Yemaya is one of the Orisha (great goddesses) of Yoruba spirituality and mythology, She is now goddes to many diaspora. In her original homeland, Nigria she was said to be the daughter of the sea.
She is adorned in seven skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the queen of witches carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish” to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable.
Yemayá lives and rules over the seas and lakes. She also rules over maternity in our lives as she is the Mother of All. She is considered the source of all water, the source of all life and was prayed to for fertility and for aid with childbirth. All life started in the sea, the amneotic fluid inside the mother’s womb is a form of sea where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all.
Yemaya traveled with many of 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.
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.
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.
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.
In the African diaspora, Ymoja has remained a popular divinity. She is Imanje or Yemanja in Brazilian Macumba, where she is ocean-goddess of the crescent moon. In Cuba she is Yemaya, appearing in many variants: Yemaya Ataramagwa, the wealthy queen of the sea; stern Yemaya Achabba; violent Yemaya Oqqutte; and the overpowering Yemaya Olokun, who can be seen only in dreams. She is Agwe in Haiti, La Balianne in New Orleans. She is syncretized with Our Lady of Regla and Mary, Star of the Sea; in Brazil, she is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, whose followers wear crystal beads and greet her appearance with shouts of “Odoya.