Orisa Oshun

Mo juba awo Oshun.
Iwo ni Orisha Obinrin Odo.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Ilaju.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Ife.
Iwo ni Orisha Julo Ewa.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Oyin.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Eya Abo Ati Ako, ati Ibare.

I humble myself before the mysteries of Oshun.
You are the Goddess of the River.
You are the Owner of the Mysteries of Civilization.
You are the Owner of the Mysteries of Love.
You are the Most Beautiful Orisha.
You are the Owner of the Mysteries of Honey.
You are the Owner of the Mysteries of Sex, and Intimacy.

oshunOshun is the Yoruban Orisha (deity) of the sweet or fresh waters (as opposed to the salt waters of Yemaya). She is widely loved, as She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and She especially watches over the poor and brings them what they need. As Orisha of love, Oshun is represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman. In some tales She is said to be a mermaid, with a fish’s tail.

To the Yoruba people; inhabitants of western central Africa, in present-day Nigeria, Oshun is the goddess of the river of the same name, and She is especially worshiped in river-towns. During Her yearly festival, She is said to choose one or more women dancers to descend into (much like participants in Vodou ceremonies may be “mounted” or “possessed” by a lwa). These women then take new names in honor of Oshun and are thereafter consulted as healers.

Oshun was taught divination with cowrie shells by Obatala, the first of the created gods, and then She brought the teaching to humans. She was at one time the wife of Shango, the storm god, as was Oya, the goddess of the winds and tempests. Oshun is also said to be the mother of the birds or fishes.

With the African diaspora, Oshun was brought to the Americas, and adopted into the pantheons that branched out of the African traditions. In the Brazilian religion of Candomblé, which retains close ties with the Yoruban religion, as well as in Cuban Santeriá, She is called Oxum. In Haitian Vodoun She is an inspiration for Erzulie or Ezili, also a goddess of water and love.

Oshun, like the other Orisha, has a number associated with Her–five; a color–yellow or amber; and a metal–gold or bronze. The peacock and the vulture are sacred to Her. Offerings to Oshun include sweet things such as honey, mead, white wine, oranges, sweets, or pumpkins, as well as perfume.

Oshun in a reading indicates sweetness and good cheer, beauty and flowing joy.

Alternate spellings: Oxun, Osun, Oshoun, Oxum, Ochun.

Titles: Oshun Ana, “Goddess of Luxury and Love”; Oshun Telargo, as the modest one; Oshun Yeye Moro, as the coquette; Oshun Yeye Kari, “Mother of Sweetness”.

Video

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