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Ochossi - God of the Hunt

St. Sebastian is one of the Catholic Saints that corresponds to Ochossi in Brazil. His name is spelled either Ochossi, or Oshossi or Oxossi, but pronounced the same. Ochossi is the Rio area of Brazil is identified with St. Sebastian. In Bahia, he is more identified with St. George. In Cuba, he is identified with St. Norbert. Since Ochossi is the Orisha of the hunt, he naturally uses a bow and arrow in his endeavors. Since the image of St. Sebastian represents a martyr with arrows in his body, the ancestors naturally associated this saint with Ochossi. As we have previously mentioned, you don't have to have anything to do with Catholic Saints to correctly practice Orisha worship. We just include this information to give a historical perspective. Although it must be said that we have seen some "spiritual" workings with Santa Barbara and other Catholic Saints that would make a believer out of anyone. Perhaps these religions became a little closer due to the practice of using Catholic Saints to represent the Orishas.

Cernunnos was the Gaulic diety associated with the Hunt. He was often pictured with the horns of a stag. His priests even today wear masks with deer antlers mounted on top. There is a very direct connection here with Ochossi. Ochossi was the Hunter Orisha and he used a bow and arrow to hunt with since there instruments have always been the most effective hunting tools in primitive societies. Naturally, deer were hunted in Africa just as they were all over the world. One of the main elements that composes the "fundamento" or secret implements of Ochossi is a set of deer antlers. Of course, ceremonies and special rituals are done to them to imbibe them with Ochossi's power. In primitive hunting societies, the hunt was everything. These societies were not farmers and their livlihood depended on the success of their hunters. Naturally, ceremonies were done to propitiate the God of the Hunt, for the good of all the community.



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