About Orisha & Ossain

The words Orisha and Ossain have their origins in Africa. They come from the ancient spiritual practice of the Yoruba people from West Africa. A belief system based on personal growth and development through divination.

From Africa to the rest of the world

During the diaspora, the Yoruba belief system has spread from parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo to various parts of the world. The original Yoruba practice has developed in various ways in different countries like Cuba and Brazil and is known under various names. Santaria, Canbomblé, Umbanda, Kimbanda, and many others.

Fundamental worldview.

The Yoruba believe that creation exists as Binary Complementarity as the predominant worldview. Binary Complementarity refers to the concept that many aspects of existence, particularly in Yoruba cosmology and philosophy, are interconnected and dependent on pairs of complementary opposites.

“The visible world, the physical universe that we inhabit, called Aiye , and the invisible world called Orun, are inhabited by supernatural beings and the “doubles” of everything that is manifested in Aiye”.

The meaning of Orisha

The simplest way to describe Osriha is “a force of nature”. The primary force is called Oxalá. It included all other segments of Orisha.

Oxalá is the white light and when this light goes through a prism all various aspects of it become visible as segments of the whole. Orisha is expressed in various ways and names. All have their specific affinities with colors, attributes, and aspects of nature.

The meaning of Ossain

Ossain is an expression of Orisha, a force of nature. In general, it is viewed as the father of sacred and miraculous plants. The one that has power over any type of vegetation and manages to extract cures for all ills from them. He is the defender of health and assists all those who seek a healthy life.

Practical information for Orisha Ossain

  • Ossaim Day: October 5th
  • Day of the week in Ossaim: Thursday
  • Symbol of Ossaim: Rod flanked by seven spears with a bird at the top (stylized tree).
  • Elements: Forest and Wild Plants (Earth/Forests).
  • Animals: Birds
  • Domains: Medicine and Liturgy through the leaves.
  • Greeting for Ossaim: “Ewé Ó”, which means “Save the leaves!”. There are also other variations of this greeting such as Ewê ewê asá, or Asá ô, or Eruejé.
  • Ossaim colors: Its main colors are green and white.

Prayer to Orisha Ossain

“Ossain, lord of healing and the axé of the leaves! May obstacles and obstacles be removed from my paths; May the crossroads of life be free and blessed; Lord of the leaves! May the leaves protect my paths in autumn; May the leaves decorate my destiny in spring; May the leaves warm my journey in winter; May the leaves brighten my life in summer.