Facing the Storm is the the third part of a three-part series I am constructing to help inspire others have their own experiences with deities. It serves as partly educational and partly as a template for others to find ways to connect with their chosen Gods. I am exploring the limits of my psyche with three very special African Queens, the Orishas known as Oshun, Yemeya, and Oya. Each of those Goddesses serves as an instructor and guide through the individual lessons that are handed out by life’s chaotic nature.
Oya is the Queen of thunderstorms, tempests, tornadoes, and other natural events involving precipitation and cloud activity. She is also honored as the Orisha of change as She is able to do everything from whisper the cool breeze across your cheek to ripping out trees and hurling them at the unsuspecting subject. She does do to the nature of all that She embodies and in order to go beyond being insulted or fearful of this Goddess, it served me to be truthful with what I was being shown.
Understanding Oya is similar to having an interaction with Kali. Both Goddesses serve to provide life giving compassion (or rain) matched with the equal dispersion of death (the destruction caused by change) and both Goddesses can be fairly intimidating at first glance. I find that with intense Dark Goddess figures that it pays to face Them as fearlessly as possible. That doesn’t mean showing Them any disrespect or displaying forced strength on Their behalf. I had to accept that They are going to hurl lightning bolts at me while I’m doing laps over broken glass with one leg tied behind my back. That’s only part of the experience though. I also found a way to travel to the core of my anger and use that memory of who I was to manifest the person I wanted to be in this world.
I had to look back at my life and relive the anger that I had shown others. It involved everything from destructive words to violent deeds. Breaking furniture and acting like a complete monster came flooding back to me when I had chipped away at the veneer of my modified memories. I could look at each situation objectively and trace the source of the anger back further. Oya battled with me to face the challenge head on when I showed signs of weakening under the weight of reliving my childhood. I knew since I had oath-ed to myself to follow through with this that the only thing that would bring relief, and better yet, understanding would be to ignore the temptation of running and hiding behind a wall of lies.
Oya helped me rework in myself different ways of coping with the anger while I searched for a way back to the key memories needed to help understand my motivations. In my dreams, I began to travel to different time periods in my life. I knew I was being shown these places and memories for a very good reason. These particular episodes of anger had a theme that followed throughout. No matter how disjointed the dreams may have seemed at first, I began putting these clues together by studying my dream journal and the emotions I felt when I first woke up in the morning. Oya was showing me how to map my subconscious and discover that the anger and darkness that I experienced on the inside had a valid place in my life.
I went back to my high school years when I dropped out of my studies to take on a full time job and two girlfriends. I was trying to build a life right after losing the one life that kept me going. It seemed pointless to try and make it work with my mother when the situations going on between us only seemed to be under more strength since the death of my father. I went back further to the tiny room in my suburban home in Long Island and I could see myself as a child crying and feeling helpless.
The little girl is clutching a My Little Pony unicorn and desperately trying to breath through another episode. It doesn’t even matter at this point because all sources of pain flow like rivers into one ocean. The feeling of overwhelming pain evaporates in anger and the little girl violently throws the tiny horned equine across the room. I’m no longer trying to disassociate from this vision, I find myself slowly becoming comfortable with the fact that it happened and happened to me. I feel the anger I felt as a child rise like bile in my throat and overcome my desensitized adult mind.
I’ve said publicly that I’ve always associated myself with Unicorns and their Magick. Unicorns represent an individual overcoming their mental illness and becoming a more functioning individual in the process. I had a great deal of plastic and plush unicorns scattered throughout my childhood toy collections. They served as a subconscious reminder of the scared, sobbing child who was surrounded by adults who were abusive, chaotic, and volatile. My relationship with Kali and Dark Goddesses was born of that mess and has been both my greatest challenge and also my greatest liberation from the ills of the past.
I cry out and allow myself to experience the emotion of being angry. I let myself go through the motions of knowing who had caused the pain and why the pain still affected me in the present. No longer feeling robbed of my identity, it was possible to release the fear and embrace the fact that even though I felt the way I did, I had made a bold step in the direction of taking back a part of myself. I accept that I can not change the past and begin to allow my child self to heal. I find myself having a quick memory of seeing my self as an angry 16 year old girl who was busy ripping childhood pictures apart, throwing out cherished mementos of the past, and dodging the camera when ever the opportunity arose. I knew that because of the fear, helplessness, and the self-defeat I was slowly trying to erase my identity so I didn’t have to live through the pain of my life.I remember picking up the pen and writing about a Unicorn character during this time period. This is the person I had envisioned myself becoming had my circumstances been different.
That scared little girl and unicorn are one in the same the same character yet different chapters of the same story. Instead of selling myself short and writing off what life I had left because of being let down by my childhood, I accepted it. I made different decisions in the present that began to send storm surges to the future. Oya helped me confront both the light and dark side of those psychological characters and sift through my dreams to reveal how I could slowly come to terms with my past mistakes. They are both seemingly very vulnerable. The scared child is no longer helpless or a little girl, and the Unicorn represents a vision of what can be when I overcome the storm and see the rainbow.
It was both humbling and a good investment in myself to allow myself to feel anger without causing harm to myself or others. I felt the anger diminishing and the heavy clouds begin to clear. Oya stands before me in an elegant red dress and Her tied up and elaborately braided. There is a confident smile that is displayed across Her scrutinizing face. Victory with Dark Goddesses is short-lasting and there is always more work and more challenges to face as I descend further into the adventure of self-exploration.
I’m expressing my gratitude to Oya for this process and giving me the inspiration to write these words and share my experiences with the world. Oya, the Queen of Change is a constant and turbulent source of motivation and admission of new thought-forms. As a warrior, I fight to regain control and I am fortunate to take the lessons taught by this Great Queen to the next level. Oya is also the kind of Orisha to help me step from the mental world and put manifest my thought forms through actions. Dreams are fine and tell a dazzling amount of invaluable information yet my actions and deeds are just as important for cementing a foundation for myself. Please remember that this is only one experience out of many other different yet entirely equally valid experiences that lead to the same truth. Anyone who wants to connect with a God or their higher self can do so through dedication and hard work.
As always, thank you to all who read my work, comment, and express their insights through comments. ❤ Shining Quill the Unicorn