Above you see the picture of an actual ancestor altar in Nigeria. What does this have to do with Yansa or Oya, you say? Well, Yansa or Oya are very connected to the dead, since of course they live in the place of the dead, or ile Iku. The veneration of the ancestral spirits is very important in the worship of Orisha. There is a saying: "Iku levi Ocha." The dead are the ones that bring you to Ocha. For that reason, it is very necessary to have things situated well with the ancestors before becoming initiated into Orisha worship. One of the ways of doing this is to place an altar to your ancestors. Of course, it does not have to be as elaborate as the one pictured above, but whatever within you means is appropriate. The spirits of the ancestors are offered food and drink. They also on occasion are sacrificed animals. Another way to give your ancestors spiritual light is have spiritual "masses" said for them. The sacrifice of animals gives them energy, while the spiritual masses give them "Light" so that they may progress upward in the spiritual realms. Sometimes, masses are said in the Catholic Church for ancestors to give them light also.
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