2012 Predictions: The Year of Oya

2012 Predictions: The Year of Oya January 3, 2012

The beginning of a new calendar year usually means a flurry of predictions. These prognostications can be educated guesses, fervent hopes, pessimistic fears, or, in some cases, spiritual messages via divination, omens, or other supernatural methods. One widely reported instance of a yearly divination tradition is the Ifá predictions from Cuba’s Santeria priests, who’ve been gathering for 26 years to make predictions and recommendations. Last year they were eerily accurate in their readings, predicting “abrupt changes in political systems”, intense drought, and “dangers of war and conflicts.” This year the reigning deity is Oya, and they are predicting a year of “war and confrontation, social, political, and economic change, and a dangerous increase in temperature.” However, the mainstream press seems to have positioned this as a Babalawos vs Mayas prophesy-off thanks to the ubiquity of New Age “Mayan Prophesy” books that predict a great ending/beginning in 2012.


Believers around the world have furthered the theory, which stems from a stone tablet discovered in the 1960s at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco that describes the return of a Mayan god on that date, similar to the story of Judgment Day. But Cuba’s priests say that “what needs to die is not the world itself, but rather the ways in which the world has lived until now: confrontations, wars, misery and discrimination,” said Lazaro Cuesta, one of the island’s leading Santeria priests, or babalawo. “For us, an old world must end so that a new world is born …. It is not a physical end.”

Despite the Mayan “2012” theory being debunked again, and again, and again, and again, and again, some still think something momentous will happen when that calendar runs out. As Mayan Elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun says, “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff”. I suppose the popularity of 2012 as an end-date made such a comparison inevitable, but still, I would have liked to see more on the Ifá predictions instead of having them comment on the popular Mayan trend. In any case, here are their events of social concern for 2012.

  1. This is a sign of war and confrontation.
  2. This is a sign of transition, and social, political, and economic change.
  3. Loss through old age (aging population).
  4. Increase in seismic movement.
  5. You should pay attention to all household issues.
  6. Serious marital problems.
  7. Seek nimble solutions to any existing problem.
  8. Dangerous increase in temperature.

And here are the recommendations from the 2012 reading.

  1. Improve hygiene in hospitals.
  2. Improve apprenticeship in the manual trades.
  3. Special attention to agriculture and the organized distribution of products.
  4. Attention to your children.
  5. Grant consideration to women in every aspect.
  6. Better the organization of public economic management.
  7. Use music as social therapy.
  8. Organize a campaign of general sanitation against environmental contamination in order to avoid epidemics.
  9. Make offerings to ASOJUANO.
  10. Take advantage of the properties of the following plants for their respective uses: albahaca (basil), hierba de la sangre (blood plant), caisimón, quita maldición (remove curse), ciruela (plum), algodón (cotton) and bledo blanco.
  11. Control the increase in promiscuity.
  12. Preserve the environment.
  13. Avoid false accusations and defamations.
  14. Change and revise penal laws, bringing them up to date.


As for good omens from other sources, I would like to think launching of a new Pagan community center in Washington DC is a particularly good one. What omens, predictions, and visions do you have for the year of Oya?

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22 responses to “2012 Predictions: The Year of Oya”

  1. This is a pretty traditional cold reading. Of course, what they are saying will happen, because these events happen every year. It is almost impossible for them to be wrong, because these events will occur, somewhere, and then spinned to make it look accurate.

  2. What I found awesome is that the mainstream media, for the most part, gave this the weight and respect of a cultural practice and religious belief. It wasn’t treated as woo-woo stuff. Is it possible that pre-Christian, indigenous and Pagan faiths are gaining some credibility in the press?

  3. Times are tough and people are troubled. Therefore, they turn to systems that unlike many current mainstream systems of belief can help with the answers, or at least give some understanding as to the situation. I think at the end of the day, the old advice of “Trust in God/Jesus and things will get better” just doesn’t cut it.

  4. I think I have said this before here, but I always do a single card tarot reading around Samhain to try to get a feel for the climate for the incoming year. The card that I drew was Justice, repeatedly. Justice carries a sword, after all.

  5. But Ed, that’s so… rational! 🙂
    I’m so sick of hearing vague, generic prophesies. Goodness gracious, didn’t we see enough of this kind of garbage when we rolled into the year 2000? What bugs me more is how spun up people get and give their power away to this kind of thing. Give me a precise date and a precise occurance… then I’ll consider that something miraculous is going on. I’ve grown tired of all the angelic/friendly space alien ooga booga that have made con-men and women rich. Ramtha, anyone?

  6. I take it from your comment that you are unfamiliar with Ifa, and probably have not read the letras from previous years.

    The concept of cold reading does not apply at all to this, as this is not a session with an individual. And they carefully do not name who the babalao is, so it’s not being used to give him a reputation.

