By Permission of Photographer

""Odidere" or African Grey parrot with sacred tail feathers. Courtesy of Google Images www. 

                                    

                          Oshoosi:  An Affirmation 

                                                       by Alashe Michael Oshoosi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *                                                                                             Registered © Michael Oshoosi, 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                    All Rights Reserved

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                 "They gossip about the dead, those alive should not be surprised.

                                  Love your neighbors from your heart, not from your face."

                                                                                                                                                                                     --Dagbamba Proverb

                                                                                                                                                                             * 

                                                                                                                                                                           (from "Drum Damba," 1990)

 

The spirit of the orisha Oshoosi (prn. Aw-Shaw-Aw-See,  or 0-Shu-Osi)  is always to be found among us: found in his eleguns and his ofo ashe--the ones he possesses and in his sacred speech; in his otans--the stones of his earthly existence--in  his diloguns  or caracoles, i.e., in the shells through which  he reproduces  and expresses himself; at his altars and the thrones, the ojo'run, of his initiates, in his flecha(s)--his bow and arrow sets-- and, finally, in the ori(s) of his devotees,  i.e., in their intelligence and destinies. (See page in this website called "An- cestor Ritual" for explication of the concept of "ori").

 

We see what he wants us to see, we hear only that which he wants us to hear. Some believe that he is elusive, a recluse of the forest (and  that only). Often  in  vain,  they look for his mountain  but  fail to  find  it; they look for his river and fail to find it. They look in his forests and do not see him. And they wait by the riverbank, but do not sense his presence. In the evening sky, and for nine months a year--the exact period of reincarnated gestation--his is the largest visible constellation. Thus each night in beholding Ori-on they look  right at  him, but do not  realize that "Orion," by analogy, is he; i.e., the "ori" in "Orion" is like a "Horus" of  Osiris and of Oshoosi. And  the greatest paradox  of all:  while they live in metropolitan society, never  expecting  to find him there, they do not realize that civilization and society  are themselves his creations. 

                                                                                                     *

How can you know him? By his legendary stories, his patakis? Perhaps. By his hunter's poetic ijala chants? Perhaps. Oshoosi is slow, self-contained, and patient like his avatar the turtle. But he is also swift, strong and of good character like his avatar the deer. And, finally, he is deadly in his silent attack, like his avatar the falcon

--the direct flight of the winged arrow. Oshoosi,  like the Falcon (Hawk) God  of  Horus--is a master of camou- flage, wizardry,  magic,  medicine, snares, and  the airborne attack--is  also at home in the water, on the river- bank, in the forest, on the mountain tops with gods of the highest places, as well as  in the skies. Everyone knows that! He stalks and ambushes quarry in their very dreams.

                                                                                                                                        *

Oshoosi is a hunter who provides a variety of animal, plant and natural resources; but they are not always the same thing each time. And, as a wizard ("osho"), Oshoosi priests often become babalawos (in order to receive and apply the arts of counter-sorcery--"Osayin"--which, itself, is Yoruba brujeria).

                                                                                                        *

The Etymology of the Term "Oshoosi" (or "Ochosi" or "Oshosi")

                                                                                                   *

"Oso" (prn. Osho) means 'camouflaged pit,' and "Osi" to increase (or capture) is how one may look at the "name of this orisha. "Oson," or bow string, implying the ability to "capture at  a  distance."(3)  Also, a version of "oso" means "wizard" or "magician, and "sise" (prn. she-shay) means "to work."  "Osho-sise" there- fore means the "working wizard" or "left-handed working wizard." Similarly, "Osho wu si" ("Osho the famous one").

                                                                                                        *     

Oshoosi's name in Yoruba signifies the mastery of spirituality and stealth: "Osho" means wizard and "osi"

means "left" or "left-handed"; signifying "invisible sprituality" and functionality (the "left hand" being the

hand of sacred work Yoruba religion).  Accordingly, Oshoosi is the only orisha in the pantheon that can "shape

shift"--become an animal--and astral travel ; especially in regard to the ability to forage and hunt his quarry

--animal or man--at night (a great level of stature is accorded to night hunters in Africa). Please see the treat-

ise on this website  entitled "Oshoosi Details" on the next web page, for other iterations of the name "Osho-osi" in Yoruba as well as his oriki names (nicknames).

