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Oxum – Goddess of Fresh Water and Diplomacy

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by DanFF

  • Attributes: Goddess of the fresh water of rivers, love, feminine power, beauty and wealth
  • Symbols: Crown, fan, mirror, bow and arrow
  • Place: Africa

Also called “Lady of the Gold”, Oxum is a female Orisha, daughter of Iemanjá and Oxalá. She is the most beautiful and vain Yorubá Goddess and she is also very generous and dignified. She is the owner of women’s fecundity and treats all her children and devotees as true jewels.

One of her most famous stories is how she got the gift of divination. Oxum wanted to know the secret of the game of shells that belonged to Exu, but he did not want to reveal it to her. Determined to learn, she went to the forest to find some sorceresses who taught her magic in exchange for offerings for every spell performed.

Once the deal was done, Oxum returned to Exu, closed her hand and challenged him to find out what she had between her fingers. When he lowered to see her hands better she blew a magic dust from that blinded him and made his eyes burn a lot. Exu screamed in pain and said; “I can not see anything, where are my shells?” Oxum, pretending to be concerned, answered, “Búzios? How many are they?” “Sixteen,” replied Exu, rubbing his eyes. “Oh, I found one, it’s big!” “It’s Okanran, give it to me.” “I found another one, it’s small!” “It’s Eta-Ogundá, come here …”

In this way she discovered all the secrets of the Búzios and Ifá, the orisha of the divination, decided to split this power between Exu and her, for her cunning and intelligence.

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Through the fresh water

So far from her native land, Oxum is also highly worshiped in Brazil in all Afro-Brazilian religions. People seek in her the help to solve problems of love, finance and also for protection during pregnancy.

She is associated with several “Nossas Senhoras” (like she was “faces” os the Virgin Mary) throughout Brazil. In Bahia she is considered as Nossa Senhora das Candeias or Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres. In the South of the country, she is often associated with Nossa Senhora da Conceição and in the Center-West and Southeast, she is associated with Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida ou as Nossa Senhora only.

Summoning Oxum

Being the Goddess of freshwater rivers, when you sit on the edge of a river or waterfall and harmonize with nature you can ask for her protection and blessing. If it is not possible, however, a small ritual can be done to please her and make your requests.

Necessary items:

  • 5 yellow candles
  • 5 white candles
  • Some copper or gold item (optional)
  • Container with water
  • Incense of lemon balm, chamomile or marigold (optional)

The best day of the week to do this ritual is Saturday, since traditionally is the day associated with Oxum. It should preferably be done during a Crescent Moon or a Full Moon so your requests do not wane.

Make a circle with the candles, alternating their colours, and in the middle of them place the container with water.

Light the candles and throw the gold or copper item in the water while making your request. You can ask for help in love, in financial problems, or you can ask for protection or even help and protection for pregnancy if you wish.

In the end, thank the Goddess and collect what was used. Discard the rest of the candles in running water and keep the gold or copper item as talisman to be used on a daily basis.

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