Obatala is the ‘KING of the WHITE CLOTH’. It is through the understanding of this title that much of ‘OBATALA’S’ role in existence can be explained.
‘OBATALA’ is the KING. He is the King of the ORISA because of his age. In YORUBA CULTURE and TRADITION, age IS the most important ingredient in the attaining and in the wielding of, POWER. ‘OBATALA’ is the OLD MAN and is symbolic of ‘HONORED MATURITY’. It is because of his AGE and GREAT WISDOM that he is the FIRST among EQUALS in then pantheon or ORISA. The ORISA revere him because of his PURITY of intention. He REPRESENTS and ENFORCES the idea of ETHICAL RIGHTNESS, which is HIS greatest and most PERSUASIVE FORCE. OBATALA is the KING of POWER, but his ARSENAL is HIS WISDOM. OBATALA’S children humble, wise and with depth in HUMILITY share CLARITY, KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDIN AND WISDOM, IN THEIR POSITIVE STATE OF AWARENESS. Arrogance, deceit, deceptions, misleading perceptions, disorderliness, unclean environments, ego, etc. is an OBATALA example of disorderly conduct, this person has fallen into the influence of Osogbo, misfortunes . This person should seek the assistance of a Priest, Priestess, Babalawo, Iyanifa, Ifa Priest to realign themselves with blessings and Ire ase.
OBATALA, again is repeated is the KING of POWER, BUT, his arsenal is HIS POWER. He is the FORCE in NATURE which represents the IDEA of MORAL CODE of behavior, and IS the OBLIGATION to do what is RIGHT. HE is the CONSCIOUS FEELING of doing the RIGHT THING. IT is HERE that OBATALA’S great POWER becomes most evident. OBATALA demands, and sanctions HIGH MORALITY STANDARDS.
OBATALA is one of the oldest of the ORISA, and because of his HUMILITY, HIS CALMNESS, HIS ETHICS, HIS CLEARNESS OF THOUGHT, AND HIS PURITY, HE WAS SELECTED BY ‘OLODUMARE,’ TO BE THE LEADER.
OBATALA IS THE HEAD! AND HE OWNS THE TITLE TO SHAPE AND MOLD ALL HEADS, ‘ORI’ EVEN THE ONES OF ‘ORI SA’ OBATALA RULES THE HEAD AND THE HEAD RULES THE BODY. EVERY LIVING BEING HAS A CROWN, THE CROWN IS THE ORI. WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE AND ORI IN HEAVEN PRIOR TO BIRTH, AND OBATALA PLACES THAT ORI OF OUR CHOICE INTO OUR CROWN. WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO CHOOSE A GOOD OR A BAD ORI. THIS IS OUR DESTINY OF OUR OWN CHOISING. OLODUMARE SANCTIONS OUR CHOICE. SO GOOD OR BAD WE MADE THE CHOICE. WE LIVE THE CONSEQUENCES.
The HEAD is the symbol of OBATALA and it is OLODUMARE’S greatest creations. The SOUL of MAN exists in the HEAD, therefore, the HEAD is the SEAT of the SOUL. Since OBATALA is the HEAD, he sits at the TOP, not only of the ORDER of the ORISA in the philosophical sense, but at the top of the HUMAN BODY in the physical plane. He is characterized as a judge, and HE is the one who was picked to make the right decisions. This is not just because he OWNS the HEAD, BUT because he is a CALM, CLEAR, LUCID ORISA who represents COOLNESS, of THOUGHT, and RATIONAL DELIBERATION.
Just as OBATALA owns ALL HEADS, he can also attack the HEAD. His attacks being characterized by LOSS of SIGHT, and or BRAIN HEMORRAGES. His children must also be careful of INSANITY of ALL TYPES, for HE is the FATHER of INSANITY. We do not intend to put fear into your psyche, however one needs to be aware that when one is called by spirit one must not be disobedient or stubborn or ignore. There are blessings awaiting you in obedience to the calling. We were brought here against our will, stripped, and denied our traditions, cultures and ways of worship and mostly our families were divided and conquered. This is our curse and the blessing is in answering our callings and accept the great opportunity of the RE-ORIENTATING our lives, our family structures, our culture, our ways of worship, our tradition and honoring our Ancestors who suffered the abuse of slavery, to US the victims of SLAVERY. RE-ORIENTATION is our salvation and transition to reconnect to roots, by becoming informed and conscious. Question: Defy? or Accept? Reform? or Transform? Win? or Lose? Conscious? or Insanity? Your choice. The choice is always our own.
OBATALA is linked with the color WHITE. White is associated with purity, of clearness and is a symbol of something NOT to be TOUCHED. OBATALA is the idea of BEING FREE from SPOT or BLEMISH, and FREE from MORAL IMPURITY. OBATALA wears WHITE ROBES. He is ABOVE touching.
OBATALA is the concept of an ORISA who is SANCTIFIED, who is in the STATE of PURITY, and WHO is above REPOACH. OBATALA is the idea of an ORISA who shines as WHITE, BRILLIANT as the SUN. He is portrayed as an OLD MAN who has SEEN OLODUMARE ‘GOD’ and who therefore, EMINATES THE GLOW OF GREAT WISDOM, HAPPINESS, AND PEACE WITHIN HIS SOUL.
‘OBATALA’ is associated with cloth because he is the one who brings fabric to man. He invented cloth. ‘OBATALA’ made the thread from cotton, wool, and wove the cloth of man, which COVERS, WARMS, and PROTECTS man from the elements.
