The formation of this issue has been marked at key points by powerful storms, beautiful bursts of rain, lightning, and thunder.  As we journey to our Ancient Future we felt moved to include this dedication to ask for Oya’s blessing, an Orisha warrior-leader and goddess of the storm , winds of all kinds, and sudden destruction. Where some see calamity; Oya brings transformation and new possibilities.
Oya please bless this zine and all those who read it wherever the winds blow us!

The following text is an excerpt of an essay that originally appeared on the blog of 
Iya’falola H.Omobola ( in the Winter of 2013.

Oya came to me in her own time fashioned by her own will-a will to embrace with winds and torrential sashaying gusts of hurry up gal and answer my call. I have heard all the talk about Oyas from folks who either love them or want their lives to be left alone. I have witnessed the blamers who fear the skirt of Oya strutting her quick step across an existence they believed was in good standing-until she came passing judgment. It is as the old saying goes, “what she takes you no longer need.” So how come this Latino brother said to me, “You can come to the Wemilere but we will not call on Oya. No disrespect, but Oya is too fierce and she will not be contained in the quarters behind the botanica. She will tear my store to the ground. Oya needs wide open spaces and we do her by herself, you’ll see. She responds best to being by herself. Who your papa is we can definitely call him.” Fears of my mama’s strength and unjustified “knock down brawling give me your life just because I want to see you dead” is foolish. Mama is strong-willed and a seductive enchantress, she is a woman who wears a skirt and beneath it a sheet of steel kisses her flesh. She is comely and vicious and that speaks to her sex appeal-what man doesn’t want a seasoned moaner and a blood thirsty slayer to soften his sheets. Oya is  wombmanystic appeal. She will kick your ass and leave nothing but bone for Iku to distinguish you by. Giver her props, she a bad meaning good warriorress.
In this western society formulated by western mindsets and agendas, women of darkened hues with an opinion are relegated to the definition of  Saffires. These Saffires live to talk shit and to belittle their men. They want the penis that god never intended for them and so they wield their (herculean power) voice like the appendage they woulda, coulda, shoulda had-so some say. That’s why I have heard it said if you are dark skinned there are Babalawo’s who will take an uneasy look at you and then the opele (no divination having been performed) and label you Omo Oya. The dark dreaded Orisa who changes her mind just because she can. The woman who speaks with a volatile tongue that is sharpened in her sleep by the grinding of her teeth. I am a teeth grinder and I have also read via the internet that this is an Oyaesque attribute-funny I know but I have a million of them.
Oh well, enough of my rant. Oya came to me as I slept. My grandfather on my father’s side walked across a sea of cowrie shells dancing to drums beating out a tune for Obatala. In the distance I saw my PawPaw bent over in the stance of Obatala. Stomping over the shells calling to me, “She is coming for you- listen, the wind does not speak with a cleft tongue.” So several nights would pass and the women whose songs became common place would whisper, “Oya, Oya, come to Oya, Oya the mother of nine, Windmama Oya, Oya.”
Before Oya my family had witnessed several tornado seasons in northwestern Louisiana that were shall I say heart wrenchingly disastrous. Oya had flung her skirt and cut a pine tree from its roots causing it to crash down right between my home and my neighbor’s home. However a portion of the tree would rein down in my neighbor’s kitchen-dislocating it from the rest of the house. My house suffered sharp stabbings of enormous limbs gouged into the roof. Oya was sending me a message and she was not being polite in her manner of directness. As the trees fell around me both literally and figuratively Oya brought with her scolding howling winds that screeched across the roof and scratched against the sliding glass-this was her final warning and I had chosen to heed mama’s desires.
So here I am an Omo Oya proud of myself for journeying back to the beginning with a mother who is often misunderstood and because of that feared for all the reasons that I love her. She will not demand that you respect, she will take her respect and swallow the disbeliever scattering his bones in the whirlwinds of change.

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