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For the evolution of mankind...

Embracing Spirituality is a blog of a wide variety of spiritual topics and discussions, led by spiritualist, metaphysician, and traditionalist Obara Meji and her personal experiences. Born out of a desire to assist others in embracing their spirituality, and to lend our contribution to the ultimate goal of the evolution of mankind.
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Throughout my postings there will be words and/or terminologies that, perhaps, many will not understand. Within spirituality there are terminologies that has to be explained and so to make it easier for you to understand what you are reading I believe defining these words and terms are imperative.

If you happen to come across an unfamiliar word in my posts and it is not listed, please comment and let me know and I will define it here!


Below are the definitions of each term that applies to Spirituality

Ajaguna – Name for the head of the Astral Mates family.

Astral Mates –  Heavenly spirits believed to dwell between the heavenly realm and the earthly realms watching over it’s spiritual “double” here on earth. (see Spiritual Double below)

Ase (Ah-Shay) – Yoruba word for “So let it be/May it be so” and can be likened to “Amen”. Ase is also the force and power and motivation behind any spiritual manifestation.

Altar – A decorated space dedicated to the reverence and worship of the Ancestors.

Duppy – A Jamaican term for Ghost, the dead, spirit that lingers on earth.

Guides – Non-physical beings who assist each human being on their journey to earth from birth to death.

Initiation – The action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically witch a ritual – OR – the act of being born again.

Maroon – Runaway slaves or fugitives found in Jamaica.

Obeah – A word synonymous with Jamaica and Jamaicans of spiritual work, either malevolent or benevolent, with the intent of manipulating energy to the point of affecting another negatively or positively. Words of the same meaning are Voodoo, Witchcraft, and Juju

Zion/ Revival  – A spiritual celestial church which is found in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean, where the members worship like a regular church but there is a spiritual element added to it; such as prophesy, oracles, drumming, and the burning of candles. Here is an example of what a Zion/Revival church is like.


 Below are the definitions of each term in the Orisha Tradition.

Awo –Ifa Priest, usually referred to Babalawo or Priest  in training

Aja – Yoruba word for bell, which to used to call the Orisha

Babalawo – This means “father of mysteries”. This person is an earthly representative of the Orisha who is called Orunmila (see Orunmila and Orisha definition below). He is Priest of the order of Ifa/Orisha, someone who has gone through extensive training and is versed in all knowledge Of Ifa, he is community leader and official and he serves the community as such.

Egbe (Yoruba wordEgg-Beh) – A “Society” or “family” belonging to an astral realm

Esu – (Eshu) Yoruba divinity of the earth. Owner of the earth. World police and governor. Closest messenger to God in the Orisha tradition. He is also known as a trickster spirit, wise beyond belief and uses this wisdom to outsmart everyone. To Jamaicans we can see him as Bredda Anancy this folk lore coming out of Ghana (Anansi, trickster spirit). In Yoruba land when sacrifices is being give Esu is fed first, to neglect Esu, is to call trouble on one’s self. Nigerian Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first Nigerian Anglican Bishop erroneously referred to Esu as the devil. In the Yoruba language, there was no word for an entity called the devil (he simply did not exist to these once wisdom filled people), so when Crowther  translated the Christian bible from English to Yoruba he had no word for this in his language for the devil. He now went searching for a word to compensate for what was missing from Yoruba. He went to our tradition practice and found Esu. God’s most beloved messenger, the world police, who had many personalities depending on any of his names or which Esu would be in front, but all were the same deity. He now compared Esu’s character to that of the Christian devil (Esu’s trickster ways, was a way of putting human beings on their correct track, if he had to cause trouble for the human to learn of to find their God that what he would do, Crowther had not the wisdom to understand this) and so the name Esu was defiled by this Bishop and to this day when Yorub people want to mention the devil they will say Esu. I pray if there is a hell Crowther is there for doing this. Also why them did he not refer to our benevolent most beloved Orunmila as his Christian Jesus. The world is not equal.

Egun – (Eh-guun) Yoruba word for ancestor or ancestors, spirits of the dead

Iba – Yoruba word for I give respect or I pay Homage to, this word is usually used when praying to your ancestors,or Orishas, giving the honor and praise

Ifa – Divination system which is used by the Yoruba people of South Western Nigeria.

Ikin – A black nut or black seed from the sacred Palm Tree used as an oracle of Ifa by Babalawo’s.

Isese [ee-sheh-sheh] – A Yoruba word for ‘tradition’ (the Yoruba traditional practice of Ifa and Orisa practice).

