THE GODDESS PROJECT: Made in Her Image
“Ymoja of the Great River
Yemaya of the Great Sea
My beautiful lady of the waters
Hear my wish addressed to thee
Yemaya make me (my life) fruitful
Yemaya bring my desires to me
Lady of the Magnificent Oceans
Hear my wish addressed to thee”
(chant to Yamaya)
Maybe you’ve heard of SANTERIA but probably not the Goddess Yemaya. If you go to a body of water on December 8th or New Year’s Day or February 2nd (or even Summer Solstice!), take with you WHITE FLOWERS, handmade BOATS or floating CANDLES. You’ll be joining millions of other people over the years who have taken Yemaya OFFERINGS AND ASKED HER TO FULFILL THEIR HOPES and DREAMS (and many women have prayed to Her for fertility help.) Even talking to Her whilst bathing in a SEA SALT BATH is said to take your worries down the drain with Her, Star of the Sea.
Beautiful, BRILLIANT, motherly and deeply caring like Yemaya, is our Goddess Project model, Kelley. She has a Doctorate in Psychology and is a COLLEGE PROFESSOR but prefers to call herself an: “educator” going BEYOND THE JOB TITLE. I don’t remember if I met Yemaya or Kelley, both Goddesses, first or if they came to heal me at the same time but now (and forever) they are one in my heart.
Below, Kelley writes about Yemaya:
“For many centuries, the people of Yorubaland in NIGERIA have worshipped a group of deities called the Orishas. Each Orisha holds specific characteristics, and many are associated with some aspect of nature. Yemoja is one such deity. Her name is a contraction of “IYE OMO EJA” which roughly translates as “HER CHILDREN ARE THE FISH”. She is said to be the Mother of all living beings. In Nigeria, Yemoja is a river deity and also fierce protector of her human children. During the ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE it is said that her maternal instinct was so strong that she traveled across the sea [to be] with her children who were being SOLD INTO SLAVERY. She remained in the Americas to be known as Yemaya/Iemanja/Yemanja, Mother of all and RULER OF THE OCEANS and SEAS. She is a widely celebrated Goddess in many parts of Latin America. As with many traditional deities, she is said to have been syncretized with a CATHOLIC SAINT– LA VIRGIN DE REGLA, in Cuba. I feel extremely honored and privileged to have my image used to portray the Goddess Yemaya as part of the #Goddessproject.
Prayer to Yemanja–Zolrak
O mother of waters! Great is your power, your
strength, and your light…Let your greatness
be the greatest wealth you dispense to me…
surrounded by sweet melodies springing from
your own self…
Kelley Mendez is an educator, wife and mother – among other things. She has traveled a bit in Africa and Latin America – as an educator – teaching and exploring diversity. She is committed to cultivating a deep appreciation for human diversity in individuals, organizations, and communities. “
If this is your first visit to one of Our Goddess Project blogs, the Goddess Project is a project launched in hopes by giving human faces to Divinity, we are all empowered! Photography and magical effects by David Clanton, davidclanton.com.