February 28, 2013

Demeter: Goddess of Determination

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , , , at 9:46 am by Babs

Demeter, in Greek mythology, was the Goddess of corn and the harvest.  When her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, God of the underworld, Demeter’s grief was so great that she refused to be goddess of the grain any longer.  Her neglect of the land meant no plants grew, and famine devastated the earth.  She neither ate nor slept, she roamed land and sea and refused to give her up for lost – her dedication to the search devastating herself and the earth.

Demeter is the Goddess of the earth, agriculture and fertility in general.  Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products, poppy, narcissus and the crane.  She is the mother of Persephone by Zeus.  During the months Persephone lives with Hades, Demeter withdraws her gifts from the world, creating winter.  Upon Persephone’s return, spring comes into bloom.

Other names and titles: Achaiva – Spinner, Amphictyonis – name at Anthela, Achaea – name in Athens, Ceres in Roman Mythology.

Her celebration, 27th March, is actually shared by two Goddesses: Demeter Goddess of the Earth, and Selene Goddess of the Moon.  It represents the creation of Selene and the moment Demeter was granted power oer the earth.

The Goddess Demeter was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians in the form of Isis; to the Romans she was known as Ceres; and people in both ancient and modern times speak of Gaea, the earth, she is Demeter.  Demeter chooses to appear older than most other Goddesses, somewhere in her mid 50s. She has a full figure and rich golden hair the color of ripened corn, and she wears it plaited like a coronet, though sometimes this is covered by a veil.  Demeter radiates dignity.  Her eyes are most unusual: a mixture of blue and green and grey.  She wears a long, loose-flowing  pale blue gown.  Demeter features in one of the most dramatic of mythical tales: the abduction of Persephone by Hades.

“I am the mighty Goddess Demeter.  As the weeks pass my name will become more familiar.  Mortals need instructing on farming and I am the one to do it.  I have spoken and explained much and many are changing their methods.  Although it takes longer, the old way of plowing a field was much better for the earth than the way it is now done.  Oil seeps into the soil from machines; chemicals poison the earth.  The use of weed killers and pesticides must stop.  That is why there are so many strange illnesses that were not known in the past.  Those that destroy nature’s balance whether it be on land or sea will not be allowed the freedom that they hope will be theirs.  Those responsible will be punished, and in some cases severely.  There will be retribution.  Those who experiment and develop deadly chemicals for agricultural use will pay in full until they abandon this.”

Although Demeter may be the original ‘earth mother’, and people might assume her to be the kind and gentle Goddess of our planet, make no mistake she is fierce.  For nearly two years our team members were dragged through fields, withered with chemicals and burned along with stubble, the objective, explained Demeter, was for a mortal to literally experience what the chemicals and other modern agricultural practices felt like.

For those moments the team-members experienced what the earth experienced and it was both frightening and painful.  When Demeter makes threats, take them seriously.

“When mortals worshipped us centuries ago they grew flowers and crops without all this.  The crops grew in abundance.  Now with all this the crops are not as healthy and mortals endanger their own health yet think they are overriding nature.  That can never happen.  This is why I am trying to influence mortals as much as I can.  I am the great Demeter and I will succeed.  There were many ceremonies for me in the old days and fertility rites performed.  That was not necessary.  In days long gone there was celebration, much feasting and drinking of wine at festivals.  Entire villages were very merry, full of good food and wine.  It grieves me tha this practice was not continued.  Through the mists of time I have been forgotten, but mortals will again become aware of my presence.”

The Skirophoria, which is also known simply as the Skira, is somewhat of  a mystery to us now.  We know that there was a procession that included the priestess of Athena, a priest of Poseidon, and a priest of Appollon. They began at the Acropolis and took the Sacred Way towards Eleusis, ending at the Kephisos River.  Eleusis is of course the center of the cult of Demeter and Kore, and it was here that their mysteries were celebrated.  There was also a women’s ritual honoring Demeter on this day, in which pigs were sacrificed to her.  The participants were supposed to avoid sexual contact, and were said to eat much garlic as a “turn-off” to their husbands.

As the goddess of grain and fertility, Demeter played an important – indeed essential – role in ancient Greek society.  The Greeks, like most ancient cultures, relied upon agriculture for their sustenance.  As the patron deity of agriculture, Demeter was accordingly worshipped with festivals such as Thesmophoria and other honors.  Likewise, her association with grain also translated into a close relationship with human fertility, as this was another crucial part in continuing survival.  There are, consequently, many myths dealing with Demeter in her capacity as a fertility goddess.

