Osun or Ozun: The vigilant Orisha of Santeria

Osun or Ozun is the Orisha who never sleeps. Guardian of our destiny par excellence. Keeper of the word and protector of the home. A fundamental part of the group known as «the warriors».

Who is Osun?

This Deity belongs to the Yoruba pantheon. He is the son of the Orisha Obatala and the Osha Yemú. He is considered an «Oddé» (warrior), he works together with Eleguá, Oggún and Oshosi.

Among his functions, he stands out that he is a special messenger from Olofin. His responsibility within the balance of the physical and spiritual world is very relevant, since he is attributed the custody and vigilance of the practitioners of the Yoruba religion. Live at the top to be able to visualize everything that may happen and warn in time to prevent the catastrophe.

It is a symbol of the ancestral spirit that merges with the individual through his lineage, thus being able to guide, warn and protect him. Normally its foundation is from the first Orishas and Oshas that the initiates receive.

What is Osun?

This Orisha represents the energy that keeps the human being standing on earth, synonymous with life. That is why when your foundation for some reason falls or lies down, it is considered a bad omen. Indeed, when its owner passes away, the receptacle of this Orisha falls down. It is there where the delicacy of this foundation lies, therefore, any phenomenon that occurs with it should not be overlooked, since it may be evidence of some warning that your spirituality wishes to carry out.

Characteristics of the Orisha Ozun

Between her CARACTERISTICS We can highlight that Osun has a very special relationship with Orunmila, becoming his staff. This relationship has allowed Osun to obtain the qualities of premonition that characterize him.

Osun's number

His number is 8 and all its multiples, due to its relationship with the Orisha Obatala. Osun day It is celebrated on June 24 motivated by the customs inherited from Afro-Cuban syncretism.  

Ozun's Receptacle

Its foundation sits in a sealed cup made of silver metal. On its cover it usually has the image of a rooster, in some cases it may have the figure of a dove, a dog, a lightning bolt, among other things. That image may vary if your foundation is accompanying another Orisha. Inside that cup is incorporated a secret charge.

  • It has no additional attributes.
  • It does not use snail hands.
  • It does not have necklaces or elekes.

Ozun colors

Its color is White in allegory of Obatala.

History of Osun

Osun - Ozun Oshaeifa.com

It happened that Elegua, Oggun and Osun lived in their father's house Obatala. As Elegua and Oggun were very unruly, Obatala gave all the responsibility of the home to Osun, since he was the only one who enjoyed their trust. His brothers began to envy him and watched him to harm him, planning a way to make Osun lose Obatala's trust.

One day when Osun fell asleep, Elegua and Ogun stole Obatala's favorite white goat, killed it, and ate it. Then, they took the blood and remains of the goat and smeared Osun's mouth and clothes without him noticing.

Upon arriving home, Obatala immediately noticed the absence of his goat, he began to look for her everywhere until he reached Elegua and Ogun, whom he asked if they knew anything about it. They replied, “Baba, we don't know what happened to his goat, but Osun got drunk, he fell asleep and his mouth is full of blood. It seems that he has eaten it.

Ozun is condemned to always stand

Obatala immediately questioned Osun, who was unaware of the situation and swore not to have eaten the goat despite being full of blood. Obatala in his wisdom prepared a special cascarilla powder and blew it all over the place, discovering the footsteps of Elegua and Oggun, understanding the betrayal they had done to his brother Osun.

Even so, the whole situation bothered Obatala a lot, since Osun's duty was to be attentive to everything that happened in the house, therefore, Osun agreed with Obatala that he would stay awake forever, standing, and vigilant of what that it happened in the house and that the maiden would never eat goat.

Osun in Santeria

This Orisha is not crowned directly or goes to the head of anyone. It also has no roads. It can be received by aleyos, iworos, and Babalawos. It is one of the first deities to be received.

Who delivers Osun?

The power to deliver the foundation of this Orisha is held by the Babalawos, since they are the ones authorized to elaborate the secret cargo based on which its receptacle is configured.

Below we reflect a pataki of the sign Oyekun Iwori where he supports that the Babalawos are the priests who have the power to deliver this Orisha.

Osun in gratitude remained honoring Orúnmila

In this way, Osun was sterile and lonely and he wanted to have children and company, so he went to Oyeye Awó Iwori's house, which Osode did and saw this Ifá and said: For you to be born a child, you have to give a white goat to Obatalá, goat to Orúnmila and goat to Oyá and you also have to light 16 lamps of cocoa butter to the spirits of Oduduwa until your child is born.

Osun gave the goat to Obatalá, the goat to Orúnmila and the goat to Oyá and then he lit the 16 cocoa butter lamps to Oduduwa and Oyeye Awó Iwori told him: -They cannot be turned off until your son is born, but to that he himself does not die at birth, you have to give him 16
white pigeons to Oduduwa.

Some time later, Osun had a son and sacrificed the 16 pigeons to Oduduwa, then he continued to have children who gradually populated the Land of the Orishas. OSUN being happy, he said: -Everything that Ifá told me has been done and to honor him I will give all my children to Oyeye Awó Iwori, so that he can consecrate them in Ifá.

Ozun did this and also gave Oyeye Awó Iwori a black goat, two black chickens and 16 white pigeons to Olofin and a lot of money. After the sons of Osun were consecrated in Ifá, they founded their town which they gave the name of Oshe Osun Nile, which Orúnmila led.

Note: Here he explains why Osun is only consecrated by Awó and also that Osun's legitimate son must perform secret ceremonies of this Orisha and direct Ifá is made to him.

