Orisha: Kind and Loving or Punishing Energies?

The other day I was looking into the reasons why people may come to my website. One question typed in, was regarding “what happens if you disobey the Santos?” I have also; over the years thought deeply into how fear is used as a tool of control within religious movements. Never more so than the idea that if you “ Sin” you go to Hell or you will be punished. There is also the idea of Karma; ie what comes around, goes around. There are many ideas and philosophies that exist within different traditions pertaining to the idea of Punishment.
Regarding the path of Orisha, I do think there is a certain amount of fear instilled by some, but not all, Orisha Practitioners. For example, the idea that if you disobey the Orisha you will get punished. I tend to think that this is a cultural hangover from other belief systems but also, these ideas stem from old school thinking and ways of bringing up children and looking after godchildren. I do believe that the Orisha belief system is a system which gives individuals the power to look deeply into themselves and the way that they behave. It is a different mindset all together. I think times are changing and not everyone feels that they have to instill fear into those that seek their guidance. My experience within the Orisha Tradition, tells me that Orisha are kind and loving, they are none judgmental and they are energies that are not immune from so called “ bad behaviour”. The Patakins (stories of Orisha) all point to moral tales of where the Orisha may have gone wrong. We can learn from their mistakes. I do not go along with the idea of “Punishment” per se. However, what I do see many a time is that things may go wrong for an individual if they do not pay heed to some of the sensible advise given by Orisha, in readings (short term and life long readings). General advise, depending on the Odu that falls on the mat may include for example, “Respect your elders”; “Don’t carry weapons”; “Try and be careful how you use words;” Advise may be given regarding the wearing of certain colours and avoiding certain foods. There are always reasons for this. At the end of the day we all have choices. We can either follow the advice or ignore it. If things happen; For example, someone carries a weapon when advised not to do so. Said person gets into a fight and someone gets hurt. Is it the Orisha who is punishing or is it the person that has chosen to carry the weapon? This is an obvious example but there are many more.
The path of Orisha is not an easy path. It holds up a mirror and helps you question your behaviour. How you relate to friends and family, how you treat other human beings and the planet. It gives you the opportunity to change for the better. If you are not prepared for the advice, why follow a path that helps you to do this? There is no such thing as punishment when you do not obey. The whole idea of readings and advice is to help you get in alignment and follow your true destiny. The only person that you are fooling when you do not “obey” is yourself. If you have an Ita, and things are challenging; read it! The answers are all there! Don’t bury your head in the Sand!


  1. Ache….well written and very true. Free will our choices, our consequences. Would you rather go down the bumpy road or smooth path? Maferefun Orisha!

    1. Thankyou for your feedback. It’s much appreciated!

  2. I do get angry and saddened when an Orisha will give you perfect Ire during an Ita and yu complete all Ebos and such and horrible things happen..health wise etc.

    1. I think it depends on expectations. All the various Odun have their positive and negative energies that go along with them. Coming in Ire is not a guarantee that all will be well. Sometimes, it is easy to make Ebo and do the practical things that are prescribed, but the deep changes that we need to take for improvement of health and quality of life are often overlooked. I don’t want to generalise since I have not seen your Ita, but there are also Odun that are quite heated even when you come in Ire. Live is full of ups and downs and problems and obstacles that come into our journey on a regular basis. My Ita is my guide for life. The answers are there, but also I do like to consult with Ifa and Orisha on a regular basis for immediate recommendations. Don’t be angry and saddened! I hope you find solutions!

      1. Hello.
        No actually the Itan Odu from Babalu aye was Eji Ogbe(certainly not a hot one). .and Afra gave me ire in ..forgot odu..but it is the one where Afra answers all your prayers..thanks for your response. I have a question. ..have you ever doubted Tha it is your destiny to be in Ocha?.I’ve received very little communication from Orisha at all in dreams etc..since right after making Ocha number of years ago…even though constant offerings. .and prayers to them.So the question remains have you known Orisha to punish?

      2. Sorry. For clarification Eji Ogbe in Ire by San Lazaro when received.

  3. Brad Happy New Year. In my experience Ejiogbe is such a complex Odu. It is a great Odu, but it comes with complications. It is an Odu that refers to extremes of experience. All the Good and All the Bad. It is not as easy as many believe. Ire is not necessarily a guarantee that all will be well in any Odu. Regarding doubts. I have had no doubt regarding making Ocha. I think I may not have been here to tell the tale if it was not for Oshun’s intervention. Although my faith has been tested on occasion and I would say in general it is natural to have doubts. I have had too much evidence of the presence of Orisha in my life and so my faith when tested has been confirmed. I do not believe that Orisha punish. I believe that we often don’t do right by ourselves and stuff happens. I have seen that a lot. That is my perspective. I hope I have answered some of your questions. Regarding Orisha communicating. Be still and don’t expect. I am sure the Orisha have ways to communicate when it is needed. Have you discussed how you feel with your godparents?

    1. Sorry for delay.times are very very bad.Fact is it is my previous Padrinos who cursed me horribly . Spiritual guides never warned me of anything. Several years later I realize one of my initiations was solely to curse me.I gave up my livelihood to do iyawo year properly. All I can say after having many years in religion is that your Godparents have power to do horrible things to your mind emotions and body….and one must be cognizant of this fact.

      1. I am sorry that you have experienced challenges on your spiritual path. Sometimes there can be balance of power between Godparent and Godchild where there should be mutual respect. Sometimes, for some people, the road can be rocky. It is the same with all human relationships, and that includes within the spiritual arena. The important thing is to learn from your experience and find a way of moving forward on your journey. I don’t feel really qualified to give advise here but I would recommend some time to re- evaluate your situation. You do have the tools. Good luck.

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