Kò sí ewé kò sí òrìsá
There are no Òrìsás without leaves

The name Òsányìn comes from the Yoruba language meaning: ò (who), sán (improve health), yìn (make fire) in other words “Who improves health making fire”.

Òsányìn is a deity or divinity of the medical herbage, his importance is primordial and no ceremony within the Ifá philosophy is made without his involvement. He is the one who finds the force, the vitality and the power of performance, no divinity can pass trough, without him. This power lives in several leaves and herbs, the name of these leaves and herbs and their use, is the most secret of the Òrìsà cult.

Every divinity has its particular leaves and plants, the use of one contraindicated leave could have harmful effects and harvesting is done with extreme care.

In wild places, brush or forest where plants grow freely, the plants that grow in gardens should be discarded, because the forest is the home of Òsányìn.

The priests of this Òrìsà wakes up very early without having any sexual activity from the day before and goes to the forest without greeting anyone on their way. The priest offers incantations to strip the leaves, roots, bark and fruits and deposits his offering to the deity, including coins, cowries, etc before leaving the forest.

These priests are aware of the leaves used interchangeably, among them we note that there are leaves with virtues such as sheet of fortune, happiness, joy, fertility, fame, luck, freshness, flexibility, peace, longevity, courage, clothing, body, feet, etc.. But there are also leaves of misery, fever and other even more fearsome illness. The leaves come in form of decoctions, baths of purification which are intended to form a magic lake between the divinity and certain objects that are enshrined including the blood of a specific animal. The employment of the leaves is fundamental, because this leaves are used to elaborate the divine powder of the deity and receive a growing force that creates a strong bond of interdependence between the future Iyawó and his Òrìsà.

Òsányìn is the doctor, by a divine mandate and haves a deep knowledge of botany and diseases that afflict humans, hi is in charge of preparing the medicine for children and infants. He’s the only divinity that is able to use the corn meal oil to prepare medicinal ointments. All the plants are attributed to this deity, because of the principal basis of his role in the planetary system.

It exist and persists a judgment that Òsányìn is the divinity of sorcery and witchcraft and his followers seek his support against their enemies, in times of disputes, disagreements and fights. This contributes in a double misconception, because the key to the way of living is to live without being attacked and without attacking, however no matter which plan is initiated to any individual, looses the effect if the power of justice is on the individuals side, this because Òsányìn is neither an aggressive deity nor a warrior, he is only a medical deity in the planetary system and he is used to cure and remedy those painful diseases that science has not been able to defeat.

One illustration from the deployment of the enchantment was made by one experienced healer and Ifá priest who maintains that an herbal preparation can be made, if one person is desperately looking for a job, and read the following words (translation only):

Help mi to find a job, tell my problem to others, whisper it in their ears and manifest my need.

When a spider from the field weaves its webs, it tells it to the timber of the forest; help me to find a job, tell my problem to others, whisper it in their ears and manifest my need.

With his own knife the squirrel invites the hunter to bring him death.

People should use their own influence to get me a job.

Who ever uses this preparation (of plants) together with the enchantment in an appropriate way, will definitely obtain a job, this according to a popular belief.

This happening was real, after a sacrifice obtaining gin and kola roots, the individual obtained a job and returned to home of the priest with new gifts, in gratefulness.

There is another testimony that tells of a woman that suffer from gallbladder pains, caused by the accumulation of stones, she sought help from a Ifá priest that belonged to the Òsányín cult, after that she was told by her ordinary doctor, that a surgery was inevitable. The priest made her a preparation of plants, some of the plants where rubbed on her right side and others were diluted in gin for drinking, offering Òsányìn the enchantment together with the blood of a dove. The story tells that after, four days she got scared, when she urinate a very dark colour. She went to her doctor and asked him to operate her, but just before she was taken to the operating room, the doctor sent her to take x-rays, but to their surprise, the x-rays showed that the accumulation of stones had vanished without a trace. In appreciation the women brought the Ifá priest many gifts from Italy, France, Scotland, after her travels to these places, travels that her Ifá priest, had recommend her.

There is also a story about a harmful event, when a man consulted an Ifá priest, so he could throw his brothers out of their house, the job was done and Òsányìn was invoked and a sacrifice was made to him. His brother, on the other hand, went for a divination with Òrúnmìlà, who told him to make a sacrifice to Èsú and Ifá. The sacrifice was made and until today, nine years later, the brother lives together in the same house. And the attacked brother took the other brother to an Ifá priest, when he got injured on both his legs, although his brother wanted him out of the house. The brother also made the offers so that his brother could be cured.

This story is based on a real event and is a proof that justice is always on part of the truth, and it is one of the reasons why we advice followers and priest, to never use the power of a divinity against his neighbour, because this will go against one important rule in the Ifá philosophy and that is “Not to aggravate or neighbour”

Òsányìn is known in Africa as Èlésìjé and the name means “King of Èsìé”, Èsìé is a town north of the Yorùbá land, in Kwara, and is the place in Nigeria in which Òsányìn became King. Òsányìn was Ifá’s youngest brother and Òrúnmìlà’s mother gave birth to Òsányìn at a very high age.

The age difference between Òrúnmìlà and Òsányìn was so high, that Òrúnmìlà was like a father to Òsányìn and he used him as a messenger as well as hi also teach him about Ifá. Once Òrúnmìlà send him to cut some trees and plants, but Òsányìn came back crying and had not done the task he was send to do, when Òrúnmìlà asked Òsányìn what happened, Òsányìn explained that he did not understand why Òrúnmìlà wanted him to cut the trees and plants, when all the trees and plants hade it’s purpose, for example, this is a plant of immortality, this other one is to cure leprosy, this root is for the chills, this plant is to stop the fever, and then he asked Òrúnmìlà again, why he wanted him cut the values plants?

It is a belief that Òsányìn was born with knowledge about the plants and trees, because he did not learn from anybody. There are many different kinds of Òsányìn and the one that is one legged and known as Òsányìn elésè-kan, is the fiercest and has great medicine knowledge. There is another one, with 16 feet, but his not as powerfull as the other one.

Oríkì Òsányìn
(Praising the Spirit of herbal medicine)


Ìbà Òsányìn
Tribute to the owner of the herbal medicine

Ìbà oni ewé
Tribute to the owner of leaves

Kò sí Ikú. Kò sí àrùn.
Save us from death, save us from disease

Kò sí akoba.
Save us from all the negative

A dúpé Alagbo.
Owner of the herbal medicine, I thank you


Ilé Abomalé Ifá - Òrìsá. | e - post: osawo@ileabomale.com
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