Images by Danilo Lejardi at Lejardi.com
Asojano is the orisha of the epidemics that hover over the lands. Asojano also know as Babaluaye or Acronica brings diseases, infections of the skin and other sicknesses whether terminal or non terminal onto humankind. Asojano is said to be a man that walks around on his crutches with abscess and other skin disorders on his body. He wasn’t like that before legends say but that is how he is now. Asojano was entrusted by Olofi after his punishment to inflict these epidemics onto the earth. He is said to be one of Olofi’s wrath and through his actions we suffer.
He is also the orisha of discrimination. Due to his sickness and the epidemics he has conflicted on him, many people outcast him and did not want anything to do with him. They would throw water at him when he would try to approach them, which is an offense to Asojano in now days. He is also seen as a beggar. That’s what he disguises himself as to test and see how the heart of man is. When you fail that test, Asojano usually brings epidemics and sickness to your life. Whether it is directly to you or the closest person or thing to you. He is the epidemics that happen to the world in an instant. The people that are inflicted with these epidemics are said no to be victims, but are now his messengers to show the world that he does exist and to have respect for Olofi and him.
Asojano does not like water on him due to the discrimination he received. The only water he can receive is coconut water. He does not go out in the day time because the rays of Olorun burn his skin that is infected. Rather, Asojano goes out at night and its there where he begins his work either releasing his wrath of epidemics on man or relieving and aiding epidemics on man. In the house of his followers, Asojano is received with a clay tureen that his secrets are kept. He is kept somewhere hidden where the light does not hit him. Asojano is received also with 2 cachas (bracelets made of goat skin and burlap) and an ajà (broom made out of dried palm branches) in which he uses his ajar to swat away the flies and mosquitoes that follow him everywhere he goes. He is also received with his personal Elegua, Eshu Afra, and Nanu.
Asojano was exiled from Yoruba due to the epidemics and plague that followed him. The people were terrified and disgusted of him so they banished him. Chango led Asojano to the land of Mahoney/Benin accompanied by 2 dogs that were gifts from Chango and Asojano was received with open arms. There he was made king and the lands progressed. He was treated fairly with love and respect and no one discriminated against him.
Pataki of Asojano
The beautiful Asojano was in his house one afternoon resting from last nights rendezvous he had with one of his many mistresses. He was a ladies man and was very handsome. He decided to go pay his friend Orula a visit to see what the oracles of Ifa would tell him. He grabbed his shirt and started his march to Orula’s house. He began to walk and came across Elegua who was sitting on the sides of the roads drinking some rum. Asojano stopped and greeted Elegua and they talked for a little while. Asojano as always gave Elegua some candies to enjoy himself with his rum. Elegua asked Asojano where was he going and Asojano replied to him that he was going to visit Orula to see what Ifa could tell him. He wanted to know how his life was going and Orula was the best bet for him. Asojano said his good byes to Elegua and kept on his journey.
Asojano was walking and came across the river where he sat down to take a breather. Suddenly the river goddess Oshun appeared to him and he bowed his head to her. Asojano was always intrigued with Oshun and knew she was one of the loveliest orishas ever. Oshun told Asojano that she saw him the night prior and how he was seducing every woman there. Asojano blushed and told Oshun that he loves the scent of a woman and is always in need of comfort from a woman. Oshun laughed and agreed because she to loves to flirt and party and told him that she had to tend back to her waters and she will see him later.
Asojano made it to Orula’s house and was greeted with some wine and they started to talk. Orula was setting up his table for divination and started to pray to cast the oracles. Asojano sat down in front of Orula and Orula started to speak to Asojano. Orula told Asojano that he was a good man but Olofi didn’t like how he was conducting his life here on earth. Asojano looked confused and asked Orula to be clearer. Orula told Asojano that his of sexual tendencies every night was not good and disrespectful. Orula went on and told him that Olofi was watching how every night, Asojano had a different woman in his bed and there was no respect for himself none less his mistresses. Asojano asked Orula if there was anything he could do to please Olofi and Orula said yes. Orula told him that Olofi wanted him to refrain from having any type of sexual relationship for 3 months to purify himself. Asojano agreed and he knew that Olofi’s word was law and that he would do anything to pacify and honor Olofi.
A few months went by and Asojano was doing what Olofi told him. He refrained from going to parties and having flings with different mistresses that he knew. That same day he heard of a party that was going to take place and he knew that he had to be one of the attendants. So Asojano freshened up and looked for his best clothes to wear to the event. As the sun started to set, Asojano got dressed and went to the party. Before you know it, Asojano was drinking and having a blast. He was socializing with everyone and temptation started to kick in. Towards the end of the party, he found himself talking to a beautiful woman who he invited back to his home. She agreed and they both were back in Asojano’s home making love in his room.
The morning came and Olorun was shining brighter that ever upon the earth. Asojano opened his eyes and was still holding the woman in his arms. He stretched and the woman opened her eyes and when she did she noticed there was a smell coming from the room. She sat up to look at the gorgeous Asojano and she started to scream because Asojano’s body was covered with sores and open wounds. She got out of the bed, grabbed her clothes and ran out the door. Asojano stood up and noticed the sores and smell that was coming from his body. He ran out of his house and everyone noticed his sores and they started to shush him away. The people were throwing water at him and rushing him to leave their door steps. Every time someone threw water on him alongside with the heat from the sun it burned his skin. Asojano did not know what the cause of this was and he started to hobble out of town due to the pain he had in his legs.