How is Osun cared for?

This is an Orisha that must always be kept clean, without traces of dirt, dust and much less blood. Its receptacle is usually kept full of powdered husk that is offered in the company of cocoa butter.

Between the adimuses that can be offered to Osun we have:

  • Cooked yam, shredded, in balls or buns.
  • Face bean tamales.
  • Face bean tamales with shell.
  • Roasted and chopped corn.
  • Fried fish (snapper).
  • Bread and milk.
  • Coconuts, grapes and all kinds of fruits.

The animals that are sacrificed to him are: pigeons, and the same animals that are offered to the warrior Orishas.

Osun in the Catholic Religion (Syncretism)

The Yorubas brought to Cuba syncretized Osun with San Juan Bautista. It is interesting to note that this Catholic saint has given rise to many pagan rites and traditions in various religious cultures. This is mainly due to the date of its celebration which corresponds to June 24 and its proximity to the summer solstice.

Let us remember that in many ancient cultures and others a little more contemporary, spiritual practices were ruled by the Sun, among other stars. This gives rise to the rituals of the eve and celebrations of Saint John's Day, since it is on that date when the star king shines with greater force, being the reason for the festival.

From there, the allegorical festivals to this saint have been widely known and widely known worldwide, hiding other rituals of various natures. For example, those derived from syncretism by the Yorubas brought to Cuba.

Now, when we speak of John the Baptist as a Catholic symbol, we find a character who carried out important actions in preparation for the arrival of Jesus. In addition, he has the honor of having been chosen to perform the baptism of "Son of Man", that is, of the savior.

Such dressing in some way demonstrates the level of trust placed in John the Baptist, being also a kind of watchman for the steps of the messiah. These special characteristics of respect and solemnity were what prompted the Yoruba to relate this spirituality to that of their Orisha Osun.

Osun Herbs

Osun shares the herbs used by Obatala: atiponlá or tostón, white piglet or pyre, dormidera, white aguinaldo, barberry, aguedita, white basil, cotton, guanaba, rice, almond tree, mugwort, bell, canutillo, coralillo blanco, diamela, custard apple, scourer, heartthrob by day, earth jasmine, marigold, aknot, clover, prickly pear, yagruma, milky grass.

Benefits of receiving Osun?

This is an Orisha that is received to attract stability and the anchoring of life during transit on earth. It provides a connection with ancestral spiritualities and with our destiny on earth. Therefore, that established bond allows that Deity to remain vigilant and warn us of adverse situations that we could avoid in our lives.

What is asked of Osun?

The Orisha Ozun is primarily asked for stability and strength to stand firm and stand up to any situation that comes our way. In addition, you may be asked for your help in the following situations:

  • At times when health problems are suffered.
  • For protection against setbacks.
  • For spiritual channeling.
  • Faced with spiritual wars.
  • Faced with difficulties to prosper or find the right way to connect with our destiny.
  • When we lack the strength at the mental level to get out of the vicissitudes.
  • To protect us from unknown situations or enemies.

Pataki by Ozun

This pataki from Yoruba mythology tells that Osun lived with Olofin. She was his secretary and knew all his secrets. Olofin was Awó and when the aleyos arrived, he was the one who warned.

Not far from there, OGUN saw how OLOFIN lived and set out to learn its secrets. One day he made a very large iron board, because he believed that being bigger was more valuable. But I couldn't handle him. Eshu was going on and Ogún called him and asked him how olofin lived. Eshu replied that no one knew how he lived. Ogun told him: -I am a friend of Osun and he will tell me for good.

He took an ax and a machete and left for OLOFIN's house. When he saw Osun, he said: Come here. And he asked him: How does Olofin live, it is true that he has a wife. Ozun replied: Olofin's wife is a mummy that he has inside his house and has his hours to see her.

After six in the afternoon he does not receive anyone. Now he is with her. Ogun, very happy, said goodbye to Osun and thanked him.

The next day, Ogún took a turn to meet Olofin and when he was in front of him, he told him everything he knew.

Olofin was astonished to hear everything Oggun knew, but he knew that the only one who knew his secrets because of the privilege he had was Ozun. Then, Olofin called Osun. This one came crestfallen; He required it and said to him: Why have you done this? Osun knelt down and asked for forgiveness.

Then Olofin said to him: -You will not lose your prestige, but you will live apart from others. And pointing with his left hand he said: You can never speak.

Osun's Prayer: Prayer to the Watchful Spirit

I salute and praise the mighty vigilant spirit.

I invoke your protection today and always.

Father Osun, for those privileges that you have granted to so many, freeing them from danger, today I implore you to take care of my path.

I beg you to deign to favor me in all my needs with your strength and your light.

May you radiate your spiritual energy to get me going and not faint before my enemies.

I invoke your help to see clearly what the path holds for me and to make the most appropriate decisions to fulfill my destiny.

Osun, vigilant spirit, have pity on me anguish, in you I place my hopes.

You who came out of the trap and slander, in the same way, do not let me be an easy prey for my detractors. May my name never be stained and my legs never faint. Ashe.

Work with Osun for health

When it is desired to help the health of the initiates, a dove will be given to this Orisha that will be immolated from the head of the person concerned. After that, a head prayer will be performed and the foundation of the Orisha will be left (after cleaning accordingly) under the person's bed until they are better. This work must be performed by an Iworo or Babalawo with full knowledge of the corresponding prayers and songs for its performance.

Ozun quote

Osun says: "Do not fear the traitor who stalks you from behind, I am always vigilant to protect your way."

Learn more about the Santeria warriors

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