Isogui, Fruits for the Orishas

There are two types of offerings I love giving to the orishas: isogui (fresh fruits) and bioñi (sweets). Their ashé is so powerful that when divining, Elegguá often directs my clients to give one or both to the orishas. Unfortunately, there are no published lists detailing their preferences, and there are few resources giving the old Lucumí names for these fruits and sweets. What follows is a partial list of fruits accepted by the orishas. Where possible, I provide both the Latin and Lucumí names of each. In a few days, I will follow up with a list of sweets preferred by the orishas, giving the Lucumí names where possible.


Elegguá: raspberry, common banana [ogedé (Musa paradisiaca, var. normalis, L.)], coconut, chili pepper [atá (Capsicum fructescens, L.)], sugar cane [ireké], dwarf bananas [ogedé keké (Musa acuminate, L.)], Spanish plum [Okiká (Spondias purpúrea, L.)], Spanish lime [Omoilá (Melicocca bijuga, L.)], Surinam cherry [pitangá (Eugenia uniflora, L.)].


Ogún: coconut, common banana [ogedé (Musa paradisiaca, var. normalis, L.)], green coconut, chili pepper [atá (Capsicum fructescens, L.)], watermelon, pineapple [egboibo], sugar cane [ireké], “burro” plantain [ogedé], pomegranate.


Ochosi: white grapes, coconuts, and green pears.


Oyá: raspberry, red grapes, coconuts, star apple (red or purple only), papaya [ibepé], red bananas [ogedé pupá], Spanish plum [okiká (Spondias purpúrea, L.)], pomegranate [oroko], Surinam cherry [pitangá (Eugenia uniflora, L.)].


Obatalá: green apples, green pears, white grapes, coconut, sugar apple, star apple (white ones only), cantaloupe [bara ifín], sour sop [eko omondé (Annona muricata, L.)], breadfruit [gberefú], custard apple [mekerí (Annona reticulate, L.)], sapodilla/gum fruit [nekigbé (Manilkara zapota, L.)], pomegranate [oroko].


Aganyú: mamey apple (Mammea Americana, L.), dates, coconut, pineapple [egboibo], dragon fruit/cactus pear [Esogí (Hylocereus triangularis, L.)], breadfruit [gberefú], common bananas [ogedé (Musa paradisiaca, var. normalis, L.)], and plantains [ogedé agbigba].


Oshún: egg fruit (Pouteria campechiana, HBK), tangerine, peach, grapefruit, persimmon, plum rose, coconut, honeydew melon [bara eguré], cashew fruit [kajú], dwarf bananas [ogedé keké (Musa acuminate, L.)], mango [oro], orange [orombó].


Yemayá: green grapes, coconut, plantains [ogedé agbigba], watermelon [bara agbeyé], common banana [ogedé (Musa paradisiaca, var. normalis, L.)], mango [oro], pineapple [egboibo], papaya, green apples, green pears, and sugar cane [ireké (for Yemayá Ogúnté Ogúnasomí only)].


Shangó: mamey apple (Mammea Americana, L.), red apple, coconut, chili pepper [atá (Capsicum fructescens, L.)], mamey sapote [emí (Colocarpum sapota, L)], dragon fruit/cactus pear [esogí (Hylocereus triangularis, L.)], yellow mombin [iyeyé (Spondias mombin, L.)], cashew fruit [kajú], apple/silk bananas [ogedé], Spanish plum [okiká (Spondias purpúrea, L.)], pomegranate [oroko], common bananas [ogedé (Musa paradisiaca, var. normalis, L.)], plantains [ogedé agbigba].


Olokun: coconut, watermelon [bara agbeyé], and pineapple.


Érínlè: persimmon, plumrose, coconut, figs [opotó (Ficus carica, L.)], orange [orombó].


Ibeyi: raspberry, coconut, cashew fruit [kajú], sapodilla/gum fruit [nekigbé (Manilkara zapota, L.)], dwarf banana [ogedé keké (Musa acuminate, L.)], Spanish plum [okiká (Spondias purpúrea, L.)], Spanish lime [omoilá (Melicocca bijuga, L.)], mango [oro], Surinam cherry [pitangá (Eugenia uniflora, L.)], coco plum [kinseké (keep coco plums far away from Yemayá — she abhors them!)].


