Spiritual Chango -A Powerful Warrior
Chango or Shango is one of many orishas (deities) in the Santeria religion. According to Wikipedia, Santeria is an, "Afro-Caribbean religion derived from traditional beliefs of the Yoruba people of Nigeria." Enslaved Africans introduced these religious beliefs to the New World. Although the slaves were forced to convert to Christianity, they secretly continued to worship and practice their religion. To avoid severe punishment, and "preserve their traditional beliefs, the slaves disguised their orishas as Catholic saints."
Santeria is comprised of a Supreme Being, known as Oloddumare, and orishas (deities). In Migene Gonzalez-Wippler's book, Santeria, The Religion, she writes that the, "orishas were created by Oloddumare to manifest his will and express his essence in nature...The orishas are not really gods, but children and servants of Oloddumare."
One can surmise, after reading the above-mentioned statement, that orishas are messengers of God doing His work.
A Santera- priestess of Santeria, once told me that Santeria was an earth religion, "where all aspects of nature are loved and respected."
Now, that some basic information on Santeria has been provided, let us go back to Spiritual Chango.
In Santeria, Chango is synonymous with the Catholic Saint called Saint Barbara. Both share the same characteristics- their colors are red and white; she holds a sword, and he carries a double-edged ax; she holds a goblet in her right hand, and he has a mortar; and she is linked to thunder and lightning, and he is affiliated with fire, thunder and lightning.
Shango is the most well-known and revered of all the orishas. He carries a double-headed axe, which represents expeditious and balanced justice. His sacred number is six, and he is the owner of music and the Bata (three double-headed drum). Migene Gonzalez-Wippler depicts Shango as,"...an incorrigible woman chaser and a lover of food and dance."
In Migene Gonzalez-Wippler’s book, The Santeria Experience, A Journey into the Miraculous, she writes about the power and greatness of Shango, which she had the pleasure of witnessing first hand.
During her college years, she began to question her religious teachings. Not seeing any logic behind her beliefs, she decided to dismiss them. She no longer considered herself to be religious or spiritual.
Then, one day, something happened that completely changed her perception. She understood that not all things needed to have a logical foundation for it to be real.
It was a stormy night, and hurricane alerts were constantly being announced over the radio and television. Instead of taking heed, Miqene and a companion disregarded all warnings and headed out to a party.
On the way to the party, the weather had gotten worst making it difficult to drive. Nevertheless, they continued. Suddenly, the car skidded and plunged into a ravine.
Although she was dazed, but not hurt, her companion was unconscious and badly injured. Due to the darkness of the night and torrential rain, she was unaware of her whereabouts.
Alone in a dark and isolated area, she managed to pull herself out of the car. With every second, her desperation intensified. Her friend needed immediate help, and there was no one in sight. Her only option was to call Shango for help, as she did many times in her childhood.
"With great effort I stood up, using both arms to protect my face from the violence of the rain. Struggling to keep my balance, I looked up to the sky,...'Chango,' I cried out with all my remaining strength...Stop the rain. Show me the way to safety..."
From a distance, the sound of, "a soft peal of thunder," became distinct. "I listened anxiously, and the thunder reverberated once more...thunder continued to grow closer. Suddenly, a blinding flash crossed the sky. I watched aghast as a lightning bolt slashed through the darkness and fell directly in front of me. Almost simultaneously, the rain and the wind diminished in intensity, until only a few drops were falling softly over me...I walked out of the dark ravine, following the fiery path, as lightning bolt upon lightning bolt guided my steps."
For Those Who Believe, Everything Is Possible
Upon deciding to include Chango in this website, I proceeded to paint a picture of him. The task was exhausting. He was refusing to come out on canvas. It was as if I was attempting to open the door for him, and he was refusing to enter.
Since Chango can be very demanding, I knew that I needed to use another approach. I decided to put down my brushes and listen- in a spiritual sense. A thought came to my mind. I needed to write first and paint later. It was essential to re-acquaint myself with him.
From early on, I was told that I was 'hija de Chango' (daughter of Chango). However, what did that mean? Did the father want to reunite with his daughter, or was there something he wanted to reveal to me? I began speaking to him and learning more about him.
Gradually, I began to feel a connection or closeness to Chango. He began to materialize slowly on the canvas. Finally, he was giving me the green light to carry on.
During the process of doing the Spiritual Chango painting, I felt a strong urge to place a red and white beaded necklace in his hand. In the painting, he is reaching out in a giving gesture. The necklace represents protection.
In addition to providing protection, Chango clears the path for his followers to continue their earthly and spiritual missions. Although he loves his children very much, he will not tolerate those who are not faithful and conduct themselves in an improper manner. For those who attempt to challenge Chango, the full weight of his ax will be upon them.
After the completion of the Spiritual Chango painting, I noticed that there was a face on the left side of the double edge ax. I have no idea how it got there, or its meaning. See picture below.
Could it be a reflection or representation of one's soul, or is it a spirit manifestation? What is your opinion? Go below to Content Invitation and share your thoughts.
For all those who believe in Chango, may he guide you in the right path and protect you from all evil.
May Spiritual Chango bless you now and always.
End of Spiritual Chango.
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