Traditional Colors: Brown and earth tones
Areas of Influence: Diseases, infirmities and healing, the sun
Entities associated with: St Lazarus
Offerings: Popcorn, roasted corn, beans, rum, tobacco
Feast Day: December 17th
Tarot: The Sun, Six of Swords
Chakra: Solar plexus
Gemstones: Leopard skin jasper and other jaspers, snowflake obsidian, bloodstone, tanzanite
Animals: Vultures and other carrion eating birds
Entities of Similar Energy: unknown
Babaluaye is a powerful and feared Orisha. He is known as the “Lord of Smallpox,” a disease that has killed millions through the ages. With the increase of medicines and vaccines, the role of Babaluaye had been somewhat marginalized but now with AIDS/HIV, Ebola and virulent strains of tuberculosis and other diseases, Babaluaye is front and center once again. He appears as a muscular man who covers himself in straw. He has a lame leg so he normally walks with the help of a staff or crutch, hence part of his association with St Lazarus. He does this to hide his smallpox scars. He can get you sick just as easily as cure what ails you.
Most sources will tell you that Babaluaye is greatly feared and respected however, he is also a happy Orisha. As odd as this sounds, go back to a time when you were really ill. Do you remember how you felt once you recovered? You were probably happy to feel alive again and Babaluaye embodies that happiness. He survived a horrible bought of smallpox as a child and now he’s happy to be alive. He is also very merciful. Sometimes people are so sick or in pain, that death is their only comfort. Babaluaye can grant that peace and then can help guide the souls who died of disease over to the other side. He has multiple names including Omulu and Shanpana. Babaluaye is associated with the sun. This is probably because in hot, dry places, the sun is a source of life but also a source of death.
Properly Showing Respect to Babaluaye
Make him black-eyed peas or popcorn. Pray to him whenever you use Calendula for healing, especially if you are using it for healing the skin. Give him tobacco, a shot of of liquor (rum is good) and an ear of roasted corn. Always treat him with respect but he really is a fun guy with a great sense of humor.
Where to find Babaluaye
Babaluaye can be found in hospitals, hospices, the desert and the gym. He will also be present in places where healing work is done.
Babaluaye’s Children will be drawn to a career of healing, either in the medical profession or something in a more spiritual path. They will have a the gift of healing from an early age. Look for a temper. Also, they will suffer from some sort of skin ailment (eczema, acne, boils, etc) probably early in life. They are generally happy people with high sex drives. If you are a child of Baba’s, consider getting a Reiki initiation if you haven’t already. He is one of my Reiki guides.
Babaluaye gave me shingles once. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. Babaluaye arranged for me to get someone else’s shingles. I was still in college working a part time job and all of the sudden I developed a rash. At first I thought maybe I had some sort chemical burn because I was doing alot of lab work at the time. The rash got worse and then painful. I had known Babaluaye for several years and as soon as I got the diagnosis, I immediately thought “Oh shit, what have I done to piss him off?”
I high tailed it over to a great psychic I know all upset to the point of being in tears, demanding to know what I had done wrong. Once she calmed me down, she explained that Baba wasn’t mad at me, he had arranged for me to take someone else illness. Shocked, I asked for more information. She explained that I knew a red-headed teacher who was under a great deal of stress and was going to get shingles but Baba gave them to me instead. He knew that I was in a better situation to deal with them then she was.
As much as I trusted my psychic friend, I really had trouble believing this information. I couldn’t think of any red-headed teachers that I knew. So, I kept the info to my self and got on with the job of healing my body. About three weeks later, I was at work when my favorite pagan customer walked in the door. We were talking at the counter when it hit my like a lightning bolt, she had red hair and was an elementary school teacher. Out of nowhere I blurted out “I have your shingles.” Needless to say, she was a little taken aback by my statement so I went on to explain the rest of the story. When I was done she confessed that her life (both private and professional) was currently a mess. All of the stress was making her severely depressed and if she had gotten sick, it would have really made her situation worse.
She thanked me for taking her shingles. They funny thing is that once the shingles cleared, I did not have one single scar from them. There is not one trace that they were ever there.
Disclaimer: You may find that some of the information on this page differs from the traditional beliefs of some African Diaspora practices. The information on this page has been gathered from personal experiences and while we respect those who walk the more “Traditional” paths, we have some different beliefs concerning the Orishas and Loa.