“The Mother Whose Children Are The Fish.”
The Goddess of the Ogun River, Motherhood and Protector during the middle passage of slavery. She was said to be the daughter of the sea into whose waters she empties. The first time she walked on earth, fountains that later became rivers sprang up wherever she set foot. Sea shells, through which the priestesses and priests could hear the voice of the universe, were among her first gifts to the people. The river Ogun is associated with her, because the water of this river is considered to be a remedy for infertility. Worshiped primarily by women, she protects women in childbirth and is called upon to grant fertility. She is the mother of the sun and the moon, two rivers, and eleven other Gods. As Goddess of the Ogun River, she is also the mother of fish, and when depicted as a woman, she is dressed in skirts of blue and white, symbolizing the ocean. She is a loving mother to her worshipers, but can turn winds and be as violent and uncontrollable as the sea.
In mythology, the West African and Caribbean Goddess of creation, the sea, moon, ocean and healing is Yemonja. She is considered to be a guardian of women and keeper of our mysteries. She is said to wear a dress with seven skirts that represent the seven seas. Sacred to Her are peacocks, with their beautiful blue-green iridescence, and ducks. The number seven is Hers, also for the seven seas.
It is said in modern science and in ancient cultures, that from the ocean is where we all originally came, like the waters of our mother’s wombs, and it is to these waters and the earth that we shall again return to one day.
Yemonja energy is most present in people who are warm, giving, sensitive and kind. However, the Orisha also exudes a strong sense of mystery, as all of its secrets cannot be comprehended.
Yemonja 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.
Goddess Yemonja 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.
This Mother Goddess brings the blessings of new energy, new creativity, new opportunities and new experiences. Yemonja also lovingly assists and supports the rebirth process, cleansing and purifying the old energy, releasing that which has served its purpose, allowing for renewal and new beginnings.
Yemonja is truly long suffering, but out of that suffering comes wisdom, strength, and a glimpse of the plight of the human experience… The truth, as we navigate through the currents of life… We continue to align ourselves with the mysteries of Yemonja, we will discover the enormity she bears.. The pressure, the abuse, the selfishness of humanity. It is our prayer that Yemonja spares us from the pain she endures for us all.
Yemonja is the care-taking energy. Yemonja deals less with creation and more with nurturing. It is the energy of strength which will support our lives by bringing us what we most need – for there can be no life without water.