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Goddess Oya

Transformation, Change and The Path of the Warrior

Lately I’ve received some rousing emails that are proving to be great fodder for upcoming blog posts. This month’s post is no exception. An email snippet follows:

“Some years ago, you wrote about nice vs kind.  And I remember feeling frustrated by the harshness of your words. BUT, I’ve never been able to brush off your request for kindness, not niceness. The weight of kind hasn’t found its way out of my head. Heart. Thank you for challenging my views. Thank you for your writings. They are everything but comfortable to read. That’s the point, I know.”

You know what? She’s right.

I don’t write for comfort. I don’t write to make friends. I don’t write to preserve the status quo.

I write to rattle cages until the locks fall off. I write to demolish old paradigms. I write to give voice to the voiceless: animals, the Earth and the human soul. I write to make hearts bleed with grief, love and compassion. I write to shock, anger, irritate, and destroy the ignorance of antiquated belief systems. I write to bring light to the important conversations often swept under the rug. I write to spotlight the cracks in our consciousness that separate us from life.

I write to puncture the bloated ego.

Michael Beckwith once said, “A bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.” If my words irritate, ruffle…get under your skin, I’ve touched your soul.

I write from the heart for the heart.

I am the irritating pattern interrupt that rattles you to your very core and reminds you of the sacredness of life.

The red pill has always been my food of choice. As a kid, my father labelled me, “smart ass” because I challenged everything. He despised that. When I stopped eating the dismembered, rotting corpses of animals at the age of 12, he fought me. I won. I learned to speak out for, and stand up for my truth at an early age—steadfast and unwavering. I learned that if people don’t like what I have to say, c’est la vie. I don’t live for others. I live for me.

As Louise LeBrun wrote in a recent post, “I am here to agitate. I have no memory of ever being other than that as an expression of Being. Even in the innocence of having no intention, simply being my Self was agitating to those around me. So be it.”

A kindred spirit.

A few years ago, I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute: Goddess to the Core by Sierra Bender. It was cathartic, transformative, and fierce. Perfect for my fiery Scorpio persona and my insatiable hunger for personal evolution.

On day two, we were placed in small groups to connect with “our” goddess. We were to choose a card from a “Goddess deck” that was symbolic of our essence. The cards were placed face-down and we were to choose the card that intuitively spoke to us. I pulled the goddess card, Oya. When I read her description, the resonance was profound. Oya rose from within, and we became one.

Along with Kali, Sekhmet, and Pele, Oya is a fierce goddess for transformation. She is the Yoruban goddess of storms, destruction and sudden change—the Warrior Goddess of the Wind. Oya causes major upheavals that suddenly and irreversibly destroy the old in order to make way for the new. Oya is destruction that ultimately leads to creation. She inspires the death of the old to birth the new. She is a rebellious revolutionary who destroys conventional thinking by inspiring remembrance of the Soul.

Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world. She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. It is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.

I couldn’t have consciously chosen a more appropriate card.

From the website, Journey to the Goddess: “Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, she is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries, but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back—such is the extent of her power.

Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: unleashed, Oya is the savage warrior and the protective mother whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while she understands everything, she will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth—even when it is hard to bear.

Oya is the protectress of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, she is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring mother to destructive warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care.”


We are living on a planet being rendered uninhabitable by our own species. There is no stopping the accelerating death spiral we are now on. To believe otherwise is delusional. No longer do I subdue my deeper inner knowing. I speak my truth—even when it is hard to bear.

Things may still look relatively “normal”, but as the old adage goes, “never judge a book by its cover. ”

The other day I walked our old dog Zoey along the trails of a local provincial park. Our walks are slower to accommodate her aging body. We walked along the shores of a salmon spawning creek that led to the ocean. Under natural circumstances, the creek would be teeming with salmon by now. Under natural circumstances, the ocean would be bubbling with jumping salmon. Under natural circumstances, there would be bears, eagles, seals, and otters.

On that day I saw nothing (and still nothing since). Not a single sign of life. Not one salmon. Not one seal. Not one otter. Not one bear. Not one eagle. A few seagulls and ducks, but even their numbers were smaller than usual. It’s surreal and eerie.

The ocean is dying and my premonitions are playing out with dizzying speed.

