Goddess Oya

When you’re feeling like you’re on the losing end of a situation, when you’re feeling too settled and stuck, when you need a release of your purest female energies, you need a lift from Oya, (pronounced Oh-Yah) the fierce Goddess of the wind, fire and the thunderbolt.

The lore
This Goddess comes from the Nigerian Yoruba tradition, but is also found in other African derived religions like Voudoun, Santeria and Brazilian Macumba. She is representative of unbridled female power, the reproductive forces, and the forces of nature. Think of her as a whirlwind, the hurricane or a the raging river that cleanses all by destroying that which needs change, in her estimation. She is the force that gathers energy into the womb and washes it away when there is no conception. Always a fierce advocate for the truth, she carries a machete and will cut through falseness to the life within. She is female strength, beauty and courage, presiding over health and the gates of death. Her husband (no accident) is Shango, the God of Storms.

When to channel her
If you’re feeling powerless in your own life, drained and in a rut, Oya is one to consider for meditation and inspiration. However, she’s a Goddess to work with very carefully, for like a raging flood, her cleansing anger can leave you free to rebuild everything in your life – after she’s destroyed everything you’ve amassed.

Yet, there are times in life when everything must go for you to learn who you are, what you’re capable of, and to finally express your fullest strength. If you only want to rearrange the furniture in your life then don’t invoke Oya, because she can leave you with a house pulled down to its very foundations. Yet when nothing else but extreme, permanent and radical change will do, she’s your Goddess.

To do a meditation ritual on Oya, gather something that symbolizes care for the earth, perhaps a receipt for a contribution to an environmental organization, something that symbolizes good self-care, maybe a bottle of pure spring water and a symbol of the Goddess, either an image or a red stone.

Then make offerings of food, wine and flowers to her (remember that these are gifts and cannot be consumed, after your meditation dispose of them outdoors). Traditionally, a wild group dance would be undertaken until a trance state was created and then Oya would communicate through a priestess. Given that you’re likely not to be a trained priestess, it may be enough to play recorded music dedicated to Oya.

Then pray and meditate on Oya, ask for guidance. Let images, thoughts and impressions come to you. Honor what you receive and give thanks for her help. Ask for her blessings, ask for her strength and ask for her protection. Be careful, always, with what you ask. This is a powerful deity with energies of unimaginable force.

Finally, carefully and respectfully take the offerings outside where they can be consumed by nature. Put away the symbolic objects you chose above in a private place and use them only for ritual meditations.

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