The White Moon Gallery Presents

By Hrana Janto

Created by Arteal

© All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author

Oshun is brass and parrot
feathers in a velvet skin.
Oshun is white cowrie
shells on black buttocks.
Her eyes sparkle in the forest,
like sun on the river.
She is the wisdom of the forest
She is the wisdom of the river.
Where doctors fail,
she cures with fresh water.
Where medicine fails,
she cures with fresh water.
She feeds the barren woman
with honey, and her dry body
swells up like a juicy coconut.
Oh, how sweet, how sweet
is the touch of a child’s hand.
-Yoruban chant to Oshun


When people first meet Oshun they see her as Goddess of sensuality, but many people never get past this first impression. Oshun is the Goddess of Love and the Rivers. She radiates beauty and teaches us how to love and please our bodies. Everything beautiful belongs to her: jewels, amber, cowrie shells, brass, gold, river rocks, perfume, mirrors, shades of yellow, copper arm bands, copper bracelet’s, dancing and honey. Oshun belonged to no man and believed all was fair in games of love.

Oshun was interested in the orisha Chango, but he was mated with Oba. Oshun went to Oba and told her Chango loved her cooking. Oba wanted to know Oshun’s secret. Oshun said she cut off pieces of her ear and placed the ear in her food. Oba mistook the mushrooms floating in the soup as pieces of Oshun’s ear. Oba made soup for Chango cutting off her whole ear and placing it in the soup. Chango was disgusted by the foul tasting soup and even more disgusted when he saw his deformed mate. The two Goddesses clashed and turned into rivers. Where their rivers cross is the most turbulent.


Oshun is the Goddess of Divination. When you seek guidance through the art of divination call on Oshun.

Obatala was the only one who knew the art of divination.Oshun asked many times to be taught this art, but Obatala always refused.One day Obatala went to the river to bathe.He removed his white robe and entered the water.Elegba passed by and seeing Obatala’s robe snatched it and ran home.Oshun was picking flowers by the river bank when she heard Obatala scream. When she came upon Obatala he said, “What is the King of the White Cloth without His clothing? Oshun, I am in disgrace!” Oshun replied, “If I get your white clothes for you, will you teach me the art of divining?” Obatala promised he would teach her.

Oshun sprayed her body with honey until it glistened and tied five yellow scarves around her waist. She followed Elegba’s footprints to his home. Oshun demanded he return Obatala’s clothes as she stood in his doorway with her hands on her hips. Elegba was enchanted with her beauty and would only talk of sleeping with Oshun. After making several attempts to demand Obatala’s clothes back they agreed to compromise.

Oshun returned to the river to give Obatala his clothes and he taught Oshun how to read the sacred shells. When she mastered the art of reading the sacred shells she called all the orishas together and taught them the art of divining.

Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert.

Used with permission.

















Our Lady of La Caridad del Cobre

Oshun came from the Yoruba tradition of Africa. She is one of the seven primary orishas of this tradition. When her people were stolen from their land and sold into slavery they brought her with them and disguised her in the religions of their new homes, but they never forgot Oshun. She became Ochun, Yalorde, Erzulie, Oxum and Our Lady of La Caridad del Cobre. When you see and hear these names never forget Oshun lives in each of them. Oshun has not only survived, but thrived in her new homes.

At one time the sky and Earth fought and the sky decided to teach the Earth a lesson. The sky created floods which caused all the treasures of the Earth to be destroyed. Earth realized its mistake and asked the birds to take a message to the supreme god, Olodumare. The message Earth wanted to send was to ask for forgiveness and that Earth would always listen to the sky.

The birds tried, but none could get to Olodumare with Earth’s message. Vulture heard of the birds failed attempts and volunteered to take the message to Olodumare, but the birds laughed saying such an ugly dirty bird would never be allowed in Olodumare’s beautiful kingdom.

The birds were unaware that in one of her many transformations, caminos, Oshun takes on the form of the vulture. As vulture Oshun took Earth’s message to Olodumare. Oshun became the messenger to Olodumare and saved the Earth.


