The Orishas are Olodumare’s eldest children and have been imbued with a portion of Her aché. They have been tasked with maintaining this Earth, watching over the affairs of humanity and each has dominion over a portion of nature. They are more akin to demi-Gods in the religion of Santería. Because Olodumare has moved on to create other universes, we do honor and praise Her but focus our worship around the Orishas and our relationship with them.
Prior to the slave trade, each major city in Yoruba land was a center of worship for a different Orisha. When the slaves were intermixed and forced to coexist outside of their homelands, the worship of these Orishas became blended as well, and their worship of multiple Orishas became the standard practice within Santería (La Regla Lucumí). As an evolution of our initiation ceremony, within Lucumí practice, new initiates are ordained into the sects of multiple orishas instead of just one as was done in Africa. Every person ordained as a priest or priestess receives the mysteries of Elegguá, Obatalá, Oshún, Yemayá and Changó when they are crowned. If their tutelary Orisha is a different one than those five, they will receive that Orisha as well (Aggayú or Oyá for example). While they do receive the mysteries of multiple Orishas, they are crowned with only their tutelary Orisha and act as a living representative of that Orisha‘s energy walking amongst us all.
Orisha: Ochún (Oshún)
Saint: Our Lady of Charity of Cobre
Colors: Yellow and amber
Description: Oshún is the Orisha of sweetness, love and beauty. She is the embodiment of feminine grace, and is a flirtatious coquette. She is a generous and loving mother, but she can also quickly turn bitter if she is wronged. Once she is soured, she is unforgiving and unbending. Oshún can accomplish miracles untold. She is the youngest of the orishas and is depicted as a flirtatious, mixed-race woman dressed in yellow, gazing in a mirror.