Each person has a guardian/tutelary Orisa over their head. Each person is in a rush to find out who is their tutelary Orisa.

Obatala warrior


When it came to questions of who my guardian Orisa may be a good portion of my time was spent wondering, contemplating, thinking, praying; made worse when there was a suggestion or being in the middle of a guessing match. I felt the most turmoil and aggravation during this time. There was a lot of tension as I dug for more and more information, attempting to mix and match, pick and paste what I thought were similarities between my characteristics and those who were children of particular Orisa. The focus can become fixated on finding out who the tutelary Orisa is and not the journey to arrive to that conclusion. When I let it all go is when I had the most relieving and mind-cleansing experience to date. It was an actual place of peace.

Does It Matter

The truth is, that Orisa was always your tutelary Orisa even before you know who it is.  So, honestly, who the Orisa may be when you are just starting out is irrelevant. The more important issues are: Have you learned what you are supposed to have learned as an aborisa before moving on to awofaka or apetebii? Did you discuss with your padrinos or Babalawo what they expect you to know before you transition to another level? Did you meet their expectations or did you get there and could not receive additional information until you went back and learned what you should have been practicing before reaching that level?

Change Focus

I turned my concentration to getting closer to my Ancestors and working with them, developing a relationship with my Warriors, learning my moyuba, learning to work with my Warriors (as directed by my padrinos), learning what baths work for different circumstances for myself, learning prayers to my ori and Eleggua, starting to work on a daily ritual. I am learning the different Orisas (and still learning their offerings and adimu recipes). Learning songs, learning the meaning of the songs, the context and correct pronunciation, learning herbs, etc. There is a lot to focus on rather than just a tutelary Orisa who will be there no matter what when the time is right for that particular bit of knowledge.

Not knowing which Orisa can be a benefit. Then you will have to learn the songs to all the Orisa, not just one. You have to develop a relationship with many of them. You have to learn their offerings and in which domains they “occupy”.

Actual Tutelary Orisa

The answer is, before you are crowed, everyone’s tutelary Orisa is Obatala. Even knowing that, another Orisa needs to be worked with first, and that is your Ori.

There is so much to do and learn, that if you are stuck on one issue you will end up missing the forest for the all the trees. A tutelary Orisa does not require you to paint peacocks on your yellow nails or swing a machete or work with iron. You actually do not have to go outside of who you are to draw that energy in, it is already there. So, instead focus on learning the culture of the ritual and tradition which is what truly defines who we are as practitioners.

Guardian Orisa Part II