The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods
In standard descriptions of the orishas, Orisha Oko is usually described as the judge who settles disputes, especially among women. Those aren’t just any disputes: they are usually accusations of witchcraft.
It takes one to know one: Orisha Oko is the wise sorcerer of Earth magic who protects against witchcraft and heals its effects. Orisha Oko’s main cult center, Irawo in the far northwest of Yorubaland, was an important shrine for the settlement of witchcraft accusations.
Disputes regarding accusations or suspicions of witchcraft were traditionally resolved by ritual in his shrines. His devotees are largely female; devotion to Orisha Oko is hereditary. Accusations of witchcraft forge links to this orisha. Once accused (and presumably if one survives the accusation) then one is expected to form a relationship with Orisha Oko that will continue through generations.
Orisha Oko is variously described as female or male. He is most commonly represented in myths as a hunter who has decided to farm instead. He is closely associated with rituals of agricultural magic. His attribute is an iron stave made from a hoe blade. He works closely with Ogun who forges his tools.
Orisha Oko manifests his anger through unyielding, infertile Earth and barren, infertile women. His colors are red and white. He accepts yams as an offering.
See also Ogun, Oshun; DICTIONARY: Àjé, Orisha; ERGOT: Corn Mother; MAGICAL PROFESSIONS: Metalworkers.