February 2020 brings the energies of attraction, sensuality, creativity, and preparation for the blossoming of Spring. This month, it is the Orisha Goddess Oshun who offers Her passion and laughter to inspire us to great heights of love.
Oshun ( pronounced "Oh-Shoon") is an Orisha, or a deity of the Yoruba people of Africa, specifically Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. The Yoruban religious beliefs and worship of the Orishas spread from Africa to the New World via the Atlantic slave trade, and formed the foundation of Santeria, Voudoun, and a host of other Afro-Caribbean and Creole spiritualities. However, you do not have to be an ordained practitioner of Afro-Caribbean spirituality in order to work with or pay honor to Oshun. Over time, worship of Oshun and the other Orishas has spread to multiple cultural and spiritual disciplines, including Goddess spirituality as a Divine Feminine deity and archetype.
As the Orisha Goddess of sensuality, love, beauty, femininity, and joy, Oshun reigns over all things which bring pleasure and inspire passion and fills the world with that energy. Called the Honey Goddess, She is often compared to the Goddesses Aphrodite, Venus, and Ishtar; while these comparisons are valid, Oshun’s influence and temperament cast a wider net. She is the embodiment of living joyfully and orgasmically in every aspect of being. She is the power of attraction, of lusciousness, of wide swinging hips and full red lips - but Oshun also teaches the art of embracing sensuality in every aspect of life, including but not limited to our homes, our diets, our careers, and our sense of self.
Often referred to as the Goddess of Sweet Waters, Her name means “source” and She rules the rivers, streams, and fresh waters of the world, making her the preserver of human, animal, and plant life. The waters of our blood and womb represent the passion and natural creativity that is Her essence. As the source of feminine power and ingenuity, Her energy is founded in the golden sweetness of being human: all the exciting, love-filled things and experiences that make our lives worth living.
Like the river, Oshun is soft and hard simultaneously, flowing with the predetermined path but forceful enough to create her own trail. She finds the joy and happiness in every activity she participates in – even in the expression of her anger and disappointment. Oshun is the only Orisha associated with both the healing and hexing sides of sorcery and witchcraft, and in many spiritualities She acts as patroness to female witches as well as pleasure priestesses.
So much of Oshun's mythology tells of Her free spirit, Her penchant for ignoring rules, and Her sensual prowess. Nearly every story speaks of Her beauty, how She demands respect and honor for it, and Her desire to live the best, most pleasurable life possible. However, these stories also tell of Her love for Her daughters and worshipers, and how She desires to see us happy and flourishing as well. She wants us to express ourselves in laughter, in dance, in beauty, in material treasures, and to reap the benefits of love love love.
Oshun is depicted in a variety of ways, but you will most often see Her portrayed as a beautiful dark skinned woman, dressed in yellow and gold, with an hourglass figure. She is also seen and worshiped as an attractive mixed-race woman with long hair, carrying a fan and a mirror (the symbols of femininity).
Also Known As: Oshun, Osun, Ochun, Oxum, Yeye
Areas of influence: love, romance, sensuality, beauty, sexuality, attraction, protection, healing, intimacy, fertility, pregnancy, passion, desire, creativity, witchcraft, divination, wishes, confidence, money, treasures
Colors: Yellow (all shades), gold, orange, blue, white, green
Sacred Places: rivers, streams, sandy shores, sunflower fields
Scents: amber, honey, honeysuckle, jasmine, clove, orange, cinnamon, patchouli
Crystals: citrine, yellow obsidian, carnelian, garnet, honey calcite, golden calcite, sunstone, quartz, lemon quartz
Animals: freshwater fish, parrots, tropical birds, bees, peacocks, vultures, butterflies, crocodiles
Tools/Symbols: brass, copper, gold, fans, mirrors, perfumes, lotions, bracelets, river stones, some seashells, cowrie shells
Offerings: honey, cowrie shells, 5 copper pennies, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, collard greens, sweet foods, sunflowers, pastries, cakes, champagne, wine.
Syncretized Catholic Saint: La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady of Charity)
Enchanted: The Magick of Oshun - an ecourse with Priestess Brandi Auset
Oshun's Daughters: The Search for Womanhood in the Americas by Vanessa K. Valdés
Osun Across the Waters : A Yoruba Goddess in Africa and the Americas by Joseph M. Murphy
Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power, and Femininity by Diedre L. Badejo
Sacred Sexuality: A Manual for Living Bliss by Michael Mirdad
Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger
The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships by Sobonfu Some (highly recommended)
You Look Like Something Blooming by India Ame’ye (highly recommended)
FEBRUARY 9th 2020: FULL MOON IN LEO
In a month already full of romantic, sensual energy, the Full Moon in Leo adds an extra “roar” to your loves, desires, and passions. It’s time to go get it! This lunar cycle offers opportunities for socializing and connection, as well as the right kind of self-centeredness: being grounded and centered in your power, beauty, and appeal. Your instincts will be highly honed this week, so trust your decisions when it comes to what sparks your interest. Whether your attention is on your love life, your sexuality, or your creativity, go into your activities with confidence and the knowledge that the Full Moon’s energy is ardently supporting you.
This is a fortuitous week for connecting with the sensual and creative aspects of the Goddess Oshun’s energy. Beauty rituals, prosperity spells, and love/sex magick will all have a powerful effect when worked this week with Oshun in mind.
FEBRUARY 23rd 2020: NEW MOON IN PISCES
This lunar phase is centered in the dark mysteries of elemental water, triggering the emotions, the highest intuition, and a need to understand. New Moon in Pisces is actively working to transform the ebb into flow by helping to you gently discover the blockages in your life. Allow yourself to tap into the feelings you keep hidden and the beliefs that no longer serve you. Dive deep, and use your spiritual practices to purge your heart and mind of the things which stand in the way of your happiness. What old loves do you need to mourn and release? What insecurities do you need to overcome? What experience or situation in your life needs a do-over? Meditate, get a divination, go to a drum circle.
Remember, Oshun is the Goddess of Sweet Waters, and Pisces energy can heighten your work with Her as well as the positive benefits of your purge. Aligning with Oshun during this time can not only connect you with your deepest heart, but the Honey Goddess will guide you to release the darkness in your life that blocks the light.