Working with Eggun

topic posted Thu, January 19, 2006 - 5:27 PM by  Sonia
Hi everyone! I've been feeling sort of left out lately. Lately, whenever I mention the difficulty I'm having obtaining money for my Ocha, they ask me if I'm "trabajando mis muertos" (working my egguns). Eggun before Ocha.....Yet others tell me I shouldn't mess with it that I'll learn during my iyawo year.
I have my boveda set up which includes a pic of my dad and grandma, but I don't know if anybody else has my back. Any thoughts? How do I build a relationship with my egguns?
posted by:
New York City
  • Re: Working with Eggun

    Thu, January 19, 2006 - 7:22 PM
    IMHO working with eggun is the only thing you can authentically do without a godmother or without initiation. Heres the controversy, to many people working with eggun is equal to palo or receiving the saint eggun (normally a branch or a piece of orange tile). Palo is a seperate religion and recieving an egun shrine you need a godparent because we feed those.
    However egun is your ancestors. EVERYBODY in the whole world worships them. Japanese people, santo, catholic churches have candles for the dead.... everybody. In ocha we lost our real egun cult. Instead we normally use caribean lines of espiritismo. I would suggest just lighting a white candle with a vase of water. Tell your antepasados that you love them and you miss them. Do this regurarly like once a day, once a week, for three days a month whatever feels right. But make a schedule and stick to it........ i mean sure we always get busy, but egun needs routine. They don't live in the world like santos. Like oricha ochun lives in the river and in things como dulces. But egun lives in our heart, our homes, and in our lives. You couldn't exist without egun you need them and they need you. Obviously your padrinos word comes before any books or online dribble but i would say go for it. However I always refrain from asking my egun for money. Tell them you need help finding your place in this world. Explain to them you miss them and love them, but that while your on this earth breathing you need to grow in ocha...... they will understand
  • Re: Working with Eggun

    Fri, January 20, 2006 - 10:36 AM
    Anyone that tells yout wait until your Iyawo year to work with eggun is full of it.

    Eggun forms the basis for you psychospiritual development. My godmother often says that when you see people struggling to pass an Ocha, or having trouble intergrating Ocha into their lives its due to not having worked enough with eggun. The veneration of ancestors, guardian spirits and angelic forces is a pathway to psychic development and spiritual discipline.

    Also, working with eggun is an extremely individual process. No one persons "spiritual framework" looks like anyone elses. Who knows you may find that in work with Eggun that crowning Orisha is not for you and that your path lies in working spiritually. There are many people who are quite happy and stable that way.
    • Re: Working with Eggun

      Fri, January 20, 2006 - 12:05 PM
      My understanding is that the Eggun are not solely one’s ancestors... One's Eggun include the spirits of other people who are spiritual guides and may be unrelated by bloodline. One's Antepasados including the members of one's godfamily are the most immediate Eggun, and yet others are included. The thing they all have in common is they are spirits of once living people.. (Though, from my understanding of Ifa, even the Orisha fall into this category; Sango the King for example… but tha’s getting off topic).

      I have a question that relates to the nature of Eggun. I was taught that, just like people, Eggun can have different motivations, not all of which are in the practitioners best interest. Hence, one never ask the Eggun for anything (you never know who will answer!), beyond permission/acceptance of an offering, and one chooses their Eggun (wisely) that they whish to pay respect to.

      What are other people experience with "choosing" Eggun? If one of the purposes of connecting with the Eggun is to create a strong circuit throughout the history of one's people, do others here connect with historical figures as Eggun? In choosing Eggun is it wise to leave out familial influences that where negative/deceptive/manipulative in life?


      P.S. I am new to this tribe... My name is Llewyn, though many call me Yi. Most of my experience in this area comes from my practice drumming for Palo Mayombe and Vodoun ceremonies years ago, which also connected me to members in the Santeria communities.
      I have not been initiated into any religion, though I did seek consultation from my Madrina's nganga on occasion... though that's a longer story..

      Thanks to all from being here, the posts have been wonderful throughout the threads.
  • Re: Working with Eggun

    Tue, July 5, 2011 - 7:45 PM
    Hi everyone, I new to the tribe, new to ancestor veneration and just want to say thank you for the post. I will continue to follow this discussion. I want to know how to continue my veneration to my ancestors, and how to build this relationship as well.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Working with Eggun

    Wed, July 6, 2011 - 7:36 AM
    I agree with everyone above... The lords work is done in many forms. People have adapted to many ways of doing the same thing. What matters the most is what you do from your heart. Unite your heart soul and mind as one with GOD and your egguns and you will see the many blessings they will bring into your life.

