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Oyá and the Virgin of Candelaria: History of the 2 female warriors in Santería

Oyá Virgen de la Candelaria

Oyá is an Osha in the Yoruba Pantheon and is closely related to Ikú, the divinity of death.

She is the Yoruba warrior who in nature favors storms, strong or hurricane winds and sparks, which she symbolizes.

  • Syncretized in Catholicism with the Virgin of Candelaria, deity of light, powerful Holy protector of her devotees, celebrated on February 2 with great fervor.

Both are female deities, strong and miraculous.

Oyá represents the intensity of gloomy feelings, the world of the dead. In nature he is symbolized by the spark.

Yoruba history of Oyá and her sisters Oshun and Yemayá

About Oyá It is said that she is the sister of Oshún, the goddess of honey, and Yemayá, the queen of the waters of the sea, and although they were poor, they were happy.

Legend has it that Yemayá was the oldest and supported her two sisters by fishing in the sea. Oyá She was the smallest and Oshún took care of her while Yemayá fished and sold what they caught.

One day the tribe in which the three sisters lived was invaded by enemy troops.

Oshun could not hear the cries of Oyá, because it was submerged in the river, nor did Yemayá listen to it, which was very far from the coast.

Thus the enemies took Oyá as a captive and demanded a huge ransom.

But Oshun, determined to get her sister back, gathered copper coins and headed for the enemy tribe.

There he knelt, cried and begged, however, the chief asked for his virginity in exchange for his sister's freedom. For the love that she professed OyáOshun agreed.

When they returned home they told everything to Yemayá, and the older sister in recognition of Oshun's generous gesture and so that Oyá not forget it, adorned her head and arms with copper coins.

Also, while Oyá was captive, Olofin had distributed earthly goods among the habitaBefore his tribe and the queen of the spark, he did not touch anything.

Oshun implored her father not to omit her from his earthly representation and finally, the creator granted her the cemetery, the world of the dead.

That is why Oyá He leads the cemetery with all his powers, and also carries copper tools to show his eternal gratitude to Oshun.

Virgin of Candelaria, legends, light and devotion

The Virgen de la Candelaria is one of the invocations of the Virgin Mary, with a history closely linked to the Canary Islands and especially to the island of Tenerife, as it was the place where legend has it that she appeared.

In the Canary Islands she holds the canonical position of Patron General of the Canary Archipelago and also in Peru.

The Virgin of Candelaria has an ancient legend, it takes its name from the festival of Candelaria or Light, which had its origin in the East with the name of El Encuentro.

It was celebrated with a procession with lit candles to the Basilica of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre).

Candlemas Festival It is celebrated on February 2 with different names:

  • The Presentation of the Lord,
  • the Purification of Mary,
  • the festival of light and
  • the festival of candles.

It is said that, in the year 1400, an image of the Virgin Mary that represented this invocation was found on the seashore by two Guanche shepherds from the Canary Island of Tenerife (what is currently Spain).aña).

In 1526, the first temple of Candelaria was built next to the cave where she was originally venerated and since then the veneration of her figure has spread to numerous territories in the world.

Currently in the Rule of Osha -Ifá or Santería the cult of the orisha owner of the spark Oyá, and the Virgin of Candelaria are united in a single faith as two powerful saints.

Their great power helps all those who trust in them, their mantle mercifully protects the path of their devotees.

We share more about Oyá and its power in Santeria:

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