Ase or àṣẹ is a Yoruba concept that signifies the power to make things happen and change. It given by Olodumare to everything – gods, ancestors, spirits, humans, animals, plants, rocks, rivers, and voiced words such as songs, prayers, praises, curses, or even everyday conversation. Existence, according to Yoruba thought, is dependent upon it.
In addition to its sacred characteristics, ase also has important social ramifications, reflected in its translation as “power, authority, command.” A person who, through training, experience, and initiation, learns how to use the essential life force of things is called an alaase.
Rituals to invoke divine forces reflect this same concern for the autonomous ase of particular entities. The recognition of the uniqueness and autonomy of the ase of persons and gods is what structures society and its relationship with the other.
What do you often say after prayers? Ase, Amin or Amen?
Source & Written By: Raymond Agbaje