Today’s photo challenge was to post a photo of my favorite African Goddess. Yemaya is the African Orisha Goddess (ruler of the ocean, deep seas, and lakes), that I connect with the most. I don’t know everything about her, AND every time the opportunity for learning more about African Orishas come up, I’m always drawn to Yemaya’s energy.
I believe I connect with Yemaya, off top, because of her association with water. It took a long time for me to get used to water. I mean, I like to drink it and bathe in it, but large masses of water sort of freak me out. That feeling is because, I am not the best swimmer.
I have the worst childhood memories of me vs large bodies of water. For instance, this one time when I was on a field trip (age 5 or 6) at the local YMCA, and instead of the swim instructor LOVINGLY coaching me through my fears of being in the swimming pool (no floaties at all), this fool drops me in the deep part of the pool. You know that saying, “sink or swim”? Well, I sunk. I didn’t put up a fight to even try to swim. I literally gave in to the water.
Another time, (around the age of 7 to 9), I was at the beach with a family friend. The day was beautiful, partly sunny, and full of all the sandcastles I could make, because, I WAS NOT GOING NEAR THE OCEAN. Playing along the shore, I also watched how other kids, and just people in general, were fearlessly enjoying the ocean, I mean all the way up to their waists. And to me, that was unheard of, because once again, I WAS NOT GOING NEAR THE OCEAN.
Bravery, started to settle in, because I wanted to experience the same joy THOSE people were feeling in the ocean. I put my little blue pail aside, and began to walk towards the shoreline. Water hitting right at my toes, I went in a little further. Water hitting right at my ankles, I went in a little bit more. Water hitting right at my knees, and I’m starting to feel myself a lil’ bit… so much, that I turned my back to the ocean and stepped in further, and now the water is hitting right at the middle of my thighs.
I turned around to look at everyone playing in the ocean, who is now behind me, and fear automatically sets in. The biggest wave I’ve ever seen is rising high, and it looks like it’s about to swallow me. I try to run, but as the tide is moving me back and forth, my feet loses it’s grip because guess what? I’m standing on a sand bar!
So when I come back to consciousness on the shore, all I can remember is a big ass wave swallowing me, taking me deep into the ocean, and throwing me back on the shore. Talk about NEVER EVER wanting to get near an ocean again, that was me!
So now, being grown and conquering some fears associated with water, I’m not so afraid.
I said all of that to say, my experiences with water has played a major role in my life, by cleansing (physical and spiritual) and, ritual healing and offering. The representation of Yemaya and water, could have been a mini rites of passage for my role as the person I am today, a mother, a nurturer, empathic, a healer, etc…
For me, I connect with Yemaya because of her associations with the number 7, spirituality, moonstone, clear quartz, turquoise, sandalwood, and cowrie shells (all of my favorite things). And although, I may have had a traumatic experience with what Yemaya is the ruler of, being in tune with her energy gives me comfort, healing, and understanding to the wombman I am, and becoming.
She is water, she is magic, she is healing, she is Mama Watta!
My intention for the remainder of the #ILOVEMYWOMB photo challenge is to bring Yemaya into my morning meditations.
To get in on this awe-inspiring and fun journey of womb healing and awareness, follow along and participate each day for the next 30 days, of the #ILOVEMYWOMBPHOTOCHALLENGE (@ILOVEMYWOMB).