In ancient times, when faced with seemingly unsurmountable enemies, the Yoruba people called upon a powerful spirit called Sango (pronounced Shango) to vanquish their enemies. He had a firey disposition and a special ability to use lightening to bend to his will. He carried a double-headed battle ax in his hands. He was a primordial spirit not born of human being, yet he would later incarnate in the flesh into a king by the same name who would be one of fiercest conquerors and emperors the Yoruba had ever known. He was known to be fond of magical arts and had great knowledge of juju. He was feared and revered. He loved to dance and fight and was a great lover.
When his spirit eventually left his human vessel he returned again and again through his priests through spirit possession. While in trance, his priests perform amazing feats. Ironically, due to the mid Atlantic Slave trade, his worship and the worship of the other Yoruba dieties spread across the world arguably making the Yoruba Orisa tradition the largest indigenous African spiritual tradition in the world. In this tradition, Sango is perhaps the most popular Orisa.
He represents justice, protection, and fighting for what is right. He represents inspiration and epiphany, the spark of fleeting profound knowledge which appears just like lightening. He is not a dead historical figure which we study in text books, but a living deity who makes his presence known in the person of his priests all over the world. We greet him by saying Kabiyesi Sango! May his fire warm our homes and burn away all obstacles.