Oshun Goddess of Africa has her story rooted in Yoruba traditional religion as one of the mermaid deities and she controls the vast river Osun in Nigeria.
Oshun Goddess of Africa is still very active considering the level of devotees which span beyond Osun State (a state in Nigeria named after her) to other race of people like African Americans, Caucasian Americans, Hispanics, Jamaicans and Caribbeans
Oshun Goddess of Africa is probably as popular as other goddess found in various mythologies around the world but she is definitely more celebrated than most and yet has several myths or facts surrounding her that you probably don’t know.
1. Oshun Goddess made contact with first human 700 years back
Many believed everything about Oshun Goddess of Africa is a myth but ask any ordinary folk in Osun State Nigeria, whether women weaving Aso-Oke or Just a passer by. They will tell you, she’s more than a myth. She is definitely real.
Legend has it that she’s been living in our world but maybe in another dimension for thousands of years until about 700 years ago when she made contact with a hunter, Olutimehin, in Osogbo during one of his hunting expedition. At this meeting, there was a pact made between the hunter and the goddess. Pacts to bless, protect and nurture him and his generation should he choose to be revering her which he did and the generations after him even till today.
Oshun Goddess of Africa following through with her own side of the pact has helped the Yoruba race ended one of her ethnic civil war with the Fulani’s single handedly.
2. Oshun Goddess has lived on earth before during the reign of deities
Ile-Ife is the spiritual and ancestral home of Yoruba race and there was a time in the history when all the pantheon gods and goddesses found in the Yoruba mythology lives in the realm of men and control their affairs according to Olodumare’s (the Supreme Being) instruction. This era was referred to by the Yoruba’s as Ife-Oodaye.
A version of Yoruba legend explained that Oshun goddess of Africa lived in Ile Ife during this era referenced and married to Orunmila, the deity in charge of wisdom and divination, and gave birth to a son named Obatala.
Another version of Yoruba legend also claimed that, Oshun goddess of Africa exist in human form and married to Shango along with other two wives, Oya and Oba, who are both deities in Yoruba land.
3. Established one of the most popular divination system in the world
Oshun goddess of Africa has her reputation spanned across the globe especially due to her easy divination system (Eerindinlogun or dilogun as known by the Santeria practitioners) which she acquired while she was married to Orunmila as explained in our previous entry.
A story as contained in ifa rendition “Ose-Otura” explained that Orunmila gave her this tool as a means of survival while he’s away on one of his many divination assignments outside their domain.
Although, a tool with less accuracy when compared to other original divination tools in Yoruba traditional religion such as Ikin, Opele and so on. Oshun goddess of Africa divination tool, Eerindinlogun, is probably more commonly used by the people around the world both by the initiates and non-initiates due to it easy of understanding.
4. Oshun Goddess of Africa could be benevolent or malevolent
Depending on the relationship surrounding your encounter with Oshun goddess, she could be benevolent or malevolent. In the diaspora, Oshun goddess might be known to them as a benevolent goddess who blesses you with wealth, sexuality and other things you desired.
But Yoruba people, especially those living in motherland, know better. A deep research will tell you that the well-loved goddess is not always kind hearted as she’s presumed.
Several people have had encounter with her and became blessed or doomed. On the account of people who became doomed, they either disrespect her by bathing in her water at dusk, pee or defecate inside the water or they are children “gotten” from Oshun goddess but whose parent refuse to honor their pact.
In such case they either get drowned in the river or meet some sort of accident believed to be handwork of the river goddess
5. Does not have its river source in Osun State as believed by many
To the people in diaspora who believed in Oshun goddess of Africa, she has her river source in the state named after her in Nigeria. But that story may not be completely through.
As noted in the first entry on this list, Oshun goddess made encounter with first human, a brave hunter and the founder of Osogbo city in Nigeria.
On the further trace of this river, it source is located in Ekiti where it is still worshiped till today although not in an elaborate way like annual Oshun Osogbo festival hosted in Osogbo.