The Orixa Oxossi

There are many religions that feature hunters and providers. In Candomble, it’s no different. Oxossi is the Orixa that’s most commonly associated with the hunt and providing food, and is thus known as the God of Prosperity. However, like the other Orishas, Oxossi has some human failings, and can end up being the Orixa who is the father of waning or lack of provision.

Oxossi’s primary personality traits include lightness, cunning, wisdom and so on. Also, you might be surprised to know that Oxossi is not just about things like hunting and providing. He also loves the arts, and just about everything associated with that realm, be it sculpting, music composition, dance, etc.

Ceremonies & Offerings

Believe it or not, Oxossi is the one Orixa who is considered to have a partner, Ogum, who is Oxossi’s brother. They complement each other so well.

However, the focus is chiefly on Oxossi for now.

Concerning the veneration of Oxossi in Africa: such practices are essentially gone over there, but they are thriving in Brazil. Oxossi’s ceremonial  day is Thursday, and the foods usually offered him are pigs, axoxo, corn and coconut. Parades that are thrown for Oxossi often show him with his bow, arrows, shield and animal tail, which is often a symbol of leadership. He is thought to not only hunt animals and provide food, but also to hunt good energies and positive influences, and represents overall dynamism and optimism.

By contrast, despite his inherently active nature, he has a passive nature that is on the lazy side, and in reality, it is this indolent side that has his brother prodding him to learn hunting skills.

Oxossi’s colours are green, blue and bright red, with green being the most common. His personality is affable, altruistic, selfless and friendly, though he is also known to be rather tense and austere. Because he carries a bow, naturally, archery is one of his symbols, as is an ox horn that lets out a sound that translates to “Lord, hear my voice.”

Finally, Oxossi tends to be syncretistically connected with St. Sebastian in the Rio de Janeiro region, and Saint George in the Bahia area.

Oxossi isn’t quite as famous as, say, Yemanja or Omolu, but he is no less venerated, especially in Brazil, since he has three specific feast dates: Corpus Christi, April 23rd and January 20th. If you connect with the forest, and have a love for the arts, chances are, you might have a connection with Oxossi.

What Are the Entities of Candomble?

If you are at all familiar with the religions that have been brought over from Africa and melded in syncretistically with other religions, particularly Roman Catholicism, you’re likely familiar with the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomble.

Candomble, like its cousins Vodou and Santeria, is rooted partly in the Yoruba religion, and is both syncretistic (meaning their religion is blended) and polytheistic at the same time, meaning practitioners worship many of what we’d call gods. These gods or entities of Candomble are called “orixas,” also known as “orishas.”

What Are the Orishas?

Orishas are considered powerful nature gods, and they are neither wholly good or wholly evil. Like us, they contain a bit of both, but still emanate from and serve the supreme Creator, Olodumare, who is considered divine. How can a god be neither good or evil, but still be divine?

In Candomble, they don’t have a concept for “good” or “evil” like other religions seem to. They do, however, believe that if you do what many would consider evil, that evil will come back to you eventually. That said, Candomble is not a dualistic religion, so comparisons between typical Judeo-Christian judgments between what’s good and bad don’t entirely match up to what’s practiced in Candomble.

Practitioners also believe in destiny and that one should fulfil one’s destiny to the fullest, whatever that may be. Candomble practitioners also believe that each practitioner or devotee has a teaching spirit that’s with them always and protects them.

Just as Candomble is syncretistically practised with Catholicism, Candomble is polytheistic in the sense that they worship not just the orishas but also the voduns of the Fon and Ewe nation, as well as the nkisis/minkisi of the Congo.

One of the well-known and most revered orishas of Candomble is Exu. Exu is, more or less, similar to the Greco-Roman god Hermes/Mercury, in that he is a messenger between heaven (“Orun”) and Earth (“Aiye”). Because he is also sensual and mischievous as well as a bit provocative, he was labeled as something of a Satanic figure, which is completely misguided.

Because Exu is the orisha of communication between heaven and earth, he is honored before all other orishas, to guarantee his function as messenger is completed.

Each orisha has a feast day, favorite song, drumbeat, etc, and the orishas are part of what makes Candomble such a fascinating religion.

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Church of Candomble inauguration

Church of Candomble inauguration

We are pleased to announce the opening of our church, and would like to invite you to celebrate with us. The inauguration party will be held on October 17th, come join us!

About us

We are a different church from the others. We believe in the spiritual world, in the Orixas (nature Gods). Church of Candomble is the first Orixa church in the United Kingdom. We do not discriminate against race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We offer baptism and wedding ceremonies.

We also offer spiritual development:

  • Cowrie shell readings
  • Initiations (Bori)
  • Rebirth (Feitura de Santo)
  • Spiritual cleansing (Ebo)
  • Advice on how to improve your life
  • Catechism for children

Join us!

Please contact us to confirm your presence here.