The Goddess of the wind, storms and lightning
Orixá Iansã is a female warrior, the mother of wind, storms and lightning. She brings radical cleansing and change. She controls the cycle of destruction and renewal. Other than that, she also has power over the dead and she assists lost souls in finding the light.
She is fearless and decisive. Sometimes a little too hot-tempered, sharp and passionate. She is easily swayed by her emotions. She has a strong personality and versus other feminine orixas, she isn’t as motherly. Her colour is red, on occasion even yellow. Iansã represents the strong, independent woman. She teaches how to be free and how to protect your space. As an impulsive warrior, she holds in her hand a sword and a whip from a buffalo tail (eruexim which rules over the souls of the dead) that she is prepared to use at all times. We can also meet her in her form of Oyá, who transports dead souls to heaven and enables communication between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. Oyá is depicted in brown colours as she rules the misterium of time.
In Brazil, Iansã is likened to Saint Barbara, who is a protector against being stricken by lightning, again fires and against violent deaths. She is the patroness of miners, cannoneers, pyrotechnicians and other hazardous professions. These aspects stem from the legend in which Barbara was stabbed by her own father because she didn’t want to give up on her Christian faith. The moment Barbara took her last breath however, her father was struck by lightning and killed on the spot. Iansa is celebrated, together with St. Barbara, on the 4th of December.
Like the wind, Iansã is ever-changing and constantly in motion. Her strength is represented in a wild tornado, which cleanses and destroys old structures. Just the same, it is represented in a tender breeze, which refreshes and calms. In the form of an intake of breath and the release of a breath she maintains constant motion and the renewal of the life-giving energy within us. She is also connected with the element of fire through strikes of lightning, with which she splits space, creating a clear path for truth and the divine law. She gets furious with every injustice and, when it’s necessary, she indulges in total destruction, so that a new law and order can be restored. Iansã represents feminine, irrational fury without any control, who blows away anything that is standing in her way. She is an unbounded, feminine element, which brings radical cleansing for everything new to come.
Iansã is one of the most powerful orixás. She is able to put into motion stagnant energies and situations. She adds into our lives new impulses and strength, so that we are able to make necessary changes. With the support of Iansã, one has the courage to take risks, so that they can evolve and grow. We can ask mother Iansa to help us with overcoming resistance, procrastinations and illusions. Iansã sifts through and streamlines our thoughts. She is able to subdue chaos. With her wind she sweeps away the darkest of crevices in us and she brings clarity into our thoughts and emotions. It is then possible to ask Iansã for cleansing, protection against enemies and deceptions, or for a drastic change in our lives. With her help, we can also speed up or slow down the development of certain events.
The most ideal day for lighting a candle or proclaiming prayers and singing pontos is on Wednesday for Iansã. The energy of Iansã is unpredictable and intense. That is why it is necessary to make contact with her very slowly.