Tag Archive: ghosts


“Oya” by Danilo Lejardi

“Egungun-Oya’s themes are destiny, death, ghosts, divination, foresight and truth. Her symbols are dance and fire.  The Yoruban Mother of the Dead and mistress of spiritual destinies, Egungun-Oya helps us peek into our own futures, being a Goddess of fate. Traditionally She is venerated through folk dances that show Her guiding spirits in the afterlife with the flames of truth in one hand.

As one might expect, the people of Nigeria honor the ancestors on this day, believing that they and Egungun-Oya control the fates of the living. It’s a common custom, therefor, to leave food and gifts for both the deceased and the Goddess today, hoping both will find pleasure in the offering. In your own home, put out pictures of loved ones who have passed on and light a candle in front of these today so that Egungun-Oya’s truth will fill your home. When you light the candle, observe its flame. If it burns out quickly without your assistance, this indicates that you should take care – you’re burning yourself out on too many projects. If it flames up brightly and steadily, anticipate health and longevity. An average-sized flame that burns blue indicates spiritual presences and a normal life span.

To keep any unwanted ghosts out of you house, put a light of any sort in the window, saying,

‘Egungun-Oya is your guide,
return to your sleep and there abide.’

The Goddess will safely guide those spirits back to where they belong.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ancestor Spirits” by Willow Arlenea

“In Yoruba mythology, Egungun-oya is a Goddess of divination. ‘Egungun‘ refers to the collective spirits of the ancestral dead; the Orisha ‘Oya‘ is seen as the mother of the Egun.

In Egba and Egbado area, as well as many parts of Yorubaland, Odun Egungun festivals are held in communities to commemorate the ancestors. Egungun masquerade are performed during these annual or biennial ceremonies as well as during specific funeral rites throughout the year. The masquerade is a multifaceted ceremony which includes the making of offerings as well as the honoring of ancestors for past and future aid.

Egungun performances organized for funerary purposes mark the death of important individuals. In this context, the masks reflect a creative response to death as a time of crisis involving mourning and loss. Elaborate performances serve to commemorate the dead through the remembrance of their past life while simultaneously reinforcing the relationship between the living and the recently deceased ancestor.

Among the broad range of themes incorporated in the Egungun masks are representations of numerous societal and cultural stereotypes as well as acrobatic images in which dancers turn their clothing inside out, in part to suggest the power and distance of the ancestral world. Entertaining satirical masks depicting animals and humans are performed during the masquerade and often serve as a social commentary on the life of the community.” [1]

Here is a video highlighting some scenes from a Egungun festival held in the Oyortunji African Village (near Sheldon, South Carolina) from 2010.  This sacred festival is a type of Memorial Day in which the ancestors and deceased are collectively remembered…

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Egungun-oya“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Oya“.

French, Selina. Order of the White Moon, “Oya“.

Hargrow, Tirra. Goddess-Body-Mind-Spirit.com, “The Goddess of Transformation“.

Heathwitch. Order of the White Moon, “Oya: Lady of Storms“.

O., Bommie. MotherlandNigeria.com, “Festivals“.

Revel, Anita.  Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess, “Oya“.

Strong, Laura. Mythic Arts, “Egungun: The Masked Ancestors of Yoruba“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Oya“.

Wikipedia, “Egungun“.

Wikipedia, “Oya“.

Art by C-OX

“Securitas’ themes are protection, ghosts and grounding.  Her symbols are amulets and protective sigils.  As the name implies, Securitas is a protective Goddess who watches over not only individuals in need but also entire empires. In the true sprit of security, She also actively promotes stability and firm foundations in our lives.

In ancient Rome, Lemures were considered to be the ghosts of family members who like to pester the living, if given the chance. So, in all due prudence, the Romans took time once a year to put ghosts back where they belong and invoke Securitas’ protection by tossing beans behind them nine times.

We can use this symbolism today in banishing any ghosts that linger in our figurative closets. Just name a handful of beans after your ‘ghosts’, toss them behind you in an open area, and walk away. This appeases the spirits and leaves the troubles behind you in the past, where they belong.

Today is an excellent day to make Securitas amulets for protection against mischievous spirits. Take any one or all of the following and bind them in a white cloth with red wool: sandalwood, sage, violet or peach pit. As you tie the wool, say:

‘Securitas’ power lies inside Where this amulet sits no ghosts may abide.’

Put the token wherever you need it. Eating leek soup keeps away spirits, too.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Ancient Third Century CE Mosaic of Goddess Securitas (from Securitas Overseas)

Securitas was one of the many many “minor” gods and goddesses that the ancient Romans worshipped.  She personified the security and stability of the Roman people, the Roman empire and the Roman emperor. “She was portrayed on coins from the Roman empire, typically with the attributes of a rod, sceptre, cornucopia and palm branch, standing or seated with crossed legs, as in the only known third century CE mosaic, surrounded by the inscription “SECURITAS IMPERIUM” on account of the fact that the Romans were convinced that the Goddess would guarantee the safe continued existence of the empire.

As we know today, she succeeded over a long period of time, bringing the allmighty Roman empire expansion on a previously unseen scale. With the decline of Roman mythology at the time of the fall of the Roman empire in 476 CE, the name slipped into obscurity only reappearing in Switzerland at the beginning of the previous century, when the history of Securitas continued successfully roaming across the continents. [1]

 

The only other reference I could find to Securita was that  the Goddess Concordia (Goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony) “was associated with a pair of female deities, such as Pax and Salus–or Securitas and Fortuna. The latter pair of concepts (security and fortune) could also be represented by Hercules and Mercury.” [2]

 

IMP VALERIANVS·P·AVG, Radiate draped cuirassed bust right | SECVRIT PERPET, Securitas standing left, leaning on column right and holding scepter in right hand.

* A note on Roman deities“A vast number of ancient Roman deities are known by name. The most familiar today are those the Romans identified with Greek counterparts, integrating Greek myths, iconography, and sometimes religious practices into Roman culture, including Latin literature, Roman art, and religious life as it was experienced throughout the Empire. Many of the Romans’ own gods remain obscure, known only by name and function, through inscriptions and texts that are often fragmentary—particularly those who belong to the archaic religion of the Romans dating back to the era of kings, the so-called “religion of Numa,” perpetuated or revived over the centuries. Some archaic deities have Italic or Etruscan counterparts, as identified both by ancient sources and by modern scholars. Throughout the Empire, the deities of peoples in the provinces were given new theological interpretations in light of functions or attributes they shared with Roman deities.” [3]

Click here for a comprehensive alphabetical list of Roman deities and their functions.

 

 

Sources:

Securitas Overseas, “Celestial Origins“.

Wikipedia, “Concordia“.

Wikipedia, “List of Roman Deities“.

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