Category Archives: Oshun

Time to Prepare for Summer | 4 Hot Weather Beauty Secrets

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Summer is coming soon, so it’s time to prepare your natural remedies.  The stuff from last year may be expired or used up.  Here are some recipes to help you survive the heat.

Rose Vinegar

Rose vinegar is an excellent sunburn treatment.  To make it, just fill a jar or bottle halfway with dried roses, and then fill it with cider vinegar.  Let it steep for a week in the refrigerator or a cool dark place.  It will last for a year.

Oshun Body Oil

To keep your skin soft and smooth in summer, you need a body oil that you can put on right out of the shower while you are still wet, that conditions your skin and holds in moisture.  This recipe also helps to protect you a bit from fungus and other germs that tend to spread in the summer.

In a 1/2 liter bottle, put in about 50 ml of chunks of unrefined shea butter, a teaspoon of honey, and a tablespoon of aloe vera gel.  If it’s raw, boil it down first.

Then fill the bottle halfway with olive oil.

Then fill the bottle almost the rest of the way with sunflower seed oil.

Add 5 drops of helichrysum essential oil, 3 drops of rosemary or tea tree oil, and 5 drops of sea buckthorn (oblipicha) oil.

You can also add whatever other scented oils you like.  I like to add the Oshun devotional oil.

African Deodorant Cream

Many southern women swear by cream deodorant.  In some places, you can buy this in the store, but if you can’t then here’s how to make your own.

In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon powdered alum, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 cup melted coconut oil, cocoa butter, or shea butter.  Whisk them together very well until they are creamy.  You can add scented oils if you like, but make sure they are safe and won’t burn your underarm skin.  The alum and baking soda are antimicrobial enough, so oils that do those things aren’t necessary.

Anti Chafing Gel (also hand sanitizer)

If you get seasonal chafing, this recipe will help a lot.  Use it once to three times a day after cleaning your creases to keep fungus and bacteria down.  Use it every day starting as soon as the weather starts to warm up.  Remember not to get any on your mucous membranes.  If you use it on your inner thighs, you may want to follow this with some body oil, shea butter, or very heavy hand cream.  This recipe can be extended, but be sure to use at least 60% of it is alcohol.

  • 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol, strong vodka, Everclear, or other alcohol above 80%
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 5 drops helichrysum essential oil

Put this in a pump bottle and shake it very well.  Then use a bit after you shower.

 

When you have an Oshun and/or Aje Shaluga working in progress…

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love workingOshun is the west African Orisha/Goddess of joy, prosperity, romantic love, and the sweetness of life.  Aje Shaluga is one of her husbands (or wives, depending on your tradition), and the owner of all material wealth and currency.  Many if not most workings or spells for love and prosperity call upon Oshun, and if material wealth is involved, Aje Shaluga as well.

When you go to a priest/ess or root worker for assistance in these matters, sometimes they will give you a nkisi that you are supposed to attend to or just keep safely, and sometimes they keep it with them.  Most of the time, these don’t require too much maintenance, but sometimes they do.  Sometimes this is unknown, and one has to wait and see whether or not Oshun will require more than the initial offerings.

With matters of the heart and with market forces, there are ups and downs though.  From time to time, there is a weird year or out of the ordinary weather or astronomical phenomena which mean that the relay between the root worker and the seeker will need to be strengthened.  More will need to be done by both in order for workings to be more effective and in a timely manner.

Generally, workings done with a female beneficiary or target take three lunar months to come to fruition.  Workings with a male beneficiary or target take a season (6 to 7 months).  What a season is depends on their local weather patterns.  Even though they take awhile to finish, something should move within a week or two of the offerings to Oshun and/or Aje Shaluga.  Various incidents should also indicate that the Spirits are on the move and have actively put their hands to the matter.

