Oshun is the Yorùbá Orisha (Deity) of the sweet or fresh waters (as opposed to the salt waters of Yemaya). She is widely loved, as She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and She especially watches over the poor and brings them what they need. As Orisha of love, Oshun is represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman. In some tales She is said to be a mermaid, with a fish's tail.
The Yorùbá clans inhabit parts of western central Africa, in present-day Nigeria. Oshun is the Goddess of the river of the same name, and She is especially worshipped in river-towns. During Her yearly festival, She is said to choose one or more women dancers to descend into (much like participants in Vodou ceremonies may be "mounted" or "possessed" by a Lwa). These women then take new names in honor of Oshun and are thereafter consulted as healers.
Oshun was taught divination with cowrie shells by Obatala, the first of the created Orishas, and then She brought the teaching to humans. She was at one time the wife of Shango, the Orisha of storms, as was Oya, the Orisha of the winds and tempests. Oshun is also said to be the mother of the birds or fishes.
With the African diaspora, Oshun was brought to the Americas, and adopted into the pantheons that branched out of the African traditions. In the Brazilian religion of Candomblé, which retains close ties with the Yorùbá religion, as well as in Cuban Santeriá, She is called Oxum. In Haitian Vodou She is an inspiration for Erzulie or Ezili, also a Deity of water and love.
Oshun, like the other Orishas, has a number associated with Her—five; a color—yellow or amber; and a metal—gold or bronze. The peacock and the vulture are sacred to Her. Offerings to Oshun include sweet things such as honey, mead, white wine, oranges, sweets, or pumpkins, as well as perfume.
Oshun in a reading indicates sweetness and good cheer, beauty and flowing joy.
Alternate spellings: Oxun, Osun, Oshoun, Oxum, Ochun.
Titles: Oshun Ana, of luxury and love; Oshun Telargo, as the modest one; Oshun Yeye Moro, as the coquette; Oshun Yeye Kari, "Mother of Sweetness"
Let the waters of your life run sweetly.