Orisha Oya: The Powerful Female Warrior

Oyá also known as Ollá, Yansa or Iansán is a fierce and powerful female warrior in Santeria. She was the favorite wife of Shango and is referred as the owner of the marketplace and the keeper of the cemetery gates. She wields lightning and rides the winds into battle. She is a great warrior who goes to war with machetes and tornados and raises armies from the dead.

Orisha Oya is closely related to Iku, the divinity of death. She promotes storms, strong or hurricane winds and sparks.  The winds of Oya carry the pollen of different plants from one place to another. Oya is also the air we breathe; she provides the air with the right amount of oxygen to keep us alive and functioning. Together with Eleguá , Orunla and Obatalá she dominates the four winds. She is symbolized as a violent and impetuous character.

Characteristics of Orisha Oya

Associated Number: 9

Astrology: Signs of Scorpio and Capricorn

Chakra: Third Eye

Favorite Colors:  Brown, maroon, purple, black, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, white, and pink.

Elements: Fire and wind.

Locations: Storms, winds, lightning, market place, cemetery, etc.

Tarot: The Wheel of Fortune card, Ace of Swords, Page or knight of swords.

Symbols: An eleke designed with special brown bead with thin white and black stripes. This eleke utilizes coral and burgundy crystals. She is also seen with a sword.

Costumes: Oya wears a red dress and a skirt with 9 stripes of different colors.  She carries a saber and a ponytail as a sign of dignity. Worshippers of Oya can also wear dry fiber dress from the top of the royal palm, called yagua and use a nine colored ribbons as a head covering.

Favorite Meals: plums, eggplants, red wine, black beans, rice, chickpeas, chocolate pudding and purple grapes.  She loves chocolate, popcorn and sesame seeds, especially caramel corn or sesame candy.

Animals: Birds in general, pigeons, guinea hen, she goat and black hens.

Tools: machetes, masks, scythe, horsetail fly-whisk (iruke)

Gemstones:  Amethyst, garnets, black opals, labradorite.

Celebrated on: February 2

Syncretized as: Our Lady of Candlemas or Saint Theresa.

Oya’s Children:

The children of Oya are as generous as the wind that caresses the leaves. They are like the birds that love to fly freely and they know the value of loyalty and true friendship. They are authoritarian, powerful, violent, sensual, jealous and very faithful. Oya was initially married to Ogun before she fell in love with Shango and followed him. This contributed to the misunderstanding between Ogun and Shango.

Due to her bravery and strength she was Shango’s favorite. They went for wars together and loved each other passionately, which undoubtedly bothered Oshun and Obba, the other two women of King Shango. Orisha Oya endured much sadness in her life. She gave birth to nine different stillborn children and for this reason she carries much sadness and dresses with nine different colored scarves around her waist in memory of her lost children.

Areas of Influence: You can make petitions to Oya whenever you need a change or transition in your life. She can also guard you through life’s chaotic streams by sending some angels to you. She is also a protector of those who worship her as she fights their enemies with fire and wind.

Are you a single mother who is struggling to cater for your kids? Call on Oya to assist you because she helps women to prosper in their businesses.