Orishaokó: custard apple [mekerí (Annona reticulate, L.)], coconuts.


Babaluaiye: coconut, green coconut, chili pepper [atá (Capsicum fructescens, L.)].


Oba: persimmon, plumrose, coconut, papaya, mango [oro].


Orí: white or green apples, green pears, white grapes, coconut, breadfruit [gberefú].


Odua: green pears, white grapes, coconut, sour sop [eko omondé (Annona muricata, L.)], breadfruit [gberefú], figs [opotó (Ficus carica, L.)].


Osain: chilli pepper [atá (Capsicum fructescens, L.)], coconut.

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New Class: Ebos and Obras for the Orishas

The new ebó/obra class begins December 3rd, and meets weekly on Thursdays from 9:00 to 10PM Eastern Standard Time. As with all my classes, this is an online class using as our online classroom. Classes are taught in four week blocks, and the derecho for each four weeks of instruction is $50.00. Seating is limited to 15 students.

The work learned here is not the type of work one prescribes in conjunction with odu or diloggún. Instead, they are ebós used to get work done. And work well, they do!

The first four week block of instruction is as follows:

December 3: One hour of instruction on the symbolism used when working with one’s ashé and with the orishas.  Everything from the cloths we use to the animals we depend on have meaning; once you understand those meanings, many of our most traditional ebós, seemingly senseless, make sense. An understanding of the items used increases success in one’s works. Also, some orishas are used, traditionally, for certain workings while others are not. We will study that traditional material.

December 10: Our focus for this day will be on ebós for the orisha Elegguá. 8 to 10 ebós will be presented to solve a variety of human conditions.

December 17: Our focus for this day will be on ebós for the orisha Elegguá. 8 to 10 ebós will be presented to solve a variety of human conditions.

December 20, 2015 through January 3, 2016: Holiday break!  All classes are on vacation; all classes resume on Monday, January 4.

January 7, 2016: Our focus for this day will be on ebós for the orisha Elegguá. 8 to 10 ebós will be presented to solve a variety of human conditions.

January 7 finishes the first four-week cycle of instruction for Ebós and Obras for the Orishas. We will cycle through a month of ebós and obras for other orishas in the following order: Ogún, Ochosi, Oyá, Oshún, Yemayá, Shangó, and Obatalá. Classes for ebós and obras with other orishas beyond these “might” be presented in future four-week offerings; however, at this time I have no plans to do so.

As always, thank you for allowing me to be such a huge part of your spiritual lives. I am honored.

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There are two new class opportunities coming, one in December and one in January. All classes are online. We use as our classroom platform. Please consider the following courses. [All times are Eastern Standard Time — please adjust accordingly for your own time zone.]

 1. Odu Lecture Series

 This class begins on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The time is 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM EST. I have 7 seats open. It is a unique concept in lecture. There are two sister classes running on Mondays, one at 7:00 PM and one at 9:00 PM. Each of these three classes studies the same odu each week. Each class will have a unique focus: interpretation through proverbs, interpretation through patakís, and interpretation through orientation (general, iré, and osogbo). One class each week will focus on pulling the “tonti” interpretation together while two classes will focus on the actual composite. Various topics of Lucumí ontology will be presented: spiritual principles born, philosophy, material manifestations of odu, and ebó. Students in any of these three classes will get 1 ½ hour of live lecture (plus a recording of their lecture) and 3 hours of recorded lecture (the material studied by its two sister classes). This provides 4 ½ hours of instruction on each odu studied.

 The cost: $300.00 for 16 weeks of lecture, or $150.00 for 8 weeks of lecture. Yes, since this is a new class beginning December 1st, a $100.00 non-refundable deposit will hold your seat.

 Starting December 1st, a lecture schedule will be available for all three classes. The lecture schedule will be distributed on December 1st to all three sister classes.

 Please email me at for registration. Payment for all classes is made by invoice through PayPal.

