One of the most popular orishas, Shangó rules over lightning, thunder, fire, the drums and dance. He is a warrior orisha with quick wits, quick temper and is the epitomy of virility. Shangó took the form of the fourth Alafin (supreme king) of Oyó on Earth for a time. He is an extremely hot blooded and strong-willed orisha that loves all the pleasures of the world: dance, drumming, women, song and eating.

Though he traded the Table of Ifá to Orunmila in exchange for the gift of dance, his children have an innate ability for divination. To acknowledge the greatness of this king, all in the religion rise out our chairs if we are sitting at the mention of his name.

Shangó does not have roads or “paths” like some of the other orishas, because he is singular in nature. He was one man that was elevated to being an orisha through the miracles he performed to save his people after death. (It is considered offensive to discuss the nature of Shango’s death.)

  • Number is 6 or 12
  • Colors: white and red
  • Sacred food: amalá ilá
  • Offerings: bananas, okra, red palm oil, pomegranate, mangos, dry white wine, red apples
  • His most prominent ritual symbol is the oshe, a double-headed battle-ax.
  • Eleke: white and red beads
  • Sacred Place in Nature: the royal palm tree or the tallest tree in the forest