African DiasporaSpiritual Assets: Ase And Konesans
Two central concepts in some African-derived religions are ase (or axe) and konesans (connaissance). Ase is the divine force, energy, and power incarnate in the world. Olodumare gives ase to everything, including inanimate objects. Ashe is the power behind all things in the universe. It enables people to find balance in life. The orishas are bearers of ashe. Santeros (Santerían priests) use ase to provide blessing and healing to devotees. "Ashe is a current or flow, a groove that initiates can channel so that it carries them along their road in life. The prayers, rhythms, offerings, taboos of Santería tune initiates into this flow" (Murphy, 1993, p. 131). In Santería, herbs are impregnated with ashe. The color of the Obatala conducts ashe. Part of the Vodun initiation ceremonies gives the priest intuitive knowledge, or konesans, enabling him to understand people, diagnose problems, and perform healing.
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