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Discovering Oya

By Rev. Katelyn Bissat

August 29, 2022

Oya - Goddess of the Niger River

Meet Oya, one of the most powerful African goddesses! In my favourite tarot deck "The Goddess Tarot" by Kris Waldherr, she represents the major arcana XI Strength card. Oya is the Yoruba goddess of the Niger River and is the patroness of female leadership and strength. Yoruba is one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria. 

Oya is unpredictable! She will embody the caring mother but then transform into the destructive warrior, sweeping away injustice, deceit and dishonesty from her path. She is also known as the goddess that brings souls to the underworld, and she oversees spirit communication, funerals, cemeteries, and psychic abilities. 

             "Oya" by Francisco Santos

Embodying Strength - XI

The strength card is associated with the number 11 which is a master number. It symbolizes finding strength in times of crisis and chaos. In astrology it is associated with Leo, and the element of fire. This card calls on the reader to tame the lion with patience and gentleness instead of brute force. 

On this card you will notice that Oya is surrounded by lightning and wind, because her power is rooted in the natural world and she controls thunder, lightening, tornados, wind, rainstorms and hurricanes. Her destructive and creative nature assists with inner and outer transformation. She will speak the truth even if the truth is hard to bear. 

If this card appears reversed in a reading it can signify an imbalance and valuing lower energies over the higher ones. 

Oya calls us to look truthfully at ourselves. Where do you need to transform? 

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