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.