I’ve been internally guided to leave the ocean and move to the mountains. I no longer question my inner guidance. We are voluntary climate migrants. We leave the coast mid October. The sad reality is that I wouldn’t consider leaving if my premonitions, my intuition, my body, and what I perceive with my own senses was not so damned clear. It’s heartbreaking. Sometimes I think I should stay to bear witness, but my body screams at me to move on.

The body never lies.

And so I allow Oya to take me away—warrior Goddess of the wind and sudden change. There is no fear or urgency, only a persistent knock on my heart that tells me it’s time to move on.

As we prepare for our whirlwind move away from the coast, I see the triviality of what I once held onto. Despite my minimalist life, there is still more to purge. Photo albums, documents, memories of the past…no longer important. Time to let go. Almost 53 years of life condensed down to a few small boxes. As I sort through it all, I realize that the essence of these memories live forever in my heart. Each memory is a testament to who I now am. What once was is, is no more, yet it shapes me. No photograph, document or physical reminder is more powerful than this.

In the remaining boxes are the highlight reel of my life: the warmest memories of my childhood, and memories of my parents and grandparents who are no longer physically with me. Pivotal moments. Moments that catalyzed change, and moments of extraordinary fun that remind me of how I got to where I am today. Simple reminders. The rest doesn’t matter. It’s come and gone and has long since been assimilated into who I now am.

And so I let go. I let go. I let go.

I feel a combination of excitement and weariness. Oya keeps me on my toes.

I have fleeting moments where I wish I could just sleepwalk like the masses so it didn’t hurt so much. Those fleeting moments are followed by a flash of guilt. Is it possible to love too much? In a loveless world, love hurts. Makes me think of that old Nazareth song…

When I think about the collapse currently playing out, I just can’t shake the thought that maybe our fate is actually our salvation.

Maybe “the end” is really the beginning. As a collective, we’re so hung up on our “homo-sapien’ness” that we’ve forgotten our souls—our infiniteness. Do you think the soul gives a damn about longevity? My thought is that the soul only cares about evolution, as I wrote in my August blog post. Maybe the end of humanity is the consciousness shift the new-age types have been blathering on about, only they don’t realize that it isn’t in a human body because they’re trapped in the density of magical thinking attached to their homo-sapien’ness.

My premonitions may be indicating the end of homo sapien, but it is never over for the soul. With that, it’s incumbent upon us to live with intention, purpose, compassion, and to remember our sacred connection to the web of life.

At a time when there was not the scientific, technological or cultural separation from the soul that we now know, prophecies were made. Every spiritual tradition spoke of these times, and here we are. The final curtain call. I’m grateful to no longer wonder how it will all play out. I’ve reached such a place of acceptance that it no longer matters, because right now—in this very moment—I am alive!

With the final chapter for humanity looming over my head, I’m more committed than ever to love harder, speak out louder, make a difference, live with intention, purpose and a passion that burns my conditioned fears away. I’m here to be fully and completely alive! I’m here to serve, and in my service to the world, Gaea evolves. I truly believe this. In the density of my humanity, I’m working my heinie off to make my soul proud to have been Deb Ozarko. I live in service to my soul—and the soul of the Earth.

My love for life is fierce. My compassion for this Earth is ruthless. I know that we are all so much more than who we we’ve been conditioned to be, and it’s time for every one of us to get on with it and live and love like we mean it. I care about the Earth too much to pussyfoot around or play nice, so if my words agitate, so be it. I’m here to speak and act on my truth. This is Oya’s way—the path of the warrior.

The warriors path is a lonely one. It’s one of uncertainty, change, discomfort, fierce love, ruthless compassion, activated presence, truth, transformation, courage, and trust. It is not for the faint of heart, but it’s so worth it.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Yes it’s all over for us as a species (a few decades most likely). And without an ounce of misanthropy I say, we need to go and for good, never to return. It’s too late for most precious sentient nonhuman species and it will take millions of years for the planet to revive itself after we are gone, but it will. One of my main sadnesses is that the world will probably never become vegan before our time is up. That would have been something to see. A vegan world (a world free of exploiting, eating, wearing and using sentient animals as resources) could have made not only a significant difference to the planet since 51% of GHG are from animal industry, but obviously if we cared about the MOST vulnerable, — nonhuman animals and stopped eating, wearing and using them — we would have cared much more about each other. That’s probably the saddest thing for me as a vegan, but also, there’s a double edged sword here, because when we become extinct, although we as a species will not be seen again on this planet, bacteria will evolve once again and there will be once again in a few million years a diversity of life that will flourish free of our exploitation and violence. And that makes me happy to think of that.

