S/he will arrange an altar with two white altar candles and a plain white cloth. (Some folks like the white altar cloth to be adorned with a little lace.) Between the altar candles, s/he will place the seven day candle and may also burn a mixture known as "Seven African Powers" incense. A person may purchase Seven African Powers incense sticks or s/he might mix it her/himself.
Seven African Powers Incence RecipeS/he will recite the following:
(to burn on charcoal)
4 TBLSP. Frankincense (small grains or powdered)
3 TBLSP. Myrrh (small grains or powdered)
2 TBLSP. Cinnamon (powdered)
1 TBLSP. Sage (powdered)
1 TBLSP. Sandalwood (powdered)
1/2 TBLSP. Dragon’s Blood (powdered)
Mix all of the ingredients together.Place the mixture into a glass storage jar until ready to use. When ready to use, place a small amount on a hot charcoal block.
I call upon Eleuga to remove all obstacles, Chango for power over mine enemies, Obatula to bring peace, Ogum to supply work, Orula to open doors, Ochun to bring love, and Yemalia to make me fruitful.S/he will light the seven day candle at the same time each evening, reciting this request.
In the past, it was traditional to leave seven day candles burning continuously. As this procedure can pose a fire hazard, the creators of this website encourage people to instead embrace another tradition. For safety reasons the candle should be extinguished after finishing the request and any prayers, and then relit the next evening.
The rainbow colored seven day candles with seven layers of colored wax in spiritual supply stores are often burned to petition the Seven African Powers. (However, these candles are burned for other purposes as well as the Seven Powers.)
There are also several types of seven day candles, made by different companies, which are specifically dedicated to the Seven African Powers. The glass jar of the seven day candle is decorated with Catholic saints which symbolize the Seven African Powers. Many of these candles have the seven colors of wax, but they might have almost any solid color wax.
For example, one seven day candle dedicated to the Siete Potencias Africanas was filled with green colored wax for prosperity. The prayer on the back of the candle said in English:
Oh, Seven African Powers that are found surrounding Our Lord, I humbly kneel before your miracle painting to ask your help. I implore you intercede before Our Lord, from whom received the promise, "Ask and it shall be granted," so he answers my petition and gives me the peace of Spirit, and material property for the greater glory of Our Lord, be it in the name of the Father. Amen.The image on the candle was a copy of a depiction using Catholic imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. This image contains numerous Catholic symbols associated with the crucifixion. The parchment, IN RI (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) is nailed at the top of the cross. The skull is at the foot (victory over death). Also visible are the cock that crowed three times, Veronica's veil, the flail/whip for forty lashes, the lantern to keep watch by, the dice for gambling for Christ's garment, the thirty pieces of silver, the lance that pierced Christ's side, the sword that St. Peter used to strike off an ear, the sponge of vinegar, the pitcher of water and basin wherein Pilate washed his hands, etc. This image is sometimes called the "Just Judge."
Surrounding this crucifix are standard depictions of Catholic saints with the names of the Seven African Powers on the images:
"Chango" (St. Barbara)Under the Crucifix is the name, "Olofi." This name, "Orofi," is a title of Olodumar, the High God of the Yoruba pantheon in Africa.
"Orula" (Christ taken down from the cross by St. John the Evangelist)
"Ogum" (St. John the Baptist)
"Elegua" (St. Peter)
"Obatala" (Our Lady of Carmel)
"Yemalia" (Our Lady of Regula)
"Ochun" (Our Lady of Charity of Copper)
The Seven African Powers are the most seven well known spirits or orishas in the Afro-Cuban traditions of Santeria, Arara, and Espiritismo. Cat Yronwode listed these orishas along with the saints with whom they are syncretized as:
|orisha names||Orisha titles||Syncretized Saints|
|Fourth King of the Yoruba
immortalized as Spirit of Thunder
|Saint John the Evangelist taking Jesus down from the cross|
|Lord of Metals, Minerals, Tools, War, Birds, and Wild Beasts||Saint John the Baptist|
Saint Anthony of Padua
San Pedro (Saint Simon Peter)
Opener of the Way
|Saint Simon Peter|
San Martin (Caballero)
Saint Anthony (of Padua)
El Nino de Atocha
Saint Michael Archangel
|Father-Mother of Humanity
Bringer of Peace and Harmony
|Our Lady of Mercy|
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
|Spirit of Motherhood, the Ocean, and the Moon||Our Lady of Regla|
Mary, Star of the Sea (Stella Maris)
|Lady of Love, Beauty, and Sexuality
Spirit of Fresh Water
|Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre (Our Mother of Charity)|
Spirit of Wind, Storm, Thunder, and Magic
|Our Lady of Candelaria|
|Babaluaye||Spirit of Disease and Sickness
Provider of Money to the Poor
|Saint Lazarus of Dives|
Cat Yronwode has listed "nine of the orishas and more than a dozen Catholic saints" with whom they are syncretized.
