Who is Your Head Orisha?

Black woman representing the female Orisha.

Orishas are deities or spirits in African traditional religions. They live within and around us. Like humans, they have distinct personalities with strengths and weaknesses of their own. Your head Orisha is one of the most important personal deities according to the Ifa religion and other diasporic traditions. Many other deities work with you, but your head Orisha is your guardian spirit.

This spirit protects you from harm and guides you along your path. Your guardian Orisha is also responsible for maintaining balance in your life and keeping things running smoothly. Some traditions believe that each person has one guardian spirit, while others believe we have two. In the case of one guardian spirit, this energy governs the head. However, in traditions that believe in two, one spirit governs the head, and the other guards the feet.

Among many Ifa priests and priestesses in the Yorubaland, the same head Orisha is thought to remain with you throughout your lifetime. However, in some houses or communities, practitioners believe that your head Orisha changes until you become fully initiated. At this point, your head is stabilized, and you begin receiving higher-level spiritual insight and wisdom. In either case, knowing your head Orisha can profoundly impact the course of your life.

FUNCTIONS OF THE HEAD ORISHA

Different cultures have different beliefs about the head Orisha. Some believe that it is the personification of a natural force, while others say it is an ancestor or a different spirit altogether. Either way, your head Orisha bears the responsibility of leading, guiding, and teaching you karmic lessons.

You share many personality traits with your guardian spirit. This is because you need certain energic patterns to accomplish your destiny. In which case, you are equipped with specific aspects of your head Orisha for this purpose. Once you discover who your head Orisha is, you may be able to see how the spirit has manifested in your experience. You might notice both positive and negative aspects of your head Orisha within your personality.

Sometimes your head Orisha corresponds to the planetary ruler of your sun or moon sign, so you could already be familiar with how this energy works. Orishas and other deities correlate to many aspects of western astrology since this system was derived from African spiritual science. Though the nomenclature used in the systems is different due to language discrepancies across the world.

For instance, you could be a child of Ogun who corresponds to the planet Mars, which governs the sign of Aries. You may be an Aries sun or moon sign or have other prominent planetary placements in the Aries constellation in your natal chart.

Ogun is the god of war and iron and the patron of blacksmiths in the Yoruba and other diasporic traditions. Ogun cuts down obstacles and clears the way for people to follow their chosen paths. This deity is mainly known for being a go-getter and initiator. As such, children of Ogun are often leaders in some capacity. They are good at getting things started and tend to be very strong-willed.

This energy also embodies passion, heat, and anger at times. In this expression, the children of Ogun are known to be aggressive and impatient in their shadow disposition. Both the light and shadow aspects of Ogun’s traits are necessary for getting things going and advancing society in a myriad of ways. As a child of Ogun, you may notice these characteristics within yourself. And the same goes for children of other Orishas.

DISCOVERING YOUR HEAD ORISHA

To find out who your head Orisha is, you need to consult with a priest or priestess of the Ifa religion or other African traditions. These systems use a complex divination process to determine which deity is governing your head at any given time.

Each system differs in how it determines your head Orisha. Still, the process is much more complicated than reading a natal chart, tarot or oracle cards, bones, or similar divining tools. Though, these devices are beneficial for gaining spiritual knowledge for other purposes.

Many new practitioners of the Ifa and other diasporic traditions are typically quite excited to identify their head Orisha when they first start practicing these spiritual systems. The average person generally wants to know simply for the sake of knowing. However, there are times when knowing your head Orisha is critical for balancing various aspects of your life.

In situations where people suffer from terminal illnesses or endure traumatic events, there may be a need for them to connect with their Head Orisha. A person’s Head Orisha could be attempting to get their attention in such instances. In which case, the individual may encounter undue or chronic hardships necessitating they establish a strong and meaningful relationship with their guardian spirit.

Doing so will typically set them on the right path to achieving their soul mission. They may be unknowingly violating certain taboos or otherwise out of alignment. Connecting with their head Orisha can give them better spiritual insight and help them live more productive and prosperous lives.

SUMMARY

Head Orishas are significant deities in African traditional religions like Ifa. They guide and influence the power of other spirits in our lives. When you know who your Head Orisha is, you know which energy to turn to for help. You also understand your character and nature better. Additionally, you learn what you should and should not do to effect positive change in your life. These elements ultimately help you live in balance and harmony.

Learn more about how to connect with African deities in this episode of the African Spirit Reintegrated + Reimagined: