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There is a powerful female energy in the Yoruba pantheon which defies our modern-day logic and understanding of female stereotypes. Although associated with the Niger River, she is also associated with cataclysmic weather patterns. She is both beautiful yet savagely brutal, an elegant diva and fierce warrior. When it suits her she transforms into a water buffalo to charge her enemies and when tempted she turns into
the wind doing a dangerous dance with powerful movements of her dress creating hurricane winds and tornadoes. The sweat from her vigorous dance fall like torrential rains upon the earth. She spins. She twirls. She turns the world asunder. Her rhythm is thunder.

Her name is Oya, an African goddess who represents transformation and change; the change required to uproot institutions which no longer serve our purpose, or to clear the land for new growth and new possibilities. She is a constant reminder never to get too comfortable and content with our present day situation and circumstances. She reminds us that nothing is permanent except change. She can not be controlled. Perhaps the best example of her power is her husband, the powerful epitome of masculine energy called Sango. Yet she is said to be stronger than him; more fierce than him! Yes! Although she is a volatile and powerful Orisa, we appease her for assistance and protection. Because of this we are not fearful, yet we remain ever so cautious of this phenomenal Orisa called Oya, whom we greet by saying Oya Aeeee! Oriri o!

We honor her on Ose Jakuta, Sango’s worship day along with her husband. May Oya safely uproot you and place you in a better place.

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