Orishas of Love

Traditionally adorned African woman and man embracing

The Yoruba people believe that gods and goddesses govern different aspects of life. Love is a particular aspect of life that attracts many people to the Ifa tradition. Some seek out this religion to find love or heal their love life. Others focus on bringing passion or peace to their relationships. Either way, many Orishas can assist with this component of life.

Though there isn’t one particular deity who will settle love matters in everyone’s life, some Orishas are popularly sought out when it comes to matters of the heart. Oshun is probably the most famous of all Orishas of love and relationships. However, other Orishas play an essential role in this dynamic as well. Yemoja, Ogun, Obatala, and other spirits can be instrumental in our love life.

Let’s look at how some of the Orishas of love in Ifa and other diasporic traditions.

Oshun

I have discussed Oshun in several posts on this blog. However, since she is the patroness of love in many diasporic traditions, I also briefly discuss her essence in this post. Oshun is the goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality. She embodies the divine feminine aspects of sexuality. As a powerful goddess, she can make or break relationships.

Oshun is often depicted as a beautiful woman with long hair wearing a crown with two peacock feathers. She carries a golden staff in one hand and an ikin (a gourd) in the other hand to symbolize her power over water. Water represents our emotions, intuition, and subconscious thoughts.  

In which case, Oshun and other water deities govern these aspects of life. Though, Oshun is connected with sweet waters, which characterizes her sensual nature. Water is the most crucial element in the world and our bodies. It is vital for hydration, nourishment, cleansing, and flow. As such, this energy can nourish us with pure, clean love that flows from a never-ending stream.   

Yemoja

Yemoja is also a water deity as she governs the ocean and fertility. She is known as the mother of all living things. Similar to Oshun, she represents love, fertility, and motherhood. Though, she symbolizes the more nurturing, maternal aspects of love.

As the patron goddess of pregnant women and unborn children, Yemoja protects females and youths. Her symbol is an overturned calabash that spills water on the ground. This represents her power over water, fertility, and abundance. As water energy, Yemoja also encompasses the ability to heal. 

Therefore, she can be powerful in healing matters of the heart. She can wash away toxic, negative aspects of love connections and help restore weak or dead relationships. Likewise, she can bring abundance and fertility into our love life.  

Ogun

Ogun is the Orisha of iron and war. He is a warrior and a hunter, but he also has a softer, more passionate side. He helps people find love by removing obstacles that stand in their way. He likewise ignites passion and desire within us to help us find or conjure the power of love.

Ogun personifies the divine masculine aspects of love. He brings the energy of passion and fire into our love relationships. He can restore vigor and sexual prowess. Ogun often instigates love connections through his essence of desire.

Obatala

Obatala is another Orisha associated with certain aspects of love. He is the father of all the Orishas, and he is also the God of justice. Obatala is a very powerful Orisha, and he has many children. 

Known as the king of peace, Obatala settles disputes and brings harmony into our love relationships. He blesses people with patience, understanding, and wisdom. Obatala reminds us of our potential to be wise and fair-minded. He is instrumental in restoring balance and equilibrium in our love connections.

Learn more about starting an African spiritual practices in this episode of the African Spirit Reintegrated + Reimagined: