Obatala is the Spirit of the Chief of the White Cloth in the West African religious tradition called "Ifá". The power of Obatala is described by Ifá as one of many Spiritual Forces in Nature which are called "Orisha". There are a large number of Orisha, and each Orisha has its own awo (Mysteries of Nature).
The word Obatala is the name given to describe a complex convergence of Spiritual Forces that are key elements in the Ifá concept of consciousness. Those Spiritual Forces that form the foundation of Obatala’s role in the Spirit Realm relate to the movement between dynamics and form as it exists throughout the universe. According to Ifá, dynamics and form represent the polarity between the Forces of expansion and contraction. Together these Forces create light and darkness, and it is Obatala who brings this into being.
This title is part of a series of eight booklets about the Orisha by Awo Fá’ Lokun Fátunmbi. Please feel free to write us and tell us which of the Orisha you would like to know more about.