Oya: Who is this Orisha? Offerings, prayers, characteristics and more


Oyá, deity of the Yorubá pantheon considered in Africa as "the divinity of the groves." On the other hand, in both Cuba and Nigeria, he is credited with power over storms and tornadoes that sweep away everything in their path as a symbol of his furious character. Her power over the thunder that announces the lightning shows that she is echoing the arrival of her husband Shango, the deity who owns the lightning.

Who is Oya?

Oya is an Orisha daughter of Oye and Afabile (a way of Obatala). She was raised by Baba afebile (another very old way of Obatalá that is not consecrated). She is the sister of Oshun and Yemaya, with whom they are wrongly said to have a rivalry. Also, he has an older sister known as: Ayao. Her true love was Shango, however, in one of her avatars she was also married to Ogun. She lived with Olokun, with whom she conceived a son named Eshu Elaketu. With Changó he had two children known as: Kaewo and Kainde (the Ibellis).

This Orisha lives in the atmosphere, in the essence of pure air that gives life to living beings at the command of Olofin. It is also related to the market, and to the cemetery where we can find it at the door. She represents pure air, a fundamental element for life. In Nigeria she is recognized as the owner of the Niger River, and as Olofin's feicita (secretary).

It is also known as: Yanzan, Yanza, Iyansan or Iya mesa mesa. He does not eat Abo (ram), since, he sacrificed it to save his children (the Ibeyis). It maintains a close relationship with Oshun, it is said: "There is no Oyá without Oshun, nor Oshun without Oyá."

Oya and Shango

The African belief tells that Oya before walking on earth as a human being was a buffalo. It is said that she was Chango's favorite wife, even when he ends his life, she does the same. Not supporting his departure, he buried himself underground in the city of Irá (near Oyo). Later, it reappeared in the world through the influx of the Niger River. Even so, its essence is found in the sky in the company of Shango, that is, it is always present in the four elements: fire, earth, water, and air.

The relationship between Shango and Oya is very significant in order to understand the energy that identifies this Orisa. Changó represents courage and Yansa, the capacity for change. Together they symbolize the expression of the spiritual evolution of the consciousness of the individual to higher planes, that is, the search for union with the vital energy that allows to achieve harmony and transcend after death. This makes the man who has just passed away an ancestor adored by his society.

Characteristics of this Orisha

Orisha Oya

Oya is a strong and mysterious Orisa, who does not show her face easily. A warrior by nature, she is skilled in the arts of war and wields the machete with great skill. He has a fairly strong temperament that does not tolerate fault. She is a devoted wife and a mother who despite being severe at times, is capable of sacrificing whatever is necessary to protect her children.

Among his tools, he uses a 9-pointed copper-colored crown, from which his tools and weapons hang. Its attributes include two buffalo horns, a machete and some metal implements in the shape of a chisel or ax. In the diloggun he speaks through the odun Osa (9) and in the coconuts through Ocana and Oyekun.

His day of the week is Friday. She owns El Cobre. He is invoked by sounding a pod of framboyan. It reaches the earth through the Irosun Osá, accompanied by the Echu Olosun Sara. Its celebration is on February 2 thanks to syncretism.

Oya colors

Although he likes the combination of 9 different colors, Oyá's favorite colors are brown or brown, in any of its shades, and in Africa it is related to green. His number is 9. Oya's necklaces They are made with carmelite beads with black and white spots.

Goats, pigeons, chickens, guineas, and quails are sacrificed to him.

Your dance

When he incorporates a saint's horse his dance is usually quite energetic. Normally, the face is covered with the hair forward (if the characteristics of the eggun allow it). He performs movements that simulate brandishing his machete or invoking the force of the wind by moving his iruke (ponytail). It is usually served with water and corojo oil, sometimes with a little honey.

About us: Oya I stopped eating mutton

Oyá owned the market. She had always been in love with Shango but he was not paying attention to her. One day, walking in the forest, he saw a beautiful black buffalo, he thought of hunting it with his bow and arrow when he saw that buffalo shed its skin, transforming into Shango. Seeing where he hid the skin, she took it, taking it to the market.

The next day, Shango when looking for her obviously did not find her. Desperate, he arrived at the market asking Oya if he knew about it, who replied that she had it saved and that to give it back to him he would have to live with it. He agreed, only on the condition that he never reveal his secret. It was thus, that they began to live together conceiving the Ibeyis.

Ogún, Shango's enemy, thanks to Yemayá who was Oya's sister, she learned the secret and told it all over the town. Shango, upon finding out, took her skin and transformed, leaving angrily for the forest to look for her, who had opportunely gone to Orunmila by divination, immediately making the eboses with: a ram, a rooster, two pigeons, cocoa butter, brandy, and shell , recommended by Ifa.

After making his ebbo he went to take care of his herd of rams in the forest. Meanwhile, Shango was looking for her in the thick of the forest, meeting by chance with Oggun, with whom he had a strong fight in which he lost a jar that was kept by the Orisha of iron (that is why Oggún's ogue is made of a single jar) . The magic of that disguise made her jars grow, so, without paying attention, she continued on her way in search of Oya..

When he found her, in the company of the Ibellis, he went to attack her. Oya, realizing Shango's fury to avoid a tragedy with his children, threw him a ram that he quickly devoured, when he tasted it he liked it, when he saw that, he threw it one after another, which was appeasing the fury of that buffalo . Finally, she offered to give up that food that by then was her favorite, giving it to her husband. In this way, he managed to save himself and his children. Becoming "Yanzán" (the whirlpool), taking the Ibeyis out of the place, taking them to Yemayá to protect them.

What are Oya's children like?

Oya's children often have an indomitable spirit and creative soul, but can sometimes lose all sense of logic when in love. Generous, secure, self-sacrificing, very good friends, faithful, loyal, radical, honest, very maternal or paternal, spiritual, good witches or sorcerers. In other cases, they can become obsessive, jealous, moody, gossipy, pushy, arrogant, conflictive, insecure and do not forgive easily.

Names for Oya's children

  • Ayagba Egun: queen of the dead.
  • Ayagba Dina: The queen of the candle.
  • Loyu leti: Oya's eyes and ears.
  • Oya Ladde: the crown of Yansa.
  • Dide funke: the staff that lifts Oya.
  • Ayagba Iku: the queen of death.
  • Saradde Iku: the throne and crown of the dead.
  • Ayagba Iku Ladde: the queen of the crown of death.
  • Ayagba Oyiyi Oku: the queen of distant spirits.
  • Iku loye nike: the shiny manilla of the dead man.


Oya likes white rice with aubergine and caritas bean buns. Among his favorites is the bean cake or razupo. He is offered kola nut, liqueurs, wines, yams crushed with palm oil; chocolate pudding, corn, honey. Beef, which is passed through the pan and honey with cocoa butter is added. Fish with honey and cocoa butter. Locher-colored fruits, mamey, sapote and aubergine. Melon soda glasses with red wine. Bits of glory. Yam with cocoa butter and nutmeg. The boiled beets with honey and red wine. Roast black chickens.

9 Oya herbs

Some of its plants are: croto, yantén, custard apple, horse buster, cabo de hacha, caimito, caimitillo, bomba fruit (male), guara, pomegranate, yaya, ax bankruptcy stick and leaves, cordoban, custard apple, avocado, caleta grape, acacia, framboyan, all crotos, mondonguera mallow, gummy grape, thousand flowers.

Orisha Oya in the Catholic Religion (Syncretism)

Oya Virgin of Candelaria

Oya's syncretism in the Catholic religion is carried out with the Virgen de la Candelaria o Our Lady of Candelaria. This virgin, who is classified as "a black virgin", whose cult is of Spanish origin, gets her name derived from the candlestick or candle in reference to the light that guides towards "the right path or the correct path", to understanding and faith.

From that reference we find a very interesting similarity that, without a doubt, was one of the reasons why the Yoruba syncretized both spiritualities. The Yoruba belief in Nigeria states that Yansa's role is to confirm whether the recently deceased learned their lesson during this lifetime and transcended, giving rise to the process of transformation or "enlightenment" that occurs after death. This is a state that the Yoruba call it «ehin iwá » which means: behind life or after life. In addition, the candle is in fact also an element related to this Orisha.

On the other hand, it is believed that the cult of the Virgen de la Candelaria arises as a result of another syncretism coming from the culture of the ancient Canaries or Guanches worshipers of pagan Gods, whose cult was brought to the church in representation of this virgin, taking thus their feast of February 2 to celebrate as they used to do, to give thanks for the beginning of the year and for the harvesting of the harvest, just as the Yoruba did in Cuba.

Oya (Oriki) Prayer

 (I pray to Oya and praise the spirit of the wind)

Ajalaiye, ajal òrun, fun my goe. Yansan was going.

The winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune. I praise the Mother of the nine main Ancestors.

Ajalaiye, ajal òrun, fun my alafia. I was going Oalready.

The winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good health. I praise Oya.

Ajalaiye, Ajal òrun winiwini. Mbe mbe ma Yansan. TOse.

The winds from Earth and Heaven are wonderful. There may always be the Mother of the nine main Ancestors. Asé.

Oya's Prayer for Love

I praise the full spirit of the wind, strolling with full confidence and importance. She takes a basket of cola nuts to put before her husband.

Oya, deep in thought, full spirit of the Wind, come and receive your offerings without offense.

Yansa owner of the place of worship, maybe those who have prepared good food start serving it, Yansa provokes the leaves to tremble!

Oya, strong wind that gave birth to fire while crossing the mountain. Spirit of the wind, please don't knock down the tree in my backyard.

Spirit of the wind, we have seen the fire that covers his body like a cloth. If you look for the spirit of the wind you will find Oyá.

You may find her at the kola nut stand, where Yansa enjoys tossing small pieces into her mouth.

You may find Yansa at the carpenter's stall, where she likes to rub her body in her red energy.

You may find the Yansan at the drum stand, where she moves her body in a frenzied dance.

Mother who uses fire to cover her body, similar to a cloth. Powerful wind blowing under the trees in the forest.

Spirit of the Wind, selfless wife bring the love of my life to me. Don't let me find myself alone today, tomorrow, or ever. Asé.

To health

Yansa I was going to table Oyes, Òrun afefe Iku lele bioke, ayaba gbogbo le'ya obinrin,

Yansa, mother of Oyo, the wind of Heaven lowers the ancestors. Queen of all women.

Ogo my anus gbogbo gún, Òlaughsto my abaya Oya ewa O'yansa. TOse.

Always heal me with your powerful medicine, the Queen is my guardian spirit. Spirit of the Wind and mother of the nine main ancestors. Asé.

I sing to Oya

Akuón: ayilodaoyaokuo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Chorus: ayilodayaokuo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Akuón: ekifanla obini oyeo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Chorus: ayilodaoyaokuo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Akuón: oyade mariwuo omesa parrot yokoro

Chorus: oyade mariwuo omesa loro yokoro

Akuón: oyade mariwuo omesa parrot yokoro

Chorus: oyade mariwuo omesa loro yokoro

Akuón: ekifanla obini oyeo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Chorus: ayilodayaokuo towuomole, keyo ayaba

Akuón: yilodaoya okuo towuomole, keeyo ayba

Chorus: yilodaya okuo towuomole, keyo ayaba

What is asked of the Orisha Oya?

Oya is a deity who is asked to understand what is the reason for our passage in life, to obtain a level of understanding and spiritual evolution. Also, this Orisa is very effective in fighting battles by taking enemies out of the way. An expert in spiritual matters, she can be invoked to gain organization, spiritual evolution, and to fight witchcraft and spells performed using those arts.


Work (Ebbo) with Oya for Love

He grabs a purple star apple and stalls. It is filled with: corojo oil, sugar, cognac, calm balm, a wick is placed at the foot of Oya with the name of the one who wants to attract and it is lit for 9 days, asking the Orisa to come the loved one.

For the enemies

An empty sardine can is found, eating oil, guinea pepper, black pepper, earth from a pit with the enemy's name, a paper with his name, the trail and 9 pins are placed on it. Oya is given knowledge and is lit in the trash for 9 days. Then it is taken to the cemetery and thrown into a grave.

For better health

9 peeled and cooked beets are placed. They are put on top of Oya on a plate. Red wine is sprinkled on it, and syrup. It is left there for 9 days asking for health and then it is left at the foot of a ceiba tree.

Oya phrases

Oya says: "The war with the living is bad, the war with me and my dead is much worse."

"There is nothing that the breath of the wind cannot change."

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