Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yemaya, Mother Goddess of the Ocean

Yemaya also spelled Yemanya, is known as the Mother of the oceans. Originating in Africa, her worship spread to the Caribbean and Brazil. She was first known to be a river Goddess worshiped for the rivers of West Africa. She was seen as the source of all water. All waters come from her and all fish were her children. Since life is thought to have originated in the ocean she was also seen as the Great Mother of All.

She was known to cure infertility and help women with childbirth. She was also seen as being very motherly and protective. In Africa she was known as an orisha, a very powerful nature spirit. In her myth, it is said that she was brutally raped by her son. After this she fled to a mountaintop and cursed her son until he died. In her sorrows she decided to take her own life. As she died she gave birth to fourteen powerful orisha, when her water broke it created a great flood which made the seven seas.

Since her worship spread from Africa, she took on different forms in other areas. In Voodoo she is seen as a moon Goddess. In Brazil she is honored at the Summer Solstice as Mother of the Ocean, white and blue flowers are left as her offering. And in the Caribbean she is viewed as the Great Mother of the Oceans.

Yemaya represents the ebb and flow of life much like the flow of the ocean. Yemaya can bring forth life, but just like the ocean she can also cause great destruction, and change. She teaches us to move freely through the waves of change and cycles of life. Yemaya may also be called on during childbirth or fertility issues.

Her symbols are shells, especially cowrie shells. She is often depicted as a mermaid as well so this too is a symbol of her. Her sacred colors are blue, turquoise and white. Her sacred number is seven representing the seven seas.

On your altar to Yemaya, have water, salt water if you have access to it. Shells, representations of sea life, crystals of turquoise and white quartz, colors of the ocean, a mermaid and a picture or statue of the Goddess.

Enjoy honoring this ancient Goddess of water and creation!

Photo courtesy of Sandra M Stanton


  1. Great info and I love the painting, very beautiful.
    Have a magical day.

  2. Yemaya....I spent almost a week with her on a daily basis during my recent vacation. I live only miles from her. She is my heart.

    Thank you for this beautiful dedication to Her.

  3. Glad you both enjoyed! Thank you for your comments! Have a beautiful weekend )O(

  4. This is wonderful info. I really didn't know too much about this goddess, but now thanks to you I know a bit more. How lovely would it be to do a ritual for Yemaya right along the beach...

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  5. Kim: It would be lovely to do a ritual for her on the beach! Possibly under the full moon...Glad you enjoyed! Blessings

  6. On the night of the full moon, next to the sea, we make a puja and have rituals to the Primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo and his consort Kuntuzangmo.

    I would love to add a ritual honoring Yamaya for all she protects in the seas and for the sea itself. What would you recommend?

  7. Paula: Thanks for your comment! Your seaside rituals sound lovely!
    In my opinion, rituals are personal and come from the heart. Since Yemaya is a creation Goddess, you might want to pray to her to help create something your trying to achieve in your own life. She also stands for the cycles of life and you could also pray to her for protection for your own life cycles and changes. Pray to her on the beach under the full moon, leave offerings of cowrie shells.

    Good luck and many blessings )O(


Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate your support! Many blessings to you )O(

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