Perhaps the most poignant of these myths is the so-called Homeric Hymn to Demeter, in which the story of the goddess and the loss of her daughter Persephone is told.  The Hymn to Demeter is thought by scholars to be not only a myth about the abduction of Persephone and the consequent anger of Demeter – it also alludes to aspects of the mystery cult referred to as the Eleusinian Mysteries.  This cult falls more properly into the realm of Greek religion, rather than myth, so it will not be discussed in any detail here.  However, as it is an integral aspect of the worship of Demeter, it should at least be mentioned in this context.

In addition to the myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, another intriguing tale that involves the goddess of fertility is her affair with the mortal Iasion.  According to the version told by the poet Hesiod, Demeter and the hero “coupled with passion on a field plowed three times, in the rich soil of Crete.”  Apparently, this legendary liaison with Iasion was quite a fruitful one, for Demeter became pregnant and eventually bore her human lover a son named Plutus.  The goddess Demeter was known as Ceres in Roman mythology.

Suggested Mantra: Determination

Suggested Affirmations:

  • I can achieve my dreams
  • I am determined to succeed
  • I am a success in all that I do
  • I believe in my dreams and desires
  • Lives are made better by my efforts
  • I find my path following my inclinations
  • I am allowed to stop and appreciate the quiet

Gemstones:

  • Rose quartz
  • Pink tourmaline
  • Emerald
  • Green fluorite
  • Moss agate (pink and green stones)
  • Red jasper
  • Boji stone

Demeter’s search for her lost daughter Persephone took her on the path of poverty, abuse, and eventually madness.  But her perseverance and determination paid off in the end – as truly devoted motherhood always does.

February 19, 2013

Dolni Vestonice: The Black Venus of the Czech Republic

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , , at 6:14 am by Babs

The Venus of Dolní Věstonice (Czech: Věstonická Venuše) is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE (Gravettian industry), which was found at a Paleolithic site in the Moravian basin south of Brno. This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic article in the world.   It has a height of 111 millimetres (4.4 in), and a width of 43 millimetres (1.7 in) at its widest point and is made of a clay body fired at a relatively low temperature.

The statuette follows the general morphology of the other Venus figurines: exceptionally large breasts, belly and hips, perhaps symbols of fertility, relatively small head and little detail on the rest of the body. It is speculated that these figurines, whose manufacture with these same exaggerated female characteristics spans many millennia, were symbols of fertility and success, or representations of a female mother goddess.

The township of Dolni Vestonice is not easy to find – too small for most maps, and only the larger neighbor village Horni Vestonice has a sign from the main road.  There are no signs for tourists, no fast-food offerings of “Venus Burgers” and this is what makes it so very special.  In Dolni Vestonice, the traveler interested in archeo-mythology does not get it all ready to eat, you have to find it yourself and talk with the people who live there today.

Dolni Vestonice is situated in the South of the Czech Republic close to the city of Mikulov.  Dolni is a small village with approximately 500 inhabitants – the most important thing seems to be the main road with some restaurants and little stores and ships.  There are no signs that say “museum” or “archeological exhibition” but a simple sign saying “Archeologicke Exposize”.  There are lots of text in and around the showcases, but all in Czech language.  The leaflet in English, available at the cashier, explains that only remakes of the originals from Dolni Vestonice and the neighboring village Pavlov.  The archeologist Karel Absolon made excavations from 1924 to 1938 and found, among many other interesting tools and items, the statuette of a woman made from burnt clay (today plastic).  She became famous as the “Venus of Vestonice”.

Like her sisters from other archeological excavations worldwide, the “Willendorf Venus” from Austria, the “Venus of Laussel” and the “Venus of Lespugue” in France, the “Venus of Vestonice” is depicted as a voluptuous woman with heavy breasts and broad hips standing in an upright position.  But unlike all the others who don’t have face features, she has eyes – slit carvings that make her look like she is squinting in the sun.  They are all very old, those ladies – the village Pavlov gave its name to a complete time period, the Pavlovien as the older phase of the Gravettien, 30,000 to 25,000 years before our time.  Along with the Venus, zoomorphic statuettes have been found, made of clay, stone and bone, carved or modelled.  And there is another Venus figurine who did not become as famous as her darker colored sister – she is very special, because her face is carved very carefully, and her body is nearly complete.  Both Venuses are shown in the same showcase next to each other.

