In Santeria, the Seven African Powers are depicted as the Orishas (Saints) of the Lucumi faith. This is a misconception that was brought on to help hide the Orishas behind the saints associated. At any Botanica (a store to purchase all spiritual items for Santeria and Palo) , You will find candles, oils, incenses, powders, spiritual baths and image statues of the Seven African Powers.
When you look at a depiction of the Seven African Powers you will find seven saints. Our Lady Mercy (Obatala), Lady of Regla (Yemaya), Saint Barbara (Chango), Saint Martin of Porres (Eleggua), Saint John the Baptist (Oggun), Saint Joseph of Arimathea (Orula), Our Lady Charity of Cobre (Oshun) and Jesus (Olofi). In this image they are chained with seven of Oggun’s tools hanging from the bottom. This is what makes the image interesting; in Santerismo (Espiritismo and Santeria) were used by Cubans and then Puerto Rico. Afro-Cuban Espiritismo (Spiritualism) would use the Orishas and Catholic saints together. The Cuban people would study Alan Kardec’s works on medium ship and made it their own. The Puerto Rican Espiritismo is similar to the Cuban concept but had to be careful to not get caught in using the Catholic syncretization.
The Seven African Powers term is used only in Santeria and they are spirit guides. Not a lot of people are aware that the Seven African Powers are not the Orishas, but spirits from seven different African tribes that were forced into slavery in Cuba. The seven tribes of the different spirits are: Congo, Yoruba, Kissi, Arara, Madika, Calabari, and Takua. The Seven African Powers is used in spells to help cultivate personal powers, get through obstacles, and spiritual growth. You do not have to be imitated to use the powers of the Seven African tribes. These spirits are here to guide us into bigger and better things. To call upon the Seven African Powers you can use the 7 different colors associated with each saint. This is a way to ask for help when you are in need of their ancestral spirits for spell work. The oils, powders, incenses and candles are great ways to honor them.