Who Is Goddess Yemaya. . .
Yemaya is a magnificent aspect of the Divine Mother. She is primarily considered an African-Brazilian Goddess; yet she has followed her people to many far and distant ports. She has found a home on a variety of Caribbean Islands, including Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad, and in Central, South and North America, and she has certainly found a home in my heart, here in Huntington Beach, California!
Yemaya was originally the Ogun River Goddess of the Yoruba in Nigeria. In Africa, known as Mama Watta, Mother of Water, she was considered the source of all water, the source of all life and was prayed to for fertility and for aid with childbirth.
Yemaya traveled with her people on the slave ships, comforting them during their forced migration to the New World. Through this passage her role expanded to Mother Ocean, she evolved and adapted to support the needs and changes of her children.
Today Yemaya is known by many names, Mother of Pearls, Mother Ocean, Stella Maris (Star of the Sea), Yeyé Omo Eja, which means Mother Whose Children Are the Fish, Mother of Dreams, Mother of Water, Mother of All, to name just a few.
In Brazil, some of her followers consider Yemaya as a savior for having protected their ancestors during their voyage from Africa and honor her as their national goddess. In Haiti she is Agwe, Mother of the Sea, in Haitian Vodou, she is a Moon Goddess aligned with protecting mothers and children, in Trinidad she is a River Goddess and in New Orleans she is called La Balianne.
Goddess Yemaya’s domain is water, rivers, and what is often considered the birthplace of all of life on earth - the oceans and the seas. She is specifically associated with the upper part of the ocean, which contains the most life. Her first gift was a shell so that her people would always be able to hear her voice. Her name Mother Whose Children are the Fish, denotes that her children are countless and further relates her infinite and all encompassing life giving aspect.
Her symbols and associations include, the sea/ocean, rivers and all bodies of water, the six-pointed star, pearls, cowrie shells, mother of pearl, sea shells, silver, Mother Mary, mermaids, the full moon, the crescent moon, white flowers, the number 7, and the colors blue and white. Yemaya is typically depicted as a mermaid or as a beautiful woman emerging from the sea - often with pearls pouring from her palms. She is sometimes referenced as wearing seven skirts of blue and white.
A Goddess of the New Year, she is celebrated in Brazil on New Year’s Eve with candles, flowers, food and a variety of other offerings, people gather on the shore petitioning the Goddess to grant their wishes and to bring them blessings for the New Year.
Yemaya is also celebrated in Brazil on the Summer Solstice and other celebration days include February 2, September 7 and September 9. Offerings typically include flowers, soap, perfume, yams, grains, melons, shells, and jewelry. Note: We believe that any offering made with loving intent is recognized and accepted, and we suggest if making an offering to Yemaya through the ocean, river or any body of water, to use that which is echo-friendly.
She Who Gives Birth to All of Life, Yemaya is aligned with the power of creation flowing through all that is. In this aspect, she assists with remembering, reclaiming and activating our own innate creative power, realizing our true and natural ability to create and experience magnificence within our life.
This Mother Goddess brings the blessings of new energy, new creativity, new opportunities and new experiences. Yemaya also lovingly assists and supports the rebirthing process, cleansing and purifying the old energy, releasing that which has served its purpose, allowing for renewal and new beginnings.
If invited, Yemaya will relieve the stress and strain of stagnation and will clear any blocked energy, bringing the blessings of smooth, fluid movement, providing realignment with the Divine Flow of the Universe. Within this energy, the Goddess helps us realize our natural flow, experience smooth, steady progress and as the river ultimately flows into the sea, we will naturally flow unto the realization of ultimate success.
Goddess Yemaya reminds us that to exist is to be in a constant state of change, everything is constantly adapting, changing and evolving. If requested, she will help remove resistance to change, helping us to adapt when necessary, helping us to embrace our natural evolution so that we may realize and experience the true essence of our ever ascending consciousness.
She is a tremendous ally to those involved in ocean conservation and to those who are active in protecting ocean inhabitants (i.e. dolphins, whales, seals, fish, etc.) Goddess Yemaya will provide protective and loving guardianship for sailors, scuba divers and any who venture out into the ocean who petition her protection and show honor and respect for the sea. She will also act as a liaison for those interested in connecting with the magical realm of mermaids. Call upon Yemaya to provide platforms for positive interactions with mermaids, sea sprites and water spirits.
The most predominant expression of Yemaya is that of a gentle and nurturing Divine Mother. Although strongly protective, in the aspect of Mother Goddess, Yemaya is the essence of infinite, all encompassing love, love that endures the eternal depths of time, spans the breadth of Universal Space and traverses with us through each and every incarnation and through all that transpires in between. Goddess Yemaya is a beloved Divine Mother who will help any and all who call upon her to move beyond perceived limitations and realize the full magnitude and magnificence of their True Potential.
Copyright © 2009 Rhiannon Barkemeijer de Wit
Celestial Journey Therapy