Ochun orisha

The Orishas: Oshun

Oshun (or Ochun) is the Orisha of love in the Yoruba religion. She is said to have been wed by Shango (or Chango), the god of life, after attending a drum festival. Oshun influences the pleasurable aspects of life. Her powers regarding attraction and affection are extremely potent. She is essentially the Aphrodite of the Yoruba faith and is synchronized with Our Lady of Charity in western religions. It is said that Oshun possesses unparalleled beauty and affinity for enhancing emotion and pleasures of the flesh. She is a benevolent goddess that is portrayed as graceful, elegant, and loving. She can also be temperamental and moody under certain circumstances.

What Oshun Does

Oshun is the granter of wishes, the grower of love and the giver of laughter. Unless, of course, you catch her in a heartbroken mood. The fact that her beloved, Shanga, is not monogamous to her and her alone stirs her jealousy. These painful emotions can transform her from love-centric to love-scorned making her a frightening force to avoid. If the proper flattery and offerings are put before her, she possesses the maps and keys to lead you to and unlock the secrets of love and success. Your heart's desires are her territory, so be especially careful what you wish for. She may or may not be in the mood to give you exactly what you ask her for.

Prayers Associated With Oshun

The prayers offered to Oshun vary slightly depending on who you ask. Most of them, however, begin by praising her beauty and flattering her power and strength for evoking and calling on her powers of seduction and fertility. Be careful though! Oshun may not be able to overlook a promise that is broken so enter into deals with caution.

Here are a few examples of translated ritualistic prayers commonly offered to Oshun:

Oshun who is full of understanding,

Who digs sand and buries money there.
The woman who seizes the road and causes men to run away.
Oshun the river which the king cannot exhaust...
One who does things without being questioned.
One who has large robust breasts.
One who has fresh palm leaves, who is never tired of wearing brass.
The huge, powerful woman who cannot be attacked.
Most gracious mother.
Who knows the secret of cults but does not disclose them.
The gracious mother, the queen of the river.
One who has a cool, fresh throne.
The mother who has neither bone nor blood. Legends abound about this female force, but she is to be respected on all levels. She is Olodumare's representative to remind of the love that should exist in the universe. Ashe-O

Exist, exist always mother
Exist, exist always in our tradition.
The spirit of the river, turtle drummer
Open the path of attraction, mother of salutations.
Cleansing spirit clean the inside and out.
The maker of brass does not pollute the water.
We are entitled to wear the crown that awakens all pleasure.
We are entitled to wear the crown that awakens all pleasure.
The spirit of the earth that wanders freely. Ashe-O

Praise to the goddess of mystery
Spirit that cleans me inside out.
Praise to the goddess of the river,
Spirit that cleans me inside out.
Praise to the goddess of seduction,
Spirit that cleans me inside out.
Mother of the mirror,
Mother of dance,
Mother of abundance,
We sing your praise. Ashe-O

Types of Offerings For Oshun

Again, this information varies slightly depending on who is being asked. Though offerings typically accepted as favorable by Oshun are pumpkins, squash, yams, cinnamon, honey, lemons, and coconuts. Many of these foods are typically associated with fertility or have been rumored to have the effects of an aphrodisiac. These are typically arranged on an alter decorated with varying shades of yellow, amber, and gold. Fresh Helecho plant is also often used in honoring Oshun in baths for love and drawing harmony into your life. References to water, either in offering or during prayer, are common when symbolizing the strength of Oshun.

Standard Tools and Tools of Power of Oshun

Oshun does not have an abundance of tools. She uses oars to balance good and evil and has a crown that can be described as vicious, as it has 5 lances on each of its five points. This reminds Oshun's opponents that she can be vicious if necessary. Some believe that she has a pot of honey tied around her waist that possesses the ultimate powers of seduction.

Ochun Clothing

Oshun is typically adorned with fine gold and lavish garments of varying shades of yellow. She is dressed to embody the essence of beauty and pleasure.

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