Yemoja/Yemaya is considered to be the mother of all orishas found within the Yoruba religion of western Africa, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. Here she is also the patron deity of the Ogun River and is worshipped at various waterways including streams, creeks, and springs.
Her name is contraction of the Yoruba words Yeye (meaning “mother”); ọmọ (“child”), and ẹja (“fish”). Together her name is roughly translated as meaning “Mother whose children are like fish, which reflects the vastness of her motherhood, her fecundity, and her reign over all living things. Yemaya governs everything pertaining women; childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing. She also oversees deep secrets, ancient wisdom, the moon, sea shells, and the collective unconscious.
As a result of the slave trade, Yemaya is found within a number of differing spiritual paths that can be found from the the Caribbean and South America, still connected very with the oceans. She is the Queen of the Ocean, the patron spirit of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks, the feminine principle of creation, and even the spirit of moonlight. According to myth, when her waters broke, it caused a great flood creating rivers and streams and the first mortal humans were created from her womb.
In Salvador, Brazil, known as Iemanjá, Yemaya is celebrated by followers of the an Afro-American religious tradition of Candomblé on 2 February where at dawn thousands of her followers leave offerings and gifts that include flowers and objects of female vanity (in particularly perfume, jewellery, combs, lipsticks, and mirrors).
Usually taking place around the full moon of each year, an annual Yemaya Blessing of the Waters is an annual beach side rite held in honour of Yemaya. Due to family obligations, this event will take place a month later, Wednesday, 31 January 2018, this being a rather auspicious time in itself. Not only is it the first “blue” moon for 2018 (second moon full moon held within the same month), but it will also coincide with a total eclipse of the moon that will be visible from Australia, peaking just prior to midnight at (ACST), and is Super Moon. The last time that a lunar eclipse coincided with both a Super Moon and blue moon was in 1866, some 151 years ago – and the next one will not occur until 2028.
The energy from these auspicious cosmic happenings will no doubt have an impact on the Yemaya Blessing of the Waters rite.
Around 8pm on the evening of Wednesday, 31 January 2018, we will gather on the grassed area outside the Grange Hotel at Grange Beach where we will head down to the foreshore, with the rite due to commence around 8:30pm. In this informal rite, we will be asking for Yemaya’s blessings of all the world’s waterways, sea creatures, and all other beings that fall under Her protection.
As we will be making offerings to Yemaya, those people wishing to intend are encouraged to bring an offering that will be thrown into the water (eg, flower, crystals (white or blue coloured), sea stones, white metals, etc). There will also be libations of watermelon (Yemaya’s favourite food) for those wishing to participate.
As this rite is open to the public, children are welcome to attend however they must be supervised by their parents and/or guardians who themselves must be respectful of other attendees.
A gold coin/loose change charitable donation will be collected.