Ogun is placed in an iron black 3-legged cauldron which usually contains one or more smooth round black stones along with miniature iron tools, railroad spikes, horseshoes and a chain.
Oshun is generally put in a ceramic pot or ginger jar with the colors yellow and gold predominating. Often 5 yellow stones are placed in this pot along with 18 cowrie shells and copper brass or goldtone tools are placed within or without the pot along with a small crown. Sometimes river water is added to this pot either in a bottle or the pot itself is filled covering the stones and shells or spring water can be added.
Yemaya is usually housed in a ceramic blue pot or a pot with blue and white predominating in the colors. Yemaya pots usually contain 7 black smooth stones, 18 cowrie shells and some miniature lead tools. Her pot may also contain sea water and sea shells.
Obatala is placed in an all white ceramic pot, which usually contains 8 smooth white stones, some silver miniature tools a white stone egg and 18 cowrie shells.
Oya is placed in a purple or rust-colored or multicolored ceramic pot that contains 9 smooth black stones. These stones are usually the so called thunderstones which are tear-dropped shape like Shango’s but smaller. Oya’s pot also contains 18 cowrie shells along with copper tools within the pot or outside along with a copper crown.
Shango’s container or bowl is usually made of cedar where his 6 or more thunderstones are placed inside along with 18 cowrie shells. His tools also made of cedar, are generally laid before him or on top of his covered bowl. The bowl is usually placed on top of a wooden pillion or inverted mortar made especially for a Shango shrine.
Olokun’s pot is similar to Yemaya’s but contains many seashells and is much larger.
Babluaye’s pot varies but is usually a plain terra-cotta pot with holes in the top. It contains cowrie shells and usually 7 rough pockmarked stones along with iron dogs and crutches for the miniature tools.
In Orisha shrines these pots would be placed on low tables, shelves or sometimes on the floor. They are usually placed on cloth of the appropriate color or on straw mats. The colors are the same as those listed for the pots with Ogun taking green or black and Shango red. Candles will also be placed many times in front of the pots in the appropriate colors. Water will be placed in front of the Orisha also in bowls or glasses and changed daily. The Orisha are invoked using Lukumi or Yoruba prayers while at the same time shaking a rattle or bell.
The appropriate foods are often offered to the Orisha weekly. Some common offerings are toasted corn, smoked fish, bananas and plantains for Elegba and Ogun. Red apples, green bananas and chilies are given to Shango. Oranges, honey and sweet squash are offered to Oshun. Melons and molasses or cane syrup are offered to Yemaya. Oya receives eggplant and purple plums. Obatala takes white rice, coconut milk and white potatoes or white yams. Olokun takes the same foods as Yemaya. Babluaye likes rice, beans and other grains. These foods are placed in bowls and set in front of the Orisha pots and left until they start to decay or otherwise changed weekly.
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