Although this article I found, Beyond belief at a Orisha Yard in Trinidad, was very interesting because it is a report on the religion/spiritual system, I am a part of, it was also a study in the ignorance and possible disdain by the writer.
Worth reading, because the pure reporting aspects are worthy, however for me there were some unfamiliar representations, since I practice Ifa and Orisa devotion in an environment un-syncretised with Catholicism. There were also some descriptions I disagree with, in particular that of Baba Esu as ‘not a good spirit’. Esu is the keeper of the ase, the repository of power. It is through the birth of his particular energy signature, that the other Orisa’s powers on earth became manifested.
In many New World expressions of Esu, (Elegbara, Elegba, Eshu, The Trickster) especially in those of Candoumble and Santeria, are of negativity, elusiveness, and other such. However, I think they do not understand the energy. Esu, must be appeased, because he owns the road. He can direct you along the right paths, or the wrong ones, and if you do not adequately honour him, he can send you on wild goose chases, turn you away from your correct road, and prevent you from getting to destination on time, in good spirits, and not sweaty and blustered, late and confused.
We must ask Baba Esu to help us, to prevent accidents and incidents on our way too and from our travels. He alone is the one that can allow you access to power, and first among the Orisa to be honoured.
The Orisas are here to help, but like all Divine workers, proper respect is due when it is due. One simple way I pay respect, is dropping three silver quarters into crossroads as I go too and fro, crossing seas and traversing life’s causeways.
I remember reading a pataki about Esu. Here it is in my own words:
Yemoja, Osun and Oya set up business as diviners, and asked Esu to handle the advertising. He was to stand in the crossroads and tell all who passed about their business and encourage people to visit. So Esu agreed, and asked for a quarter of the profits. So, busy and crossroads were, he sent all who he could convince to his mother and auntie’s doorway. Business for the three sisters was booming, money was good and all went well. Their reputation started to spread far and wide, and Esu pointed everyone looking for them in the right direction.
When it came time for Esu to come and collect his share of the profits, the sisters instead decided to tell Esu that business was bad, and they had made no profit.
Esu, no fool, knew different, because the same road the people seeking the Oracle took to get to the Sisters, was the same road they took back to go home. So, instead of saying anything, he told them he’d go back and make sure more people came, and praise them even more at the crossroads. He told them, he’d make sure of it this time.
He went back to the crossroads, and when people came and asked him which way they had to take to get to the famous trio of Divining Sisters, Esu sent everybody in either the wrong direction, or told them that they had moved away and he did not know where they went to.
After a while, Yemoja, Osun and Oya started to despair, because it had been weeks and weeks without a single clients.
They realised they had wronged Esu, and when he came back weeks later, they gave him not only his share, but more than his share and apologised to him for their treatment of him.
He took his tribute, and forgave them. He went back to the crossroads, and this time, he told the seekers looking for the Sisters, where they were. Once more, business boomed, and all went well. The Sisters never withheld Esu’s share again.
Now what do you think you can see in the wisdom of the story, and the nature of Esu’s influence and importance?
Esu is the Divine Messenger betweenGod and Man. Esu sits at the Crossroad .
Esu is the Orisa that offers choices and posibility..
Esu is the gatekeeper , the guardian of the door.
Esu safeguards the principle of freewill .
Esu is the keeper of Ase .
Esu is called the divine trickster that lures man’s emotions creating variety which spices life.
Esu brings out the fool in man. Esu brings out the symbolic child in man. Esu’s mischief serves to wake a person up and teach them a lesson.
Esu represents the balance of nature . Day and night, white and black, construction and destruction. Esu is an old man and a child. Absolute balance of nature.
Esu has a voracious appetite. Esu has a constant drive and is always ready (erect penis).
Esu counterbalances aspects of our reality. Esu is the patron of the “underworld” and their way of survival.
Esu—The means justify the end!
Esu must always be appeased first .
Source: Esu Words
Anyway, read the article and feel free to comment here. Beyond belief at a Orisha Yard in Trinidad.
Osun Pataki 1
My Path to the Orisha by Ethan Davidson
I am Orisha by Burton Sankeralli