Oya is the African orisha of storms, fire and transformation. She represents the powerful force behind natures fury such as thunder, lightning and wind. One of three wives to Shango, orisha of thunder and dancing, Oya also symbolizes hurricanes and tornadoes. It is said when it rains, Oya is crying and storms are created when she is enraged.
Oya is known as the guardian of the cemetery. She receives the souls of the dead to help them crossover. Although she is associated with death and the afterlife, she is not seen as death itself as she guides the souls to rebirth. She is also endowed with magical powers such as clairvoyance, communication with spirits, divination and the ability to summon death as well as controlling destructive storms to bring about change. She is said to be a Goddess for witches and is referred to as "Mother of the Elders of Night".
Oya is a Goddess of change and transformation. She helps us to connect with and know our inner most selves and urges us toward the necessary changes that need to be made in our lives. Just like a tornado is destructive and chaotic in its nature, the same can be true for great personal transformation. Oya teaches us to let go of the things that no longer serve us or are holding us back. She teaches us that change, like death, is a necessary and natural occurrence in life.
In Santeria she is honored in her aspect of the saint Lady Candelaria on February 2nd which is also a day for the Celtic Goddess Brigid. She is also seen as a warrior Goddess for women and an advocate for feminine leadership and strength. Call on Oya when you are ready to make big changes in your life, when its time for you to let go of that which no longer serves you.
Her colors are all but black although her most well known are purple and reddish-browns. Her sacred number is 9 and her sacred offerings are eggplants, red wine, black beans and copper.
Picture courtesy of Sandra M. Stanton