Aggayú Solá is the orisha of powerful flowing forces of nature that create land such as volcanic lava flows and raging rivers. In some traditions, he is also the orisha of deserts. Deserts are flowing rivers of sand. In Yoruba language, his name means “voice of the desert.”
Given the extremes of climate change, this is a good time to honor him.
These are oral traditions so there is variation by region, community and even family. We weren’t raised in these traditions, so forgive us the mistakes of our learning.
Unless you are in a trance state, you won’t interact with the orishas directly, but you may recognize signs of their energies in and around your life. You may also use symbols to call his energies into your life.
Aggayú Solá manifests in nature as volcanoes, raging rivers or deserts. As a person, he manifests as the ferryman, hence his syncretization with St Christopher, Catholic patron saint of travelers known for carrying people across rivers.
Aggayú’s number is 9 and multiples of 9. The color of his eleke (bead necklace) is brown with nine different colors with no black. He uses a double axe (like Changó) and a staff. He can be grouchy, but is also a protective father who loves children.
You don’t want him to be angry with you because he can explode with volcanic eruptions, flash floods, tidal waves and sand storms.
Most orishas have multiple roads or dominant characteristics, but Aggayú Solá has only one.
Aggayú is often said to be the father or brother of Changó, the orisha of drumming, dancing, thunder, fire, manhood and leadership. There may be a mature man/young man relationship between the two, similar to the mature woman/young woman relationship between Yemayá and Oshún. The mature man builds things, while the young man looks for fun. The mature woman takes care of her children, while the young woman is self-possessed by her beauty.
We Are a Mix of Traditions
African Diaspora traditions in the Caribbean and Latin America come from the Dahomey, Yoruba, and Kongo cultures that blended together and rooted in the Americas since the Colonial Era. The traditions are both unique and related – even in Africa. American audiences are most familiar with Cuban Yoruba traditions. Today, these are a blend of many legacy traditions using the Yoruba pantheon as the common language.
There are actually many traditions both in Africa and the Americas, but these are the most popular ones. In the Americas, these traditions are blended with the colonizer faith, Catholicism and that is how most of us know them. In the Colonial Era, the African Diaspora was not allowed to celebrate its own traditions, so African traditions were hidden inside Catholic traditions.
Notice that there are no English or Dutch colonizer equivalents. Protestants feared the drum and banned it. Catholics allowed interracial marriage, probably because Spain and Portugal are already mixes of many cultures. English and Dutch Protestants preached and practiced complete separation (at least in public).
In any case, the African Diaspora traditions are beautiful faiths based on plant medicine and the forces of nature which are universal. They are living traditions.