If things are exceptionally weird or there is stagnation for too long, this could be an indication of a blockage or too much chaos.  Although this has no effect on the final outcome, they can cause way too much anxiety that could lead to a blockage where there wasn’t one initially.  In order to smooth things out, the seeker should give small offerings to increase their own personal bond with the Spirits.

Because of privacy concerns, you may not be able to make an altar at home.  The good news is that most Vodun/Obeah/Santeria types are masters of stealth.  There were times in history when if we were caught, we’d be tortured and executed in horrible ways.  So we learned well how to give observances to our Orishas/Gods secretively.

In order to open the way to give offerings to other Orishas, you must give some to Eshu.  Fortunately, Eshu does not require more ceremony than directed thoughts and speaking one of his names or titles three times.  You can leave or bury offerings for Eshu at any crossroads/intersection, the inside corner of forked roads, or between two houses or buildings, in the doorway or entrance of a gateway, or believe it or not, your home trash can so long as it is to the left of a doorway or in a corner.  You can also give a small portion of your meals to Eshu first by tossing it to the left or out the front door or entrance to the left.

You will often see people from Brazil setting aside a portion of their food on a separate plate before they eat when they are having something that Eshu or another Orisha likes.  Quite often, when they have coffee, they will pour some in a corner if they are outside.  Eshu loves coffee.  Some will even blow some of the first puff of smoke from their cigarette or cigar to their left side for Eshu.  Here is a list of things Eshu likes:

  • chicken legs and thighs
  • caramel, toffee, cinnamon, and honey candy
  • coffee
  • tobacco
  • rum, or sweet “grog” (recipe later in this article)
  • coffee liquor or coffee vodka
  • spice cake
  • cinnamon and sugar toast
  • raisins and other dried fruits
  • peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter ice cream, Snickers bars, and other peanut candies
  • spice cake, especially heavy fruit cakes and honey cakes or black cake

He likes many other things, but these are the best known standards.  Offerings to him should be in multiples of threes.  Meaning 3 chicken leg and thigh quarters, three pieces of cake, 12 peanuts, etc.  The best days to give offerings to him are Mondays and Fridays.

Then on Saturdays, you should give offerings to Oshun and Aje Shaluga.  These can be given at a body of fresh water such as a fountain, lake, or river.  If you have nowhere else, they can be given at the ocean/sea (give a little to Yemaya too if you do this) or your bathtub or shower.

Things Oshun likes are:

  • sweets, especially golden, yellow, and green ones
  • honey, honey cake, and honey candy
  • pumpkins, yellow squash, butternut squash
  • wild lettuce, Roman lettuce
  • mustard greens, mustard flowers, mustard seeds, foods made with these
  • a handfull of sugar, five sugar cubes or rocks, sugar candy
  • stevia, stevia tea
  • honey grog
  • oubli berries
  • chamomile tea with honey
  • yellow roses or other pretty yellow flowers
  • gold leaf
  • pearls

Again, she likes many other things, but these are the standards.

Whenever you give offerings, tell your root worker.  It will make them feel better to know that you are taking an active role in your working.  They can also help you work through weird times with more patience.

Now here is the recipe for honey grog that both Eshu and Oshun like.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 1/2 liter of rum
  • 1 cup/glass of honey
  • 3-5 bags/6-10 grams of black tea
  • the juice of one lemon

Instructions:

Brew the tea in the water, and then add the honey while it is still hot.  When it is cool, add the rum and lemon juice.

Pour this into the ground at a crossroads or between two buildings for Eshu, or into a body of fresh water for Oshun.

Be the Hands

Not everyone can give offerings the same way, but you can raise energy by being the hands of the Orishas in humanity.  When you feed an Orisha’s children, you feed that Orisha.  When you do works that an Orisha would do on Earth, you praise that Orisha.

So, being kind and doing kind things for children and the elderly praises Eshu.  Giving gifts to a child of Eshu or to a child or old person feeds Eshu.  Joking, laughing, playing games, helping people get justice, and other positive Eshu-like activities all help to bring that energy to you in a positive way.

