Living with Meaning

Recently I have been thinking and reflecting on what it means to be olorisha (literally it means “owner of orisha” but is translated as “priest” and describes those who have been initiated).

When someone says that are Christian, people typically understand what that means: A person who makes such a statement is saying that the follow Jesus Christ and that their lives are shaped and lived around that belief.  It could mean that they are pro-life or reject science or are committed to loving their neighbors or caring for the least of these. But no matter how that individual person or how Christian communities choose to live out their faith, what they all have in common is that their belief shapes their life.

So what does it mean to be an aborisha (follower of orisha) or an olorisha? How do we shape our lives around this particular path?  What values and practices do we hold dear because of our beliefs (or experiences)?

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One thought on “Living with Meaning

  1. Santo!

    So what does it mean to be an aborisha (follower of orisha) or an olorisha?

    As an olorisa the Orisa have been seated and have a space in my home. My house has an Ocha Room. My cycle of life is aligned with the cycle of Earth and includes the sacred obligations of honoring my Orisa. I do not see the Orisa tradition as a belief system but as ancestral veneration. I know the Ancestors existed or else I would not be here. The Great Ancestors who by their deeds are remembered have been transformed into Immortals – merging with the energies of Nature. They reveal themselves to all who have eyes to see in Nature and their presence can be directly experienced as they so will it.

    However, an olorisa also carries their Orisa with them as they walk through the world. I often think of it as something put on the head much like traditional women carry weight on their head, yet this energy is not just on the head but in the character of the person. Orisa is the pattern brought with the life-force from heaven into manifestation on Earth. Not every pattern is raised up or ordained but all beings are created in the image of their genetic ancestors and follow the natural order to a greater or lesser degree.

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