Compassion

  • Obatala

    The King of the White Cloth, King of the Orishas, the First Among Equals. He is the King of Power, and his weapon is wisdom. He is the essence of honored maturity, wisdom through age and experience, purity of intention, virtue, humility, tolerance, judicious use of power, the knowledge of what is truly right and wrong, the moral code, and the obligation to do what is right. Obatala is the Creator God, who first fashioned mankind from clay; thus, he is also the first sculptor and potter. The human head itself is Obatala’s creation, and it is through it that he grants us the ability to discern genuine morality as opposed to oppressive, mistaken and arrogant self-righteousness. His is not the falsehood of societal boundaries, His Truth is the understanding of one’s own character and the obligations that we all have to our world, our Gods, and one another. He is the Benevolent Judge, calm and lucid, and he governs rational deliberation. His color is white, as His spirit is free from any soil or stain, and His energy radiates sanctified purity, great wisdom, happiness and internal peace. He is associated with cloth, as that was one of His gifts to mankind. The aspects of Obatala are symbolized by the chameleon, boa constrictor, elephant, gorilla, and snail. Obatala is the Lord of Laughter, for it is through wisdom that one may see the joy in life, and through laughter we are able to see the follies of mankind not with cynicism and derision, but with humor, compassion and understanding. Obatala’s Laughter helps soothe the pain of life’s rigors, and takes the sting out of the harshest of life’s lessons. Obatala’s ofrenda is soft, white and pure: milk, coconut meat, shea butter and cool, refreshing water.

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