People in Africa have a great respect for the rainforest and the inhabitants therein. Many of them, before entering, leave offerings for Osain, even if they don't intend to gather herbs or plants. Osain has a slave by the name of Aroni. Aroni has a human form, but with the head and tail of a dog. He, like Osain, has great knowledge of medicinal plants, but he usually follows the orders of Osain to resolve problems for people imploring the help of Osain. To those who enter into the rainforest, or indeed any woods, he is capable of killing them if they come with fear in their hearts. He has been known to leave people blind. He does this to cowards only. Those that meet him in the woods and bravely face him are given secrets of working with the plants of the forest, instead of be devoured or left blind. Some of the greatest secrets of our religion are dependent on the use of plants and trees. Remember, that we believe that all living things have a spirit. This also applies to plants. Each plant and each tree has a spirit that lives therein. Some plants, by their nature, have medicinal properties. Some plants and trees are strictly used for magical purposes. Some spirits of certain plants and trees can be used magically to cure, while others can be used magically to kill. Many are used in the preparation of amulets and talismans called "resguardos" that are made for protection under the auspices of Osain.
Loko is the Vodoun god of plants and trees that grow in the forest. He is especially connected to trees. The cult of Loko for that reason is often concerned with the worship of trees, as Loko is himself sometimes considered to be the representative of trees. Loko is invoked to give power to plants and their leaves for use in rituals or when used for healing. The Osainistas of Haiti never fail to invoke Loko when working with plants and trees, nor do they ever fail to invoke Loko when they are going to undertake a ritual healing. Thus we see that Loko is the very same Orisha in Haiti that Osain is in Cuba. There are some minor differences between the way Osain is viewed in Cuba and the way Osain is viewed in Brazil in the Candombles. In Cuba, Osain is deemed so great that he can never come down on a "horse" or medium. The elders say that no Head can hold the force of the "monte" or rainforest. Children of Osain when they make the Saint in Cuba, make Eleggua. In Brazil, Osain is made directly on the person. In Cuba the children of Osain are invariably men and they are urged not to marry, since Osain is a celibate Orisha. Osain had no mother or father. He grew directly out of the earth like a plant. Osain is such a chaste Orisha, that when the Osainistas are going to work with Osain or perform a ritual using Osain, they are forbidden to have sexual contact three days before the ceremony, and sometimes three days after!
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