Orenda | Iroquois Spiritual Life Force

Published: Jul 19, 2022 | Updated: Jul 19, 2022

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Orenda | Iroquois Spiritual Life Force

The Iroquois, an indigenous North American people, believe in a certain all-pervading spiritual Life Energy called Orenda, a concept also labeled as Orenna, Karenna, Iarenda, Urente, or Olenda, depending on the individual Iroquois tribe.

Orenda is considered a powerful, transmissible divine energy in Nature that penetrates all animate and inanimate phenomena, which includes, for instance, rocks, rivers, mountains, plants, animals, humans, and deities.

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It’s thought that a healer or shaman can work with the power of Orenda through songs, sounds, prayers, or rituals. Depending on the context of use, Orenda can also directly refer to the Creator of All Things or the Great Spirit.

An important additional belief is that respect and care for Nature strengthens, harnesses, or puts forth Orenda, which brings about positive results in life.

Nevertheless, Orenda and its manifestations are neither good nor bad in itself, that is, what may be good for one person, environment, or circumstance may not be good for another person or situation.


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