                                                                                                       *

The Metaphorical Physics of Oshoosi   

                                                                                                   *                                                                

The nexus of these concepts can be explained this way:  Oshoosi is connected to insight and a great fund of

knowledge about nature. The invisible world to which Oshoosi uniquely has access to is divided into Okun, the "heaven" or "invisible world of darkness below," where there is no light as we know it. By contrast, there is the world of Orun. Orun is the "heaven" or (ionized plasma) "firmament above" with all forms of light and energy, including plasmic discharges that we call "lightning" (when seen in the Earth's atmosphere)--as well as the freq- uencies of light that we cannot see normally. Oshoosi can "see" into these invisible realms as only wizards can do. And for this reason the ashe of Oshoosi is good for determining whose is lying and who is telling the truth.  One of the reasons that the deer is an avatar of "Ochosi" in the Cuban Yoruba tradition of Santeria-Lucumi is because this animal can "see" light and images in the ultra-violet spectrum of light that humans cannot. Other non-human animals can do so as well.

                                                                                                                                         *

"Genies" (ebora)  in  African  culture  can  also  give  guidance  into  these  areas  of  invisible light even though the light they see and reflect can be quite "base" or crude. But an Oshoosi elegun----one who is possessed by Oshoosi--can travel (i.e., see into) these otherwise "invisible" areas of Okun and Orun as well.  Finding a straight path may be something like traveling through a "worm hole" since astral travel has to contend with the fact that, at a cosmic level, "straight" may be quite "curvy" or indirect to us since light, mass, gravity, etc. are all "warped" (or bent) and wavy--even here on earth as we can--but usually do not--see.  In this fashion the ashe of Oshoosi includes the mastery  of the calculus of archery as  this orisha's arrows never miss their targets even if they have to go around corners or through "warps" to arrive at them; even while their flight paths may appear to be "straight" to us.

                                                                                                    *  

[Indeed, as an adherent to "EU" theory--the Electric Universe theory and its variant called plasma universe theory of cosmology (as contrasted to a "gravity-based" theory of cosmic functioning based on Newton and Einstein)--I believe that Oshoosi's rooting in the olodu (story of) Irosun--like  Shango  and  his thunderbolt's rooting  in  this "olodu "--aids his adherents in comprehending the electrical and plasmic laws of the universe at their absolutely deepest levels. Please see my comments on the olodu Irosun, immediately below, and watch https://www.you  tube. com/watch?v=5AUA7XS0TvA for an expose on "EU" theory and its relevance to cultural antiquity].

                                                                                                                                  *

Thus Oshoosi's spirit can see the "hidden" curves of space-time and find a "worm hole" in space and in con- ceptualizations  to get to a problem's most "direct" solution.  The ashe of Oshoosi includes the mastery of archery, bows and arrows. In essence, this is why in Yoruba religion Oshoosi is associated with the sacred oral texts (odus) of "Eji-oko" or "Oyekun" (notice the "okun" in this), on the one hand, and "Irosun" on the other; as these odus deal with the "invisible" dimensions of humanity's involvement with nat- ure. Oshoosi is the "scout" or guide that can navigate these dimensions in the astral travel of "shape- shifting," e.g., disapear- ing into a tree or animal, or sleep (sun).  [Please see reference to Sekhemu, in the End Notes below, for a re-statement of these ideas].(8)  

                                                                                                                                    *

Oshoosi's three methods for producing illusions are these: (1) "masquerade" (where the being--predator, prey, or observer--can be seen by others but looks like something else), (2) "crypsis, " (where the being blends into the background such that it cannot be "seen" at all, though it is there) and (3) "mimicry" (where the being can be seen but mimics another kind of animal so as to fool an observer).                                         

                                                                                                                                     *

           An  Aside:  [For  those  who  have  familiarity  with  the odus  of  Ifa (Yoruba, Santeria-Lucumi, etc.

           religion) you will remember that the olodu "eji oko" or "oyeku"--where Oshoosi is really prominent--

              has a saying that goes:"an arrow between brothers." This refers to the opposite-complimentarity

              of Eji Oko, on the one hand, and Eji Ogbe, on the other. The orisha Oshoosi  is probably involved in                           mediating the relationship--which is not, except in a formal sense--about conflict; it is about the                               dialectics of "full twilight,  (Oyeku)" considered first, and "full light" (Eji Ogbe), considered next.]