Itefa – Initiation to Ifa

Iwa Pele -Good or gentle Character, the ability to the best human you can be not only to each other and also the earth in which we live, Iwa Pele ensures long life

Meji – Ofthe Yoruba language, the number 2

Lucumi – Cuban name for their Religious practice, similar to the Yoruba traditional Ifa/Orisha practice.

Obara Meji – Obara Meji is in the seventh place in the unalterable order of the first sixteen principle Odu’s of Ifa, called the mejis (meji means two).

Obatala – Other wise called Orish-nla, is an Orisha (see Orisha) of the pantheon of Orishas of the Ifa/Orisha traditional practice. He represents peace, he wears white and all his shrines are white from walls to floors. He was the creator of man so ordered by God, who later blew breath through the nostrils of Obatala’s design. He is said to be a very Old and wise man who power is God like

Odu – Refers to the coded language that appears when Ifa is cast, of which there are 256 Odu’s. There are sixteen majors, which are “Mejis” and 240 permutations. Can also be regarded for easier understanding or your book of destiny or akashic records. An Odu is marked by a trained Babalawo in a series of markings, strokes marked from right to left. Upon completion there will be four series of strokes on the right from top to bottom and same on the left. Each pattern has a name, that name is referred to as an Odu. Obara Meji is an Odu which sits in seventh place, as Odu’s place are unalterable

Ochosi – Yoruba divinity of the woods. He is a hunter in the Orisha tradition.

Ogbe (Ug-beh) – Yoruba word meaning light and is the first Odu of Ifa (see Odu) in the order of Odu’s

Ogun (Oh-gun / Masculine Energy– Yoruba divinity who rules over iron in the Orisha tradition.

Ogunda Meji – An Odu, one of the sixteen principal Odu’s, One of the sixteen Meji’s

Olodumare/ Olorun – God

Olokun (“Androgynous” Energy) – Olokun is of Benin City, Nigeria, of Edo State. He is associated with the very deep bottom of the ocean. He is also an “androgynous” Orisha (meaning no one truly knows whether he is man or woman, he is a deep mystery).

Oluwo – A Yoruba word. This is a chieftancy title given to a male practitioner of the Yoruba Ifa/Orisha tradition, this title is given to an accomplished Babalawo, one who has his practice in place, having his own awo’s (students), have been doing invitations among other things, and is worthy of this honor

Opon Ifa Tray- A carved circular board made from wood on which Babalawos divines on, and is also used to invoke Ifa

Ori-Eleda -The Yoruba concept of “your head” or “inner consciousness” which is also considered to be a divinity, the one who leads and guides you throughout your life. 

Orunmila – A Yoruba divinity who is the owner of the Ifa oracle in the Orisha tradition.

Osun (Oh-Shun / Feminine Energy– Yoruba divinity which rules over cool waters, such as rivers, lakes and ponds in the Orisha tradition.

Opele – An oracle of divination also when cast reveals odu.

Orisha – Deity which reflects the manifestations of God in the Yoruba spiritual religious system. They rule over forces of nature and all the endeavors of humanity.

Ifa/Orisha Tradition – A traditional way of life of the Yoruba people of South Western Nigeria who believes in the worship and reverence of nature and all its elements.

Oya (Oh – Ya / Feminine Energy) – Yoruba divinity who rules over wind, storm and tornadoes. She is wife of Sango.

Oyeku – (oh-yeah-koo), Yoruba word meaning darkness, and the second oldest Odu of Ifa (see Odu) in the unalterable Odu’s of ifa

Oyinbo – Yoruba word for foreigner

Padrino – Lucumi terminology meaning ‘Spiritual Father’.

Sango (Shong – Go / Masculine Energy) – Yoruba divinity who has power over lightning and thunder.

Yemoja (Feminine Energy) – This name means “mother  whose children are of fishes.” She is a Yoruba divinity of the river, although within the diaspora she is revered and worshiped at the ocean.

Yoruba – One of the three major tribes of Nigeria, they can be found in the South Western area of Nigera, they speak the Yoruba language


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7 years ago

What does this mean? It’s on a tombstone of an actor I just love. Thank you in advance

Ademola Salu
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

It’s a Yoruba name.
Simply means the person is from the priesthood lineage.
The name means: consulting the oracle for a wonderful/successful purpose.

6 months ago
Reply to  Ademola Salu

Nicole, I just saw the tombstone you mentioned. He was a talented young man. Thank you Ademola Salu for your encouraging words.


calvern walker
calvern walker
8 years ago

I would like to obtain a dictionary of the swahilli language.

9 years ago

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