Oshun: Goddess of the Month (pt. 1)
Updated: Oct 18, 2018
The month of October we are highlighting the Goddesses of love and sexuality. We wanted to explore these goddesses during the beginning of the fall season because fall defines transformation and change. There is something about this time of the year that feels rather magical and mysterious because a seasonal shift happen before our eyes. The leaves are brightening up, the air is cooling down, and halloween is around the corner. Fall brings a lot of energy from the spirit world. This is a great time to tune into some crafty manifestations and most importantly tune in with your most powerful part of you; your sexuality.
Before I you start reading about the beautiful Oshun, keep in mind that the research we find is based off many different platforms and mediums. We are not experts in any religion, we are eclectics spiritualist sharing our knowledge and thought on how we perceive and understand the deities, religions, and cultures. If you have any insight we would love to hear from you.
The African Goddess of love, sensuality and fertility
The Orisha Goddess in the yellow dress. The youngest and most favorable feminine entity within all religions that worship her. She is the mana that controls our rivers, and streams and embodies all natural moving water. Oshun is the personification of sensuality, lust, love, and fertility. With a pot of honey by her waist, she uses to it as an elixir to seduce her victims. She is considered to be one of the most powerful Goddesses of the Orishas. The queen of witches some say. She is abundance and generosity. In Yoruba myths, it is said that humanity would not exist if wasn't for Oshun’s presence because she holds the power of transformation. That is why she is also known as "The Mother of Nations." She controls all that makes life worth living, such as love and marriage, children, money, and pleasure.
Oshun is one the Orishas within the West-African Yoruba religion. It is said that there are about 17,000 Orishas and among them the Seven African Powers that came down to create civilization. Oshun is one of those seven. Orishas are more than just deities. They are a complete package of deities, the divine, ancestral energy, and companions. "Orishas are considered spirits of nature as well as ancestors who represent a concept or idea." Oshun is a spiritual entity and depending on the religious faith, she can either be prayed to, worshiped, evoked, and/or used for spell-craft. The most common practice done for Oshun or worship and devotion.
According to Yoruba myth, the Orishas were sent by Olodumare, who is the supreme being and creator of all. He sent the Seven African Powers to populate the Earth. Because there are a whole lot of Yoruba lineages we will concentrate on the most common attributions of Oshun.
There are many myths about the Orishas and every religious group petitions them in their unique way... but no matter the religion or culture, Oshun is commonly associated with sexuality and fertility. She is essentially considered to be the Aphrodite of Africa, and many areas in the Caribbean such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Brazil. In Cuban Santeria she is known as Our Lady of Caridad del Cobre and considered as patroness of Cuba by all her devotees. If you think about her attributes, she may seem like she has a lot similarities to the "maiden" from the triple goddess we covered last month. However, she encompasses the whole trinity; the maiden, mother and crone because she is known to represents all of the phases of a woman’s life.
Depicted as the protector and nurturer of humanity but she can equally destroy it, which is why she is also associated with natural disasters like floods and droughts; emotional and mental distress, and heart ache. Like many other gods and goddesses, Oshun posses human-like traits such as jealousy, vanity and spite. She had experienced a lot of hardships in her life and her character may shift into bitterness even though she predominantly embodies sweetness. “She is a powerful sorceress, weaving spells to intoxicate her lovers…..She is very giving and protective of those who love and respect her, but she is also quick to turn sour against humanity when she is offended.“
Her Reputation :
Love and Relationships
I came across a lot of stories of Oshun, that a whole novel can be written! But the stories that were most memorable were the ones about her seducing other Orishas is her clever ways. Oshun is said to be promiscuous and very charismatic...Apparently she had love affairs with multiple gods... Ochosi, Oggun, Orunla... but her greatest and deepest love was with Chango, the Orisha of fire and thunder. Myth tells us that she first time Oshun saw Chango at a gathering (or a tambor) she instantly fell in love with him. While Chango was too busy distracted by dancing, eating and playing drums, Oshun approached him and made her signature move by rubbing some of her magical seductive honey on his lips. From all the stories I have read.. He absolutely could not resist her sexual energy and beauty. Many stories say that the honey intoxicated him, but honestly the way I see it happening is how this majestic, beautiful, dancing goddess approached him and took his attention away from anything that mattered… So, after that event nature simply took its course and they became lovers.