The museum offers a lot of interesting and very special details of our ancestors – hints on how colors were made and used and the reconstruction of a burial site of three young people, a woman and two men – the woman was found with shamanic headbands made from teeth, claws and shells.  Strange and rare circumstances gave us even the fingerprints of one of our forebears on a lump of clay; so much for the historical details of the museum.  I was interested to find out more about the experiences which the famous archeologist Marija Gimbutas called “archeo-mythology”.

Another excavation site of Pavlov is located right under the ruins of Pavlov castle.  The ruins still look the same today and they did in the pictures from the museum.  Near the site is a large artificial lake, and one has to wonder how many wonderful treasures it may hide from us forever.  At the site there are signs of active digging and there are mammoth bones lying around as big as a Dalmatian.  Wolf skulls have been found with the spear heads still sticking in their jaw bones.  Here our ancestors fought against their enemies and the Venus and other goddess figurines have been waiting in the lap of mother Earth for us to discover.

These figurines are small, possibly to hold in one’s hand during times of great crisis or pain such as childbirth or burying a loves one.  whatever the use, this Venus appears to have given great comfort to our ancestors.

The following is taken from James Shreeve’s book The Neadertal Enigma (William Morrow and Company, New York, 1995)

In 1986, near a village called Dolni Vestonice in the Czech province of Moravia, the bodies of three teenagers were discovered in a common grave.  A specialist was immediately summoned from Brno, some 25 miles to the north, and under his care the remains were exhumed and faint remnants of the youths’ identities revealed.  Two of the skeletons were heavily built males.  By its slender proportions, the third was judged to be female, aged seventeen to twenty.  A marked left curvature of the spine, along with several other skeletal abnormalities, suggested that she had been painfully crippled.  the two males had died healthy, in the prime of their lives.  The remains of a thick wooden pole thrust through the hip of one of them hinted that his death might not have been entirely natural.

The bodies had been buried with curious attention.  According to the expert Bohuslav Klima, of the Czech Institute of Archeology in Brno both young men had been laid to rest with their heads encircled with necklaces of pierced canine teeth and ivory; the one with the pole thrust up to his coccyx may also have been wearing some kind of painted mask.  All three skulls were covered in red ochre.  the most peculiar feature of the of the grave, however, was the arrangement of the deceased.  Whoever committed the bodies to the ground extended them side y side, the woman between her two companions.  The man on her left lay on his stomach, facing away from her but with his left arm linked with hers.  The other male lay on his back, his head turned toward her.  Both of his arms were reaching out, so that his hands rested on her pubis.  The ground surrounding this intimate connection was splashed with red ochre.

The skeletons lean into each other, like nestled question marks.  In his written report, Klima speculated that the arrangement of the grave might reflect “a real life drama which precipitated the burials.” His drama revolved around a young woman who had died in childbirth.  The two male skeletons where those of her husband and a medicine man – the man wearing the mask.  Held responsible for her death, the men had been compelled to follow her into the afterlife.

In August 1986, this multiple burial was unearthed.  It was a shallow pit grave located near hearths carbon-data to about 26,000 years ago.  Interestingly, this burial was outlined in Jean Auel’s book Plains of Passage.

Dolni Vestonice was an Upper Paleolithic habitation in Czechoslovakia on a swamp at the juncture of two rivers near the Marovian mountains.  It is not only the site of the burial outlined above and of the Venus Vestonice, but is also the site of the earliest known potter’s kiln.  For acres around, the fertile clay soil is seeded with carved and molded images of animals, women, strange engravings, personal ornaments, and decorated graves.  In the main hut where the people ate ans slept, two items ere found: a goddess figurine made of fired clay and a small and cautiously carved portrait of made from mammoth ivory of a woman whose face was drooped on one side.

Above the encampment in a small, dry-hut, whose door faced towards the east, was the kiln.  Scattered around the oven were many fragments of fired clay.  Remains of clay animals, some stabbed as if hunted, and other pieces of blackened pottery still bear the fingerprints of the potter.

