My Godfather Afolabi’s (iba’ye) Oshun Ibu Kole.
Oshun Ibu Kole is the Vulture, the witch. She is an older Oshun associated with witchcraft and the Iyaami Oshoronga (literally “Our Mothers,” a euphemism for the Grandmother witches that rule Yoruba society).
Here’s how she saved the world:
One day the Orisha stopped making ebo to Olodumare (God). They said they had all that they needed because they had every power in the world! What use was God when they had their own powers? And so, quietly, Olodumare retreated from the world. And with Olodumare went the rain.
Without rain, the world began to dry up. Food stopped growing, animals and humans starved, and everything began to die. The Orisha panicked and tried to go apologize to Olodumare for disrespecting Her (or Him or Them), but Olodumare had gone home to His (or Hers or Their) palace in the middle of the sun, and no one could reach Them (or Her or Him) there.
The Orisha couldn’t get there, and so they sent the birds. But no kind of bird could fly high enough. Every Orisha tried to go to the Sun by using their magic, but to no avail.
Oshun, the youngest Orisha, offered to fly up to the Sun, but everyone laughed at her. No one would believe that someone so young, much less a woman, could do such an important task. But people were dying, and no one was able to help. Oshun took the prayers of the world on her bank, turned herself into a peacock, and began flying to the Sun, even while the Orisha laughed at her.
As she got closer to the Sun, the Sun’s heat turned her feathers black. The fire of the Sun burned off all of the feathers from her head. And somehow she made it! The Sun had turned her into a vulture, but she made it, and, exhausted, she carried the prayers of the world to Olodumare’s feet and begged for forgiveness. Olodumare was so impressed by Oshun’s heroism and perseverance that They turned the rains back on in the world, and She blessed Oshun for having saved the world.
And this is why we must never take Oshun for granted. Oshun, the youngest Orisha of them all, saved the whole world.
This is the most common pataki (story) of Oshun Ibu Kole!
Moforibale! (I put my head to the ground.)
Maferefun Oshun Ibu Kole!