Oshun- The Yoruba Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Fertility+

We are in a time where people are starting to look at organized religion with questions. The amount of people who are starting to leave the church and venture past what they grew up learning has become interesting.

What do you say to say to the spirit, the deity, the woman herself who grants life, love, and everything synonymous with femininity? That’s the question I found myself pondering when exploring my Orisha, Oshun. For those who don’t quite understand what an Orisha is and their source: “Orisha worship, sometimes referred to as Santería, is still widely practiced in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Tobago/Trinidad and Brazil, most practitioners are Yoruba descendants.” Orishas are spirit guides that are said by the Yoruba people of Western Africa to have created humanity and everything in it. “Ori” translates to “head” which is a symbolism for the spirit that has connected to you and your soul.

You do not get to choose your Orisha, and it has nothing to do with your zodiac. For example, because you are born on July 23rd does not mean that you will be the child of Yemaya. Orishas choose you from birth. There are seven of the many Orishas that are referred to as “The Seven African Powers.” Among them are Eleggua, Obatala, Yemaya, Oya, Oshun, Shango, and Ogun. We’re said to share personality traits with our Orisha, who ultimately helps us learn more about ourselves in order to lead an effective life.

As I mentioned earlier, my orisha is Oshun.  Although she is the youngest, she is considered one of the most powerful of all orishas, as she helped create the  Earth.  Ọṣhun is an Orisha, a spirit, a deity, or a goddess that associates  with purity, fertility, love, sensuality, femininity, beauty, and water- as she lives in the flowing waters of the  river. And, like other Gods, she possesses human attributes such as vanity, jealousy, and spite. It is important that the children of Oshun are very specific with what they ask for- remember that she is a mother and is very overprotective of her children. 

Oshun is very well known and respected. Oshun has made her stance in movies, plays, songs, and even is the orisha of Beyoncé. Beyoncé embodies the goddess of love and fertility in many different areas. Between her album Lemonade and her being pregnant during her grammy award, there are many references that Queen Bey has made to Queen Oshun.

Her mystique can brighten up any room, and her infectious laugh can either put you under her spell or send shivers down your spine.  Despite her sensual appeal, this Orisha is additionally the most threatening when crossed—Oshun is as sweet as nectar, yet her sweetness can just as quickly turn bad. What’s intriguing about this goddess is that underneath her enchanting nature, there is a sense of  sadness. The patakís state Oshun is frequently heartbroken because she loves with each fiber of her being, but then she never finds someone who can cherish her in the same sense. 

It’s no surprise that Oshun is known as the Queen of the witches: She is an educator of both magic and advocacy. Oshun cherishes casting spells, particularly those identified with love and romance. She is the granter of wishes and everything that you can desire. When properly invoked, Oshun holds the keys to love, money, success, and pregnancy. If you’re attempting to summon this goddess, ensure you keep the promises that you make to her. As such, don’t make Oshun a guarantee that you cannot keep. Love her; be faithful to her and be aware of your desires. She is the goddess of Love, after all.

They say that Oshun is an amazingly beautiful lady wearing gold, covered in gems with a pot of honey around her waist (pun intended). One of my favorite stories of Oshun is how she lured Ogun back to civilization. Being that Ogun rules modern civilization, with his absence all of the community’s machinery stopped working. While all of the orishas attempted to have Ogun return, it was Oshun that triumphed. She began to tie her “honeypot” around her waist (I know, right?) and danced for Ogun as he became closer and closer. When he was close enough to touch, she dipped her hands in her honeypot and smeared the “sweetness” across his lips. It’s safe to say that after tasting Oshun’s magical honey, he returned. 

Her feasting day is September 8th(today) and her children celebrate her while making her offerings, dancing, and playing music for her.

Honey is extremely important when it comes to Oshun. And it is even more important that you NEVER offer Oshun honey without tasting it first. There is a story about how Oshun was poisoned with honey. And so, you must always taste the honey before putting it before Oshun to establish trust.

Her customary colors are yellow, gold, coral, golden, and she connected with the number five. Oshun regularly carries a mirror with the goal that she can always appreciate her beauty. It is important that you NEVER approach a Goddess without making an offering. (This is mine)

She cherishes honey, sunflowers, oranges, cinnamon, and pumpkin. The bee, butterfly,  peacock, and the vulture are her preferred animals. 

My experience: Ever since I was younger, I have always felt spirits around me. No matter where I moved, I have always felt a sense of protection and guidance everywhere that I went. No matter where I went, It wasn’t until college that I actually opened up to my gifts. My family comes from the Dominican Republic- where santería is very much alive and my abuela in particular has her hand in the practice. As a result, I was always told that I was born with the gift of visions. After all, I was literally born with my eyes wide open. Messages come to me in my dreams clear as day, and slim to none are there times where my dreams were not correct. I feel Oshun’s presence and grace often. And for that, I thank her on her feast day.

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