                                                                                                     *

In the Ifa-Yoruba religion, including the Cuban Santeria-Lucumi version of it, in the sacred text or odu called Irosun, " Oshoosi," the archetype analogue of Orion, also "speaks." It is this odu,  Irosun , that, among other things, deals with the underlying laws, necessities, hidden wealth, and the traps of orun, okun and the middle-space  in-between them that we call "civilization(s)."  

                                                                                                                                  *

           An Aside: [For those who have familiarity with the odus of Ifa (Yoruba, Santeria-Lucumi,   etc. relig                         ion)  you will remember that Irosun is, like all odus, an orisha too. As such, his birth was the result 

           of conception amid  the red blood-shot-eyes of treachery and rape: His mother was ravaged in her 

           sleep ("sun" in irosun) = "sleep").   And he was conceived. Hence, on the negative and diminishing

           side of existence (ibi or "osogbo" ) lies his association  with  redness, eyes, traps,  and bloody trea-                           hery but, on the postive ire side ( the expansive good fortune side), Irosun connotes deep insight 

           into and understanding of the unfathomable, the opague, or the inscrutible sides of existence

           (okun).

                                                                                                        *

                                                     "No one knows what lies at the bottom of the sea."

                                                                                                         *

Now, back to Oshoosi !

                                                                                                                                   *                                            

Oshoosi is also learned and dapper and dressed in his " gown of beads"; an urbane sophisticate of impec- cable taste--an attribute that also arises from odu Irosun. Favoring lavender and blue, teal and amber, and gold--he (or she) is a hunter in the city and a guardian master of its nights!  In rural settings his clothing traditionally consists of cloths, beads, hides: leopard skins, deer skins, amulets and so on. His beads often include tiger's eye,amber, and gold, as well as the black-green-red beads that go into the end-segements of the sacred jew- elry of all Santeria-Lucumi guerreros (warriors) or, inYoruba, "ajaguns" (dog fighters) or "ologuns" (owners or chiefs of war) orishas.

                                                                                                       *

What can you make of such an orisha? Listen carefully to his silence, and reflect on his legacy. Paraphrased here, a legendary story like this one is told in Cuba; though in many variations. This one from Cultos Afro- cubanos:  Regla Ocha, Yosuka Publ., Cuba:

                                                                                                       *

Apatakis,  Patakis or Mythic Legends of Oshoosi and the Birth ofJustice In to the World

                                                                                                                                    *

'Olofi' (another Yoruba name for 'God-Almighty) asked Orunmila (the master god of divination) to hunt a quail for him. As this tasty little bird is very elusive, Orunmila asked a variety of hunters to help. None had luck. Then he asked Oshoosi  to help, and he did  so successfully. He left the bird  in the care of  his mother and  went to  fetch Orunmila. When they returned, they found the bird missing, and his mother --not being there at the time--gave no explanation. Again, Oshoosi went on the hunt. And again he was successful in capturing a quail. This time he carried Orunmila with him. Together they presented bird to Olofi,and Olofi gave Oshoosi the title of 'greatest among the hunters.' Oshoosi, for his part, had not forgotten the original theft of the first quail and, in anger, shot an arrow into the sky with the curse that it should pierce the heart of whomever had 'stolen' the bird. For whatever reason his mother had released the first bird, thus she suffered the wound of the arrow, and died.'  (1)

 

Another, even more common version of the story is  this.