Making yourself and people and the world around you more beautiful glorifies Oshun.  Supporting local markets, business, fashion, artists, and others in the beauty industries…looking good and smelling good and cleaning your home…these all glorify Oshun.

So really, you don’t have time to ruminate.  You need to be busy.

Relating to Your Root Worker

Romantic and financial matters can be frustrating and very stressful, but please try not to project this stress and frustration onto your root worker.  In order to do their job properly, they have to remain optimistic and free of too much negative energy related to your case.  If it is still within the three lunar months for a female or full season for a male, then complaining to the root worker each and every time things don’t seem to be moving the way you want them to, will not help your case come to fruition sooner.  It causes blockages and delays that don’t need to be there because then you are applying negative energy to the work.

Some root workers are used to this and don’t mind it so much, but even the ones who don’t mind too many complaints and venting of frustrations will often ignore these messages or take their time answering because they want to sift through all the negativity to get to what might be some actual news.  So just know that if you have nothing to say but, “He hasn’t called me yet,” then save it.  This is not something your root worker needs to know unless or until at least a month has passed.  Even then, simply state it as a progress report, and do not gush about how sad and dejected you are, or threaten your root worker.

Threatening your root worker with destroying their work is very bad, to say the least.  You may have put money into it, but they have put time, energy, and their reputation into it.  Nobody wants to see something they worked hard on go to hell.  If you have not paid for it, or got it for a big discount because they were doing well and had extra time and supplies, and the work was done on good faith, then it is even more important that you not dump a lot of negativity on or threaten your root worker.  You and they have made a commitment, and they have spent their time and money and energy on you for free.  If it doesn’t work they know that they won’t get paid unless you are one of those super honorable and observant practitioners of Vodun who is thankful to the Orishas even when you don’t get what you want…and there are very few of those.

If you ask for a work, whether you paid for it or not, then you should follow through.  If you are a woman and asked for the Orishas to give you the love of a particular man, you should avoid having sex with someone else until the season has passed.  If you have asked for a reconciliation then whatever you do, do NOT allow yourself to get dragged into an argument with the person while the Orishas are working on rekindling their emotions.

Follow the instructions of your root worker.  I don’t care if it seems like it will break your ego to pieces to do so.

Helping the Orishas to Help You

When it comes to money, it is very important that when the Orishas bring you opportunities when the work is active, take them.  If you’re not sure about a particular one, get a reading to see if it’s okay.  Generally though, opportunities should be taken as they come.  Sometimes you may have to step a bit outside your comfort zone or do something you’re good at whether or not it’s what you want to do at the moment.

In love as well, it’s very hard for the Orishas to help you if you won’t help yourself.  If they bring someone you love to you or back to you and you mistreat them or settle for a less than positive situation, then it is your fault, not the root worker or the Orishas’ fault that the working goes south.

Don’t behave as if you’re okay in the friend zone when you’re not.  If you’re a man, be territorial and stake your claim.  “My way or the highway,” is the proper male attitude.  If you’re a woman, then your attitude should be submissive but in a hard core way.  Make it clear that you want a relationship in which you can trust a man enough to be a good girlfriend or wife, not a “friend with benefits”.  FWB, unless it happens naturally between people who are already long term friends with a history of “ride or die” trust, is not a natural situation so the Orishas aren’t going to help sustain that.

In summary, to help your love and/or money spell to work well, you should:

  1. give offerings
  2. stay positive
  3. don’t pester your root worker with your negative feelings, but DO give them actual news about the situation
  4. follow the root worker’s instructions for your conduct
  5. take opportunities the Orishas give you

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them.

Can someone be forced to fall in love using rootwork?