    Personally, I’m not sure it’s possible to do a meaningful divination about the world as a whole, but I know enough about Ifa to see that the predictions come out of the specificity of Ifa, and have thus been distinctly different from year to year.

    If there is similarity between this reading and last year’s, it is because Ogun was the primary orisa last year, and the secondary this year. And this year, he doesn’t have Oshun to sweeten him up. (I’m a bit surprised that Oya’s presence doesn’t indicate tropical storm activity, but there is probably something specific about this odu that points toward seismic instead.)

  7. Well, y’all beat me to the “and this is different from any other year, how?” comments. I do have a definite affinity for Oya though. And basil, for that matter. 🙂

  8. Greetings and Love and Honor to Oya! BTW, Caroline Casey identifies Oya with the planet of change, Uranus! “Let the winds of change blow through my life, bringing the most radically enlivening thing that could possibly happen. I am hoisting my sails. Para-sail me into the place where I can connect with my allies, and together we can do the most good.” (Casey) She opens her radio show (every week) with a song to Oya!


    Here’s a page about Oya:


  9. I went to the site referenced in the article which had the whole prophecy written in both Spanish and English. After reading the whole thing carefully, especially if you read the recommendations and the admonition that individuals should seek out their own “godfathers” (babalowos) to interpret the various prophecies for the individuals and since most of the rest of the planet does not ascribe to this particular religion, it would seem to me that this prophecy was mostly for Cuba. I especially found it interesting that the prophecy recommends paying attention to hospitals and the environment. I have no idea what’s going on in Cuba, but certainly their economy and infrastructure is in worse shape then that of say, the US (whose infrastructure is deteriorating and needs attention). With Fidel having admitted that Communism the way it has been implemented over the last 60 years was unsustainable and the small changes that his brother Raul has made to introduce capitalism, I wonder if the prophecies are not trying to get the Cuban government to pay attention to certain problems within Cuba that they consider critical.

    Anyhow… that’s my thinking, for now at least.

  10. Many things tend to move in cycles and Circles, as everything is also interconnected in the Grand Web of Creation. A small twinge in one strand can impact a myriad of others–for a percieved good or ill. Our times are very interesting, and, perhaps, there are more threats to humanity from humans, themselves, more than ever.

    My Mother’s Tribe also has a prophecy called the “Time of the Seventh Fire.” This is, essentially a series of visions the Anishinabe had a long time ago about the various threshold of times where times of change would come. This time, though, the Time of the Seventh Fire (6 of the Fires have already come to pass), talked about a time where humanity can continue to live in such a way that is detrimental to the Earth, and, hence, themselves, or they can choose to walk the Path of Wisdom in order to meet the arduous challenges ahead.

  11. 2012 marks also the anniversaries of the “pagan atheist” poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s (1792-1822) birth and early death

    Sacred Goddess, Mother Earth,
    Thou from whose immortal bosom
    Gods and men and beasts have birth,
    Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom,
    Breathe thine influence most divine
    On thine own child, Proserpine.

    If with mists of evening dew
    Thou dost nourish these young flowers
    Till they grow in scent and hue
    Fairest children of the Hours,
    Breathe thine influence most divine
    On thine own child, Proserpine.

  12. I think we should focus on the wise recommendations of the elders and let the rest go.

    Interestingly, I already had plans to plant a beach plum tree this year on the property we’re in the process of purchasing and building on. Our move to Central Maryland is imminent, as in Ted (husband) leaves today to go back to work there; movers come Friday; I follow with cats on Saturday. How synchronistically thrilling that we will be moving where Pagans are really beginning to lay foundations of serious space in a part of the world where so much moving and shaking is done.

  13. Oooooh, a wiseguy. Tried, thanks, nothing too terribly useful out there. And ya know, sometimes I like asking my questions to real people who know more than I do about something. I’ve found that doing so can be downright pleasant sometimes.

  14. My Google-fu is strong, and I was able to find a rough translation along the lines of “Highest praise to Oya.” Given the context, and the tendency to be a little snarky here, I thought it was a nice reminder that, whatever the quality of the divination, the gods and goddesses ought to be respected.

    At any rate, they will be by me, though they are not my own.

  15. While the divination takes place in Cuba, the website is for a business in New Jersey. (I’ve ordered from them multiple times and respect them.)

    I think it’s more accurate to say that this prophecy is mostly for practitioners and clients of Santeria.

  16. I think we should focus on the wise recommendations of the elders and let the rest go.

    Can you unpack that for us? Where are you drawing the line between what we should pay attention to and what we should let go? And why?

    Your statement seems to be the exact opposite of my understanding of Ifa, which is that what is said can only be understood in the larger context of the odu and the rest of the reading. Ifa is an extremely holistic divination system. But I may be completely misunderstanding your statement.

  17. Alice,

    Our family hails from the White Earth Nation in Minnesota. Hope this helps!

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