 

'Oshoosi killed two birds in the forest and returned to his messy home. He hung the birds out to   cure. While he was gone, his mother (in the New World), Yemoja--the goddess of the ocean surface and motherhood--visited his house. Not finding him there,  she tiddied  up his house and  took  the two birds home  to cook for him. When he returned he found that they were missing and did not know who 'stole' them. With an incanta- tion that only he and his sacred parrot knew, and with special poison put on his arrow tips to guide it, he cursed the thief and let the arrow fly. Up, up, and then down, into the heart of his mother far away. This was  the cour- se of the arrow. His mother died.'(2)  [Note: In orisha stories, the dead orishas reappear from time to time. And, also as an aside, in Africa, Oshoosi's mother, like Ogun's, is Yemu or Yembo, and his father is Oduduwa].

                                                                                                                                    *
From these stories we learn of the birth of justice in the world and how Oshoosi became the guardian and dis- penser of this virtue. Whenever and wherever an animal or man acts unwisely and unjustly,  Oshoosi may be found there with a cage, a net or trap. His justice, however, must be based on insight, not on blind justice, cur- ses nor self-serving justification. And above all, before asking anything of him one should confess fully all that could make one blameworthy. For he expects 'clean hands' before he intervenes into the world with wrath because  he is so deliberate that  he even runs the  risk of  killing  his  own mother--sometimes disguised (as do all Sacred Mothers) as birds--if she does not 'come clean'; if what she is up to is not clear to him  when she is in disguise. There  are  additional  apatakis (stories) about Oshoosi  in  the next  page of this website called "Oshoosi Details."

                                                                                                                                     *

The Color of Oshoosi's Temperament is White (Cool- headed)

                                                                                                       

Oshoosi is in the lineage of 'cool-headed,' exceedingly intelligent and effective, orishas of 'white cloth' (asho 'fun 'fun). He is very closely associated with the king of the orishas, Obatala, for whom he is the protector  who has much "ashe'' (vital creative power). His devotee may become an alashe or 'one who owns vital creative  power.'  He is also the multilingual spokesperson for Obatala; is his "gbede gbeyo" (or "afede'feyo).  When  you  hear  Obatala,  you  hear  him. When  you  wish  to  see  Obatala,  you  go though him. In Ile Ife, a spiritual cen- ter for orisha worship in Nigeria, the entrance to the temple of Obatala (Orisha'nla) is, literally, guarded by Oshoosi. The same is true of Aga (Oshoosi) among the Dahomeans of Benin.  

                                                                                                                                     *

"Color" in African culture goes to one's character (not one's "race"). Indeed the word for "character" in Yoruba

is iwa and is possibly related to iwn (prn. iwen) of  KMT). That is, the nature of one's,or one's religious lineage's  lineage's, character has a certain temperament or color temperature. Thus orisha (o)'fun (o)' fun is white--meaning 'cool-headed.'  A good, gentle character---which is the ego-ideal in Yoruba-- is iwa pele, for example. Or, by way of consistency (not contrast) the word dudu means black. This too is a term of good--even great--characterologic temperament. For example, "Olodumare" (God almighty) or "Oduduwa" is the owner of our blackness (Oduduwa is an irunmole or primoidal orisha) and--also a deified ancestor-- the founder of the Yoruba-speaking sub-nationalities or lineages.

                                                                                                                 *

Hunters can be loud as well as masters of stealth. For example: loud in calls, cries, chants, messages, warnings and  bragging rights (as long as they are telling the basic truth); for this right expresses a version of psychol-ogical de-briefing and emotional re-adjustment to social living after having been in bloody conflict. Addition- ally, since a king (an oba) or chief is rarely loud  his or her spokesperson or crier (as Oshoosi is for Obatala / Orishanla) must be an effective and eloquent public voice.

                                                                                                              *

Unbeknownst  to  many, he is also connected--through the orisha  Odede--to the orisha  Oduduwa. He, Odud-uwa, is both a primoidal orisha (the owner of our blackness, the creator of the black soil that was cast upon the water in the beginning times to form 'earth,' and the owner of the word that captures this history) and a deifi- ied ancestor who was,  it is sometimes said, the conquering founder of the 'modern' Yoruba nation at Ile lfe in Nigeria. Indeed, Oshoosi is related to the orisha Odede ("Outside" O='owner of,' de= to hunt), the founder of ancient Oyo city, and is regarded as his son).

                                                                                                            *

 

A History of "Oshoosi" in Egypt  (KMT).
 

