[vsw id="3vqzFxJdkn4" source="youtube" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]
|Shango is the Orisha of fire, the favorite son of Yemoja (The Sea) and husband to Oya (the Wind). His voice is heard in the thunder and Oya carries his bolts of power. He is the protector of women and children and brings clarity around personal relationships. He is also the lord of the drums, dance and music. Shango represents justice and transformation. He appears when there is a need to to correct behaviors and right the wrongs done to others.
One ancient story says that Shango forced two of his generals to fight to find out which was the greater warrior. Shango forced the men to fight, threatening their families and children regardless of how the men begged him to not do this. Shango would not relent and the men fought and killed each other in battle. When shango recovered from his stupor of power he realized that his arrogance and abuse caused the death of his closest friends and greatest warriors. He had brought horrible grief and loss to the wive’s of his friends and severely weakened his armies ;both through the loss of his generals and the loss of respect for the king. Beside himself with grief, Shango fled from his village and is said to have hung himself in a tree.
Shango’s enemies, hearing of the deaths of these profound warriors, and the flight of the the King, prepared to strike Shango’s kingdom. Death was in the air. Decimation was near. The remainder of Shango’s army ran into the bush to find their stricken king. Those among his army who found shango’s lifeless body hanging from the tree shouted, ”Oba ka so! Oba ka so! The King is not dead! The king is not dead!” partially in denial but to strategically spread the belief amongst Shango’s enemies that their king was still alive. Mstery of strategic planning was the parting essence of Shango. They army used the force of Shango’s reputation as a fierce warrior to prevent their enemies from attacking and destroying their severely weakened kingdom . This pronouncement also became the battle cry that mustered Shango’s armies to rise and attack and defeat their enemies. This cry , “Oba ka so!” is still used in worship songs today.
Shango’s wife, Orisha Oya had compassion on Shango but showed him no mercy. Oya, is the Orisha who brings clarity of thought and introspection. and weighs this against how one is perceived in society. No stone is left unturned. She shows you who you really are.
It is hard to image Shango escaping her piercing mind and judgements and what it must have taken for him to transform his self-perception. It is said thatShango trasformed him self on the tree beneath the watchful eye of Oya . As a result, he was elevated to the status of Irunmole or Orisha; a highly evolved being.
This video wonderfully depicts the essence of Shango. He garners his strength from the feminine. Wearing the skirts of his wife, Oya, he dances in her winds by his mother Yemoya; the Sea. The Fire is his and does not touch him as he embraces the power of self-transcedence. Death could not hold this king. Shango is free and represents self-determination and the vitality of life that occurs when we embrace our power and spirit. Enjoy!