When I was initially introduced to the orishas in my twenties, I was immediately drawn to Yemaya. While I was not initiated or educated in any traditional way, I felt embraced by her as much as I embraced her in my practices. It is said that devotion to her brings many gifts, including wealth, health, fertility, and protection. I can attest to all of these.
You know you are a child of Yemaya if:
- You like movies with strong female leads.
- You feel a specific pull to helping women, children and “the underdog”.
- You love gazing at the stars.
- You feel healed and renewed after visiting the ocean.
The stories about Yemaya indicate she gave birth to most of the orishas, as well as the stars, sun, and moon. She embodies maternal aspects that are warm, nurturing, and motherly, while also being a fierce, strong warrior, cunning trickster, and tenacious survivor of all of the circumstances that are specific to women.
Paths to Yemaya
Each of us have many “aspects” or parts of ourselves. It is no different with the orishas (or any other entities or dieties you can work with). Here I list a few aspects of Yemaya:
Warrior: Ibú Okoto or “She Who Lives in the Conches”. In this aspect she is a seafaring swordswoman of the red tide, carrying a scimitar, governing battles at sea. I equate this with the deepest emotional challenges we face in our lives, like grief, and heart-ache.
Betrayer: Ibú Agana. Known to be a “daddy’s girl”, she is beautiful, though her body is deformed. She loves duck feather fans, and helps rain fall washing away sadness while promoting the growth of crops.
Ship Builder: Ibú Conla. In this aspect, Yemaya is a word-crafter and poet. The spirit of this energy is found in sea foam. The element of air mixed with the intuitive, emotional waters makes this the perfect aspect to use when you need to find the words to write or speak your truth.
Creatrix: Ibú Mayelewo is her creative, productive aspect. Found in the middle of the ocean, legend has it that she painted the sky blue. This aspect of her is adept in business, marketing and knows how to make (& keep!) her money.
As you can see, Yemaya can support you with almost any life condition. She can be your fierce protective mother and a Warrior Queen fighting on your behalf.
As a deity of the waters, it is natural to request Yemaya’s assistance in the form of a ritual bath. For this, you will need:
- A blue 7 Day Candle
- A white 7 day Candle
- Sal Gris French Sea Salt
- Seven pennies
- White roses
- White rose petals
1. Saturday is “her day”, so, on a Saturday dress your seven day 7 candles with white roses.
2. Draw the bath, and light each candle.
3. Once the tub is full, add 7 spoons of sea salt.
4. Call Yemaya’s name and asking her for help. (Be specific)
5. Step into the bath, imagining being embraced and supported by her. Visualize Yemaya pulling the things that no longer help you out and away, and delivering your request.
6. Step out of the bath after 21 -28 minutes. Allow your skin to air dry.
7. When you can, take the pennies and roses to the nearest natural body of water. Thank her for her blessings as you leave the coins and flowers as an offering.