I will show you one last face of Oshun. As you have read Oshun has much depth. She is much more then the Goddess of Sensuality and Love. She is Goddess of Women’s Rights also.

The male orishas came to Earth and held a secret meeting. When Oshun heard of this meeting she attempted to attend, but they refused her entrance. Oshun became so angry she made all women barren and turned the affairs of the world into chaos. The orishas became frightened and turned to Olodumare, for only he knew why the world was in disorder.

Olodumare called all the male orishas together and asked if they invited Oshun to their meeting. They answered no and Olodumare became enraged. He told them to have another meeting and invite Oshun. Olodumare explained that without women and children the world could not function and without Oshun the world would be in a state of confusion.

The orishas returned and held another meeting, but Oshun was so angry she refused to attend. They went to her home with gifts of gold and copper to change her mind. But it was not until the orishas brought her an offering of honey that Oshun decided to forgive them. Oshun made women fertile again and brought order back to the world. Oshun teaches us the world will be in disorder as long as women and children are disrespected, neglected and abused.


Sacred Source

Oshun Altar

Clean a surface, preferably in a bedroom. Begin with a gold altar cloth. Place 5 peacock feathers in a crystal vase. It is also recommended to have a bowl of rive water on the altar. Arrange five cowrie shells on the surface along with a few pieces of amber. A single yellow candle can be placed towards the back. I also recommend creating the Oshun jar Luisah Teish describes to place on your Oshun altar. The jar contains honey, five cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and a handful of pumpkin seeds. Any prayers you wish Oshun to answer should be repeated for 5 nights. By, Arteal

The Lover & The Healer

This is a meditation ritual to seek guidance or healing from Oshun. This ritual is best done on Thursday (Oshun’s day) during the waxing moon, preferably between the half and full moons. Have your intent in mind. Set up your altar using things Oshun loves. At a minimum use yellow candles and spring water; honey is always preferred.

Cast your circle and invite Oshun. Sit comfortably in front of your altar. Breathe deeply and close your eyes. You are standing before golden gates. Think about the reason you came seeking Oshun. Relax and enter through the gates. What landscape do you see? What smells fill the air? Take in your surroundings. When you are ready, find the path and begin to follow it.

You come upon a river. Disrobe and enter the water. Feel the fresh water wash away all stresses and worries. You begin to feel lighter. It is time to leave the water. On the riverbank you find yellow garments and jewelry. Put on the clothing and jewelry. You begin to hear music. Allow the music to move you. Continue dancing, feeling your body move as smoothly as the river.

You begin to see a figure move toward you in the distance. As it draws closer you recognize her as Oshun. Greet her by saying, “Ori Ye Ye O.” She dances with you. After some time passes she asks you why you sought her. It is time to tell Oshun your worry or your question. Oshun talks to you for some time, then hands you a gift. You accept this gift. What is it Oshun gave to you? It is time to give Oshun an offering. Thank her for her guidance. She tells you to return whenever you are in need or would like to dance. Say goodbye. It is time to return the way you came. Come back to your room. You are sitting at your altar again. Spend as much time as you need at your altar. When you are ready, open your circle.

Oshun, I bow to you!
You are very rich,
digging in the sand
To hide money there.
Oshun, I bow to you!
You are very beautiful,
with your coral hair combs
and your cast-copper jewelry.
Oshun, I bow to you!
You are very powerful.
You have seized the crown.
Look at you, dancing with it!
-African chant to Oshun

I offer this page to Oshun in gratitude for all that she has done for me.Thank you most beautiful and generous Oshun for all that you have given me.


Monaghan, Patricia. The Goddess Companion: Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 1999.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations & Rituals. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2000.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2000.

Teish, Luisah. Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1988.

Telesco, Patricia. 365 Goddess: A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess. Harper San Francisco, 1998.

Vega, Martha Moreno. The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria. One World The Ballantine Publishing Group, New York, 2000. (no longer active)

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