Oma Desala is a name meaning "Mother Nature." She is one of the Ancients who learned a means of ascending to a higher ethereal plane of existence. However, she is an outcast among her kind because she operates beyond the restrictions of the Collective, and has helped others to ascend, thus breaking the most sacred rule of the Others, not to accelerate the natural ascension process of those beneath.
Long ago, Anubis had come to Oma Desala on Kheb and had deceived her in order to gain the knowledge of the Ancients through ascension. Oma helped him to ascend, and when she realized the horrible mistake she had made, she tried in vain to undo it. The Others cast Anubis out, but only halfway, to a plane of existence between mortal existence and ascension, and they used their collective powers to keep him from affecting events on a cosmic scale. However, as her punishment, Oma was forced by the Others to watch the consequences of her actions, powerless to interfere as the evil of Anubis gained dominance in the galaxy. Nevertheless, Oma continued to help others ascend, and within certain limits she continued to intervene in human existence, always under the watchful eyes of the Others. As an ascended being, Oma Desala has tremendous powers, including the ability to control the weather, to destroy her enemies with lightning, and to stop alien weapons.
SG-1 first encountered Oma Desala in her ethereal non-corporeal form on Kheb, where Amaunet had entrusted her with the Harsesis infant. She convinced Daniel that the child was best left in her care, and she protected SG-1 from the Jaffa army before taking the child away through the stargate to raise him in safety. As the child grew, Oma taught him to bury and forget the evil Goa'uld knowledge with which he had been born. Oma taught that anyone can reach enlightenment, and young Shifu learned to achieve ascension.
Oma returned and appeared to Daniel when he was dying from the effects of radiation poisoning. Speaking in Zen koans, she helped to guide him toward the path of enlightenment, and at the moment of death, to choose ascension. Daniel became a follower of Oma Desala until he crossed the fine line of noninterference by confronting Anubis, even knowing that Oma would be forced to stop him in order to avoid drawing the wrath of the Others. However, when Anubis destroyed Abydos, Oma herself intervened and ascended all the Abydonians who were killed in the blast.
Daniel retook human form with no memories of the Ancient knowledge he had acquired, but Oma returned once again when Daniel was taken prisoner and killed by Replicator Carter. In a plane of existence between mortality and ascension, Daniel was offered a second chance to choose enlightenment over death. There Daniel encountered Oma and the Others, including Anubis, who appeared in the persona of "Jim." Anubis had acquired the Ancient device on Dakara with which he intended to destroy all life in the galaxy, but the Others took no action to stop him, and Anubis insisted he could not be killed. However, before the Ancient device could be unleashed, Oma Desala made one final choice to intervene. She prevented the destruction of the galaxy by choosing to fight Anubis, forcing him to remain locked in a struggle for all eternity as their glowing energies joined as one and vanished, and the galaxy was spared.
Portrayed by: Carla Boudreau, Mel Harris
Cross Reference: Abydonians, Abydos, Ancients, Anubis, Ascension, Harsesis, Daniel Jackson, Jim, Kheb, Monk, Others, Shifu, Skaara
Episode Reference: Maternal Instinct, Meridian, Full Circle, Reckoning, Threads