In hoodoo, the petitioning of these spirits belonging to the Yorbu pantheon in a Christian context entwined in Catholic imagery involves a multipurpose blessing in a multicultural context.
According to Blair Whitmer, as quoted by Cat Yronwode, THE SEVEN AFRICAN POWERS SIETE POTENCIAS, "The phrase 'Seven African Powers' is mostly predominant in African-American hoodoo; in Spanish-speaking nations, they are the Siete Potencias (Seven Powers)."
Cat Yronwode further explained, "...hoodoo practitioners -- especially those who live in close proximity with Latin Americans -- do work with the Seven African Powers in a magical context, perceiving them as deities of luck, protection, and power."
The Seven African Powers are not honored or worshiped in quite the same way they are in the Afro-Cuban religions. Nevertheless these spirits are honored in African American hoodoo spirit work.
For speculations of how and when the Seven African Powers traveled to the USA, please read Cat Yronwode's excellent article, THE SEVEN AFRICAN POWERS SIETE POTENCIAS.
In any case, the Seven African Powers were easily absorbed into the hoodoo spiritual bowl due to the crossed cultural nature of hoodoo.
Other versions of the prayer include these two from Virtual Voodoo Temple:
Example A:It seems reasonable to me that this hoodoo working could also be used to bless items dedicated to these seven spirits, such as the Seven African Powers Tools Bracelet, which has the tools used by these seven orishas. Such a bracelet could then be worn for "all purpose blessings" or a "general blessing."
Oh, Seven African Powers, who are so close to our Divine Savior, with great humility I kneel before thee and implore your intercession before the Great Spirit. Hear my petition and grant me peace and prosperity. Please remove all of the obstacles that cause me to stray from the Beauty Way. Oh Olofi, I trust in the words “ask and you shall receive”. Let it be so! Amen.
(Here the person would make her/his petition to the spirits.)
Oh Seven Powers of Africa, you who are the divinities of divinities, who work on behalf of the living God, the Creator of the Universe, I humbly kneel before your blessed picture to pray for your help and intercession in my life. I ask that God, my loving father, who made and protects all creation, living and dead, and that you, the Seven Powers of Africa, and the world, grant me my prayer and give me the spiritual peace and protection that I seek God, you who are my supply and protection, through the action of your will and the Seven Powers, give me material success and cleanse from my house and my path the dangers and evils which torment me. Let them be gone from me that they never torment me again. My heart tells me that my prayer is just, and that my path is open to the benefits and blessings that I seek. I ask that God grant my prayer for the intercession of the Seven African Powers, and for their help and guidance to me in my daily life. Listen to me Chango! Help me Yemaya! Do not forsake me Ogun! Intercede for me Ellegua! Hear me Oshun! Look at me with favor Obatala! Act with favor to me Oya! Grant what I ask, that it be manifested in my life, through the meditation of the Seven African Powers. Olofi, bless me that I may be forever blessed.
copyright 2011 Myth Woodling
Mary Ann Clark, Seven African Powers: Hybridity and Appropriation, copyright 1999.
Occult1.com, Seven African Powers Incense, Ancient Recipes, Thursday, May 14, 2009, http://ancientrecipes-occult1.blogspot.com/, acessed 8/30/11.
Anna Riva, Candle Burning Magic: A Spellbook of Rituals for Good and Evil, 1980. ISBN 9780943832067.
7 African Powers Incense Sticks, http://www.13moons.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=10053
7 African Powers Tools Bracelet, http://www.abaxion.com/sq889.htm.
Virtual Voodoo Temple, Seven African Powers, 2009-2011, revised 07/22/11, http://www.planetvoodoo.com/voodoo-temple/seven-african-powers.htm, accessed 8/19/11.
Siete Potencias Africanas, Brilux, Veladora Misticas, Corretero Miguelademon Km 26 slm, Porcion Sur CP 66600, apodaco N.L.
Cat Yronwode, THE SEVEN AFRICAN POWERS SIETE POTENICIAS, 1995-2003, accessed 8/19/11.
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