New Orleans Voodoo Tarot - Earth, 7 (Oshun)

Little Baron

Oshun is the goddess of love. As a deity of love, she shares many attributes with Erzulie, but not her tears. Since she is from the suit of Santeria (earth), her love has a steadying and stable influence. Rather than getting carried away with her emotions, she grounds them. She may represent tokens of love that can be seen in the material world and earthy plane - buying a house with someone, as an example.

I wonder if she may be suggesting someone pulling themselves together. Because it is not a suit of emotion, this might be more to do with the practicalities of love. Maturity of love. It may even be a case of my spelling my emotions out in a journal, to ground my feelings.

But I feel that there must be a little more to this loa. Anyone?

LB
 

Little Baron

And here she is -

LB
 

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Embla

Oshun is the Goddess of sensuality. She loves perfume like sandalwood and pachouli, jewellery, dance, and beautiful clothes. You can feed her honey but only if you taste it yourself first, as she was poisoned once. She is also the Goddess of all rivers and her symbols are peacocks, roosters, mirrors and more.

Oshun encourages you to enjoy life and be happy, enjoy your sexuality and sensuality. But she also warns against overindulgence, obsessions and addictions, such as sex, drugs, shopping, gambling. You need to always be grounded and balanced when you embrace her positive energy.

Female sexuality is of specific importance to Oshun, and women who have her as one of their Orishas need to be especially attentive to possible problems concerned with their reproductive organs.
 

Little Baron

Thanks Embla

I only just noticed your reply.

I get a better idea and flavour of her now.

But one thing I notice is that there seem to be a lot of orishas in the deck that mean the same thing. Does it seem the same to you? The edges between some cards seem quite blurred.

Also, I was wondering about men's reproductive organs. How does Oshun affect them if she is drawn?

LB
 

Embla

Hi LB, I think that a lot of the Orishas and Loas in the deck mean the same thing because many of them are only different versions of one original deity/orisha/loa that has been interpreted differentely in different geographical contexts. Such as Oshun and Erzulie for instance. Having said this, I don´t at all intend to say that these Orishas/Loas are identical. With time they have developed a life and a character of their own and are now very separate entities and doorways. I believe that the most important aspect of this deck is getting to know each Orisha/Loa personally, and forming your personal bond with them. That is much more important than relating their essences to traditional tarot card meanings. And just like when you are at a crowded party, it is impossible to get to know everybody present at the same time. You just have to be patient with the Orishas. They have invited you to their party and it is better to take one of them for a long walk than to engage in group conversation.

As for Oshun and male sexuality, I think that she has traditionally been associated with female sexuality, but in my opinion that is due to historical and cultural construction, as a consequence of our human understanding of her, which has been influenced by the politics of our time. A Santero in Spain once told me that Oshun is also the protector of gay men, transvestites, transsexuals and cross-dressers. So I would think that Oshun is really concerned with everybody´s reproductive organs and sexuality, because what is she mainly interested in is that everybody maintains a healthy sexual life that they can enjoy, that they take precautions about their sexual health and that they don´t overindulge or obsess or expose themselves to danger in any way.

Since Oshun is the Goddess of all rivers her energy is meant to flow through you like a river, it is not supposed to stagnate in a pond, and you should not try to hold on to it, just let it pass through you, enjoy it fully while it lasts and be healthy and grateful, make offerings of copper, honey, yellow things, feathers, mirrors and perfume and jewellery once in a while, or dress up in beautiful clothes to honor her. That is what she wants you do to.
 

Embla

Personally, I sometimes think that this deck would have been better without the references to traditional tarot at all. A deck with 78 different Orishas and Loas would have been enough.
 

Little Baron

Yes, I completely agree with you.

Right now, I really want to understand.

So I have a card, and I write down what I feel about it. And I read the accompanying book. And I do an internet search. I spend the day with it, considering possibilities (see my journal - http://78weeks.blogspot.com/ )

Because I want to use the deck for divination, I really want to be able to distinguish the differences. And I don't want to use traditional meanings at all, but sometimes I resort to it, because I can find so little else. Do you know what I mean? 'Secret Societies', yesterday, gave me so little that I went with the meanings for 'Justice' and not much more. The book annoys me a bit, like that, which is why I am seeking out other resourses. It also irritates that the authors go on about the orisha for a good page or two, and then the meanings for divination, in some cases, is just a traditional tarot meaning that has no connection to what they have been saying. For the minors, especially, I am ignorning the traditional imagery, but in some cases, I am considering number and suit, because often, I can't find anything else to say about the card.

I am hoping, at the moment, that this is all just teething problems, down to the fact that I am only just getting to know the deck. But I like your idea of getting to know the orishas. I would like to honour them, but I still feel a little uncomfortable with making offerings and the rituals involved.

Thanks for the info on Oshun. I get a better idea about her now. I also like your take on her connection to gay men. That feels comfortable with her depiction in the card, visually. When I think of the differences between her and 'Ezulie' (as in the one with the mirror and tears), I see a more down to earth spirit - owning her sexuality, appreciating it for herself, rather than for the attention and love of others. Does that make sense? Being of 'air', Ezulie does not seem as grounded.

Also, thinking about the reproductive organs stuff, Oshun may be connected to physical sexuality, whereas Ezulie is connected to sexual fantasies and the emotions involved, maybe?

LB
 

Embla

When I see Oshun in combination with Gran Ibo in your blog-journal, I immediately think to myself that the orishas/lwas are advicing you to withdraw, to sit still, find the beauty of the little things again, (Gran Ibo) and to take better care of your body. Treat it better, give it sensual pleasure such as a nice bath, or a massage. Remember, Oshun is the Orisha of sensuality, not sexuality, eventhough sexuality can be part of sensuality. I see Oshun advicing you to take more pleasure in your body, to heal your body, heal your physical boundaries.

Oshun is also very anti-intellectual, she is a feeling being, rather than a being who seeks knowledge through books. Her body knows what to do when she dances, it just moves to the rhythm. As if the Orishas are encouraging you to seek knowledge in a different way, not through more intellectual information, but to connect with your feelings again. Your body needs to be healthy and well-nourished to do that.

As for rituals and the Orishas, keeping it simple with the intent of showing gratitude is always a great way. No need to do anything special but show appreciation. The concept of sacrifice in ritual does not have to be connected to death, blood and killing, as many seem to believe. The idea is that you sacrifice something that matters most to you, that is truly important. In today´s society, many people value money more than the life of an animal. Coming from that perspective sacrifice can be to give some money to a beggar in the name of an Orisha as part of your ritual, instead of shedding blod.

Using Oshun´s image you can make her a little altar, just put a copper-coin there, perhaps a yellow cloth and some beautiful jewellery or perfume, and tell her that you are grateful for her presence in your life and that you want to keep on learning with her... I promise it will open up the connection better than any written description could.

blessings

embla
 

Little Baron

Thanks Embla

That was a lovely post. I really felt it.

The last part was especially beautiful. But my problem is that I don't always know enough about an orisha to know how to 'feel it', which is why I was looking for further desscriptions and knowledge. Also, to use the deck as a tool for divination, even though I can perform these lovely offerings on the side, I need something concrete that I can say about the card. Does that make sense?

LB
 

Embla

Hi LB, I am glad you felt it :) Look up whatever cornerstones and pieces of information you need to feel safe enough to navigate, but don´t underestimate your own intuition in the process. I am sure that within short you will see patterns emerging.