Traditional Colors: Yellow, Gold and Amber
Areas of Influence: Rivers, love and romance, gold, pregnancy, witchcraft and love or wishing spells, healing (especially emotional), weight loss
Entities associated with: Our Lady del Caridad del Cobre (patron saint of Cuba)
Symbols: Gold, yellow butterflies, gold, diamonds, gold, yellow roses, gold and did I mention gold?
Offerings: Pumpkins, honey, cinnamon, lemons, coconut, yams, chicken, Goldschlager Liquor
Feast Day: September 8th
Astrology: Venus, Taurus and Virgo
Tarot: Page (Princess in Thoth Deck) of Cups, Ace and 2 of cups
Gemstones: Amber, Diamonds, Imperial Topaz, Rutilated quartz, Citrine, golden beryl, yellow flourite
Animals: Yellow butterflies, bees, otters, skunks
Entities of Similar Energy: Aphrodite, Venus, Freya, Lakshmi and other Goddesses of Love
Oshun is the Orisha of love. She can be the sweetest, kindest, most generous person you will ever meet. She is beautiful, charismatic and has great taste in everything. She appreciates the finer things in life (gold especially). She loves to laugh and wants everyone to be happy. You can always tell when she’s around because everyone just gets real silly and starts to giggle. Well, that and everyone seems to get just a little more sexy. She is graceful and loves to dance.
While Chango represents the essential life force, Oshun represents the things that make life worth living. She is that first stage of a new romance. You are sooooo in love with that new guy or girl. Everything they do is perfect. Even those habits that will annoy you in a few months are “cute.” You can’t get enough of each other emotionally and physically. You don’t sleep, you are full of energy and you don’t eat much. You are completely enamored by that other person. You want to give them the world. Now, we all know that eventually this feeling changes into something else but for that first few weeks, life is grand.
Oshun loves her children with every fiber of her being. She will give them almost anything. She is a witch, and will throw spells (especially love spells) with the best of them. All wishing spells (anytime the words “I wish” exit your mouth) belong to her. She has a pot of honey that she has tied around her waist (why yes, that does have a double meaning) and she can use it for spells. Oshun will get you pregnant but she isn’t a huge fan of babies (except when they are real cute and well-behaved) so at some point in a pregnancy, Yemaya (her mother) will take over. There is a river that she owns, the Oshun River, in Nigeria. Oshun is utterly charming.
There is a story of how Ogoun got pissed off one day and took off for the woods. This was a serious problem because Ogoun is modern civilization. All the machines stopped working and cities began to fall apart. Each one of the Orishas tried in vain to get him to come back but he wasn’t having any of it. Finally, Oshun, in a very sexy outfit went out to the forest. She had her “honey pot” tied around her waist as usual. She began to dance and as she moved, Ogoun watched her from afar. She kept dancing and he kept getting closer. When he got within arms reach of her she dipped her hand into her honey pot and then smeared some of the honey onto his lips. Poor boy didn’t know what hit him. She used her feminine ways to get him to go back to civilization.
Oshun is very much in love with Chango. Unfortunately since Chango is not monogamous (and married to her sister, Oya) that means that Oshun is often heart broken. This is the flipside to Oshun. She is constantly getting her heart broken because she gives so much and can never really find someone who can give her back all that she needs. Oshun, please don’t listen to this next part…Now for her bad traits…she can be moody, vain, superficial, jealous and petty. Oshun has a short attention span. She is can be very insecure and she hates being poor. At her worst, she may marry for money. If you cross her or lie to her, she will make sure that you feel fat and ugly and couldn’t get laid in a prison with a fist full of pardons.
Properly Showing Respect to Oshun
When preparing an altar to Oshun, make sure it is pretty. The space should be clean and smell good. She loves yellow, amber and gold (brass will do if you can’t afford gold). She likes to be called a “goddess” and be praised. Be sure to tell her how wonderful she is!!! She loves pumpkins with honey and cinnamon. Be sure when offering honey to her, taste it first (someone once tried to offer her poisoned honey) and then sprinkle with cinnamon. She also likes yams (sweet potatoes). She loves jewelry of all kinds. Never make a promise to her that you can’t keep. She HATES that. Offerings to her can be given at any natural bodies of fresh water. She loves yellow flowers (roses are best but carnations will do if you can’t afford roses).
Where to find Oshun
Natural bodies of water (lakes, streams, rivers, creeks), beauty shops, cosmetology school, spas, new age stores (she likes the pretty things), high end lover’s boutiques, jewelry stores, any spots where lovers like to go
Generally speaking, Oshun’s kids are usually the easiest to spot in a crowd. They are attractive, charismatic people. They want everything around them to look perfect and expensive. However, since they don’t like to clean, their places may be messy. They love parties and being the center of attention. They constantly talk about the opposite sex. Her kids love to be pretty and will normally spend a lot of time in the bathroom primping. They lavish their loved ones with attention and gifts. They are bad with money and will normally live beyond their means (or have some one else paying the bills). Many times, they will be fair haired and skinned (no matter what race) and like to dye their hair blonde if it ain’t that color already. Her children are quite often dancers, artists and hairdressers. Yes, many of your flamboyant gay men have Oshun as their mother?. They are moody, vain folks who will get mad at you for not giving them enough attention but they won’t stay mad for long if you apologize and make up for your sins. They can be very self-indulgent and may carry some extra weight due to their eating habits. This may lead to chronic yo-yo dieters. Two words…High Maintenance.
My first student, “Janet,” was a child of Oshun. She was sweet and self-centered and loved men. She was also very over weight. Very. When I did her initiation to Oshun, it was the first one I had ever presided over. Since Oshun is the goddess of the river, Janet’s ritual was done in a local watering hole/lover’s lane spot. Oshun showed up, laughing at our silliness. I can remember seeing strange rippling in the water and feeling such love and warmth. Oshun was so sweet. Within a few minutes (literally), Janet was able to hear Oshun talking to us. Until that moment, Janet had never been able to hear the other side. Oshun was a hoot! She was so funny and cool. I was asking her a million questions about her and the other Orishas. I wanted to know everything. She very patiently answered everything she could and she seemed to really enjoy being one of us girls.
Within a couple of weeks, Janet began losing weight. We were standing in JC Penny’s a month later while Janet was trying on clothes, when I yelled at her in excitement, ”Janet, you have a waist!!!!” She looked down at her belly and yelled back “really, oh my god, where?!?” Oshun was able to transform Janet’s body as she transformed Janet’s spirit. As her heart became lighter, so did her body.
Disclaimer: You may find that some of the information on this page differs from the traditional beliefs of some African Diaspora practices. The information on this page has been gathered from personal experiences and while we respect those who walk the more “Traditional” paths, we have some different beliefs concerning the Orishas and Loa.