I work in ways deep
I work in ways dramatic
with thunder and lightning
sweeping and uprooting
I work in ways subtle
pushing and prodding
wearing and tearing
I swirl you and twirl you
I splatter you and scatter you
I shock you and rock you
I clear the way for what is to come
I can be slight or stupendous
brief or long lasting
uproaring or uprising
What I can’t be is ignored
Bringer of Change – Shaper of Storms
Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas). A Warrior-Queen, She is the sister-wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. A Fire Goddess, it is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.
Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, She is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back — such is the extent of Her power. Because of Her affiliation to the dead, and Her intense knowledge of the magick arts, Oya is also known as “the Great Mother of the Elders of the Night (Witches)”.
Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: unleashed, Oya is the Savage Warrior, the Protective Mother, She whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from Her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while She understands everything, She will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth (even when it is hard to bear).
Oya is the protectress of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, She is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring Mother to destructive Warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care. While She will toss you in Her storms of change, and shelter you in Her caring embrace, She will also strike you down with Her lightning should the need arise. However, do not let that dissuade you from working with Oya, for She is the Strong Woman, the Bringer of Change and Seeker of Truth, who can be a most powerful ally.
Oya loves shea butter, and you should always try to have some of this on your altar whenever working with Her. To honour Oya, you can also use any of the following:
Colours: maroon, purple, deep dark red, oranges, browns, multi-colours, burgundy, copper.
Scents: patchouli, sandalwood, geranium.
Gemstones: red stones, particularly garnet, but also bloodstone, tourmaline, smoky quartz.
Foods: eggplant, grape wine, grapes, gin, rum, kola nuts, rooster, hen, porridge, fruit, fish, anything spicy.
Herbs: comfrey, pleurisy roots, horehound, chickweed, peony, elecampane, royal poinciana, star apple, flamboyan, yucca, caimito, cypress, grains of paradise.
Icons: masks, swords, whips, pennies, brooms, camwood, wind instruments, anything associated with wind (e.g. pictures of hurricanes, tornadoes, etc), bright-coloured cloth, buffalo’s horns, anything copper.
Oya’s taboos are smoke, palm kernel oil, ram and pork.
*information provided in part by www.orderwhitemoon.org