Good day all nice and decent people. Today is the official bloggers contribution day, although I have been sharing it with Tuesday’s, due to the amount of contributions I have received thus far, we praise the lard! Brian aka Aboyade an initiate of the powerful Orisa Oya, has sent in a post. Here is hoping we can chat, so peepers and sometimers come out from hiding and participate. Orisa Oya is a very powerful Orisa as is all of them. Her color is maroon, and she is owner of the wind, breeze, therefore symboling change.
Here she is very important because nothing remains constant everything is always changing, and change is important to human development and evolution. In Nigeria you are only initiated to an Orisa if you are from that family and this most especially so with Oya. If the Babalawo checks IFA and the sacred Odu IFA Ogunda/Osa aka Ogunda/Massa appears, it is more likely that you are a child of Oya. Written in the verses of this Odu are tales of this deity too complex to be written here, but I will write on this topic soon on my other blog, www.ifaorishaunveiled.com.
Oya is wife of Orisa Shango, while he represents thunder and lightening, she is owner of the wind. She brings the hurricane, the storms, tornadoes etc. She is a huntress, and the water buffalo’s horn known in Yoruba as efon is her symbol. Archetypes of Oya are people who are very slim, mi mean thin or Jamaican people would say mawga, having a gaunt look to them (of course not all of them, but when they have that guant look, is Oya yuh ah look Pon). She is the wind so many of her children’s home may not be as neat as it should be, perhaps looking untidy at times. Now I am not saying All, but I have seen a few where the place is like a hurricane passed through. There is a side of Oya which is destructive, and again this is owing to breeze, remember when breeze passes through, all hair styles mash up. She is a warrior who hunts beside her husband and will fight along side him.
As Sango’s wife, she walks before her husband as the wind blows before lightening strikes or thunder rolls. If she is used for bad, she can cause strokes to strike someone, but only if she is given her taboo and incantations pronounced to send her off. She has assisted me before and for that I am greatful, no one wants to be on her bad side. Aboyade, I believe that you may indeed be Oya’s child, but I do not think she is the Orisa that over rules you. There is another, who stands up stronger. I will tell you in a personal email as I intend to check the oracle to be sure. Make no doubt about it however, men can be initiated into the family of female Orisas and their masculinity is intact. In the Lucumi system, the rites and rituals they perform for Orisas will make them all act a certain way, and I have seen male Osun initiates in Lucumi become effeminate. This is not so in Africa, (man ah real man dung yah, nuh gully guy bizznizz) where we have all our rites and rituals preservered, not using the same for eveyone, there lies the problem. The Baba “Babalawo” who initiated you, had no right to do so, if he did not initiate into the mysteries of Oya, therefore he has not the Àṣẹ (power) to pass on to you. The wind you felt during the initiation, was possibly an incantation he learned from elders on how to invoke the wind. So much deceit into this tradition (not only this but all inna church) from power seeking people.
Am I a Child Of Oya?