What is in a name? Everything. 

 

What is in a name? Everything else! To appreciate these deeper connections  let us travel backward  in time to ancient Egypt and the Sudan (Kush) from whence the concept of Oshoosi originated, and from whence much of the population and religious culture of the Yorubas originated. "0-Shu-Osi." We are familiar, of course, with the great dynasties of Egypt (KMT). They began as long ago as 3,250 BC,   i.e., over 5,000 years ago. But at that time, in the area of modern Egypt (Ta Merri) and the Sudan along the Nile River, for at least 10,000 prior years, great pre-dynastic cultures existed inTa Seti, "the Land of the Bows"; or the land of the long bow men; later

called Nubia, Kush and (much later) Meroe.

                                                                                                                                 *

Contrary to the racism inherent in the beliefs of so many  Europeans  and  Americans, civilization was birthed and periodically rebuilt by African peoples whose basis life and tradition was in Central Africa. They, pushing upward and north-easterly through "Sudan" and, thus, laid down the KMT "worldview," in general, and prov-ided the particulars of dynastic Egyptian culture , in particular. This neolithic sourcing from Central Africa was also repeated  during the three "Golden Ages" of Egyptian lore as well. We can rest assured that the civilizers of Egypt (KMT) did not one day just 'fall from the sky' 5,000 years ago and start building pyramids the next day. Indeed, the very concept of pyramids evolved first in the Sudan or Nubia-Kush. In fact, until the time of Christ, Nubians rescued dynastic Egypt from outside conquerers time and again.

                                                                                                     *

Imagine, for a moment, a little pyramid the base of which is small. Now also image great gods such as Osiris (Ausar), Set, Isis, Horus (and many others), swirling like a cloud that is so thick and high that you cannot see, at first, the pyramid hidden within. This cloud has within it currents and conflicts: a virtual vortex of irunmoles ('the  original gods,' in Yoruba langauge). Now, finally, imagine this pyramid starting to grow bigger, and hig- her, and higher until it becomes very visible and very imposing--standing straight up so high at its apex that it now towers above the 'god cloud' swirling around its base. Let us call this new  and  growing  pyramid Ra! And Ra himself grows  so  big and  imposing  that he  becomes merged with the Amon ("hidden") of the Ta Seti Nubians. That is, as "Ra-Amon" ("Amon-Ra") among the Egyptians. This fanciful scheme took place over three thousand years as Ra-Amon became edified within the "religious mentality" of the society; with the royalty thus  being associated with Ra and the populace being associated with the omnipresent  Ausar (Osiris) and the other deities of the KMT pantheon. 

                                                                                                     *

                                                "All Mankind Fears Time, but Time Fears the Pyramids."

                                                                                                                                               --Anonymous

                                                                                                     *

OK, so now, what about "Oshoosi" in this regard?

                                                                                                   *

Specifically, the people of Egypt believed that there was one particular god that separated the  ocean ("sky") that covered the earth from the earth itself. This ocean was raised above the earth by the efforts of Shu the  god  that held  the sky up like the Greek god Atlas holds up the earth. This god is the one that created and owns  the 'atmosphere,' the space between the earth and  the  sky-ocean  above. This god made life and civ- ilization possible by creating a 'life space' in which it could happen and flow. And it is "Shu" from which we also likely get Eshu, Oshun and so on in Yoruba  language. All deities with "shu" in their Yorubic  names,  it  seems to me,  likely signify  free-flowing  communication  (of air,  waterways,  and "roads") through an earthly atmos- phere and through the 'life and civilization space' that Shu  created by separating Heaven from Earth.(See e.n.4). 

 

The people of  Egypt also believed in a god  that  we, and  the Yorubas immediately  before us, came  to later know by his Grecian name, Osi-ris, or "Osiris." His Egyptian or KMT name is Asar or Ausar. He, along with his twin and wife, Isis, and their son Horus, made up the original "holy family"; one of the many trnities that were known in KMT religions.' When the dynasties began, about 3,250 B.C.E, Osiris and these other gods were swirling about in the consciousness of all of the peoples of KMT and their neighbors. Osiris was a fertilizer of humankind and agriculture, the prime civilizer and, later, the judge of reincarnation in the afterworld or 'un- derworld'  of Tuat (or Duat). Hence, now, "Oshoosi" writ 0-Shu--Osi(ris) likely has as his primogenitors "Shu" and "Osiris"--at least conceptually.

