As I began my journey from male centered Christianity to the Goddess, and then subsequently to Wicca and then the craft; I decided that I would not craft spells until I knew for sure why herbs were magick. I studied for a two years my Wiccan path as well as other Pagan spiritual delights. I gathered research from the Greek masters, the medieval herbal crafters, ancient alchemists and Egyptian high priests. Still no such luck. Then one day I stumbled into Voodoo. It was a call really; I began pondering the life of Marie Laveau and was shocked by how much we favor as well as how my beliefs seemed to be a mirror of hers.
I also noticed that we both had man troubles as well; very similar man troubles, actually. I always thought Voodoo with it’s blood animal sacrifices was evil and so I was very fearful of it. But I kept feeling the urge to explore it; almost as if I could hear the whisper of it, tickling my neck,and calling me home, like a soft summer breeze. I went to my local metaphysical bookstore Otter and Trout and picked up a book on Santeria Voodoo. This type of Voodoo is based on the authentic origination of Voodoo in Nigeria, Africa deep in the tribal hearts of the Yoruba people. The Yorubans are esteemed to carry the oldest living dna on the face of this earth presently, a mitochondrial Eve so to speak. Those that practice Santeria then mix this Voodoo with their Catholic religious saints and Gods.
Creation of Orishas
As I read I learned about the Orisha’s who were like guardian angels to every person on the Earth I was thrilled to meet female Orisha’s with great power. In Christianity and Judaism all of the guardian angels are male. But in Voodoo they are male as well as female. Yes, I know that they refer to them as gods, but then so are Angels and so are we. All created beings of God are gods. The Orishas were the original. In other parts of Africa they worship Nana Buruku who is said to have given birth to seven male and seven female gods or Orishas. Each of them govern an aspect of creation and watch over humanity.
When we are born, we are raised under the spirit guidance of a male and female orisha. Although many of these Orisha’s, just like the various gods all over the world, have many paths and phases. This is the origination of the triple goddess, as Goddesses Yemaya, Oshun and Oya represent. However, I disagree with the triple form of goddess as it is not correct. There are four powerful phases of the moon, and as such, there are four powerful Orisha goddesses in the Yoruba pantheon, the fourth one being Obba, the sacrificial mother, who cut off her own ears to keep her family intact.
My head Orisha is Oshun Yeye Kari, “Oshun, Mother of Sweetness.” She is the Mother of the Heavenly Waters that flow from Earth and into the mighty rivers of Africa and Egypt, the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates and out to the Dead Sea. As the people have traveled and through wars forced to flee their original home they named other rivers for their beloved Goddess and Iyalode (Queen). Oshun is the African and original goddess of Love,Abundance and Fertility. Like many sea and river deities riches are found within her currents. In actuality, gold was probably found in huge quantity in her dusky river banks. Gold was plentiful in ancient Ethiopia and Nigeria. The Kushites even decorated their horses with gold saddles and inlays. A dog collar and chain would probably have been made of gold. It was only in the eyes of others not rich in this beautiful abundance that made it so appealing. In fact, originally copper was Oshun’s claim and any gold miner knows copper and gold are often found together in the mountains and river banks in many places, especially Arizona and California.
Goddesses Oshun,Hathor,Aphrodite, Osara, Ameratusu, Eos and Ganga who are celebrated from India to China are the very same being. Originally Oshun was a Sun Goddess but somehow that knowledge has either been lost or quietly submerged into the male pantheon of Orishas. Oshun represents the sun with her bright and shining yellow dress, while her sister Yemaya represents the Moon with her shades of mysterious blue. Oshun and Yemaya also represent the waters of earth with their ever changing paths and currents. Oya represented the wind and she is the breath of life. Her breath is a Holy fire that many see in the Judaic and Christian versions of the Goddess Holy Spirit. Obba represents the quiet earth, subdued, yet creative and explosive all the while being yielding and pliant. These goddesses who are mothering, nourishing and lovingly generous of all their bounty are also strong, powerful and deadly protective of their children and the ones they love. These goddesses are the energy of the elements that we call on for magickcal rituals and power. Their mates are their equal counterparts.
Oshun Saves The World
There came a time after the creation of the earth, when humankind began to become wicked. Jealousy and enmity prevailed everywhere, and Olodumare became so angry at humankind, that He turned his back on His creation, and moved far away from the earth, behind the sun. He caused the rain to cease, and the sun to burn the earth incessantly. As a result, crops failed, and humankind began to starve and suffer. People pleaded with the orisha to save them. The orisha, in turn, pleaded with Olodumuare to cease the suffering. But Olodumare was too far away to hear. One by one, the orisha lined up on the earth, and beseeched Olodumare to listen, but to no avail. Oshun, because she was the youngest of the orisha, was not invited to participate. She was considered too naïve, interested only in her looks, to help in such a crisis.
