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Ase Spiritual Meaning: What Does Saying Ase’ or Ashe Mean Spiritually (àṣẹ Yoruba)?

Have you attended a spiritual gathering or festival and heard people use the word “Ase’?” If so, you may be wondering what this term means. Once uniquely heard at celebrations of African Traditional Religions, this term is becoming more widespread.

But what does it mean? What is the spiritual meaning of Asé? when should you use it? And finally what does saying àṣẹ or Ashe mean spiritually?

Some of the answers to these questions vary and can be controversial. The simplest answer is that Ase’/Ase, sometimes spelled ‘Ashe’ or Axe’, is a term that is often exclaimed as a blessing similar to “Amen” in Christianity or “Blessed Be” among Wiccans. But it is a unique phrase with its own history, cultural significance and usage.

Meaning and Origins of the Word “Ase” (àṣẹ)

Ase is pronounced “A-shay” and is used as a term of blessing and affirmation. Similar terms are used in various religions and cultures, yet Ase’ originates in the African Yoruba language (àṣẹ) and originated in Nigeria.

Ase’ is meant to affirm a prayer or statement. It is a term filled with passion and energy and is meant to be a bold statement. Similar statements from other cultures include phrases like “From your mouth to God’s ears” as this term is intended to amplify the power of a statement and add to the manifestation of that which was spoken.

The term originally refers to the life force or vital energy. In this regard it is similar to the term “Chi” in Chinese spirituality, “Ki or Qi” in Japanese culture or “Prana” in Hindu culture. Thus when someone says the word “Ase” they are both giving an affirmation and also sending vital life force energy into the world.

“Ase” Spiritual Meanings and Symbolism:

Ase Spiritual Meaning: What Does Saying Ase’ or Ashe Mean Spiritually (àṣẹ Yoruba)?
Creator:Dierk Lange via Wikimedia Commons cc2.5

As the term, Ase means life force it is also a reference to the Spirit and life force of Ancestors who lend their power to us as we go through our lives. Thus the cumulative power of all of those who have come before us is embodied in the term Ase’.

This is a word of power and helps you to channel your own energy with force and confidence. It is not meant to be a quiet prayer but a strong declaration of passion and intention. It suggests the Spirit and will of your Ancestors is with you in this moment and will continue to work with you as you bring your plans into manifestation.

The meaning of Ase is both the vital spiritual energy within you and the power you have access to because your Ancestors lend it to you as well. It also represents the primordial power that you will someday pass down to your descendants when you become an Ancestor.

What does saying ASÈ or Ashe mean spiritually? When to Use/Not Use This Word in Prayer

Ase’ is a term that you can use to bring your words into creation and thus it is important to be careful when you exclaim this phrase. You are affirming all that you say before you say Ase or before someone else says it. This makes it a form of blessing that “charges” the statement with your power and the power of your Ancestors. Use this energy wisely, or as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

Ase is a call to action. It is an exclamation to use when your Soul is touched by a desire you are passionate about such as success or healing. It should not be used frivolously.

Ase also is an affirmation that you have “the power to make things happen” and therefore it is understood that when you say “Ase” you are making a commitment to follow through on your desires as you state them. It is both an affirmation and a pledge.

Yet there is some controversy over who should or shouldn’t use this term, just as there is controversy over who should practice African Traditional Religions. Some practitioners of these religions spread their teachings and culture beyond their own ethnicity to encourage understanding and reverence for these beliefs.

Other people who are of African descent, view some people using terms like Ase’ or practising African Traditional Religions as appropriation. Regardless of whether you agree with this, it is important to treat African Traditional Religions and their practices, symbols and terminology with reverence rather than superficially “borrowing” from these practices.


Now that you understand the meaning of the term Ase’/Ase, you can speak this term with power and conviction when you want to add reverence and energy to your prayers and statements. While not quite as simple as saying “Bless you” or “Amen,” the use of this term puts your personal and Ancestral energy into a statement and defines your commitment to that statement.

Ase’ can affirm a celebration or an intention that you intend to bring into being. This term carries the energy of Ancestors who have come before you and can be like a statement of promise or commitment to the Universe and Divine so it is a term that should be used wisely.

Angela kaufman contributor
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Angela Kaufman is a Certified Intuitive Consultant, Psychic Medium, Intuitive Empowerment, Life Coach and an LCSW. She is an amazon published author and was Featured on several shows like Discovery Channel’s A Haunting, Echoes from the Past (2007) 14 Degrees: A Paranormal Documentary, Tune In to Wellness Today with LisaMarie Tersigni, and Empowering Entrepreneurs with Melissa Carter as well as numerous radio interviews. She is the author of Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down - Unleash the Power of Your Inner Tarot Queen and also co-authored three books on metaphysical spirituality (Sacred Objects, Sacred Space; Everyday Tools for the Modern Day Witch | Wicca What's the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions | The Esoteric Dream Book; Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind). Angela regularly conducts workshops, the Inner Queen coaching program and loves writing articles, that blend social criticism with spirituality.