Oshun (known as Ochún or Oxúm in Latin America) also spelled Ọṣun, is an orisha, a spirit, a deity, or a goddess that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Ifá and Yoruba religions. She is one of the most popular and venerated orishas. Oshun is the deity of the river and fresh water, luxury and pleasure, sexuality and fertility, and beauty and love. She is connected to destiny and divination.
During the life of the mortal Oshun, she served as princess consort to King Shango of Oyo.
Following her posthumous deification, she was admitted to the Yoruba pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.
She is the patron saint of the Osun River in Nigeria, which bears her name. The river has its source in Ekiti State, in the west of Nigeria, and passes through the city of Oshogbo, where Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, the principal sanctuary of the deity, is located. Oshun is honored at the Osun-Osogbo Festival, a two-week-long annual festival that usually takes place in August, at the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove on the banks of the river.
Oshun is syncretized with Our Lady of Charity, patron saint of Cuba, and Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil. In Trinidad she is associated with St. Philomena and the Hindu deity Ganga Mai or Mother Ganges

Primordial Oshun

According to the Ifa Literary Corpus in Ose Otura, Ọṣun was the only female Irunmole (primordial spirit) sent to create the world by Olodumare. The other spirits that were sent began the work and ignored Ọṣun. Ọṣun gathered the women together and protested the blatant disrespect by forming Iyami Aje, a band of women endowed with special power. The male spirits failed miserably and when they inquired of Olodumare why they weren't succeeding, Olodumare informed them that nothing can be done with out Ọṣun. Anything they attempt to do without women will fail. The male Irunmole then hurried to beg Ọṣun to join them.

Mortal Oshun

While still a mortal, Oshun is said to have gone to a drum festival one day and to have fallen in love with Shango. Since that day, Shango has been married to Oba, Oya, and Oshun, though Oshun is said to be his great wife. Other stanzas in the Ifa Literary Corpus say that she was also married to Orunmila, the Orisha of Wisdom and Divination.

Ceremonies and Ritual Colors

Oshun is the orisha of the river. Her devotees leave her offerings and perform ceremonies at bodies of fresh water such as rivers, streams and canals.
She is associated with the colours gold/deep yellow in most of the diaspora and in Nigeria, white, yellow and green. In Trinidad, she is associated with the colour pink.


The abèbè is the ritual object most associated with Ọṣun. The abèbè is a fan in circular form. In Afro-Brazilian religion, it is made of brass or gold, sometimes with a mirror in the center. The abèbè (or abebé in Portuguese) is used in the rituals of Candomblé, Xangô do Nordeste, Xambá, Batuque, and Omolokô



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