The goddess figurine is the oldest known baked clay figurine. On top of its head are holes which may have held grasses or herbs. The potter scratched two slits that stretched from the eyes to the chest which were thought to be the life-giving tears of the mother goddess.  The so-called Black Venus of Dolni Vestonice has a featureless, possibly masked face, squared shoulders, pendulous breasts, and a belt beneath her broad hips.  Only four inches tall, she is one of the earliest known depictions of a female figure, but what inspired her creation is cloaked in mystery.

A jagged crack runs along her right hip, damage sustained when the clay figurine was fired in a kiln at temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Farenheit.  More than 700 figurines, nearly all depicting Ice Age animals such as lions, rhinos, and mammoths were fired in the oval earthen kilns of Dolni Vestonice.  At nearby sites of similar age, thousands more terracotta figurines and clay pellets have been excavated.  Almost all the Vestonice figurines exhibit breaks and cracks which represent the shattering shock of the flames that baked them.  Were the world’s first ceramic artists also the world’s worst craftsmen or were these figures props for a pyrotechnic ritual.

February 17, 2013

Modern Medicine Bags!

Posted in Crafts, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , , , at 3:46 am by Babs

After a stessful visit at the veterinarian’s office, I decided to take my co-pilot to my favorite metaphysical store.  He was very shaken by his visit since everything is so new to him and he had to get a shot (horror!).  Well, I happened to be close to the store and wanted to get a two for one trip type deal.  So, off I went to do a bit of shopping!  I parked right out front so he could watch me through the windows.  Being a cute sort of dog he had a bevy of female fans chattering on about him in the store as he watched us.  It was sort of comical.

Well, I am a firm believer that you find what you need when you need it… you just have to realize it.  After a round of browsing I found these little medicine bags made out of soft leather with a crystal sewn to the outside.  Inside they had different stones which each had certain properties and when combined gave an overall assistance to  the holder.  For example, the one I found had a collar clip as it was meant for pets and the options were “calm & grounded”, “happy & healthy” and “protection”.  For more examples or to shop online visit their site: www.crystalmedicinebags.com.

I chose the “calm & grounded” for my pup.  The contents included moonstone – which calms and nurtures, tiger’s eye – which grounds excess energy and soothes both physically and mentally.  The bag also had a dog bone charm on the outside and a crystal sliver sewn to the outside.

I clipped this onto my pup’s collar and he slept the entire ride home… which has never happened!  I don’t have him wear it all the time but I do make sure I put it on for times of stress… such as the vet visits, car rides and other social engagements.

Great idea and another great find at my favorite store!

February 12, 2013

Yhi: The Aboriginal Goddess of Light

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , , at 1:58 am by Babs

The goddess of light and creator goddess of the Karraur, an Australian aboriginal group, she lay asleep in the Dreamtime before this world’s creation, in a world of bone-bare, windless mountains.  Suddenly, a whistle startled the goddess.  She took a deep breath and opened her eyes, flooding the world with light.  The earth stirred under her warm rays.  Yhi drifted down to this new land, walking north, south, east and west.  As she did, plants sprang up from her footprints.  She walked the world’s surface until she had stepped everywhere, until every inch was covered with green.  Then the goddess sat to rest on the treeless Nullarbor Plain.

As she glanced around, she realized that the new plants could not move, and she desired to see something dance.  Seeking that dancing life, she descended beneath the earth, where she found evil spirits who tried to sing her to death.  But they were not as powerful as Yhi.  Her warmth melted the darkness, and tiny forms began to move there.  The forms turned into butterflies and bees and insects that swarmed around her in a dancing mass.  She led them forth into the sunny world.  But there were still caves of ice, high in the mountains, in which other beings rested.  Yhi spread her light into them, one at a time.  She stared into the cave’s black interiors until water formed.  Then she saw something move and then another thing, and birds and animals poured forth onto the face of the earth.  Soon the entire world was dancing with life.