    Understanding ones self is the key, Understanding ones mission is the walk that you must take. Break your insecurities, break your fears, and do what comes true into your heart. The Spirits that walk with you are waiting.... :D

    Godbless everyone here.
    • Re: Working with Eggun

      Fri, July 8, 2011 - 1:12 AM
      Hi, Sonia. **Waving at everyone on the thread, Welcoming the new folks :o)**

      Everyone has brought up very excellent points and to add to it, would be superfluous.

      However, what I can do is recommend two books for you. (If you don't already them.)

      1) Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa: A West African Spiritual Tradition
      by Tobe Melora Correal

      2) Ancestor Paths: Honoring our Ancestors and Guardian Spirits Through Prayers, Rituals, and Offerings
      by Oba Ilari Aladokun

      Both books are very good at sorting out what Egun reverence is all about and they are in line
      with what has been shared thus far on this thread.

      Light & Progress on your Spiritual Journey.

  • Unsu...

    Re: Working with Eggun

    Mon, July 11, 2011 - 4:07 PM
    Hi Sonia...
    I haven't read the other responses, so I may be repeating. Ok, so you have your boveda up with pictures of your muertos - now building a relationship with them is sometimes an individual thing. Along with some "spiritual" elements, a candle and a glass of water, and some flowers...I prefer to give them things they liked/enjoyed in life. Like coffee, tobacco/cigarettes, favorite foods, alcohol, earrings, cologne/perfume, etc. The next thing is to sit with them, talk to them, pray with them (in a manner comfortable to you and to them).

    I talk to my eggun every morning, I stand in front of my boveda, say hello to them, ask them to protect me and to feel free to talk to me as well. Sometimes, I sit with them and sing or just sit in silence and I get a thought in my head....(something like, "I should get a pack of cigarettes for my abuelita", or "my tio would love some whiskey")...these thoughts are your eggun asking for what they'd like, at least that's what I've been told. And your Eggun don't have to be worked with only at your boveda or altar, bring flowers to them at the cemetery, attend mass or temple or mosque...
  • Unsu...

    Re: Working with Eggun

    Thu, September 1, 2011 - 11:58 AM
    This thread highlights one of the largest misconceptions and erroneous associations that people in Orisha traditions in the US seem to either not know, or simply disregard.

    Egun is a specific classification of spirits that you descend from; either through blood family or through ashe from your rama (if you're crowned). Egun IS NOT any old spirit that's dead.

    When my Babanla was still alive (iba'e laye t'orun Afolabi) he wrote an excellent essay on the mis-mosh that modern "Santeria" and "Espiritismo" has been perpetuating since the 70s. Please read it here:

    and follow it up by his essay on Egun here:

    If you are from an Orisha tradition that is not Yoruba or Lukumi in origin, then your teachings may differ, but if one claims to be Lukumi, they really should learn the differences between spirits (iwin) and direct lines of descent (Egun). Nothing makes my skin crawl more than when I hear people talking about Egun and misas. Egun (shortened from Egugun) have their own rites and rituals just as old (if not older in some areas of Yorubaland) than the rites of Orisha.

    I hope this was helpful to anyone who finds this thread.


    Jim / Ogun Funmito
    • Re: Working with Eggun

      Sat, October 1, 2011 - 11:00 PM
      Hi Jim,

      I have a question, if you don't mind! What if you feel no connection to your actual family, your bloodline? I really don't know most of my family other than my mother. We actually just had conversation about this and not even feeling spiritually connected to the families we were born into. Both sides of my bloodline really kind of run rampid with substance abuse, mental illness and the only religious influence has been (negative) almost fanatical Christianity. The disconnection I've felt from most of my family members has been as long as I can remember.

      It's hard for me to imagine that people who struggle that much on earth, go to the other side and are in a position to be of help. I could definitely be wrong, just my thoughts, but I would imagine people who suffer here from lack of faith, never really making good choices, ending their life, etc go to the other side and have work to do on themselves?

      Just interested to hear your opinion if my questions make sense!! Thanks :)

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