He grabbed a stick and hobbled from town to town where he was treated the same way. Asojano grew hungry and even that he was denied from the villagers. There was nothing he could do but he remembered that this could be from the wrath of Olofi. He fell in between a patch of cundeamor (special herb for Asojano) and started to pray for forgiveness. Olofi listened to his words but did not forgive him. Asojano continued his journey from town to town begging for food and facing discrimination from everyone until one day he dropped and fell dead. His spirit was rising to the foot of Olofi while his body was thrown behind a rock.
Days went on and the all of Asojano’s mistresses were talking and saying how they missed the attractive Asojano and that they wish he was here making them feel happy and good. Some of them went to the side of the rivers and they poured their heart out into the river. Oshun who is the owner of the river and emotions heard there plea and saw how these women really missed Asojano. So she took it upon herself and she went to visit Olofi in his castle.
When she arrived at Olofi’s castle she greeted her father and received is blessings. Olofi told her that he knew the reason why she came and Oshun looked at Olofi with sorrowful eyes. Oshun expressed the love that the people had for Asojano on the earth. Olofi told Oshun that yes Asojano was a good person but he was too promiscuous and that he warned Asojano that he would punish him if he didn’t do what was promised. Ochun begged Olofi for Asojano’s forgiveness. Olofi looked at Oshun with a smile and told her that she will give Asojano his life back only because the people and his lovely daughter miss him on the earth but he was to return under one condition. Oshun asked what was the condition and Olofi told her that he will return but his epidemics and sores will continue to follow him. Olofi told Oshun that he will make Asojano an orisha but his ache will be to fight discrimination and to bring or heal epidemics from the lands. He will nurture and heal the sick or he will punish all who discriminate against the sick and needy. Oshun bowed her head to Olofi and accepted the conditions.
Olofi called for Asojano to stand before him. Asojano stood before him and Olofi told him that he would return his spirit back to the land. He told him that he was doing it because his daughter Oshun requested it because he was missed on the lands. Olofi told Asojano that he would make him an orisha and that he was to heal the sick. He also told him that the ashe that he was installing on him was to punish the ones who discriminate and to heal those who were sick. Asojano bowed before Olofi and it was there that Olofi made him an orisha.
Oshun journeyed down to where Asojano’s body was at and she waited for the arrival of his orisha spirit. Once Asojano’s spirit reached his body, he stood up and greeted Oshun. He thanked Oshun for her request and understood the task he was installed to do from Olofi. He said that he would be the wrath of Olofi and he will look after humankind and watch over all who are sick. He proceeded to go to village to village healing the sick and punishing the wrong doers with sickness and epidemics.
Asojano’s feast day is December 17th. He is from the land of Dahomey. Asojano is petitioned when one is sick with an epidemic. He doesn’t like water to be placed in front of him. The only water he likes to be placed in front of him or on top of him is coconut water. It is cool and refreshing for him. His sacrificial foods are goats, roosters, pigeons and guinea hens. When Asojano eats Chango must eat due to a pact that they have when Chango lead Asojano to his land. Asojano has many children on this earth. His mysteries were consecrated on the heads of his followers but those traditions have been lost. Only a few people know the mysteries of doing this powerful ceremony. Today he is done through Yemaya. As to say Yemaya oro Asojano. His children are very solitude individuals and are always making sure they are kept well. They are very spiritual and they can heal spiritually. In Palo Mayombe he is associated with Pata Llaga
On Asojano’s feast day there are many parties and festivals going on in his name. They give him his sacrificial foods and proceed to do an awan (cleansing) with consists of many, many plates with different types of dry beans, grains and vegetables from the earth. This cleansing is done in the dark and the offerings are taken to the woods. Asojano has many paths which are listed below. I do not know the different meanings of the paths but if I do get them I will list them here on his page.
Paths of Asojano
One of the common paths of Asojano’s known. He is said to have traveled the world healing the sick from epidemics. His color is brown, onyx and white with blue stripes.
This is the path of Asojano that Chango picked up and lead him to his town where he ruled. His color is white with red stripes, onyx and brown. He takes the wooden tools of Chango also in his tureen.
This path of Asojano is said to be the one that brings the bodies to the cemeteries. He is associated with the funeral hearse. His color is all black.
Nanu is part of the Arara family of Asojano. She is the wife of Asojano and she is the one that aids and nurses Asojano. She walks alongside him when he is in his epidemic mode. Nanu is said to also help Asojano deliver the cadavers to ile Ikú (cemetery). She is received with Asojano and Afra. Her mysteries are kept in a black terra cotta pot just like with Asojano. She resides in Dahomey alongside with the family of Asojano. Her color is entirely black as she is represented by a dark woman dressed entirely in all black. She as any Asojano family takes an Aja as well. Her Aja is usually curved to form 2 breasts. In some houses, Nanu’s color are black with white beads that have dark lines on them. Her sacrificial foods are the same as Asojano and she does talk to her children through divination of her own shells. Usually when one works with Asojano, Nanu is also petitioned as she never leaves his side.