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ORISHA SELF-ASSESSMENT DIAGNOSTIC CHART

 

TARIQ SAWANDI, M.H.

 

        The following Orisha Diagnostic Charts are designed to help you identify how the seven major Orishas act and interact within you.  According to the correspondence science, various conditions of distress and disease are linked with each Orisha mode.  This system of Orisha and Ajogun (negative energy ) relationships also describe the spiritual and emotional forces in the inner and outer world of the human mind.

        According to the Ifa Corpus, all balances and imbalances in the mind, body and spirit are ordered according to the seven major Orisha modes of:

*Obatala

*Elegba

*Yemoja

*Oshun

*Ogun

*Shango

*Oyo

These Orishas represent attributes of transformation, energy, vibrations, sounds, and polarities and correspond with several planetary influences, anatomy, physiology, pathologies, and physical and mental afflictions.  Each Orisha internal performs a function in nature.  By deciphering their relationships, we may arrive at an understanding of the divine language, the will and intention they express, and the purpose of, or lesson in which the Creator has been trying to impress in us throughout our lives.

 

The Yoruba Philosophy of Disease

 

        All disease, or negative energy, whether in the world, or in ourselves, is a message of the Orisha spirits bearing a gift.  To take a simple example, when our shoe doesn't fit right we feel pain. That pain is simply a signal telling us to do something about our shoe.  It's actually a beneficial message, signaling to us that some part of our body is hurting and that a change needs to be made.  That's what pain is: Pain is pressure to change in some way.

 

        All of life is continually changing in order to stay in accord with the cosmic and environmental forces. Otherwise, life and its environment would soon grow into chaos. Pain is the mechanism causing this continual adjustment so they fit together.  This is the Law of Duality set in motion throughout the Universe by The Self Existent Being.

 

        Whenever pain or disease gets great enough, the Orisha internals turn our attention to it. That's the general first step in dealing with our ailment, or negative energy -- we turn our gaze upon it. Not with condemnation -- that's still not seeing it yet.  What allows us to see the pain clearly is a gaze of acceptance, a letting go of our resistance to experiencing it.

 

        Second, we look at what our Orisha is trying to tell us.  Why is this pain, or disease here?  What is it signaling?  What is the gift it's is trying to give me?  In the case of the tight shoe, for instance, the  pain is trying to tell us that something needs to be done.  Once we get the message, we act on it as best we can.  Maybe we go home and change shoes if we can.  If we can't, maybe we learn about focusing in on pain with compassion.

 

        Third, we redirect our attention back to a positive focus, incorporating the lesson of the disease.  We might make a mental note to be more careful about the size when we buy new shoes; in this way our life tends towards greater harmony.  If that message gets through, we're more likely to have well-fitting shoes for the rest of our life.

 

        Our heaven-sent angels will send us a gift in different things in different situations.  To one cancer patient, it might come as a call to a new type of diet and lifestyle; to another it might come as a message to let go of lifelong bitterness and heal old wounds, but our Orisha internals will make the message known if we earnestly look for it.

       

        There are lots of ways to do this.  We might consult our inner intuitive guidance, the message of the heart.  Or we might seek advice from a Yoruba priest, or herbalist.  We can also chant a prayer to the spiritual forces to deliver the message.  We can pay attention to our dreams, which contain rich and symbolic messages normally blocked from our waking mind.

 

Orisha Diagnosis and Treatment Theory

 

        One can be impressed by a definite feeling, or manifestation by the Orisha internals.  Each Orisha portrays a definite sequence of emotions, signs, and symptoms which can be felt in the body.  The Orisha internals are vibratory forces which can convey the attributes of the Orishas, as a poet does by words in evoking certain emotions and feelings in the body.  In this way, the Orisha reveal the impact of distress upon the whole person.

 

        Various things can cause disruption of the Orisha intervals.  The primary causes are:

 

  1. Wrong Diet

  2. Negative Thoughts

  3. Congestion, or blocked Chi (life force)

  4. Lack of essential elements in the body. (You cannot successfully correct this cause until your diet has changed.)

 

         The Yoruba healer when making an Orisha diagnosis, observes the patient and perceive "signs" and "symptoms" to determine the nature of the mis-alignment at hand.  He senses all impressions to make a diagnosis.

 

        While it may be quite easy for a Yoruba priest to diagnose an individual based on the dominant Orisha imbalance in the body during a disease state and whether the symptoms characteristic to one or more Orisha internals are involved, it is by no means so easy for a novice to determine the particular Orisha herbals directives which will polarize, neutralize, or ameliorate physical symptoms.  For, as we have discussed in the previous article, there are extreme poles of any particular Orisha, attribute, vibration, or perhaps more than one involved in a mis-alignment.

 

        One way of applying Orisha diagnosis has been simply to equate pathology with Orisha energy modes -- "signs" and "symptoms" alone are then the basis of diagnosing a disease pattern.  Within this reasoning, the Orisha channels in which you have the most symptoms becomes synonymous with the Orisha out of balance.  For example, if your "signs" are Disturbances of Digestion, and your "symptoms" are Indigestion and Heartburn, all these problems are associated with Oshun-Orisha. So, you are considered to have a mis-alignment of Oshun.  You would then look under the "Orisha Therapy Chart" for the particular treatment of that Orisha mode.

 

        Sometimes symptoms often appear not only in one Orisha mode, but in two or more, those in conflict with the dominant Orisha which is giving us trouble.  In this case, if you show symptoms in more than one Orisha mode, one should treat those Orishas as well.  Using the above example, if in addition to having "symptoms" of indigestion and heart burn, you also have "symptoms" of constipation (Shango-Orisha), you will teat both Orisha modes at once.

 

        Harmony is restored when the appropriate therapeutic measures of tonifying, or purging, dispersing, or consolidating are applied to each conflict and correct inequities between the Orishas.

 

Reference: Yorubic Medicine -The Art Of Divine Herbology,Tariq Sawandi, M.H.

 

 

ORISHA CHARTS AND SELF-ASSESSMENT

 

Below is an Orisha Diagnostic Self-Assessment Chart which is designed to help you identify which Orisha internals are out of phase within you.  Read each Orisha column under "Signs" and "Symptoms".  If one or more Orisha columns strongly typifies you, make a note of them.  When you are finished and have determined the particular Orishas which fit your "signs" and "symptoms", then go to the ORISHA THERAPY CHART and match the appropriate herbs and tonics under the Orisha diagnosis.  Do the Orisha diagnosis chart before you look at the therapy section so that you are not biased in your evaluation.

 

        The charts are a starting point from which to acquire the means to preserve, or recover health.  It can also guide you in the use of therapies such as medicinal herb formulas and tonics which you will find throughout this web-site.

 

        Self-treatment with Orisha Diagnostic charts is not intended as a substitute for qualified professional medical care.  This is especially true when attempting to treat serious life threatening diseases.  For information, contact your local health or natural foods store or write Tariq Sawandi, Master Herbalist at P.O. Box 3466, Bldg. 3B04-210, D47495, Corcoran, CA 93212.

Orisha Diagnostic Chart 1 - Obatala, Elegba and Ogun

Orisha Diagnostic Chart 2 - Oshun and Shango

Orisha Diagnostic Chart 3 - Oya and Yemoja

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