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attraction mojo bag kit

Attraction Mojo Bag Kit from ObeahWoman.com

Well, yes and no.  The Egungun decide who will and won’t make children, and can be very helpful in finding a good match.  The feeling of being in romantic love however, is something different than familial love, which is what the ancestors preside over.  Someone who is very in touch with Nature and their Ancestors can tell who belongs with them, and this sense of belonging is what makes the kind of love that makes good marriages and long term relationships.  The feelings of romantic love though, are in Oshun and Shango’s departments because they are mostly based on a baser level of attraction than the kind the Ancestors would inspire.  They may overlap, but they are not exactly the same.

So, with the use of the gifts and skills of Oshun and Shango, a person can essentially “force” someone to fall in love with them by inspiring feelings that humans don’t entirely choose to feel.  You can’t choose whether or not you find someone beautiful.  You can justify not talking to them for whatever reason, but you still find them beautiful.  What turns you on is what turns you on.

The effective love rootwork or spell simply makes conscious use of known facts of human nature to produce a desired result.  There are some limits though.  A person can do whatever they like at their altar, but if it is not truly in line with Nature, it won’t work.

I have seen many love spells around the internet, and very few I would say would actually be effective.  Of the most effective are amarres, which come from the Latin cultures.  Done correctly, they have a powerful effect on one’s psychology and spiritual tune, mainly because in order to do them, one must submit to their own feelings  of love.  This is a difficult barrier for many to cross, the idea of being sort of helpless to one’s emotions.

Amarres have a better success rate than other love spells because once you’ve done them, you can’t really be in denial around the object of your affections.  It is a humble plea to the Spirits and a conscious addressing of the desire of one’s heart.   That is half the battle to gaining someone’s affection right there: sincerity and humility.

Since amarres are very well known, it has the same psychological effect on you if a priest/ess does it on your behalf.  It has a stronger effect on the other person though, since almost every experienced priest/ess would do readings to see if something more than a binding scroll would be needed.  They are practiced enough in the ways of Oshun and Shango (and using these skills in their own love life) that they can make talismans and give you information that can make it painful for someone to resist you.

As I mentioned in another post about helping your root worker help you though, the Spirits may bring someone to you, but you have to follow through.  Don’t mess up your blessing by missing opportunities.

If you’re on the other side of this and find out that the person you love used magic to get you, it might make you feel frightened.  Consider though, that men act macho to get women, and women wear makeup to get men.  It is better that someone used magic that is in line with Nature to seduce you than if they lied to you or did bad things to make you miserable so they could “save” you.  People use the abilities they have to get what they need.  If the person makes you happy, then don’t let accidentally finding some mystical item scare you off.

Also bear in mind that many love spells are protection spells too.  Part of the spell is often that they ask the Spirits to protect you even if you don’t come to them.  So if you reject this working, you could be rejecting some things that are benefitting you, and suffer as a result.

If you are not happy with them though, you can break the spell without losing protection.  It is difficult to do on you own though, so seek the advice of a priest/ess.

Oshun’s Beauty Secrets: Annatto Lipstick Recipe

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In celebration of the 2011 festival of Oshun, I will be posting a few of the beauty “secrets” of the African diaspora.  Today’s installment is a recipe for annatto lipstick.

Annatto is a mild spice native to South America that is used often as a coloring for foods and as a clothing dye.  It is also used in traditional body paints and to heal the skin.  It has antimicrobial and healing properties that are nearly unmatched.  It has a mild saffron-like scent, but is not too hot.

Lipstick made from annatto will come out a sheer but perfect dark red-orange that looks excellent on just about anyone with a bit of red in their complexion.  Indeed, annatto is often referred to as “the lipstick plant” or “lipstick tree”.  Annatto lipstick is easy to make, but it will be messy if you’re not careful.

