In the traditions that descend from the Yoruban religion, Oya is the Orisha of storm and wind, of rapid transformative change, of warrior might, and of the cemetery gates (among many other things). She has access to the ancestral dead (the Egun). When I first entered Pagan practice, I worked briefly with Oya, primarily in her aspect as a force for positive, if oftentimes tumultuous change. At that time in my life, I felt stagnant and very unsure about everything. My brief work with her brought the confidence and forthrightness that I needed to move through that moment in my becoming.
In recent weeks, my thoughts have returned to The One Who Tore. I have been working to grow my relationship to my ancestors and Oya again stands ready to offer her guaidance. However, this time, I hesitate. My understanding of the Orishas has matured and I know now that it may be better for me to work with her within the cultural context that she calls home. I would like to, I want to, but I am not sure that I can commit the time to learning (yet another) religious system. I think a part of my hesitance also has to do with the fact that I feel drawn to her but I am not sure to what degree I am drawn to the worldviews and philosophies embedded in that religious system.
Maybe I am thinking too hard about this. Maybe Oya can and will offer her hand to me as long as I am serious and respectful, regardless of my personal religious proclivities. Then again, maybe I have to give more of my time and energy to the specific religious system to which she is native and her good grace will only extend so far as I am willing to stretch and bend to please her. I think I really need to learn more, ponder more, do more meditation and divination, and then make my choice boldly and without regrets.
Hmm. Lots to think and feel and divine about. Where’s a Yoruban or Santerian priest/ess when you need one?
Hekua Oya Yansa!