Living on a Fault Line by Jessica North-O'Connell

Living on a Fault Line

By Jessica North-O’Connell

Oya dances at the edges of my life,

slowly shaking and inching her way,

to the core.

I was born at the dark of the Moon;

the infant I was

wore a gown of burnt orange,

fruit too long on the tree.

My number was 9,

thrice 9,

sacred to the Great Lady,

so they say.

I ate green grapes,

though drink red wine,

and grew to love eggplant

wrapped in its purple splendour

I make plum butter,

sweet as the days of late summer,

to lick from the body

of my lover.

I build my life,

piece by piece,

carefully structured

mindfully meditated -

the structure falls apart.

A life without seams

blows to bits in the winds of change

I love the wind;

I ride the storms at sea

without fear.

Playfully, I shroud my face

in black lace -

they fear me

as they fear the unknown;

This amuses me.

I am an Amazon

with the soul of a Poet

the Mother

who, gazing into the Seer’s pool,

spills her own secrets.....

The ground shakes under my feet.

Hekua Oya!

Jessica North-O’Connell, October 14, 2000

A bit about Oya

Oya, Yoruba Goddess of weather, of air and fire - tornadoes, lightning , strong winds - and buffalo. She is the River Niger. Oya of the funeral procession, Goddess of structural change. Wife of Shango, they fight together and create lightning and thunder. Honored and feared, don’t invoke her unless you are ready to deal with the consequences! She is the power of feminine leadership and she has a special place in the heart of Witches. She is that which is revealed as well as that which is secret, hers being the domain of speech yet her residence is in that which is not spoken. She is genius or insanity. Oya represents hard work; the sifting through chaos to perceive, or perhaps to create, the underlying order, which itself is subject to entropy. She is embedded in philosophy, yet what she represents comes apart under scrutiny. Her influence is observable in the oracular realms.

Oya’s ritual dance is performed with ribbons or scarves twirling while the dancer spins in spirals, representing the winds - the winds of change. She will take you to the edge, the cutting edge. It is your decision whether or not to jump. She is as destructive as a storm at sea, yet as gentle as the summer breeze which softly caresses the cheek of your beloved. She embodies the full range of Feminine expressiveness.

Her color is burnt orange, her number 9. Wednesday is sacred to her. Her favorite foods are plums, grapes, eggplant and red wine. Her metal is copper. Make a shrine to her in the library or study of your home.


Jessica North-O'Connell: I am a founding Priestess and teacher of 13th House Mystery School, Victoria, B.C., and founder of Faerie Mound Covenstead. I've been a writer since the age of seven, when I wrote my first poem. I have two published books: Runemal: The Ritual of Runeplay, and The Witch's Book of Days, co-authored with two other Witches, and numerous articles, both print (such as The Beltane Papers) and online. Formerly I was editor/publisher of HICK: H.A.G.S. in the Country and Kin magazine, which I had to “close” while working with my husband at our restaurant, Equinox Cafe and Catering, in Vancouver Island's beautiful Cowichan Valley.

I practice a Wisewoman approach to aromatherapy and have been teaching Middle Eastern (Belly) Dance in the Cowichan Valley since 2000. I am the mother of five children, one of whom has passed beyond; grandmother to one lovely 8-year old girl and companion to Chef Sean O'Connell, with whom I currently share Equinox Catering. I am currently evolving my new business, Great Goddess Alive!, which will house The School for Magical Studies, Tribal* Life Coaching Services and a variety of other services that includes life readings.

Right now I am living in Lake Cowichan with my husband, Dachshund/ShihTzu cross dog, Lilli Putian Potter, and three fabulous cats, Kwan Yin, Murrlyn and Pretty Purrl.