You will need a small saucepan, a glass jar, some cheesecloth or old cotton scrap of fabric, a funnel, a mixer or food processor, and whatever cosmetic pots you’d like to store it in.  This is a recipe for a big batch, but you can give the extra away to friends or save it to use as a body mask for summer or sports chafing.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz annatto seed powder, or smashed annatto seeds
  • 8 oz shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Put everything into a saucepan, and melt on low heat just to the point that it is hot but you can still see quite a few chunks of shea butter.
  2. Whisk with a wire whisk for about 3 minutes.
  3. Cover the pot and allow it to cool to the touch.
  4. Pour the entire contents, even the sludge at the bottom, into a food processor with the plastic mixing blade.
  5. Process for about 3 minutes more.
  6. Arrange the cloth in the funnel and the funnel in/over the jar.
  7. Pour the contents in the food processor through the cheesecloth.  This may take some time and scraping.  Take your time.  Some people like to additionally pour it through a sieve first, then the cheesecloth with the funnel.
  8. Cover the jar and allow the oil to set for three days in a cool, dark place but not the refrigerator.  Under the sink is fine.
  9. On the third day, empty the jar into the food processor, this time with the whipping blade.
  10. Spoon the lipstick into whatever containers you like.

These make great gifts for anyone you know who likes natural makeup or who gets raw skin in the heat.  To use it as an ointment or body mask, just smear it on the desire area.  If you have allergies, do a patch test first though.  It is very red-orange though, and will stain your clothes.  So wear red if you have to wear clothes while it’s on.

As lipstick, it not only makes them a pretty color, but it conditions your lips.  If you have smoker lips, it helps to make them more pink again.

Because it turns things yellow or golden in small amounts, and it is so good for healing and making the skin beautiful again, it is one of the favorite plants of Oshun.  You can consecrate your annatto lipstick to make yourself more attractive while wearing it.  It is especially good if you are in sales.  People will hang on your every word.  Make some and try it out!

Oshun’s Beauty Secrets

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honeycombOshun is the West African deity of feminine beauty, prosperity, and dance.  Her children in the traditions as well as solitary practitioners with a strong affinity towards her are uniquely attractive, charismatic people.  Though many of their beauty secrets are indeed secret, some are open to sharing with the public for the purpose of bringing more joy into the world.

Water

You may need more water than you think.  The standard dose per day is 8 glasses, and this is enough for a 100-120 lbs. woman with relatively low physical activity.  If you are heavier or more active though, you’ll need more.  Here is a convenient calculator to find your exact minimum.

If you aren’t getting enough water, then the sugar in your blood can be like sand paper in your blood vessels, slowly breaking them down.  It is harder for your body to get rid of poisons.  Your arteries are also more easily clogged, and you’re more prone to blood clots, liver problems, and many other health issues that are preventable simply by drinking more water.

Though you should avoid sugary drinks, natural fruit juices are a great way to get water, vitamins, and minerals at the same time, and quickly.

Honey

Honey is wonderful for the skin and hair.  It helps your skin and hair to hold in moisture, and kills bacteria that clog pores.  If you tend to chafe in the summer, a weekly coating of honey for 20 minutes before a bath or shower helps to soothe raw and damaged skin.  When you get a cut or scrape, use honey instead of antibiotic ointments.

The best sort of honey to use for beauty is wild African honey. It is darker and a bit thinner than the sort of honey you buy in the grocery stores.  You can add a little to your body oil, but take care not to use too much at a time, or you’ll attract bees.  It doesn’t take much to be effective if you’re leaving it on the skin.

Hot Dancing

You may notice that when Oshun is riding someone, or people are dancing in reverence to Oshun, it resembles soukous or belly dancing.  This is because dancing with the pelvis is not only seductive but healthy.  It works your core and abdominal muscles without scraping your tailbone on the ground.  It shapes your body to give you a more hourglass figure and perky bottom.  It also strengthens the muscles that support your internal organs, which leads to easier childbirth, less painful menstruation, easier weight management, and for men, greater virility.

Exercise is good for you in general, but taking the time to focus on the core and pelvis is extremely important.  So if you haven’t already, add belly dance or soukous to your daily routine.