Ochosi or Oxossi is the orisha of the hunt. He is the orisha that also lives in the forest and is always accompanied by Eleguá and Ogún. Ochosi also known as Oxossi, Ode Mata, is a well-known magician. Ochosi has great knowledge and usage of all the herbs known in the forest. His implements are a bow and arrow that he constantly has with him in which he uses for his hunt. Ochosi is also a great fisherman. He can catch a fish that is swimming in the river without a problem. Here is where he sits at times with his good friend Inle and they hunt together.
Ochosi is also the orisha of justice. Justice for the reason that he is always hunting righteousness. All law enforcement individuals are said to be under his protection and guidance. When someone has committed a crime and the police are searching for them, Ochosi is in hunt mode and seeks the individual out. He does not rest until the one who did wrong is captured. You can say Ochosi is our modern day navigation system. He is also the jail house where the offenders reside. After he captures his hunt he puts them in a cage just as when an offender is captured they are put in jail.
Ochosi is said to do all of his magical work deep in the forest where no one can see him, He takes different herbs and sticks to conjure up his magic. His magical work is very strong and is swift and effective. He uses his magic in every aspect there is. He can use it to heal the sick or to destroy an enemy. He creates special potions in which he also dips the points of his arrow in so when he is on a hunt, his target will drop immediately.
All animals are to be of Ochosi. He loves to hunt deer and large games. There is nothing impossible for Ochosi when he is on the hunt. His arrows never fail.
Ochosi feast day is on October 25. His colors are blue, yellow, green and coral. He eats all animals that are game. His children are like him as they proclaim justice and are very trustworthy people. They always hunt and seek out the truth in everything. Hunters, all law enforcements, and fisherman are under the protection and watch of Ochosi. The majority of Ochosi’s offerings are placed near or at the foot of a prison, jail or courthouse. He is petitioned when one is being falsely accused or of seeking an accuser for wrong doing. He is also petitioned to help ward off the law only when the petitioner is to the right.
The Family of Ochosi
Ode is said to be the father of Ochosi. Ode is a powerful witch doctor that lives in the depths of the woods. He taught Ochosi the game of hunt. All birds and animals are associated with him as he has hunted them all. He said to be a tall man dressed in deer and leopard skin just like his son Ochosi. He constructed the bow and arrows of Ochosi. He is an orisha that one receives either from a babalow or santero,
He is the one that Ochosi turns all the prisoners and catches to you to lock in a cage. Represented as the jail cell. He is also received.
Abola and Aboqui
These are said to be the guardians of Ochosi who are always near him. They are like twins who never leave and protect Ochosi when he is in the hunt.
He’s represented by Saint Norbert
- Canary Grass
OSHOSI.ODE MATA, MATA CERO
Before becoming an Orisha, Oshosi earned his livelihood and supported his mother by his skills as a hunter. He knew every nook and cranny of the forest. He knew all the habits of the animals. One day, as Oshosi was walking along a forest path, Orunmila appeared to him.
“Oshosi, hear Me.” said Orunmila.
“I am yours to command,” said Oshosi, bowing low. “Please stand up,” said Orunmila. “I am here to ask for your help.”
“It is not for me to help an Orisha.” said Oshosi.
“But, I will do what I can.”
“I have need of your skills as a hunter. Olodumare wants one of the fat delicious quail found in this area. I promised I would get him one, but I have been here for three days and haven’t had any luck,” confessed Orunmila. “I just don’t know how to hunt them.”
“Why, that would be no trouble at all,” said Oshosi.
“If you get one of those quail for me, you will have my and Olodumare’s blessing for the rest of your life,” said Orunmila.
“Meet me at my house tomorrow,” said Oshosi. “I will have a quail for you.”
Orunmila disappeared. Oshosi immediately set about hunting quail. With his skill and knowledge, it wasn’t very long before he had a beautiful hen struggling inside his sack. Whistling, he made his way back home.
Oshosi put the quail hen in a little cage and went back into the woods to hunt. He traveled a long ways and, as was his custom, spent the night under a tree.
The following morning, he hurried home to meet Orunmila. Visions of all the wonderful things he would ask Olodumare made his head spin. His mother would be so happy!
Orunmila was already waiting when Oshosi arrived home.
“Good morning, Oshosi. Were you able to trap a quail?” Orunmila asked him.
“I trapped the fattest and most beautiful quail in all the forest,” said Oshosi.
He went in the house. He came out with an empty cage.
“Where is it?” asked Orunmila.
“I don’t understand it,” said Oshosi. “I left it in this cage yesterday afternoon, and now, it is gone.”
“Are you playing with me?” Orunmila was becoming angry.
“Of course not, sir. I would not dare,” said Oshosi. “Mother!”
Oshosi’s little mother came out of the house, drying her wrinkled hands.
“Yes, my son?”
“Mother, do you know anything about the quail I left in this cage yesterday afternoon?”
“No, dear,” she said. “I don’t know anything.”
Oshosi’s mother was lying. She had seen the quail in its cage the day before. She had been happy that her thoughtful son had brought her such a tasty bird to eat. She had killed it, plucked it, and eaten it, but she was afraid of admitting it to Orunmila.
“Don’t worry, Orunmila. I will go out right now and I will have another beautiful bird for you by this afternoon,” said Oshosi.
It was not hard to keep his promise. In just one hour, he had another beautiful quail hen struggling inside his sack. He returned to his house. Orunmila was waiting for him.
“You see,” said Oshosi, proudly taking the fluttering quail out of the sack. “I have brought you another beautiful quail.”
“You have done me such a great favor that I will take you directly to Olodumare so you can present him with this quail yourself,” said Orunmila. “It is not just that I should receive the credit when it was your skill that made Olodumare’s gift possible.”
They went to Olodumare’s house. He was delighted with the quail.
“You have made my heart glad today.” said Olodumare.
“It is my pleasure to honor you, great sir,” responded Oshosi.
“I thank you too, Orunmila, for having had the wisdom to turn over your task to this great hunter,” said Olodumare. “I have decided to make you an Orisha, Oshosi. You will be a king among hunters.”
Praise and treasures were heaped on Oshosi. He did not let it go to his head. He kept a pleasing humility before Olodumare. After all the ceremonies were over, Oshosi approached Olodumare.
“Sir, I would ask that you grant me one more boon,” said Oshosi.
“And what might that be?” asked Olodumare.
“I have not forgiven the one that stole the first quail that I trapped for you,” said Oshosi. “I want vengeance. Please allow that, when I release my arrow, it will find the thief’s heart.”
“I cannot deny you what you wish,” said Olodumare sadly. “But you will not forgive yourself for asking such a boon.”
Oshosi released his arrow and, guided by Olodumare’s will, it went straight into Oshosi’s mother’s breast. Horrified, Oshosi watched his mother die by his own hand
After the funeral, Oshosi stood before Olodumare, tears streaming down his cheeks.
“I will no longer be a hunter. I will fulfill my duty and help all hunters, but I will never forget that it was my need for vengeance and my lack of foresight that caused my mother’s death.”