Yemanya, (pronounced Yeh-MAHN-jah or Yeh-MAHN-jee) is the African and Brazilian goddess of the sea and the moon. Part of the Yoruba pantheon, Yemanya is one of the three revered female entities. (The other two are Oya and Ochun.) Yemanya presides over the ocean and is an archetypal Mother figure. Her concern for her children is as vast and as deep as the sea. Her number is seven, her colors are blue and white, and sacred offerings made to her can include pearls, seawater (water and sea salt), and seashells. Yemanya has a devout following in Brazil and in the Santerian religion.

At her celebration on December 31st, her devotees arrive at shorelines dressed in white and launch little boats loaded with flowers, candles, and gifts.  If Yemanya grants your wish or accepts your offering, her waves will swallow the miniature boat, and if she denies the wish the boat will return and wash ashore. It is said that those who come to Mother Yemanya and surrender to her find that their troubles dissolve in the waters of her embrace.

As I mentioned earlier, Yemanya embodies the Mother Archetype and is the provider of wealth. As the Goddess who gives life and sustains the Earth, she is extremely generous and giving. She is the nurturing energy that soothes… but like the ocean… when angry… she can be unable to be placated and relentless in her wrath.

Yemanya is the owner of the collective subconscious and ancient wisdom, since she holds the secrets that are hidden in the sea. She is often invoked in fertility rituals, rituals concerning women’s issues, for protection and for granting wishes.

Yemamya is sometimes presented as a mermaid or a beautiful woman emerging from the waves of the sea…

In Africa she is presented as a very old lady wearing black and mauve who has connection with a river, mud, swamp and earth. Her name is Iemanja Nana Borocum or Nana Burku…

How to work with the Goddess Yemanya Archetype:

Sensing Yemanya in your life means it is time to surrender. Please note, that this is not a time to give up, but rather a time to ask for assistance. The act of surrendering is one of opening, accepting and trusting. When we open, accept and trust, we allow divine energy to work with us to achieve what we need.

In life there is always ebb and flow… take an example from the element of water… water is fluid and soft and yet it is strong enough to eventually wear away rock and break through barriers for exit.

Free your emotions… cry if you need to and never be ashamed. Emotions and feelings are the element of water… you cannot live without them and it is useless to hold them back. Sooner or later the time for flow will come back around and everything will change for the better… surrendering, trusting and allowing is the key.

Light Aspects of the Yemanya Archetype: serenity, joy, spontaneity, ability to adapt, peace, purity of intention, empathy, receptivity, patience, depth, contemplation, deep insight, intuition, subconscious, unknown, mystery, dream, sleep, feelings, sympathy, forgiveness, protection, care, progress, creation, inspiration, art, imagination, fertility, maternity, cycles, changes, purification, healing, releasing from problems and past, sensitivity, subtle-ness and gentleness but also the power which cannot be held back.

Shadow Aspects of the Yemanya Archetype: hypersensitivity, variability, fussiness, jealousy, emotional liability, uncertainty, crying, passiveness, laziness, inertia, inability to make decisions, dependence, manipulating the feelings of others, taking the problems of others, depression, mistrust, delusiveness, violent anger, uncontrolled outbursts of emotions, unpredictability, holding emotions back, inability to express feelings, being huffy, permitting emotions to rule the behavior, negative attitude to oneself.

silver-moon-divider Lisa Grantham


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