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Mythologically Speaking: Oya

Mythologically Speaking: Oya


We do our best to research as much as we possibly can to write these posts. We're human, not gods - there may be mistakes. Please correct us nicely and we will change it. We do thorough research, but sometimes miss a detail. 

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If you want more Orisha talk, check out our feature in the For The Love Of History Podcast coming out on May 24th!

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If you're interested in contributing an idea to Narcissus Beauty Breakdown, fill out this form and we'll get to your topic ASAP!

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I've been waiting for this one! Turn it up! 

Okay, so this is like a super special post for me. I really love Oya and I think she's a beautifully complex Orisha. She's the first one I ever researched on my own. 

Little sob story before we get started, but after my dad passed (rip felix. u were a real one), I had gone to a practitioner who was married to a priest of his (as was asked of me) and the first thing she mentioned to me what that I had two deities surrounding me. One was Oya, protecting me (as she does) after my father passed and one that she was not familiar with and could not identify because it was not someone in her practice. Yes, I figured out who the second one was. No, I will not be sharing that information. Either way, I was given a beaded bracelet of nine colors and I have worn it ever since then.

I get into the meaning of the bracelet a little bit more on the For the Love of History Podcast coming out May 24, 2024, so if you want to learn more about that, check that out! There's a link at the top of this post to TK's show, if you want to be notified when that comes out! 

Anyway, Oya is easily one of my favorite Orishas. Whether I'm biased or not, I love her complexity between her love for her husband, the strength she has within nature, and the compassion she grants to those she deems worthy of it. All of that coexists within her stories. I adore a multifaceted queen. 

She's the daughter of Yemaya and the favorite wife of Shango (who we will learn about in another post). She is known as the Goddess of Storms/Wind because she can control the weather based on her moods. Think Tia Pepa from Encanto. if she slayed. She's a warrior goddess, so if she wanted to call a hurricane on you, she totally could. Her weapons of choice are literally a machete and a tornado. 

If ever you see her, she's dressed in red with a skirt of rainbows, but you will almost never see her with black garments. 


Well, when she conceived children nine times, each one of them died. Each of the nine colors on her skirts represents the nine children that she lost. You will see her with a horsetail whip, but that's the closest thing you'll see with the color black associated with her. 

Rightfully, she is the protector of graveyards and the dead, since she has such a close relationship to both. She's the protector of cemeteries, too, guarding those who have a foot in the grave and those who are still living, grieving with loss. She has one foot in with the living and one foot in with the dead. She is strong, yet compassionate and understanding of loss. 

She's also That Girl in business. She watches over the marketplace and is known to be assisting those who sell and trade. 

If you want to learn more about this badass gal, check out our spot on For The Love Of History Podcast on May 24th. 

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