                                                                                                                                           *

 

As an added point of interest to Yoruba adepts, the'afterworld' or Tuat that Osiris presided over was div- ided into twelve (12) zones each of which was presided over by a particular deity or "aat." These "aats" became,  in the  subsequent  history  of  the Omotic (Sudanic-Kushitic) languages, ots, then ods, and then, finally to us as "Odus." (4) And as an added point of interest, the son of Osiris and Isis, Horus--the falcon-eyed hunter--is the forebearer  of  our concept Ori : "head," i.e., to  wit: "destiny,"  and  "intelligence." Each night,  for  nine months  a  year,  in  the Egyptian sky "Oshoosi" can be seen as the most imposing "hunter" constellation--"Ori(on)" or "Orion" to those of KMT--the great hunter of the night sky. 

                                                                                                        *

Another way to summarize this theory of etymology and religion is this: The people of KMT believed that the great hunter "Sahu" in the night sky was Osiris. Osiris was king of the night sky and the dark (to humans) Un- derworld. As a "king"  he had  a "horus" name. The  term "ori" in  Yoruba  refers  to  "Horus."  The Greeks also called  this constellation "Ori"--except, for them it was, "Ori-on" or  "Orion." Thus,  in conclusion, because there  are two independent  and not logically-connected inicators here of an etymological and religious nexus, on a major concept, I venture this theory. O-Shu-Osi's--the Great Hunter's- conceptual roots are strongly Kemetic in source.

                                                                                                        *

And, of course, as most hunters use dog companions (or can use them) the "Oshoosi" of the Kemetic sky was called "Sahu" (in KMT) or the three belt stars of "Orion." He also has a dog companion at foot, on his right side (Isis--the "dog star") or commonly called the binary star(s) "Sirius" by  the Latin speakers. She is the bright- est (binary) star in the night  sky--this hunter's loyal companion and aide.  Mystically speaking "Sahu," proper, is the conscience of the soul; it's morality principle.

                                                                                                                                      *

This, then, is the pedigree or idile, the lineage, ashe of Oshoosi: an ashe likely to be misunderstood if his name is not pronounced correctly--in its three parts. Thus his ashe is that of the great hunter, fertilizer, father, pur- veyor of justice. Osiris, along with Thoth (lfa/Orunmila), taught his son Horus ("ori") how to defeat the arch-disorganizer Set and established the justice of reincarnation shortly thereupon. But he encompasses more. His is  also the ashe of civilization's  founding along  the riverbanks,  the ashe of the night, and the ashe  of decid- ing  the atts (ods, odus)  or  deities  of  the  zones  in  the  underworld  (e.g., the  atts  or "odus" by which, and through which, dead souls must pass on their way to possible reincarnation) .(5) For example, this is why Osho- osi in Yoruba religion first "speaks" in the odus--the "chapters and verses" of the religion-- called Oyeku or Eji Oko and Irosun--the odus of reincarnation and 'deep forces' (traps and pits included) respectively; signify- ing Oshoosi's relation to Osiris and the "traps" (atts) of the Underworld and his abilities to "pierce the veil" of invisibility. 

                                                                                                                                    *

Of Oshoosi symbols or icons, the bow and arrow--the basis of un-erring 'acquisition" or 'capturing-at-a distance

--is the best known. However the bow's arrow would be useless if it were not purposely guided. The required element are feathers; e.g. at the end of the arrow to guide it. The KMT deity Ma'at comes to mind--the KMT deity of moral order-- as the owner of the sacred feathers of existence that enables guided ("ethical") action. She, first and foremost, is always depicted of KMT art as possessing feathered wings. And it is she that, in the Afterworld of Tuat (Duat), presents the dead with the Ostrich feather against which the deeds of their lives are weighed.  Oshoosi's arrows fly through the air (i.e., through the 'civilization space' of "Shu") to their marks in an ethical, swift and unerring way because of the arrow's feathers; like those of Ma'at.

