Oshun - The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

Also known as Ochun, Oxun.

The sweetest, youngest, most beautiful of the orishas, Oshun is the spirit of sweet water, beauty, women, and witchcraft. Her epithet “The Source” indicates that she is the source of rivers, oceans, and children.

Oshun is the embodiment of love and romance, the Yoruba spirit most associated with providing and healing fertility. She has tremendous magical knowledge. Oshun’s power extends over various parts of the human anatomy, particularly the reproductive organs. Without her blessing (or at least her sanction) there is no healing, no rain, no growth, no prosperity, no babies, no joy.

She is the orisha of luxury and wealth. Countless money spells incorporate petitions to Oshun. She is particularly sympathetic as, unlike many other spirits, Oshun too has been utterly desolate and poverty-stricken and so understands hardship and crisis.

Oshun may manifest in the form of her sacred birds: peacocks, parrots or vultures.

Oshun is the leader of the Àjé. The importance of this female power is suggested in the birds that top beautiful Yoruba crowns. (See DICTIONARY: Àjé.)

Her most common manifestation is as a breath-takingly beautiful woman, usually dressed in yellow or gold. She wears five brass bracelets and a mirror at her belt, the better to be able to stop and admire herself whenever she wishes. Oshun bears a pot of river water, her gift of healing magic. She removes malevolent spells from her devotees, especially those cast using the power of botanicals.

That’s the standard, most typical vision of Oshun. The orishas, however, possess multiple paths (manifestations) simultaneously. Thus there is Oshun the Goddess of Love and Fertility, her most familiar manifestation, but there are also other specialized visions of Oshun. Oshun also has paths identified with witchcraft.

Image As Oshun Ololodi she is the Mother of Divination. She is wed to Orunmila, Spirit of the Oracle, and is intensely involved in the process of divination. Oshun Ololodi manifests as a waterfall.

Image Swamps are fresh water too: as Oshun Ibu Kolé she is the Buzzard Mother, a powerful swamp witch.

Oshun Ibu Kolé is Oshun down on her luck. She is dressed in rags and has ragged, disheveled hair. She lives in marshes, swamps or muddy waters. Her sacred creatures include vultures, alligators, and crocodiles. Buzzards share their carrion with her so that she doesn’t starve.