“How come I, as a male, was claimed by a female Orisha?” This was my leading concern when it was determined by divination that Oya ruled my head. Why not Shango, Ogun, Oshoosi , Obatala or some other deity that expresses in the masculine gender. My ego was disturbed. I had come across Lucumi male initiates to Oshun and they came across as too sweet for their gender. My information level was low. (It still is relatively low given the circumstances of my journey…but some experience and knowledge has accrued in the 10 years on this spiritual trod). In any case, my Baba -the priest that initiated me – asserted that males initiating to a female deity was totally legit. In the years that followed, my relationship soured with Baba and I went through many hardships that called into question whether my initiation was legitimate. Does Oya actually rule my head? The jury is out on that one…I’ve gotten a mixed bag of answers to that question from different priests but I do have a relationship/connection with Oya and because She is the one I have been initiated to I have sought to understand her and the domain She rules. I speak not as a spiritual authority but as a student sharing my quiet reflections on a journey yet in its infancy. (On a side note, check this link for a very good article on identifying a compatible spiritual teacher: http://www.ayelekumari.com/ifayele/how-to-find-a-goodelder-god-parent-mentor-in-the-ifa-orisha-tradition)
For me, the very first sign of Oya’s palpable presence was when my head was being shaved in the early stages of my initiation. I started to feel woozy as Baba chanted Oya oriki (incantations), the wind stirred to a howl, the leaves rustled and tree branches swayed…and then it stopped abruptly when the shaving was complete. This was the first time I had experienced a psychic connection with a force of nature. The initiation brought with it a lot of rain, so much so that a river bed in the forest near to my home which is usually dry started to flow abundantly once again. On one occasion, in the weeks following the initiation, I accompanied my wife-at-the-time (and co-initiate) to said river to make offering of honey to her crown orisha, Oshun. While there I offered up prayers to Oya. Well, it seemed as if for the next 5 -10 seconds that section of river valley turned into a wind tunnel as powerful gusts moved through….and then it stopped as suddenly as it had begun. Since that time I’ve not had that experience but whenever I do spiritual work and the ebos/offerings are accepted I have become aware of a ‘signature’ gust of pleasant breeze.
Oya is described as the Orisha of the winds. Her domain is the earth’s atmosphere – the planet’s aura! The Human atmosphere or aura is also her domain. Specifically, She is the motive force operating within the human and planetary aura. As such, she is concerned with harmonious movement and flow. Where there is stagnation, blockage, leakage or any phenomena resulting in imbalance, she seeks to restore balance. Tornadoes, hurricanes and storms and perhaps other atmospheric phenomena are aggressive corrective measures on her part. Being good stewards of the environment pleases her. Behavior outside of that does not please her since she acts against imbalance.
On a personal level her concerns are the same: balance, harmony and flow within the human aura/astral body, in other words – Psychic equilibrium. There are so many expressions of psychic imbalance in our world today. The psychic disorder that really illustrates the two extremes of imbalance in the human atmosphere is bi-polar disorder. People who are afflicted display either a manic ‘hurricane’ personality or an extremely depressive ‘stagnant’ personality. The peaceful and supremely functional ‘cool breezes’ persona is elusive. In me, psychic imbalance took the form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It was mild to moderate but still debilitating in the sense that I lacked the resilience to focus on unpleasant tasks and on the opposite end I would hyper focus on affairs that interested me. This can be a problem if, for example, you are employed in an unpleasant, uninteresting job but it is what supporting your family. Resilient people do what they must do until they can do better. I have found that in cultivating a good relationship with Oya I have transformed into a more resilient person. Part of relating well with Oya meant honoring my taboos which for me meant not smoking. From a previous chapter of my life I had developed a ‘weakness for greenness’ which was a source of HYPER focus and which left me even less inclined to deal with the unpleasantness of life. I concluded that Oya’s taboos were meant to safeguard and promote healing to a damaged aura, in the same way that honoring common sense ecological taboos could for example, prevent further damage to- and eventually heal- the Ozone layer.
Of course Oya’s domain being the aura means that she presides over the intermediary domain between Orun and Aiye. She therefore is a witnessing presence to both birth and death and so is integral to the mysteries of Ancestral communication. In her capacity as owner of the Marketplace she once again is concerned with energy flow…energy in the form of money, the currency through which goods and services are exchanged.
So am I a child of Oya? I don’t know…But there are traits attributed to her (at least within the diaspora) which have been highlighted within myself: I’m a ‘one-away’ yute, a black sheep/lion character not often seen or heard but exercising influence behind the scenes. I know I carry the spirit of a change agent especially within the context of a white supremacy society/global order. I have an affinity for the under-dog. And curiously enough, as a man carrying a female deity my life has taken a turn where I am a soon-to-be-Registered nurse in a profession that is 95% female. Honestly, I never envisioned that for myself.
Finally, In closing I read where author and media personality Iyanla Vanzant , a priestess of Obatala, said something to the effect that Orisha only makes life better for you after you have been made better to serve life. Tis true.
Sent from Embracing Spirituality
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.