‘OBATALA’ is the creator deity. He is the CREATOR, and the SHAPER of HUMAN BEINGS which he formed out of CLAY. He was the FIRST ORISA to use clay, and was the first sculptor and the first potter. He is the one who shapes the FETUS in the WOMB. FOLKLORE, states that ‘OBATALA’ got drunk from Palm Wine and misformed some of the human beings, creating ALBINOS, DWARFS, HUNCHBACKS, CRIPPLES, the DUMB and BLIND. These people, come under ‘OBATALA’ special patronage.
‘OBATALA’ is the FATHER of WISDOM. He is the idea of WISDOM that is acquired through years of countless DECISIONS and EXPERIENCES. He represents PLANNING through WISDOM.
‘OBATALA’ is a MOUNTAIN DEITY. He is said to LIVE on a HIGH PLATEAU, therefore Mountains are sacred to ‘OBATALA’. He is also said to live on a WOODED HILL. ‘OBATALA’ is an orisa who lives in a COOL, PEACEFUL, WOODLAND, because he is radiant like the sun, he is old and cannot stand long periods of in the DIRECT SUNLIGHT.
‘OBATALA’ is symbolized by the GORILLA, the SNAIL, the ELEPHANT, the BOA CONSTRICTOR, and the CHAMELEON. Each of these animals represents a specific aspect of ‘OBATALA’.
The GORILLA is an animal that has the HIGHEST mental ability of all animals. It lives on the MOUNTAINSIDE and is a SHY forest animal. It has the capacity to LEARN from EXPERIENCE and to ACT with REASON. The GORILLA is the largest PRIMATE living today. It is not a MALICIOUS forest animal, and despite its great STRENGTH and POWER, it is a PEACEFUL and SOCIABLE soul.
The SNAIL is a very s-l-o-w m-o-v-I-n-g ANIMAL. It is a animal which HIDES in its SHELL for PROTECTION. It can survive and live in the OCEAN, in the RIVER, on the MOUNTAIN and in the plains. It to is one of the OLDEST living animal life forms in the chain of EVOLUTION. The SNAIL represents OBATALA because of its COOL and MEDICINAL SECRETIONS. The secretions from the SNAIL is used to wipe ones BROW and COOL OFF ones HEAD. The SNAILS life blood is also used in this way.
The ELEPHANT is associated with both POWER and WISDOM. The ELEPHANT is associated with ‘OBATALA’ because it displays some of the CHARASTERISTICS of the AGED. It has poor vision and limited hearing. The ELEPHANT does however have an extraordinary sense of TOUCH and BALANCE. This idea of BALANCE relates to the concept of the AGED, maintaining their BALANCE in LIFE. The ELEPHANT too, is also a SYMBOL because it is EXTREMELY intelligent.
The BOA CONSTRICTOR is the LARGEST SNAKE in the kingdom of the forest. It exists in the FOREST and kills its PREY by CRUSHING it to DEATH. It lives quietly in the TREES and HUNTS by using the HEAT sensing pits along its lips at night.
The CHAMELEON also lives in the LOW branches of TREES in the FOREST. The CHAMELEON defends itself by changing COLORS adapting to the environmental surroundings. The CHAMELEON will hide itself out of sight then TURN COLORS.
All of the ANIMALS that symbolize OBATALA have one of more of these characteristics. Most of them possess enormous hidden strength in relation to their size. Most of them prefer to remain hidden away from plain view. The idea hiding is an important quality here. All of these animals either HIDE or KEEP their DISTANCE whenever possible. The ELEPHANT is a possible exception, BUT then most other animals to to keep their distance from it.
This brings to mind the character in OBATALA of UNTOUCHABILITY, and THE SANCTIFICATION of OBATALA. While OBATALA, is PEACEFUL by NATURE he is DEEPLY RESPECTED for his enormous POWER which is well hidden in the VEILS of SHY HUMILITY. OBATALA, overflows with HUMILITY and WISDOM.
OBATALA knows through the WISDOM gained in EXPERIENCES in ones LIFE one keeps the POWER gained from that true experience. It is through the JUDICIOUS use of POWER GAINED that man finds PEACE. Although OBATALA is associated with GREAT KINGS and KINGDOMS, the power of OBATALA is not just FORCE of arms or physical might. OBATALA RULES, the hidden power of REASON which exist within the HEAD.
When said that OBATALA does not use witchcraft, that ELEGBA is his witchcraft, it is meant, that ESU, ELEGBA, brings to manifestation the CHOICES available in each situation that arises in ones life. BUT, it is OBATALA who brings forth the POWER of WISDOM, REASON, and ETHICS. It is OUR IWA, character that stands up and chooses our course of action. One here is reminded to be responsible for the choices we allow our character to make. When we plant the seed of BAD, do not be SUPRISED when to see unfavorable consequences manifest. IFA teaches one to always put IWA PELE, good character first. IF one refuses to apply Iwa-Pele, it NOW becomes the responsibility of ESU, ELEGBA to step in and affix them, BECAUSE it is ESU, ELEGBA who is the KING of CHOICE and He OPENS or CLOSES the doors after WE have made our CHOICES. Good choice, good consequence. Bad choice bad consequence. OUR CHOICES!
It is through OBATALA who is the Orisa who shapes and molds the crown, has the ability to COOL the HEAD, who has the Wisdom, Strength of Power with ethical character and is represented in the CROWN Chakra, it becomes our responsibility to guard our head and keep it clean and pure. OBATALA energy is in the core of every beings head, ORI. All Male and Female universal energies.