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Religious Uses of Honey

African

Yoruba Traditions

Oshun was the goddess of sensuality, love, healing, divination, rivers, and women's rights. As slaves were brought to the New World, she came with them -- Ochun, Yalorde, Erzulie, Oxum and Our Lady of La Caridad del Cobre. Honey is offered to her upon her alter.

Once, she was not invited to a meeting of the male spirits. She was so mad, she made the women of the Earth barren, and the other spirits became frightened of her. They approached her many times with gifts of copper and gold, but she refused. She finally forgave them when she was presented with an offering of honey.

One day, a spirit of divination was bathing when his clothes were stolen. Oshun heard his cries, and made him promise to teach her divination if she was able to return his robes. She sprayed her body with honey, tied yellow scarves around her waist, and approached the spirit who had stolen the robes. The spirit was so enchanted with her beauty, he gave her the robes, and she was able to learn divination.


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