    My best wishes to you Deb.

    1. Completely agreed TYR. While drought plays out where I live, we’re told to limit our water use. For the masses, that means they can no longer wash their cars or power-wash their driveways. Of course, they’re still able to eat their eggs, cheese, burgers, chicken and pig flesh, never once connecting the dots. And sadly, few are talking about how there are no salmon (other than those who kill them for “recreation”). It never ceases to amaze me how the human mind can normalize the abnormal in order to cling to its dysfunctional ways. No salmon, bears, eagles, seals, etc. is no longer a symptom of breakdown, it is the breakdown of the web of life—of which humans are a part—whether we like it or not.

      Seeing the big picture while the masses sleepwalk is like living in an alternate reality.

      FYI, my truth tells me we don’t have decades…

  2. Great post Deb!

    Live with passion, purpose and love… it sure beats sleepwalking with the status quo.

    Living here on the East Coast I have certainly experienced the same kinds of destruction, extinctions and sadness,.. I feel your pain, it’s disheartening and defeating.

    But hey, we still got shopping, entertainment and drugs to numb the pain.

    Good luck with the move.

  3. “In the density of my humanity, I’m working my heinie off to make my soul proud to have been Deb Ozarko. I live in service to my soul—and the soul of the Earth.”

    The spirit worlds are ever-grateful to you and your cleaving to your mission! Thanks for your light in this 3-D form. We’re grateful here, too.

    Fun word!
    Cleave, a verb, has two very different meanings. It can describe cutting or splitting something apart with a sharp instrument, or — oddly enough — it can describe sticking to something like glue. To cleave or not to cleave, that is the question.

  4. Profoundly sad but not surprised to hear you are leaving the ocean knowing it is no longer safe. The Pacific ocean is right out my bedroom window here in Pacifica, California (just south of San Francisco). I have known for 5 years now that it’s time to leave but I can’t let go. The last two summers, our community saw more whales every day then we’d seen in a total of 17 years that I’ve lived here. So much bliss and fear witnessing every spout, breach, tail slap. I went vegetarian in 1976 at age 14 after Hare Krishnas said that vegetarians will escape the cycle of rebirth and ascend to Nirvana, never having to return to human form. I had a tubal ligation in 1983 after college professors warned us that the earth would not sustain most life beyond 2050. I went vegan in 1999 when a friend said “Milk is liquid meat. A few years back, I lay in the sand on Ocean Beach, San Francisco, with hundreds of others spelling out “Fukushima is Here.” I have lived every day since 1983 with this coming climate catastrophe at the forefront of my mind thinking 2050 was so far in the future. And here we are. Still brainstorming how to leave this gorgeous ocean that will soon be toxic enough to obliterate the prosperity of our community. Maybe I’ll just stay and collapse right here. Wishing you peace and safety in your transition to your new home. Amy Vegan

    1. Our paths are so similar Amy. I went veg at the age of 12 in 1975 and vegan in 1999. So many similar signposts along the way. When I look back on my younger years, I’ve known about these dire times all of my life. My activism was a diversion from the dire reality—but subconsciously, the deeper knowing was always there. That’s why it didn’t take much to remind me…

      I sobbed for most of the journey away from the coast as we drove through the raging winds and pelting rains of a typhoon-fueled storm. At the same time that this super typhoon was hurtling towards the west coast, hurricane Nicole was battering the east coast. This is our new reality. We’re now in wildfire territory in the interior of BC, so I’m not deluded enough to believe that it’s any better where we’ve moved. This was a soul decision, not an intellectual decision. I’m just following my inner guidance without question. I won’t admit that it doesn’t hurt my humanity to be away from the ocean though. So I get it. If the ocean still calls to you, so be it. Honestly, I don’t believe that we can go anywhere anymore without feeling the effects of our altered biosphere, so best to live fully now wherever we are.

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