Read in 3 mins how Oba became the goddess of Rivers

Ọba (known as Obá in Latin America) Orisha of the River Oba whose source lays near Igbon where her worship originates while her centres of worship moved to a more secure town Ogbomosho during the wars of the 19th century. Traditionally, this orisha is identified as the first wife of another Orisha Sango, third Alaafin of the Oyo Empire. According to recorded mythological stories, Oba was tricked and coerced by Oya or Oshun into feeding Sango her ear. Nonetheless, she is syncretized with Saint Catherine of Siena.


Yoruba Goddess of rivers, daughter of Yemaja representing the power of flowing waters with the waters of the River Oba bearing her name. She forms a triad with her sisters Oshun and Oya providing life giving waters needed for drinking and irrigation. Not only is she seen as a goddess in the Yoruba region of Nigeria, she is venerated also as a Goddess of love in Brazil while being considered as a guardian of prostitutes in some other parts of Africa.

Ọba’s themes are protection, manifestation, movement, energy, restoration, and flexibility with her symbol being water. She represents a flow of time and life, those who choose to learn how to ‘go with the flow’ also those who need inspiration or speed in varying sluggish projects or goals can turn to her for assistance.

Oba, beautiful Yoruba river spirit, is overshadowed by other more famous river orishas like Oshun, Oya, and Yemaya, who began her incarnation as the orisha of the Ogun River. Being overshadowed is the central theme of Oba’s sole surviving myth.

Her story reads as being Shango’s first wife, a position of rank and authority. One woman is never enough for Shango, a situation that was acceptable to Oba providing that his other women were properly subordinate. After all, kings have harems. Shango’s passionate love affairs with Oya and Oshun, however, were just too much. Shango treated them like queens. As anyone familiar with those two orishas knows, neither is subordinate to anyone.

Oba's magical powers are among the most powerful of all Orishas. Oba’s strength and proficiency with magic is second only to Iku. Her powers derive from two main sources: her innate capacity to manipulate ambient Orisha magical energy honed through practice, and her acquired knowledge of spells and enchantments of Orisha origin. She can use her sorcery to generate powerful blasts of concussive force, heat, or light. She can also alter her appearance, taking the shape of other humanoid beings or teleport herself and others across great distances.

The focus of the Oba's powers has been the enhancement of her natural beauty and allure so that men, mortal or otherwise, are overwhelmed with desire for her. She has enchanted her lips so that a single kiss is sufficient to make virtually any man a slave to her will, obedient to her every command, for about a week. Subsequent kisses enable her to enthrall someone's will indefinitely. Her knowledge of arcane lore enables her to cast spells with a variety of specific effects. Among the many spells she has employed include illusion-casting, temporary paralysis, deflection of matter and energy, inter-dimensional travel, and elemental conversion. 

Sacred number: 8

Day of the week: Sunday or Friday

Colors: pink, pink and blue, pink belted or accented with red and white

Domain: marriage, loyalty, fidelity, female honor with regard to wife and motherhood, bonding

Symbols: interlocking wedding rings or circles, head scarves in Her colors that cover the ears and neck (khimar style), the double swords (two machetes or gubasas) with attached scarves, the hooded cape, the baby sling, red and white hearts, red and white roses or other flowers, pink flowers.

Element: Water, Colours: Red, white, Day: Saturday


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