Orisha Yemoja | The Spirit of the Great Mother

The moon may be small relative to the sun, but the impact and influence that the moon has is magnified for it pulls on the tides and holds sway over much that we cannot see, let alone comprehend.

Yemoja is a deity of the rivers and the surface of water bodies. Her origins lay in Nigeria and she continues to be venerated throughout the African diaspora in places such as: Cuba, Brazil and so on.

Without water there is no life. Yemoja is the deity believed to exist at the beginning of creation. All life and all orishas come and arise from her waters.

In the beginning, Yemoja married Oko, the deity of farming. When she became unhappy with him, she left him to live in the sea where Olokun, who ruled over the deep oceans, initiated Yemoja into the way of the seas.

Yemoja was given dominion over the rivers and the surface of bodies of water. Her name Yemoja means ‘Mother of Fishes’. As a mother water goddess, she has countless progeny that were, that are and that have been and will be.

Olokun, in his domain, continued to watch over the deep dark ocean. Of all the gods, only Yemoja is able to soothe the wrath of Olokun when he creates tidal waves and storms.

After a period of time went by in creation, Yemoja returned to the surface and sought a new husband as she longed to have more children. She married many deities and mothered many children with those other deities.

After many husbands, she married Aganyu, the deity of the volcano. Together they had a son by the name Orungan. When he grew up, he tried to force himself on his mother. She immediately refused his advances.

It was then that Yemoja’s water broke. She flooded the world as she gave birth to fourteen deities and the first humans. After her work was complete, she returned to the ocean and is now rarely seen by people.

While she no longer appears to people, she continues to care deeply for those who seek her out–especially women and children. As a mother goddess, she governs over conception, childbirth, parenting and the secrets of the subconscious mind that rise to the surface.

Yemoja is known to be kind to those who desire marriage, progeny and the birth of the new.


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