“Ọba’s themes are protection, manifestation, movement, energy, restoration and flexibility. Her symbols is water.  Ọba, is the Nigerian and Santarian Goddess of rivers, which figuratively represents the flow of time and life. Turn to Her for assistance in learning how to ‘go with the flow’, or when you need to inspire some movement in sluggish projects or goals.

Kuomboka is a holiday in Zambia that literally translates as ‘getting out of the water’. Due to the annual flood cycle, people must make their way to higher ground around this date. So consider what type of figurative hot water you’ve gotten into lately.  Ọba stands ready to get you onto safer footing.

To encourage Her aid, take a glass half filled with hot water, then slowly pour in cold water op to the rim, saying:

 ‘By Ọba’s coursing water, let <…..> improve
to higher and safer ground, my spirit move.’

Drink the water to internalize the energy.

Ọba can abide in any body of flowing water, including your tap or shower. When you get washed up or do the dishes today, invoke her energy by uttering this chant (mentally or verbally):

‘Ọba, flow <……> blessings  bestow
Pour, pour, pour <……> restore, restore, restore.’

Let Ọba’s spiritual waters refresh your energy and your magic.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

"Three Yoruban Women" by Consuelo Gamboa

Ọba is the Yoruba Goddess of rivers. She was the daughter of Yemaja and one of the consorts of Sàngó. Ọba represents the power of the flowing waters. The waters of the River Ọba bear Her name. She forms a triad with Her sisters Ọṣhun and Oya and provides the life-giving waters that are needed as drinking water and for irrigation. Ọba is venerated as a Goddess of love in Brazil but considered a guardian of prostitutes in parts of Africa.

Ọba is the heroine of a sad story that began with Her rivalry with Ọṣhun and Her efforts to obtain the exclusive love of their common husband.  According to legend, Shango was the lover of Ọṣhun, but the husband of Ọba and Oya. Ọṣhun was his favorite because She was the best cook of the three. Ọba, jealous because She was the first and legitimate wife, asked Ọṣhun how She kept Shango so happy.

Ọṣhun, filled with resentment because Ọba’s children would inherit the kingdom, told Ọba that many years ago She had cut off a piece of Her ear, dried it into a powder, and sprinkled some on Shango’s food.  This, She said, is what made him desire Her more than the others.  So, Ọba went home and sliced off Her ear, stirring it into Shango’s food. When Shango began eating, he glanced down he saw an ear floating in the stew. Thinking that Ọba was trying to poison him, he drove Her from the house.  Grieving, She fell to earth and became the Ọba River which intersects with the Oṣun river at turbulent rapids, a symbol of the rivalry between the two wives where She is still worshipped today.” [1]

"Water goddess" by rmj7

“Ọba migrated with Her people when they were brought to Cuba.  When Ọba possesses a dancer, she wears a scarf that hides one ear and must be kept from any dancer who embodies Ọṣhun because of the rivalry between the two.  Ọba is syncretized with Saints Catherine and Rita” (Patricia Monaghan, Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, p. 41), Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Martha (Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, Afro-Caribbean Religoins: An Introduction to Their Historical, Cultural, and Sacred Traditions p. 174)


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. [2]

Visit Orisha Online Altar, Oba to learn more about Her associations, offerings and altar set up.