 2. The Basics of Lucumí Divination

 This class begins on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016. The time is 6:00 to 7:30 PM EST. This is a new course. Its goal is to teach both the casting of obi (obi agbón, the coconut oracle) and the casting of diloggún. Basic obi interpretation is included in this course; however, basic diloggún interpretation is included in another course to be announced at a later date. The cost for this class is $250.00. Although the class does not begin until January 6th, 2015, registration is open now. A non-refundable $50.00 deposit holds your seat (seating is limited – please apply early) with the remainder due when class begins.

 Please email me at for registration. Payment for all classes is made by invoice through PayPal.

 I hope to see everyone in class soon! Openings in current courses will be announced soon! Please subscribe to my blog and my Facebook page to remain updated on current offerings.

 Ócháni Lele

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My New Year’s Resolutions

There are about 50 days until 2015 ends and 2016 begins, and I’m thinking about my New Year’s projects and resolutions. It’s never too early to plan. For those who, like me, are pondering important projects for the New Year, I thought I’d share part of my “to be considered” list. 

1. I plan to teach more, write more, and work less. Many of you know that after my best friend passed away in September of 2013 (Rebecca Brown, ibae), I went back to work on a PRN basis. That turned into part-time work (because my employer has excellent health-care benefits), and then, because of a staffing crisis, I remained part-time but worked full-time hours. I’ve written very little. I’ve not taught as many classes as I have in the past. But punching a time-clock was very healing for me; after Rebecca’s death I became house-bound and reclusive. In 2016 I’m planning to cut back on my work hours, going to a PRN basis just to keep my foot in the door. Because . . . well . . . let’s just say my job is my security blanket. Not just that, but I love my coworkers and I love the work I do. 

But my mission in life isn’t to take care of the sick, the elderly, and the dying. My true mission in life is to teach and work as an olorisha. Teaching and writing are a huge part of that mission, and I need more time devoted to those things. Plus, let’s face it; I’m too old to be this exhausted all the time! 

2. I plan to start two Lucumí writers’ groups. There are a lot of talented wordsmiths among our laity and priesthood; they just need motivation and feedback to become more productive. Fiction or nonfiction, it matters not. What does matter is that those among us with the gift of words hone our gifts, bringing our unique knowledge and experience to print. 

One writers’ group will be local. We’ll meet somewhere in public, maybe a botanica or maybe a Starbucks, to read and critique each other’s work. Weekly meetings are my goal. Hopefully, by the end of 2016, I’ll have a group of writers ready to submit their work to various journals or book publishers for publication. 

One writers’ group will be online. Using the online service (which also hosts all my online classes) we’ll meet weekly to read, discuss, and critique our work. The goal for this group will be the same as the local: for each writer to produce something worthy of publication. 

So there you have two of my possible goals for the year 2016. As previously written, this is my “to be considered” list of resolutions. I need to think more, plan more, and prioritize more. There are other projects I’m pondering in my head, and I’ll share those over the coming weeks. I want 2016 to be my most productive and fabulous year yet! What are the resolutions and projects you’re considering for 2016?

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A New Class: Apere ti, Obi

When divining with obi to Elegguá, there is a little-known, almost lost art of interpretation known as apere. Apere is a word from the old Lucumí dialect meaning pattern; and in the context of obi divination these geometric patterns have meaning. It is a little known skill, an art that is all but lost; but it is a skill that adds deeper layers of interpretation to each casting of the coconuts. For those who, like myself, make the casting of obi to Elegguá a weekly practice, or for those who have a prohibition against casting Elegguá’s diloggún for one’s clients, godchildren, or self, this skill is indispensable and adds depth to your readings. It enables the olorisha to have deeper conversations with Elegguá, and it identifies the orisha standing with Elegguá to help overcome, conquer, acquire, or evolve. No longer a silent stone, with apere obi Elegguá has a simple yet powerful way to speak with the olorisha.

