, leadership, fatherhood, justice and the


legal system, geology, people with special needs, the military

Entities associated with: Our Lady of Mercy

Symbols: Mountains, snail shells, short whip made with white horsehair
and cowrie shells, quartz crystals, white rocks, frogs, white animals

Offerings: White bland food (either the meat or the milk of a coconut,
potatoes, eggs, rice, mushrooms, milk, water, etc), crushed up egg
shells, cotton, snail shells, frankincense, myrrh or sandalwood incense,
tobacco

Feast Day: September 24th

Astrology: Libra

Tarot: Justice, the Emperor

Chakra: Crown Chakra

Gemstones: Quartz crystal, howlite, chalcedony, lead crystal, diamonds,


ivory

Animals: Snails, Elephants, Egrets, Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Snow


monkeys, Cotton-top Tamarin monkeys

Entities of Similar Energy: Tyr, Odin (as All-father), Ra, Damballah


Plants associated with: Garlic, hyssop, sage

Obatala is the father figure of the Orishas. He is also the chief and judge.
He is very wise and compassionate. Obatala is married to Yemaya, the
ocean goddess and mother-figure of the Orishas. They have been married
a very long time and have many children. According to one story, Obatala
is the father of human beings. However, while making humans from the
earth, Obatala got thirsty and began to drink some palm wine. He got
drunk and started to make some of the humans deformed. After he
sobered up, he realized what he had done and he swore from that day
forward he never drink and that he would take special care of people who
are handicapped.

When Obatala was younger, he was very bold and brash. He was a strong
warrior who saw a lot of horrible things on the battlefield. All of those
experiences tempered him. Now, he is an Orisha who works for peace. As
judge, Obatala is very much involved with issues of justice and law (man-
made or karmic). He will be involved in any kind of court case or legal
issue. However, you should not ask him to get involved in a legal case if
you are guilty unless you are willing to face your punishment. Obatala
also rules karmic justice. If a karmic injustice has been committed or if
you need to make amends for something you have done, than go to him
for help. Obatala teaches us to fight for what is right and to take
responsibility for what we have done wrong.

properly showing respect to obatala

First and foremost, do not ever offer him alcohol. If you are doing a
group offering and other deities are getting alcohol, the set up his
offering in a different place. He likes his offerings on Sundays and you
should make sure his altar is clean. It would be best if you can serve him
on a white piece of cloth. Do not serve him any food that is too hot or
spicy. Traditionally, any food you offer him should have cotton on top of it
(take a real cotton ball and pull it apart like a spider web and then place
it over the food). Be honest. Take responsibility for your mistakes. If you
are a father, be a great dad.

where to find obatala


Churches, universities, libraries, state/national parks and forests, the
mountains, the military.

obatalas children

The children of Obatala are intellectual, methodical organizers. They like


to think their decisions through. They have strong ideas of what is right
and wrong. They hold themselves to high standards. They can also be
neurotic clean freaks. Many times, children of Obatala are impetuous and
hot-headed when younger and then grow up to be cool, calm adults. They
can suffer from frequent headaches or sinus problems and do not hold
their liquor well. Many times they will be drawn to legal, military or
careers involving geology and/or engineering. They like to get outdoors.
Normally, their relationships (romantic and otherwise) will be very long-
term. They are slow to anger but watch out when they do, its going to
get ugly!

obatala story

I married my first husband when I was 19, about 2 years before I


became a witch and 4 years before I started learning about the Orishas. I
had my first affair before our first anniversary and would go on to have 3
more affairs. My husband was a good man but an emotional iceberg. Im
not saying that to excuse what I did, its just true. I had accepted Obatala
as my father before my last affair. Even though I knew Obatala was all
about justice, I still went ahead and did it. My marriage ended within 8
months as a direct result of the final affair. At one point, he asked me to
be honest with him about everything and I chose to lie. I lost almost
everything. I walked out the door with my personal belongings and not
much else.

Seven years later, I married my boyfriend. We had been together for 4


years. The first 3 were really good but we were starting to have some
problems. After we got married, he became a completely insensitive ass.
I was insanely unhappy after a year and I fell in love with another man.
We started having an affair. Even though I had every excuse to cheat on
his loser butt, I still couldnt handle the guilt. After 3 months I sat him
down and told him the truth.all of it. I explained to him what had
happened and why. I told him that our relationship had to end. Even
though he was obviously very upset, he understood. He left to go back to
his hometown 2 days later. Even though it took him a while to get over it,
he swears that by me being honest really helped him out and hes glad I
did it and over time, he was able to be honest with me about somethings
from his past. Obatala teaches honesty and taking responsibility. I can
look back on the situation now and realize that if I hadnt been honest, I
could have very easily lost it all again.

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Disclaimer: You may find that some of the information on this page
differs from the traditional beliefs of some African Diaspora practices. The
information on this page has been gathered from personal experiences
and while we respect those who walk the more Traditional paths, we
have some different beliefs concerning the Orishas and Loa.

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