Oya – The Dark Goddess of Storms, Destruction and Change of the Yoruba People

Oya is the Dark Mother Goddess of Storms and Destruction of the Yoruba People in West Africa as well as the Americas. [1] In Africa She is associated with the river Niger and in Brazil with the Amazon whose source She is said to be.

Oya is the violent rainstorm that floods the land and whose gushing waters destroy anything in their path.

Oya is the wind. She is anything from the gentle beeze that ruffles your hair and cools your skin to the fierce hurricane or tornado that rips up trees and destroys houses. Oya is the storm that makes way for Her brother Shango with his fierce thunder and lightening.

Oya is the primeval Mother of Chaos, the destructive force of the Goddess. She is the Wild Woman, the Force of Change. With Her machete and flywhisk Oya rips down the old in order to make way for the new.

Oya is the the Goddess of Revolution, of Upheaval and Sudden Change. She is a fierce Amazon Warrior and Protectress of Women. Oya is the raw, unbrindled, untamed destructive Power of Nature that is followed by creation of the new.

Oya is a Free Spirit, a Goddess unbound by convention and tradition. Although Yoruba women didn’t hunt, Oya is an accomplished huntress.

As a Dark Goddess Oya is the Goddess of Death and Renewal. She symbolises both the first and last breath of life. She is the kind and gentle Guardian of the Unborn, who after death She takes with Her to the other side.

Oya is also a Moon Goddess. She is said to have nine children, the number nine being sacred to the Goddess in Her manifestation as the Moon. Oya’s sacred animal is the water buffalo with its crescent-shaped horns.

Oya is a beautiful strong black woman. Her favourite colours are burgundy red and purple, the colours of life and wisdom.

As a Dark Goddess Oya is often associated with magic and otherworldly wisdom.

Oya is

Oya-ajere “Carrier of the Container of Fire”
Ayaba Nikua “Queen of Death”
Iya Yanson “Mother of Nine”
Ayi Lo Da “She Who Turns and Changes”

Oya, Mother, gentle breeze, screaming whirlwind, all of these
Bring your winds of change to me
Mercifully, gently sweep me free
From the folly surrounding me
Cut the cords where I have bound me
With your healing breath set down me
On the ground where I need to be
On the ground where I need to be
On the ground where I need to be

Song to Oya channeled by Earil to Joyce January 1999


[1] Oya is actually an Orisa or Orisha, which is a spirit or deity. The Yoruba religion is a nature-based tradition that believes in one source of everything called Olòrún or Olódùmarè. The Orishas are the different aspects of Olòrún-Olódùmarè manifested all over the natural world. Essentially Olòrún-Olódùmarè is the Goddess and the Orishas are different aspects of Her.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. benjaminmartinez
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 22:00:54

    olla madre mia bendiceme madre


  2. benjaminmartinez
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 22:02:25

    madre mia benbiceme madre


  3. joy abaye
    Nov 20, 2014 @ 23:51:28

    I know these things happen for real for real!! but I disagree with their worship :Supreme God is a jealous God


  4. tornflyingbutterfly
    Nov 30, 2015 @ 08:40:26

    Beautiful Goddess


  5. Takka Davis
    Jun 23, 2016 @ 15:44:09

    Joy Who are you referring to as the Supreme God being a jealous God?


  6. Trackback: Oya – The Dark Goddess of Storms, Destruction and Change of the Yoruba People | The Bipolar Experience
  7. Jane
    Aug 18, 2016 @ 21:26:06

    I have just learned about Oya and went to the crossroad in a cemetary to make my petition. I brought two red candles, red wine, nine aubergines/eggplants and nine copper pennies as offerings. When I lit the candles, winds kept blowing them out and I was thinking my ritual wasn’t going well. Then it suddenly dawned on me that Oya was letting me know her presense. As soon as I realised this, the candles started to burn OK. Whenever winds blow I’ll think that I am embraced by Oya from now on.


  8. Denise
    Aug 30, 2016 @ 19:28:37

    Reblogged this on The World According To Ms Hyde and commented:
    Marefun oya


  9. Amata
    Oct 26, 2016 @ 18:00:07

    Reblogged this on Journey of a 21st century Afrikan Queen and commented:


  10. Michael
    Dec 20, 2016 @ 05:28:38

    Modupe Yeye Oya.Thank you so so much for your protection. I love you and will always love you!


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  13. Princess
    Apr 10, 2018 @ 14:22:54

    Reblogged this on Calliope and Clio.


  14. Trackback: Claiming your space – Women in Yoruba History – òrò Àníké
  15. SG
    Oct 02, 2018 @ 03:52:00

    OYA, I have just discovered you and I am blessed.


  16. Tina
    Nov 02, 2018 @ 17:55:23

    You have always been here I only now realized it. So many ways you’ve been with me all along. It all fits, I belong.


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