On Friday, August 7th, a new ONLINE class begins (5:00 to 6:30 PM EST) focusing on the usage of aperes when casting obi to Elegguá. For this class it is assumed the student has a basic working knowledge of the oracle obi; and only olorishas may attend this course. In the course of eleven weeks we will study the aperes of: Elegguá, Ogún, Ochosi, Babaluaiye, Aganyú, Shango, Obatalá, Oyá, Oshún, and Yemayá. Our first class meeting will be orientation and an introduction to the rules of apere. The remaining weeks, each class is devoted to a study of a different orisha’s apere. The meanings and ebós for not only each apere but also all five positions will be presented. As with all my classes, depending on the needs of the students we might spend extra time together, and, as always, if the class runs over the promised eleven weeks no additional payment is asked of the students.

The derecho for this 2 ½ month course is $200.00. Students who have studied obi divination with me before but want a deeper study of the aperes do get a discount; please ask for the discount when registering for the course.

Email me to reserve your seat: Or, send me a private message on Facebook. Upon registration, a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 is required. The remaining balance is due in full 30 days after the class begins.

And, in advance, I’d like to thank you for taking this course. I consider each of my students to be both a blessing and a treasure, and I am grateful that you have selected me to be your teacher.

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Diloggún Readings and Spiritual Counseling

As a Lucumí priest (olobatalá) specializing in divination, often I am asked about doing readings and consultations. I do offer these online, using as my platform. For a very limited, locally established clientele, I do offer sessions from my home; however, I am not taking new home-based clients at this time. 

If you would like an online consultation with me, please email me at The derecho is $50.00, and while you should plan on spending an hour with me I do book appointments two hours apart just in case more time is needed. While I encourage note-taking during our session, I do record the private consultation so you have a permanent record of our conversation. 

Appointment times vary based on my teaching schedule, work schedule, and tutoring sessions. I take only two consultations per day. Please note that if you pay to book an appointment with me and then miss your appointment without prior 24 hour notice, a reschedule is at my discretion. No refund is offered.

Thank you for your interest!

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An update on classes offered

Lately my email box is crammed with requests for class schedules. Here is an update of what I’m teaching, and which classes have openings for new students. For any questions, a syllabus, or other information please email me at

Monday Evenings: 

1. Advanced odu lectures, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

2. Advanced odu lectures, 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM 

Every week these two classes focus on one odu of the diloggún. It is an open-door, revolving class. This means new students can join at any time. The prerequisites for this class include: have ocha made (must be verifiable) and Basic Diloggún Divination. There is no substitute for having your asiento done; however, if you are already a student of odu and have a basic proficiency in casting diloggún, you may challenge this class. You may join at any time: currently we are working through the composites of Ogundá and when those are completed, we move into the composites of Ofún. For more information, please write to me at 

Tuesday Evenings: 

1. Basic Diloggún Divination, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM [closed to new registrants]

2. Basic Diloggún Divination, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM [beings June 30th, open to new registrants] 

This is a six month course teaching the skill of casting diloggún, and the art of interpretation using what many refer to as the “tonti” system of interpretation. The 12 basic olodu are taught in this class, along with appropriate modes of interpretation. In chronological order, we cover Okana (1) through Ejila Shebora (12). Two textbooks are required: “The Diloggún” and “Osogbo, Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune”. Please email me at for a syllabus and more information.  

Wednesday Evenings: 

1. An Introduction to the Lucumí Faith, 9:00 to 10:30 PM [closed to new registrants] 

This course is designed for aleyos and aborishas. It is an introduction to the Lucumí faith. Think “catechism” for new orisha worshippers. It explores the history, lore, orishas, and responsibilities of the laity in this faith. This class will be repeated in the future; please email me at to be put on a waiting list.  

Thursday Evenings 

1. Ebós for Working the Orishas [open to new registrants] Please email for information.

1. Basic Diloggún Divination, 7:00 to 8:30 PM [closed to new registrants]

2. Advanced Odu Lectures, 9:00 to 10:30 PM [forthcoming] Please see Monday’s offerings. This is a sister class to Monday night classes. Registration will begin soon; please email me at 


The derecho for Basic Diloggún Divination is $400.00.

The derecho for Advanced Odu Lectures is $300.00 for 16 weeks.

The derecho for An Introduction to the Lucumí Faith is $100.00

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