Orisa Oya

Mo juba awo Oya!
Iwo ni Orisha Obinrin Afefe.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Iku.
Iwo ni Orisha Obinrin Efufulile.
Iwo ni Ologun Obinrin Julo Nase.
Iwo ni Emi Iye.

I humble myself before the mysteries of Oya!
You are the Goddess of the Wind.
You are the Owner of the Mysteries of Death.
You are the Goddess of the Tempest.
You are the Greatest Female Warrior.
You are the Breath of Life.

Unlike Yemoja and Oshun who command our attention through their grace, beauty, and majesty; Orisa Oya is the invisible Orisha. In fact, Her face is said to be so terrible that none dare behold it.

Oya’s presence and action is reflected in the flight of birds, the swaying of trees, the whistling of the atmosphere, the blowing of dust, the hurling of dirt, the movement of the waves, the sound of music, the spoken word, the cry of a baby, the roar of the lion, the movement of clouds, and the life of fire.

Oya Gardian of the Doorway Between Life and Death

It is Orisha Oya who gives us our passport to life [breath] at birth, and requires its return at death. Oya is therefore, the gardian of the doorway between life and death. She is not death but the awareness of its existence. Orisha Obatala, Yemoja, Ogun, and Oshun are all connected with the blood, but if Oya does not embue the blood with her Ase, the life process can not proceed.

Not only is Oya’s Ase essential to the life process of the ‘godseekers’ and other creatures that inhabit this region of the Ase, but she is also the one who carries the pollen of the plants and trees from place to place, either directly in her invisible hands, or in the body of birds that fly in her ever present embrace. Orisa Oya is symbolic of things that are, felt more often than seen. In this sense she is associated with ‘covert’ activities and ‘secret’ operations.

Orisa Oya also represents the destruction of old society making way for the new; and the power to completely destroy cities and fields, reverting them back to their original state. She accomplishes this by sending cyclones, tornadoes, and hurricanes which destroy everything in their paths, forcing mankind to rebuild new cities and towns.

Orisa Oya is Sango’s Favorite Wife

It is agreed among the scholars of Ifa that Oya was Shango’s favorite wife, and it is said that, when Sango wants to fight he sends Oya ahead of him to fight with the wind. …further…without Oya there is nothing Sango can accomplish. When Shango sends his voice of thunder ahead of his approaching lightning, it is the Ase of Oya that gives expression to his voice as thunder which is caused by the sudden expansion of air in the path of an electrical charge.

Many santeros [priest of Santeria] believe that Oya is the one who gave Chango power over thunder and lightning. In actuality, Oya is central and essential to the collective workings of the Siete Potencias [7 Principle Orisa].

It is Orisa Oya’s domain and responsibility to clean the atmosphere around the planet and the provide the proper balance of gases to sustain all forms of life. No Orisha should be disrespected or disregarded, least of all Oya; “…her wrath is so devastating that it must be absolutely avoided.

Not only does Orisa Oya carry pollen and dust, but she also carried disease and other agents of death. It is interesting that scientists today are saying that ‘second-hand cigarette smoke’ can be as deadly as cigarette smoking. The depleting ozone layer, nuclear fallout, greenhouse gases, and the like, are all operating in the domain of Orisha Oya.

Iba se Orisa Oya!

Homage to Orisa Oya!

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  1. What if you love the orisia and you are a woman and for some strang reason you feel close to all of them! not just one but all of them? I can understand and feel all the energy as soon as i see a person? but i have no ill feelings towards any one orisia? Why is this?

  2. I Just had a good listen to Oya’s music and i watched the film, it brought tears to my eyes and a cool feeling washed over me, followed by being all of a sudden filled with strength! As my little daughter hummed along and smiled as she watched me dance! The power of sound and music is wonderful! I understand that every path has more than one Orisa who you walk with! this brings comfort to me to understand that I can be at peace with all of them. So many people want to tell you to stay away from this one or “that one is bad for you,” I think sometimes we have a choice to elevate our spirit to get along with all and to focus on right action. So as to banish the division in oneself!

    1. Alaafia;

      Well said!!

      In order to truly accept a person one must accept the “whole” person. We cannot choose which aspects of an individual’s personality we will ignore or endeavor to change. Albeit, we all do this; all aspects of a person, good, and “bad” make the person. We are influenced by all the Orishas. Some of us tend to lean towards one Orisha more than another, but we all express aspects of our Orishas as we travel through this life experience.

      Ogbó àtó Asure Ìwòrìwòfún.

      O dábò!
      Chief Awodele Ifayemi
      Atunwase Awo of Ilobuland
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