Mo juba awo Yemoja.
Iwo ni Ayaba Iya.
Iwo ni Iya Orisha.
Iwo ni Inu Iye Odidi.
Iwo ni Ifihan Ti Abo Ase.
Iwo ni Inu Aiye.
Iwo ni Orisha Obinrin Okun Nla ati Odo.
Iwo ni Oluwa Awo Ti Abo Ipilese.
I humble myself before the mystery of Yemoja.
You are the Queen of Mothers.
You are the Mother of the Orisha.
You are the Womb of all Life.
You are the Feminine Manifestation of the Ase.
You are the Womb of the World.
You are the Goddess of the Oceans and Rivers.
You are the Owner of the Mystery of the Feminine Principle.
Yemonja (Yemoja) represents the maternal aspect of divinity. Originally river deity, Yemonja became associated with the seas. Her name, Iyemoja, means “our mother whose children are as numerous as there are fish”.
Yemonja, saltwater deity, is personalized as woman ebony of color with full large breasts who nurtures the world. From myths, her early incarnation on earth was that of passive energy in the creation process. She evolved into the strong, dominant earth mother after experiencing trials of disrespect and at times violence. According to a patiki, Yemonja’s response to a repugnant act that occurred against her was to plunge from a hill to the earth. This act caused her stomach to burst open from which sprang the sixteen orisas and the first human man and woman. The fluids that came forth from her produced the rivers, lakes and seas. Yemonja teaches us to persevere despite what life brings us.
Though many associate coquetry and sensuality with Oshun, these attributes truly belong to Yemonja. She is the sensuality of woman; her broad hips celebrating the ase to bring forth life. The turbulence of the sea an artistic portrayal of the hormonal changes that may contribute to mood swings in a woman. Once love has grown cold for her, she sends her lover away while she remains firmly rooted on her throne.
Each year we celebrate the strength, mystery, support and love of our ethereal mother. Since we live in the Midwest, the weather only permits us to commune with her at the waterfront during the warmer months. However, she is honored at various times of the year throughout the world. Through Cuba, her sacred day is September 8.
Yemoja’s colors are in the range of blue and white dependent upon her avatar or path. Her number is 7.
Written by Yvette Thomas, August 2005. ©. Chicago Tribune photo of Ile Osikan Yemoja Festival by Terence Antonio James June, 2005