The Orisha Oya is an elemental Goddess, meaning that her power is rooted in the natural world. As the Goddess of Storms, she rules earth, air, fire, water, and spirit, as all of these elements contribute into the creation of weather. Oya herself is the power of thunder, lightning, winds, hurricanes, tornados, and rain. And like the storm, she is wildly impulsive, volatile, and unpredictable. She is the rain that both nourishes, and has the power to destroy.
Nothing is soft as water. Yet, who can withstand the raging flood?
As the rage of the storm, Oya represents change and transformation, on both the spiritual and physical planes. An experience of earth shaking, wind howling, cataclysmic change is a sign that Oya is nearby.
“Oya-Yansa is the Queen of the Winds of change. She is feared by many people because she brings about sudden structural change in people and things. Oya does not just rearrange the furniture in the house — she knocks the building to the ground and blows away the floor tiles.”
Oya’s energy is fast paced, brutally honest, and always working towards your highest good. This Goddess does not destroy simply for the sake of destruction; she clears the path with her wind and her machete to open the way for you to follow your destined path. In her eyes, the pain, trauma, and grief you may experience is worth the rewards of a new life, new opportunities, and a new existence. Oya forces you to let go of what no longer serves you; if you will not release the situation, person, or idea on your own, she will tear it from your hands. (Remember, Oya translates as “she tore”!). The more we resist change, the stronger Oya’s wind blows.
Oya, Mother, gentle breeze, screaming whirlwind, all of these
Bring your winds of change to me
Mercifully, gently sweep me free
From the folly surrounding me
Cut the cords where I have bound me
With your healing breath set down me
On the ground where I need to be
On the ground where I need to be
On the ground where I need to be.
– Song to Oya, channeled by Earil to Joyce January 1999
This attribute of Oya’s energy is one of the many reasons practitioners fear working with her; the idea of transforming ourselves and our lives in such a dramatic way can be overwhelming. She urges us to do the work that needs to be done, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us. It is important to remember that the forest fire sets the foundation for nourishment and growth of the new seedlings; by this reasoning, Oya rebirths you through chaos, by destroying the old boundaries and reframing your life. It is only by accepting this energy, and allowing Oya’s style of bedlam to run its course fully through our lives do we reveal the lessons and the rewards of transformative change.
Though Oya is the stern mother and the raging storm, her love and protection can still be felt throughout this transformation process. She will never leave you to spin and flip in the tornado alone. She holds your hand, guiding you, whispering in dreams and mystic signs, every step of the way.
Today in your journal, spend some time with the question: Where do I need to transform?
–article excerpted from the online course Transform: The Power of OYA with Priestess Brandi Auset
OYA Goddess Mist from RED Wholistic
OYA Crystal Grid from RED Wholistic
Orisha Goddess Gift Set from RED Wholistic