Acrylic on canvas
cr helene ruiz 6-2-2012
Traditional Colors: Purple, reds, oranges and black
Number: 9 (she is called the “mother of nine”)
Areas of Influence: Storms, wind, lightning, tornadoes, death and the cemetery, the marketplace and business, change, witchcraft, athletics
Entities associated with: St. Theresa
Symbols: Lightning bolts, tornadoes, graves, masks
Offerings: Eggplant, red wine, tobacco, plums and purple grapes, legumes
Feast Day: February 2nd
Astrology: Signs of Scorpio and Capricorn
Oya is a passionate, fierce warrior and the bringer of change. She is a determined, disciplined and powerful woman. She controls the wind and lightning (like her husband Chango) and she is (literally and metaphorically) the tornado. Anytime you are experiencing earth shattering change, know that Oya is close by. She is a shrewd business woman and is good with money. In Africa, she would have been a merchant in the community marketplace but in the 21st century she is just as comfortable in the board room of a Fortune 500 company. She walks into a room and you can feel the change in power. She is mysterious, sexy and graceful.
Her number is nine which recalls her title of Yansá or “Mother of Nine” in which she rules over the egun or dead. She is also known for the colors of maroon, flowery patterns and nine different colors.
As Queen of the cemetery, she maintains the cemetery and keeps it holy. Oya has strong connections with the ancestors. She should be involved in any ancestor ceremony. She is a witch and is comfortable with all occult subjects. Oya is a strict but compassionate mother; she will guide you but not do the work for you. She will give you a little time to cry and whine over your problems but then she expects you to pull yourself together and get back out there. She hates lies and deceit and she will punish those that cross her. She can rip an enemy to pieces. The river Niger in Nigeria belongs to her. In Brazil, she is Yansa or Iansa. As one of the wives of Chango, Oya has known betrayal and heartache. Chango, Oya and Oshun (her sister) are locked into an eternal love triangle. There are many stories about her romantic battles with Chango. If she has a weakness, it is men. At her worst, she can be vicious, moody, restless, angry and can hold a grudge for a very long time. She forgets nothing.