Guest artists: JG Bertrand and Becca Tzigany


IN OSHUN'S RIVER (detail) by JG Bertrand

The deities in the painting are Oshun, Mars and Venus. Oshun is the Afro-Caribbean goddess of the river, love, sexuality and beauty. This prayer–an excerpt from The Pillow Book of Venus and Her Lover: Reinventing the Myth–asks for purification of body, mind, spirit and old habits, so the speaker may flow into oneness with the Divine. To read more of Oshun’s myths and to place her in a Tantric context, click here. ~ Becca Tzigany

In Oshun’s River

(a prayer)

by Becca Tzigany

Iba Oshun olodi!
Praises to Orisha of the River!
Spirit, clean me inside out
Flush through my veins till I’m flowing
Revive my body from a lonely drought

Singing across the river
Drum notes of my thoughts back and forth
Roil them till they’re smooth, white stones
Polish the mirror of my mind
Take out the knots with your comb

Iba Oshun sekese!
Praises to Orisha of Mystery!
Spirit, clean me inside out
I pour my sorrows into your waters
As my heart lets go of fear and doubt

Strong, brown, onrushing goddess
How do I dissolve my old habits
That charted my course till now?
Help me attach not to objects
But to the currents pure spirits arouse

Iba Oshun ibu kole!
Praises to Orisha of Seduction!
Join with me inside and out
Adorned with brass bangles shining
Making love in the depths and throughout

The Pillow Book of Venus and Her Lover: Reinventing the Myth is a Tantric art project by artist JG Bertrand and poet Becca Tzigany. Venus and Her Lover: The Memoir, to be published in 2011, describes their adventures of diving into the holy waters of archetypes around the world (Caribbean to Mediterranean, the Ganges River to the Río Pueblo de Taos, the Pacific Ocean to the Arabian Sea) during their decade-long collaboration on this project.

JG Bertrand, traveler/artist, activist, blogger and big-wave surfer, has lived and painted in more than 20 countries in 30 years. Becca Tzigany, coauthor of The Pillow Deck: A Tantric Oracle and Erotic Card Game and regular contributor to the literary magazine The Writer’s Cramp, has honed her spiritual practice as mother, environmentalist, community organizer and writer. They are currently based in Oaxaca, Mexico.

“In Oshun’s River” © JG Bertrand and Becca Tzigany. For reprint rights, contact


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