If you have ever entered into a tropical or sub-tropical rainforest, you no doubt have been impressed greatly by the difference between a tropical rainforest and a normal woods of North America. Perhaps it is due to the amazing number of different trees and plants that exist in a tropical setting. There are literally hundreds of trees and plants that are not found in other locations. The presence of spirits is almost overwelming. And of course, you must not forget Osain, the owner of the woods. Whenever you enter into such a location to do magical work or to find plants and trees you need for doing magic, you must always leave an offering for Osain before you enter the woods, asking his permission to take what you need. Whenever, you take certain plants or parts of certain trees, you must also say certain prayers to the spirits of those plants and trees, telling them the reason for which you are removing them and asking their permission to be used. In our belief system, plants and trees have spirits, just like humans and animals. If you take a plant to be used in healing someone and do not ask permission, or do not perform the correct ritual before taking the plant, more than likely, your endeavors will be in vain. Usually, offerings are made to the spirits of the plants that you are taking as well as to Osain upon entering the forest. Ochossi is just one of the Orishas that live in the forest, along with certain "caminos" of Eleggua, Ogun and other Orisha such as Inle. There is even an Orisha called Aroni, who is the slave of Osain, that can make you crazy or blind you. Needless to say, much respect for the woods and all its inhabitants.
Now we come to our Greek counterpart of the woodland god. Pan is the Greek god of the wooklands, but also of flocks of animals. For this reason, he is depicted as having goat feet. Apparently, we have an change here is the Greek counterpart, where he is domesticated somewhat, by becoming the patron of shepherds as well as being the god of the woods. Alhough Ochossi is more associated with deer than with goats, Ochossi does in fact eat goat as a sacrificial offering. The emphasis in the Greek representation seems to be more on the lustiness of the god, as opposed to the Yoruba rendering where he is more serious and more concerned with survival and magic. It may be noted that Ode, the father of Ochossi, does have in his preparation and in his prepared image two goat horns, just like Pan.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO PAGE 5