Baba Ifa Karade has described the Orishas as being forces of nature. Much like the Sanskrit chakra system, the Orishas reside in the human body, as spinning wheels of energy. They vibrate at different levels and frequencies and operate on different continuums or mediums. I wrote in earlier articles that energy, which is often referred to as ashé in Yoruba traditions, is both subtle and physical. Physical energy of course is solid matter, while subtle energy is invisible.
The Orishas fall into the subtle energy category. The Seven African Powers can represent the seven chakras that reside along the spine. Chango represents the first chakra. Yemaya represents the second. Oggun is the personification of the third chakra. Oshun represents the fourth chakra. Obatala represents the fifth, and Orunmila represents the sixth. The seventh chakra is the Ori and represents the highest level of consciousness. The Orishas exists on different levels of consciousness or planes of existences. Just like a ladder have seven rungs, with each one taking you a step higher. When you reach the top, you can see all the other rungs that you climbed to get there. They work, much like a hierarchy, where a person becomes more powerful with every step. The higher you climb up the ladder, the more you can see.
We can also go a step further. The Seven African Powers don’t only exist as a powerful hierarchy, but they rule over different domains of energy. A great way to think about this is to watch television. CNN is all about the news so you receive messages about news. MTV is all about music, or now reality television shows, so you receive messages about music and reality television shows. However, you can also tap into the power of the Orishas by tuning into their channels. Yemaya has her own channel, she sends out messages of fertility and creation. Oggun has his own channel, he sends out messages of strength and power. All seven Orishas have their own channels, sending out different messages for different purposes.
Some of the Orisha channels might come in blurry, with lots of fog or static. These are the channels that you need to work on. Others might come in crisp in clear. Some people may decide to turn their televisions off, or to ignore one channel completely. While, others can decide to become priest or priestess and began to broadcast information on an Orisha channel. So they are not just sending information but receiving it. It is great to remember that all modern day technologies are modeled after the laws of nature.