Within the Yoruba religion, Chango is known to be a bit of a womanizer. This was a perfect match for Oshun… He has 3 wives; the Orishas Oba, Oshun, and Oya. Ironically enough, they were all river goddesses. His main wife however, was Oba and according to Santeria beliefs, he abandoned Oba after she cut her ears off and fed them to him in a soup... and guess who told her to do this malice-intended act? our lovely goddess Oshun. Oshun's dark side emerges...she had advised Oba that if she never wanted to lose Chango she should do this "unusual deed". Oshun, knowing that it will actually result in the complete opposite, was jealous and wanted Chango all to herself. It is said that Oshun is forever competing with Chago's (other) favorite mistress Oya, the goddess of wind and keeper of the cemetery.
While Oshun and Chango were lovers, they ended up having the “divine twins” Ebeji, which are considered to be first twins born on Earth. When Oshun birthed the twins, people accused her of being a witch because she was the first one to give birth to more than one child. She was persistently avoided and alienated from the community which led her to ignorantly kick her children out of her house and deny they were her own. Depending on the lineage of the orisha faith, it was either Oya or Yemaya who took Ebeji in as their own and nurtured them.
Food for thought!
Ebeji is/are the twin Orisha. Although they are 2 separate beings (twins) they are represented as one Orisha in the Yoruba religion. Kind of like one soul in two bodies. They are considered sacred and are known to be the Orishas of joy, mischief, abundance and childish glee. “Twins are considered sacred by birth among the Yoruba people. The Yoruba people have one of the world’s highest rates of twin birth: average world rate of twins is 0.5% where the Yoruba people have a 5% twin birth rate.”
Another myth tells the story of Oshun seducing Oggun, the god of ironwork and patron of all metals. Oggun was once so sickened by mankind that he completely abandoned his forge and refused to come out the woods (he is also known as god of the woods). This caused a problem to the advancement of society because he rules all metal work. All the Orishas had come and tried to convince him to come back to the world of man, but none of them were able to bring him back. Oshun shows up dancing and singing for Oggun. She wears 7 handkerchiefs tied to each other around her waist creating a silk rope. Oshun danced at a distance without coming close to Oggun. Completely dumbfounded and distracted by her beauty, he approaches her and in seconds Oshun dips her finger in her pot of honey and rubs them against Ogguns lips. He had never tasted anything so delicious and of course he was infatuated by her beauty and movements. As Oggun continued to get even closer to Oshun, she continued to dance and rub more honey on his lips. Keeping him distracted, she was able to tie her handkerchiefs rope around his waist and start pulling him out of the woods. He of course could not resists this and followed the dancing Oshun back to society. Ever since that day, Oggun has been madly in love with Oshun.
Another relationship worth mentioning is the strong connection Oshun has with with her sister Yemaya, the Goddess of the sea and maternity. Oshun being the ruler of rivers, always goes back to Yemeya, physically and metaphorically. Yemaya has a soft spot in her heart for her sister and according to some myths, Yemaya was the one who took care of Oshun's children after Oshun desperately threw them out. It is also said that Yemaya would always take care of Ebeji because Oshun was too busy with her love affairs. Some other stories say Oya, Chango’s main wife, was the one who took care of Oshun’s children because she was not able to bear children.
Attributes and Sacred Symbols
The color yellow
Oshun was once very poor and only had only one dress to wear. She was vain and maintain her beauty and physical well-being was very important to her. She would wash her one dress in the river every day until it eventually turned yellow from age. That is why the color yellow is associated with her. Interestingly enough, Oshun rules the abdominal area. Where your solar plexus and sacral chakra are located. Your solar plexus chakra dominates the energy of self-power and confidence. While your sacral chakra embodies the energy of sexuality, pleasure and over all creativity. Both of these chakras are ironically connected to Oshun's attributes.
