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Oya, Yoruba Goddess of weather

Lodge | Library

Oya, Yoruba Goddess of weather, of air and fire - tornadoes, lightning , strong winds - and buffalo. She is the River Niger. Oya of the funeral procession, Goddess of structural change. Wife of Shango, they fight together and create lightning and thunder. Honored and feared, don't invoke her unless you are ready to deal with the consequences! She is the power of feminine leadership and she has a special place in the heart of Witches. She is that which is revealed as well as that which is secret, hers being the domain of speech yet her residence is in that which is not spoken. She is genius or insanity. Oya represents hard work; the sifting through chaos to perceive, or perhaps to create, the underlying order,
which itself is subject to entropy. She is embedded in philosophy, yet what she represents comes apart under scrutiny. Her influence is observable in the oracular realms.

Oya's ritual dance is performed with ribbons or scarves twirling while the dancer spins in spirals, representing the winds - the winds of change. She will take you to the edge, the cutting edge. It is your decision whether or not to jump. She is as destructive as a storm at sea, yet as gentle as the summer breeze which softly caresses the cheek of your beloved. She embodies the full range of Feminine expressiveness.

Her color is burnt orange, her number 9. Wednesday is sacred to her. Her favorite foods are plums, grapes, eggplant and red wine. Her metal is copper. Make a shrine to her in the library or study of your home. Dark forest, deepest obscurity which grabs and swallows you in the forest, Wind of Death tears the calabash, tears the bush. Shango's wife with her thumb tears out the intestines of the liar. Great Oya, yes! Only she seizes the horns of the buffalo, Only she confronts the returning dead. Swiftly she gets her things together, swiftly. Oya, messenger, carry me on your back, don't set me down. She walks alongside violence Ripeness of the afternoon Powerful river Fire burns; so does the sun. She wakes up dancing with fire Nine, the flashes of lightning Secrecy sees her. Fly to us, Oya. Nine-headed apparition tramples upon the evil mound Until nightfall she supports her fighting child Lengthily she extends herself across the land. We have threaded the needle of death in the house. She burns like fire in the hearth, everywhere at once. Tornado, quivering solid canopied trees Great Oya, yes. Whirlwind masquerader, awakening, courageously takes up her saber. (From: "Traditional Praises of Oya," in Oya: In Praise of the Goddess by Judith Gleason)

All good wishes,
Willow Wind (aka Yemaia)