Ase Meaning: Ashe Spiritual Meaning in Yoruba of Africa

Before we explain Ase meaning for Yoruba in Africa, let’s delve into the history.

About Yoruba

The Yoruba is one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa with a population of around 45 million across the continent. Yorubaland, which I the cultural region and homeland of the Yoruba people, spans the countries of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.

How to Pronounce Ase?

Yoruba religion, which is centuries old, has influenced several religions in the New World along with the Vodun religion practiced by the Aja, Ewe, and Fon people of Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Togo. These religions are – Santeria, Trinidad Orisha, Candombie, Haitian Vodou, and Umbanda.

The word Ase or Ashe (pronounced Ashay) is a word in the Yoruba language that is used to define the spiritual life force that flows through all things in the world.

The concept of Ashe is similar to the concept of Qi in China which also talks about a vital force of energy that flows through all living and inanimate objects.

The Yoruba people use the word ‘Ase’ in several different ways. For example, this word is used to express agreement and encouragement. It is also used by Yoruba followers as an honorific word used to respect or for the veneration of God. It is used in the same way as ‘Amen’ is used by Christians at the end of a prayer meeting.

Ase Meaning: Ashe Spiritual Meaning in Yoruba of Africa
Ase Meaning: Ashe Spiritual Meaning in Yoruba of Africa

Yoruba Religion and Beliefs

The Yoruba religion comprises several religious beliefs and spiritual concepts of the Yoruba people who come from Yorubaland, which is in present-day Nigeria, Togo, and Benin.

Yoruba religion, which is centuries old, has influenced several religions in the New World along with the Vodun religion practiced by the Aja, Ewe, and Fon people of Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Togo. These religions are – Santeria, Trinidad Orisha, Candombie, Haitian Vodou, and Umbanda.

The Yoruba believe that everyone on this planet attempts in their lifetime to achieve perfection and find their destiny in the spiritual realm of those who are benevolent and compassionate. In order to consummate their union with their spiritual self, the people must work on achieving spiritual consciousness in the physical realm.

According to traditional Yoruba beliefs, eventually, everyone will achieve a state of enlightenment when they become one with the Creator, Olodumare, who is an omnipotent presence and is the source of everything on earth. It is also believed that all people experience Ayanmo, which is destiny or fate, and that life and death are an ongoing cycle.

Ase Meaning: Ashe Spiritual Meaning in Yoruba of Africa
Obtala Priests of Yoruba

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Ase Spiritual Meaning

What does Ase mean spiritually?

The Yoruba of Nigeria has developed a Yoruba philosophical concept known as Ase or Ashe upon which existence is dependent. The concept of Ashe, which is the belief that there is a flow of energy between the people, rivers, and rocks that can produce change and make things happen, was given to the Yoruba people by the Olodumare.

According to the Yoruba, Olodumare is the Supreme Creator God who is omnipotent and is the source of everything on earth. Ashe meaning is deeply spiritual and profound.

Ase Meaning: Ashe Spiritual Meaning in Yoruba of Africa
Olodumare

Olodumare lets his sons and daughters answer all human concerns related to possession, divination, sacrifice, and more. The Olodumare is a divine presence that is not bound by our concepts of time, space, and dimension.

While many people don’t worship Olodumare directly because of his aloofness from humanity, there are certain sects within the Yoruba religion which does pray to him.

According to Yoruba legends, the Olodumare bestows knowledge of all things to people when they are born, he is both good and evil and is called upon by the Yoruba people to fight demons when other deities are unwilling to help.

The meaning of Ashe is roughly translated to in English as ‘power, authority, and command.’ A person is known as the ‘alaase‘ if through serious training and practice they are able to learn ways in which the essential life force or Ashe can be used to willfully effect change. Now let us look at the spiritual meaning of ‘Ase.’

Ashe Spiritual Meaning
Ashe Spiritual Meaning

1) Word of Affirmation

Ashe or Ase is a word of affirmation that is used to conclude a prayer meeting. This term became relatively common amongst the Black community in the United States of America, who used the word to express affirmation and hopeful wishes.

In the late 20th century, the term also became popular in predominantly Black churches as a replacement or an equivalent of the word ‘Amen.’ Ase or Ashe is a bold and powerful word that has a positive connotation and can also be used to mean, “So it is,” “Yes,” “Right on,” “I am with you,” and “I can dig it.”

2) Lifeforce

Similar to the concept of Prana in Hinduism and Qi in the Chinese law of energies Feng Shui, the term Ase or Ashe also refers to a vital life force or life energy that flows through everything and everyone on this planet.

The Yoruba believe that Ase or life energy is passed down to each generation and that every person is born with a certain amount of life force which increases and decreases based on the choices we make.

According to Yoruba legends, our ancestors leave behind the Ase that they have generated in their life for us and that becomes our Ase in life. Similarly, our future generations will also contribute to the Ase, as they strengthen the bloodline and make an influential aspect on Earth.

3) Words are just as important as your actions

Another Ase spiritual meaning is about our day-to-day conduct. We have all heard the famous phrase – “Actions speak louder than words.” However, according to the Yoruba, every word that you utter adds to the life force. Therefore, you should be careful of what you speak and use your words wisely and intentionally.

Ase Meaning
Ase Meaning

In present-day Africa, Yorubas make up 15% of the population in Nigeria. The Yoruba tradition and culture are still concentrated in the countries of Togo, Nigeria, and Benin, its influence can be seen in the African diaspora in Western countries, especially in Black American culture. The enslaved Yoruba kept their religion alive by incorporating their beliefs with their owners’ and this has kept Ase meaning alive in the hearts of people of African people.

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About the Author: Naomi Hills

God has given me the gift to read the signs, interpret the dreams, decode the angel numbers since birth. Through rigorous practice and application, my gifts have been fine-tuned. Now, I use my gifts solely to help those distressed souls who have lost all hopes, those who have been left alone to fend for themselves, those whom the system doesn’t care anymore, those whom the mainstream science has ignored.

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