 

                                                                                                                                         *

There is more: Ode or Odede in Yorubaland!

 

Four thousand years after the founding of the dynasties, around 950 AD, the deified ancestor Oduduwa, a son of Nubia, a "Kushite," fled from the east (Sudan/ Kush); pursued by Muslims. Arriving at Ile lfe, then called lfe Oodaye, he found the lfe mefa and Elu groups of "lfes" already living there. Prior to him the lfes had a secret society called Egbe Ogboni and had their gods--orishas--with whom they tried to  contend with Oduduwa and

and these Kushite upstarts from the east. However, before long the lfes were conquered by Oduduwa.

 

Because the Muslims of Mecca were still his enemies, Oduduwa enlisted the aid of Setilu, or Agboniregun, as the lfes called him, the founder of lfa worship, to divine for him and to devise the sacrifices necessary to def- eat the encroaching Muslim armies from Mecca. After 16 days of battle Oduduwa pre­vailed, defeated the Mus- lims, and went on to settle the Oyo region. Oduduwa's eldest son Okanbi ('ldekoseroake' of the Ifes) sired seven children, boys and girls, who were to become the founders of the Yoruba sub-groups. The youngest child, chosen by the Oyo mesi council to become oba (king) despite his youth and lack of seniority, became the greatest general of the Yorubas, and the one to whom all of the land of Oyo was bequeathed by Okanbi. He became their most effective oba, having obtained the lands from the Nupe, that became the site of "Old Oyo.". His name (think of "Orion") was Oranyan or, to the lfes, Oranmiyan. (6)  His  praise  name  was "Odede"--and he became, via deified ancestry--the legendary father of Oshoosi and the second alafin (king) of Oyo; and, thus a royal grandfather to Shango, the 4th alafin of old Oyo town!

                                                                                                                                         *

Indeed, Odede built the ancient city of old Oyo. Of Odede, this has been written by an olo Obatala (a priest of Obatala) Lionnel Scott,Ph.D.,  "Odufora," (iba-e!) in Beads of Glass, Beads of Stone (Althelia Henrietta Press, 1995) and Olorisha Conrad Muage, Ph.D., "Ifayomi Epega-Agbede," (iba-e!) in "The Lost Orisha," (House of Prov- idence Press, 1996).

 

"There  are relevant apatakis that explain  the Ode  aspects  in psychology of the African American. These traits exemplify psychic integration and healing. While Shango (the God of thunder, fire and money),  and Olokun

(the God  of  the ocean), as well as Yemoja (the Goddess of  the  sea  and  motherhood)  interact within the storyline of the apatakis, it is Ode who is the master mover, the prime director regarding psychological matters because Ode is the embodiment of the relationship between nature and culture:   the untamed and the tamed, the raw and the cooked, and the tensions, contradictions and the paradoxes that operate in between (their) extremes I believe the apatakis I have selected explain the breath of Ode and give the Yoruba deity Ode his due  as the Yoruba God  of psychology. Ode  is the  father of  Ochosi; Ochosi embodies institutions. Ode is the thought process that organizes systems, and these systems give birth to mental integration."   (7)

                                                                                                                                       *

The term ode warriors (implying warriors of the outside--the "dog soldiers" "or "ajagun") is applied to the ori- shas Eshu,  Ogun, and to (Er)Inle as well as to Oshoosi. 

                                                                                                          *

Finally, it must be emphasized that while Oshoosi's Nigerian center is very near Oshogbo (Oshun area) other centers for the worship of Oshoosi exist in Ketu, Benin (Dahomey country) and in Brasil in the "Ketu nation" of Yoruba-Candomble religion (with its Afro-Indians called Coblocos) are under the protection of "Oxossi."

                                                                                                        *

Clarifying the Parentage and Relations of Oshoosi

In Africa, Oshoosi's (Odede's) "father" in Yoruba-land is "Oduduwa" (actually this is his grandfather, as per  the

above). But in the New World it is Obatala (because "Oduduwa" basically disappeared by transformation here--into "Odua").  Also, in the Old World of Africa Oshoosi's (and  Ogun's) mother is Yemu or "Yembo." But in the New World she became "Yemoja." Finally, in both hemispheres, his only known wife was Oshun. And, toget- her, they had a son named Logun-Ede.

