Oshun is the Yoruba goddess of Love and Beauty from West Africa. During the African Diaspora, when millions of Africans were transported to North America and the Caribbean Islands as slaves, she went with her people. Like them, she acquired new names: Oxum in Brazil, Ochun in Cuba, and Erzulie-Freda-Dahomey in Haiti. But everywhere she went she inspired sensuality, sexual attraction, love, fertility, and healing in her devotees.
Celebrated in Africa as the owner of the river, she is a water goddess. Her movements are graceful and fluid, her influence transformative. Her appreciation of fine clothing, jewelry, and decoration is inspired by her love of beauty. Her taste for honey reflects the sweetness of love that she inspires, and the healing she brings to those who cry out to her. Her favorite color is yellow.
But Oshun has courage as well as beauty. When the world was still young, the people tired of serving Olodumare, Lord of Heaven, and turned from him. To punish them, Olodumare withheld rain from the earth. A terrible drought afflicted the land, and the people were starving. They decided to beg for forgiveness. But Olodumare's kingdom in heaven was so high above them, that none of the birds they sent to plead for mercy reached him.
Oshun, disguised as a beautiful peacock, offered to make the journey. Everyone laughed. How could such a proud, pampered creature make a flight that had defeated their strongest birds? Desperation forced them to accept her offer.
Oshun flew toward the sun where Olodumare lived. As she drew closer, its heat seared the crown off her head, and burned her lovely feathers black. By the time she reached Olodumare, her beauty had perished. Bald, stooped, hunchbacked with pain, she had turned into an ugly vulture.
Olodumare admired her spirit. He healed her wounds, and sent her back to Earth with rain. He named her "honored Messenger of the House of Olodumare."
Another myth tells how Oshun danced to draw Ogun, the fierce blacksmith who helped create the World, out from his retreat in the forest. The sweetness of the honey she smeared on his lips as he came out to watch her, and the beauty of her body, induced him to return to the work of creation.
Oshun's unique combination of beauty, love and courage, has empowered millions. Her dancing soul and bold, selfless, heart will energize and renew you. (Story on back of card.)
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