"Every year Oshun devotees and other people of the Yoruba religious tradition go to the Oshun River to pay homage, make sacrifice, and ask for a variety of things such as wealth, children, and better health. Although other Orishas are honored during the festival, the climax of the festival is centered on Oshun."
Gold, Copper and Amber
Anything beautiful in these colors such as butterflies, roses, jewelry, sunflowers are her favorite!
Oshun always carried a pot of honey by her waist. She loves everything sweet like pastries and cakes. Some myths say that before offering her honey, one must taste the honey before because she was almost poisoned once.
Symbolizing image of Oshun
This is similar to having a statue or doll at an altar. For Oshun devotees, it is important to have an item in their alter that individually represents her. In some religions, people use dolls dressed in yellow to represent her.
Crystals & Gemstones
Carnelian, Coral, Agate, Brown Jasper, Orange stones, Blue Calcite, Aquamarine, Copper, brass & gold (for metals). She like anything shiny and bright.
Other symbolic items
Mirrors, fans, canoes, oars, coral, tortoiseshell comb, bracelets, beaded necklaces, silks, perfumes (especially vetiver and sandalwood). Pumpkins/ Yams & Cinnamon, lemons , champagne , liquor, pastries...
She wears golden bracelets that jingle seductively when she moves, she is essentially a high maintenance Goddess. Unapologetically.
The number 5
The number 5 is frequent number seen in all information and research we’ve found on Oshun. The most interesting article we came across on the connection of the number 5 and Oshun was one that relates the 5 senses to the personification of Oshun. We experience the world with our 5 senses; by touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing. Our emotions, behaviors, and everything we do is triggered by all our senses. They are vital to us and we use them not only for survival but also for pleasure.
Oshun is all around us. As women, we highly connected to her energy and can tuned into her spirit at any time. For love, protection, guidance, and understanding. Like mentioned at the beginning of the post, she is more than a Goddess and depending on your religious preference, you can evoke her however you feel it's right. The best practice for spiritual meditation and petition is creating a sacred area in your home a.k.a and altar. You can personalize it however you want and there will be a blog post on this soon.
Oshun loves offerings and gifts...I mean who doesn't? And taking some time to turn your night table into a mini altar really helps you start feeling more connected to any goddess/god. This can be your meditation center and the place that “brings you back to center.”
Oshun Candle Magic for Manifesting
This is something I like to do from time to time to reconnect with my inner sexual goddess. I place this candle on the altar in my room to manifest healthy sexual energy and confidence.
Get a 7-day yellow candle. The tall, glass one you can buy at the dollar store or pharmacy. You can get a white one if you can’t find a yellow one.
Get some gold glitter, cinnamon powder, and honey
Get yellow flowers, preferably sunflowers
Gather some of your jewelry, preferably bracelets
A glass of water
You can place this anywhere you feel comfortable living the candle burn for the whole 7 days.
Decorate your candle by sprinkling just a bit of everything inside; the glitter, the cinnamon, and the honey. Since there is not that much space between the wax and the edge, make sure you don’t over fill it and leave space for the candle wick to light and burn. Place light jewelry around the candle's body. I place my beaded bracelets directly on the candle and because they are light I don’t have to worry about the candle tilting over. Put the yellow flowers in a vase next next to the candle and the glass of water on the other side of the candle. I like to keep an intentional booklet by the area so I can write in it for the next 7 days.
Step back, concentrate and meditate in the set up before lighting the candle. Do you love the way it is set up? Does it feel like it’s missing something? Does it look too empty? If so, then add whatever you want girl, this is your mana. Personalize it and place whatever embodies your desires. Put your sex toys next to it, your stones and crystals, your underwear, your coconut oil….
Once you feel good about it, sit and meditate on what you need Oshun to help you with. May it be relationships, love, erotism, connection, understanding, more orgasm, self-love, self-control, pleasure. Anything appropriate for her what she has to offer. Place your hands around the candle and think, visualize, pray, or say with deep intention what you will manifest. Light your candle when you feel ready. And let it burn… Pay attention to your candle every day. At night meditate starting at the flame. Make love to yourself during the time it is lit. Orgasms are the cherries on top of the of the magic spell.
Happy October Goddess