                                                                                                                                            *

Oshoosi in the Americas

 

The hunter has always been with us. The Oshoosi priest, he or she, is a warrior that hunts ashe. Do not fret if the hunter-warrior, the Ode of the wilderness, the Ologun is rarely accessible; it is in his or her nature not to be so.Therefore, do not try to kill  him by  locking him up in your demand for  accessibility.  He does   not do well when caged in your expectations. He (or she) knows where to be and when to be there! Most of his work--building, capturing  and teaching what you need--occurs when you would prefer to be asleep. Oshoosi,  not you, owns  the  snares  and  arrows  of  life--markers  of  the quickest  route  to  your goals, and  he--in  reading animal tracks, scat, and entrails--is humankind's original diviner .."Moferefun Oshoosi !, dobale Oshoosi!" This orisha is very popular in the African diasporan cultures of Brasil and Cuba.

                                                                                                         *

                    "A hunter knows that he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he 

                     does not worry. To worry is to become unwittingly accessible. And once you wor-

                     ry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to

                     get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging  to.

 

                     I told him that in my day-to-day life it was inconceivable to be inaccessible. My point

                     was that in order to be functional I had to be within reach of everyone that had some-

                     thing to do with  me.

 

                    "I've already told you that to be inaccessible does not mean to hide or to be secre-

                     tive, he (the mentor) said calmly. "It doesn't mean that you cannot deal with people

                     either. A hunter uses his world sparingly and with tenderness, regardless of whet-

                     her the world might be things, or plants, or animal, or people, or power. A hunter

                     deals intimately with his world and yet he is inaccessible to that same world, hour

                     after hour, day after day."

 

                    "That's a contradiction." I (the protege) said. He cannot be inaccessible if he is there

                     in his world, hour after hour, day after day."

 

                     "You do not understand," Don Juan (the mentor) said patiently. "He is inaccessible

                     because he's not squeezing his world out of shape. He taps it lightly, stays for as

                     long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away leaving hardly a mark."*

 

                                                                                                      --Journey to lxtlan, Carlos Casteneda

 

 

 

1.   Barnett, M., Arena!, H, (el Bebo) Cultos Afrocubanos: Regla Ocha, Yusoka Publ CD-Rom, Cuba

 

2.   Traditional

 

3.   Mason, John Babalosha, Orin Orisha, Yoruba Theological Archministry, NYC, 1992

             "           "             "            Black Gods of Africa, Theological Archminsitry, NYC, 1980

                                                                                                               *

4.   Lucas, J. Olomide, The Religion of the Yorubas, CMS Bookshop, Lagos, Nigeria, 1948

                                                                                       and

      Modupe Oduyoye,  "The Vocabulary of Yoruba Religious Discouse" for the etymological

      connections between Yoruba  and ancient "Omotic" (Sudanic) and Egyptian languages.

                                                                                                                                *

5.   Oshoosi, Michael Alashe, African Spirituality vs. The African American, IKO Berkeley, 1997

 

6.   Mauge, Conrad Oluwo, The Lost Orisha, House of Providence, Mt Vernon, NY, 1996

 

7.   Scott, Lionel Babalosha Odufora, The Book of Ode: An Afrocentric View of Psychology and

      Religion, 1st Books Library, 2001

                                                                                                               *

      (and) Fa'Lokun, A.,  Awo--"Ifa and The Theology of Orisha Divination," and "Ela" for treatises

      on Yoruba theological concepts.

                                                                                                                                   *

8.  Sekhemu's theses:  at  http://orisha.tribe.net/cOabe7d7-9ec4-4b78-b37c-deb7125f8e45cowbell ,

      captures and expertly expounds on these insights into the "metaphysics" of Oshoosi.

_____________________________________

          *These materials are quoted or paraphrased under applicable provisions of the United States Code permitting 'fair use'                                    for educational and informational  purposes.
 

Oshoosi Listening to Our Holy Mothers

                        A daytime rarity