Never one to be ignored, Oshun took the form of a peacock, her symbol and avatar. She appeared before the other orisha, and offered them her assistance. The older orisha laughed. They said she was too fragile and pretty to help, and sent her away. As it became apparent that the orisha were not experiencing any success in their petitions to Olodumare, Oshun again attempted to offer her assistance. At this point, the older orisha had nothing to lose, so they agreed to allow Oshun to do what she could. Once again in the form of a peacock, which she knew Olodumare would recognize, she flew toward heaven to meet Olodumare. For days she flew. Her wings became tired, but she did not stop. As she got closer to the sun, her beautiful feathers were singed off, making her unrecognizable as a peacock and giving her the appearance of a vulture instead.
Nevertheless, she refused to give up. Finally, after much effort, Oshun arrived at Olodumare’s palace in heaven. She flew in, bedraggled, burned and exhausted. When He saw her, Olodumare at first didn’t recognize her, in her disheveled condition. When he finally realized it was her, Olodumare asked Oshun why she had exerted herself and gone through so much trouble to see him. In response, Oshun answered that it was her love for Oldoumare’s creation, and her desire not to see humankind destroyed that made her endure so much to see Him. This softened Olodumare’s heart. He took pity on Oshun. In honor of her heroic effort to save humankind, Oldoumare made it rain. This ended the suffering upon the earth and made it possible for life to thrive again. Because of her appearance when she arrived to see him, Olodumare declared that in addition to the peacock, the vulture would be a sacred symbol of Oshun. He further announced that though she was the youngest orisha, she would always be the one to have his ear, so that anyone who professed and lived a life based on love would be blessed by him. Oshun returned to the earth and gained the respect of her orisha siblings, who made her a queen among them.-Myth found on http://www.yemoja.org
Origination of Magical Herbs
The Orisha Osain, is the energy of the herbs and vegetation which have been divided up to each Orisha couple. It is because of their mighty power and supernatural energy that the herbs and vegetation become imbued with this healing force! This is why magick produces real results and herbs can offer spiritual as well as physical healing. Coupled with the awesome residue of God within us, we can manifest anything we so desire, that falls in line with Universal Law. Goddess Oshun was originally taught some of her most necessary skills by Obatala, the first of the created Orishas in existance; the elder deity showed her the art of divination, or the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. That means through magick! Powerful, irresistible magick!
Oshun later passed on her abilities to tell the future to humans, who were often her priestesses. During Oshun’s yearly festival, she is said to hand-pick one or more of her daughters who dance before her, to “descend” into, or possess, for the rest of the lives of the women chosen. These women would then take new names in honor of the goddess and would then be known and consulted as healers within their villages. She would work through them to bring her power, love and skills to the world of humanity.
In churches, and during Pagan ecstatic rituals, all across the country, Oshun still descends and chooses her daughters yearly. I am one such Priestess chosen. Long before I knew Her name, Oshun chose me. Out of the gutter and the bitter waters of Marah, she plucked me, named me her Princess High Priestess and bequeathed me the honor of continuing her work.
Are you a Daughter of Oshun?
Daughter of Oshun generally act just like her from a small child. Once you read about her many aspects and stories you may find you are shocked how similar you or your life has been to her.
Oshun’s daughters are naturally clairvoyant, though her High Priestesses generally find Witchcraft or Voodoo along their spiritual journey. They are usually extraordinarily beautiful and like her many people fall under a spell when they look upon her or hear her voice. They are powerful healers, love crystals, and often have something very bad happen to them while wearing yellow. I was raped in my yellow dress at seventeen. I never wore yellow again until I found Oshun and she healed me! She gave me a Lemon Quartz ring, (yes I found it) and it has sped up the healing to my heart.
Oshun’s daughters often have trouble finding a suitable mate, may marry for money and comfort, but have a very difficult time being truly intimate with someone, dropping her guard, really letting them in, except to help them heal. They usually prefer to wear their hair blonde or red and have lush lips and slanted eyes. They also tend to wear long wavy hair, sometimes straight, but they love curls! They are very sexual, sweet and always, always positive people. Although they can have a very vicious temper especially about their children or in answer to ignorance or oppression. They do not have a predjudice bone in their body and love all people gay, straight, trans, black, white, or green. They may struggle with finances but find that all of their needs always manifest and if they tap into their magical gifts they soon become very wealthy, like their Mother Oshun!
I hope you enjoyed a little excursion with my beloved Goddess! There is so much more to tell but that is all for now!