Oshun! Oshun! Oshun! Maferefun Oshun! Recently Beyonce hit the Grammy stage, and the world has not stop talking about her channeling Oshun for her performance. If you are not familiar with Oshun, she is the African Deity of love, beauty, prosperity and fertility. This description of Oshun are quick bullet points, there is SO much more to her than this. If you are a practitioner of Ifa and Yoruba religions (such as myself), a conversation about Oshun is just a common conversation to have. However, I do find it interesting that the rest of the world is now intrigued by Oshun.
Last month my Godson asked me to come out and support a spoken word event he was promoting. I told him not only would I come out and support, I would get on the stage and drop a line or two. Initially I wanted to represent our current situation here in America and recite one of my favorite pieces- “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron. Unfortunately I got sick a week prior to the event. That is quite a lengthy piece and I knew I would not get through it without a serious coughing fit.
I considered backing out, but my Godson was counting on me and I could not let him down. So I decided to select a piece that was not as long as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” My natural instinct drew me to a piece about Oshun. I read it over and over several times, and did not have a single coughing attack. The selection was beautiful. The selection was perfect. The selection was Oshun. Now let me be clear, I have never gone on a stage and performed any spoken word or poetry before in my life! But I was up for the challenge. I figured, I don’t know these people, so if I mess up it will alright.
When I took the stage I asked the audience if they were familiar with Oshun? I asked if they were familiar with the African Orisha? Immediately people started to shout! I heard a brother say “Shango!” I heard a sister say “Yemaja!” Another brother yelled “Ogun!” I smiled, glanced at my daughter and said “I got this!” It was liberating and tranquil to be on that stage and perform a piece about Oshun. I cannot put into words what it felt like to hold the gaze and attention of that audience as I spoke and performed that piece about Oshun, My daughter was so proud and hugged me immediately after I got off the stage.
Here is the spoken word selection I performed that night.
IN OSHUN’S RIVER
By Becca Tzigany
Iba Oshun olodi! Praises to Orisha of the River!
Spirit clean me inside out
Flush through my veins till I’m flowing
Revive my body from a lonely drought
Singing across the river
Drum notes of my thoughts back and forth
Roll them till they’re smooth, white stones
Polish the mirror of my mind
Take out the knots with your comb
Iba Oshun sekese!
Praises to Orisha of Mystery!
Spirit clean me inside out
I pour my sorrows into your waters
As my heart lets go of fear and doubt
Strong, brown crushing goddess
How do I dissolve my old habits
That charted my course till now?
Help me attach not to objects
But to the currents pure spirits arouse
Iba Oshun ibu kole!
Praises to Orisha of Seduction!
Join with me inside and out
Adorned with brass bangles shining
Making love in the depths and throughout