Oshumare: Orisha of the Rainbow and Transformation


His power is much deeper than many believe, owner of the snake and the rainbow, since, among his many functions, he is in charge of making life sustainable through atmospheric processes. He inseparably accompanies Shango, maintains the union between earth and heaven, and assists us to achieve prosperity.

Who is Oshumare?

Oshumare is a deity of an androgynous nature. She represents the duality between masculine and feminine. It is estimated that she comes from the land of Mahi in Dahomey territory. Therefore, it is believed that his father is Naná Burukú, and brother of Iroko and Babalu aye.

Its energy manifests itself in everything that bends and moves (even if it doesn't have feet). In the human body it lives in the abdomen, and in the parts that make the hand, arm, and foot move. In nature it lives at the foot of the palm.

Oshumare contributes to the communication between the two spheres of existence, that is, the superior (spiritual plane) and the inferior (earthly plane). He is credited with the leadership of the air and, consequently, the regency of some atmospheric phenomena.

This Orisha is the vital force, the change, the constant activity of the world in movement and a symbol of continuity and permanence.

Among its powers are: to direct the force and the elements that produce wind; and govern everything that is lengthened or prolonged. In the gestation of the human being it manifests itself through the umbilical cord through which it nourishes its energy.

How is this Orisha?

Orisha of the Rainbow

Oshumare is said to be the crown of Yemaya and servant of Chango. He is classified in this way due to his responsibility in the water cycle, being in charge of returning to the clouds the water that the monkey sends from the world through the rain. Specifically, he influences the evaporation phase. It should be noted that by being part of this cycle he demonstrates his relevance within the functioning of life and the survival of the beings of creation. If the water did not return to the clouds, life would end.

Oshumare's representative and messenger is the python or boa snake, whose name in Yoruba is "Ere." Their worship is such that in traditional practices their excrement was considered to have magical virtues that grant luck and wealth.

The icon that describes the Oshumare serpent represents it in a circular shape biting its own tail. This symbolizes the power of this Osha to maintain the balance of life and the Earth, avoiding its end.

In Brazil, Oshumare is identified with a male snake and Yewa with a female snake, which is why, in the practices of this region, these two Orishas are commonly associated.

Another interpretation of the spiritual nature of Oshumare, related to the snake, refers to the fact that its feminine part lives in heaven and is the one that guards the lightning stones that Shango sends to Earth, which is why it can be related to this phenomenon of nature. Regarding the male part of said snake, it is believed that it lives coiled under the Earth, carrying and supporting this enormous load throughout the universe. When it moves to sway the Earth shakes.

The Fon belief relates that the serpent (Oshumare) existed before the creation of the Earth. She was carrying the moon loaded in her mouth. From their movements the mountains were born, the elevations and fall of the planets. In some practices it is interpreted that Oshumare is a kind of very particular thief, since he takes from some to give to others. He also represents the very distant ancestors whose names have not been forgotten.

Other names by which this deity is known:

In Africa, in the territory occupied by the Fon, it was identified under the name: "Dan" and represents wealth. He helps Chango get back to heaven when he comes down to Earth in the form of rain. In the Fon culture, Oshumare seems to have a much more leading role than among the Yorubas themselves. It is also believed that each Orisha has its own Dan, its own nutrition that gives it life and maintains it.

The Ewe call him "Dan Ayido Wedo" or "Danbala Wedo."

You can read: Who is Oshun? Learn all about the divinity of Love

Oshumare Characteristics

Orisha Oshumare

odu isalaye

Oshumare descended to Earth in the Odu of Ifa Ejiogbe Oyekun. On the other hand, he also manifests through the diloggun in the Oshe Eyila sign.

Colors of Oshumare

In the rule of Osha and Ifa, its most representative colors are yellow and gold, this related to its power over fortune. It can also be related to the colors of the Orisha Oyá. Their necklaces (elekes) are made with 7 transparent beads interspersed with 11 yellow and 11 gold.

In ancestral Yoruba practices, its colors are blue (due to its feminine character) and red (due to its masculine character). The mixture of these colors brings the green hue to the rainbow.

Formerly, in the Dahomey land it was customary to make their elekes with blue beads called Shegi, and snake excrement known as Dammi. Interestingly, the value that was given to these beads is the same value that is given to gold today.

How is Oshumare received?

The foundation of this Orisha is usually reserved in a jar or receptacle that varies in its decoration, but it can be decorated with the colors of the rainbow or shades of gold or silver. Oshumare's tools usually have bracelets and coiled or stretched snakes whose number varies according to the current that delivers it.

Originally, the Fon mounted this foundation in two separate jars or containers. One of them crowned with small horns, which is considered masculine; and a simple one where the feminine energy of the Orisha rests.

Benefits of receiving the Orisha Oshumare?

Due to the powers that this Orisha has, its foundation attracts peace, balance, strength, evolution, recognition, respect, prosperity, fortune, changes, mobility and a wide capacity for mediumship due to its work as a guardian that balances the two planes of existence (earthly and spiritual).

What is asked of Oshumare?

Oshumare is asked to achieve the position for which we have worked, fortune, tranquility and harmony in all his affairs.

How do you greet this Saint?

«Ìbà se Aro Boboi. Oshumare Agede Gbe»


We respect the rainbow that glides over the firmament like a broad sword.

How is Oshumare cared for?

The followers of Oshumare in the lands of Fon, maintained that it is possible for Oshumare to be cared for through any offering made to the other Orishas as long as when offering it a little is splashed on the abdomen of the officiant, since it is believed that in that place dwells its energy.

Usually, they tend to serve like the rest of the Orisha with adimuses based on fruits, yams, corn, brandy, honey and other traditional ingredients.

How are the children of Oshumare?

It is not usual to find children of Oshumare in the Afro-Caribbean customs descendants of the Yoruba culture, however, regarding their children it is often said that they are distrustful, withdrawn, unconscious, wealthy, and very observant.

History of Oshumare

History of Oshumare

There are several stories about Oshumare, this time we will tell two patakis that tell about his legend in Yoruba land:

Oshumare was a very poor fortune teller and despised by all the people of his town. It is said that once Olofin was very ill and he had gone to all the fortune tellers. One by one they went to his palace, but none could determine what was the disease he suffered from, much less the cure.

Desperate Olofin asked his advisors if there was any fortune teller who had not examined him yet, to which they replied that only Oshumare was missing, but that he was very young and his knowledge was limited. However, this did not stop Olofin to send for him.

When he arrived at the palace, he saw him and immediately marked him with an ebo. All recommendations were followed to the letter. The next day Olofin woke up fully healed. In gratitude, he offered him many riches, which Oshumare gladly accepted and began to collect them to return to his house.

Seeing this, Olofin told him that it was better for him to stay by his side, because he had been the only one who had been able to cure him, despite the fact that all the fortune tellers who had seen him had great wisdom.

From that moment on, by order of Olofin, Ochumare stayed by his side, occupying the position of main fortune teller and he was only allowed to return to the world from time to time, {on the condition that he return to heaven that same day. That is why when the rainbow appears on Earth it disappears on the same day.

Pataki of Oshumare

It happened that Oshumare was a very wise and diligent Babalawo who worked as an advisor to Oni (the King). However, the King was not generous at all, despite paying him every week what he received was not enough to live on, so he and his family found themselves in misery. 

Oshumare's father was called: The owner of the brightly colored cloak, he was also a very wise fortune teller, but, he suffered from the same misfortune as his son, the people of the town do not respect him. Oshumare, very sad and hoping to improve his situation, went to consult Ifa asking him how he could become rich, respected, known and admired by all.

Ifa indicated the works that he should carry out. His sacrifice had to contain: a bronze knife, 4 doves, 4 bags of cowries. When Oshumare was preparing his ebo, the King sent for him, but he did not respond to the call, indicating that he was busy and that he would go after finishing his ceremonial. The King was very upset and called him negligent, and refused to pay him the usual dues.

Then, Ochumare received a message that Olokun, who was the King of a neighboring country, had sent him, who invited him to visit his palace to consult about the health of his son who was very ill, could not stand up, fell and fell. he rolled through the streets, he had so many mobility problems that he even burned himself with the candlelight from the bonfires when he tried to cook.

Oshumare went to Olokun's house and divined for him, and all his son's illnesses were cured. Olokun full of joy and gratitude gave him a blue suit, made with the finest fibers, he gave him many riches, slaves and a horse on which Oshumare returned to his town.

When the Oni realized the position that Oshumare now had, he felt very envious of King Olokun's generosity and decided to offer Oshumare a much finer red suit, accompanied by more wealth and valuables. That's how Oshumare became rich.

In those times Oshumare was not a friend of the rain personified, when the rain gathered in the clouds Oshumare waved his bronze knife and pointed it towards the sky as if scattering the clouds from one side to the other, and a rainbow appeared while the rain fled, then everyone shouted "Oshumare appeared", this made Oshumare very famous and respected within his town.

Some time later, Olofin began to suffer from sight and sent for Oshumare to examine him. He cured him and Olofin asked her to stay living with him, being his fortune teller and adviser. He also told her that he would allow her to return to Earth from time to time, but that she should always return to his side. That is why the rainbow comes out for a while and then disappears, symbolizing the arrival of prosperity, and in the same way wealth comes to people's lives.

Prayer or Prayer to Oshumare

«We pay respect to Oshumare, who rests in the sky and controls the rain that falls from it on the earth.

He reaches the mountain and breathes like the wind.

Father who prays in the heavenly courts for our development and who grants us long life.

Oshumare is patient but persevering.

He is extremely generous and never refuses to shake hands when his children need it. Ashe»

You can also read:

1 comment on “Oshumare”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Scroll to start