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Olodumare created the Earth and the entire universe

Olodumare is the creator deity of the native Yoruban religion and its diaspora including Santeria (La Regla Lukumi) and Candomble. Olodumare is a transcendent, omniscient and gender-neutral deity who created the earth and the entire universe. Olodumare is considered the source of all ashé (power) in the universe. Olodumare's name can be broken down into the Yoruban words olo odu ma ire, revealing the deeper meaning Owner of the containers of creation and great blessings. According to traditional Yoruba belief Olodumare created the earth out of her ashe as well as all living things on it. Olodumare also created all of the orishas as her first and eldest children, and tasked the orisha Obatala with creating the bodies of mankind. Olodumare then breathed souls into those bodies and humanity was born. Over time, humans populated the Earth and spent all day bothering Olodumare, begging for favors and complaining about their lives. They were noisy, bothersome, and made the Earth a mess. Olodumare became fed up with humanity. She decided to bequeath a portion of her ashe to each of her eldest children, the orishas, and gave them dominion over nature. She tasked the orishas with tending to mankind's affairs, and withdrew from the Earth to continue creating the rest of the universe.

Olodumare is usually considered a trinity of spiritual beings: Olodumare (the creator of the universe), Olorun (the Sun), and Olofi (Olodumare who once walked on the Earth). Through the syncretism found in Santeria, Olodumare's three faces are aligned with the Holy Trinity of Catholicism: Olodumare with the Holy Spirit, Olorun with God the Father, and Olofi with Jesus Christ. There is no consecrated shrine or ritual object that contains Olodumare's essence (because she transcends physical matter). There is also no shrine that contains Olorun's essence, however the ceremony of Nangareo (in which a cornmeal drink is poured out as a libation to the sun) is performed as a way of praying directly to Olorun and invoking his blessings. Of the three aspects of Olodumare, Olofi is the only one that has a shrine consecrated to contain his essence. Olofi is consecrated by babalawos (priests of Orunmila) and his secrets are kept inside a white or silver container, hidden from public view, often shrouded by white cloth. His shrine is always placed on a high shelf in the home, much like Obatala's shrine, in deference to his wisdom and position in the pantheon. Olodumare is not typically propitiated directly through sacrifice, but instead worshipped in a Catholic church.

Hoodoo pyschic readers, spirit workers and root doctors who are adherents of the Yoruban or Yoruban-Diasporic Religions typically do not petition Olodumare directly but instead work with the orishas for assistance with their issues.


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