Then, in her golden voice, Yhi spoke.  She told her creatures she would return to her own world.  She blessed them with changing seasons and with the knowledge that when they died that would join her in the sky.  Then, turning herself into a ball of light, she sank below the horizon.  As she disappeared, darkness fell upon on the earth’s surface.  The new creatures were afraid.  There was sorrow and mourning, and finally there was sleep.  And, soon, there was the first dawn, for Yhi had never intended to abandon her creation.  One by one the sleepy creatures woke to see light breaking in the east.  A bird chorus greeted their mistress, and the lake and ocean waters that had been rising in mists, trying to reach her, sank down calmly.  For eons of Dreamtime the animals lived in peace on Yhi’s earth, but then a vague sadness began to fill them.  They ceased to delight in what they were.  She had planned never to return to earth, but she felt so sorry for her creatures that she said, “Just once.  Just this once.”  So she slid down to the earth’s surface and asked the creatures what was wrong.  Wombat wanted to wiggle along the ground.  Kangaroo wanted to fly.  Bat wanted wings.  Lizard wanted legs.  Seal wanted to swim.  And the confused Platypus wanted something of every other animal.  And so Yhi gave them what they wanted.  From the beautiful regular forms of the early creation came the strange creatures that now walk the earth.

Yhi then swept herself up to the sky again.  She had one other task yet to complete: the creation of woman.  She had already embodied thought in male form and set him wandering the earth.  But nothing – not the plants, not the insects, not the birds or beasts or fish seemed like him.  He was lonely.  Yhi went to him one morning as he slept near a grass tree.  He slept fitfully, full of strange dreams.  As he emerged from his dreaming he saw the flower stalk on the grass tree shining with sunlight.  He was drawn to the tree, as were all the earth’s other creatures.  Reverent and astonished, they watched as the power of Yhi concentrated itself on the flower stalk.  The flower stalk began to move rhythmically – to breath.  Then it changed form, softened, became a woman.  Slowly emerging into the light from which she was formed, the first woman gave her hand to the first man.

February 7, 2013

Yemaya: African Ocean Goddess

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , at 8:06 am by Babs

Yemaya is the Yoruban Orisha or Goddess of the living ocean, considered the Mother of All.  She is the source of all the waters, including the rivers of Western Africa, especially the River Ogun.  Her name is a contraction of Yey Omo Eja, which mans “Mother Whose Children are the Fish”.  As all life is thought to have begun in the Sea, all life is held to have begun with Yemaya.  She is motherly and strongly protective and cares deeply for all Her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow.  She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent Her wealth.  She does not easily lose Her temper, but when angered She can be quite destructive and violent, just as the Sea in a storm.  Yemaya was brought to the New World with the African Diaspora and She is now worshipped in many cultures besides Her original Africa.  In Brazilian Candomblé, where She is known as Yemanja or Imanje, She is the Sea Mother who brings fish to the fishermen, and the crescent moon is Her sign.  As Yemanja Afodo of Brazil, She protects boats traveling on the Sea and grants safe passage.

In Haitian Voodoo She is worshipped as a Moon-Goddess and is believed to protect mothers and their children.  She is associated with the mermaid spirits of Lasirenn (Herself a form of Erzulie) who brings seduction and wealth, and Labelenn, Her sister the whale.

Yemaya rules over the surface of the ocean, where life is concentrated.  She is associated with the Orisha Olokin (who is variously described as female, male, or hermaphrodite) who represents the depths of the Ocean and the unconscious, and together They form a balance.  She is the sister and wife of Aganju, the God of the soil, and the mother of Oya, Goddess of the winds.

Our Lady of Regla in Brazil may be linked to Her, and She is equated elsewhere in the Americas with the Virgin Mary as the Great Mother.  In parts of Brazil She is honored as the Ocean Goddess at the summer solstice, while in the north-east of the country Her festival is held on February 2nd (a day that is also associated with Her daughter Oya, as well as being the feast day of the Celtic Bride), with offerings of blue and white flowers cast into the Sea.

Yemaya’s colors are blue and white, and She is said to wear a dress with seven skirts that represent the seven seas.  Sacred to Her are peacocks with their beautiful blue/green iridescence, and ducks.  The number seven is Hers, also for the seven seas.

Epithets:

Achabba, in Her strict aspect; Oqqutte in Her violent aspect: Atarmagwa, the wealthy queen of the sea; Olokun or Olokum as Goddess of dreams.

She is also called Mama Watta “Mother of the Waves”, Mother Water, Star of the Seas, and is the protector of women.  Her healing powers are carried in the great waters, her energy powerful during the ebb and flow of life challenges.  Alternate spelling of her name is Yemanja, Yemoja, Yemonja, Yemalla, Yemana, Ymoja, Iamanje, Iemonja, and Imanje.

Suggested Mantra: Nourishment

Suggested Affirmations:

  • I voice my needs
  • Freedom is a birthright I enjoy
  • It is easy to articulate my feelings
  • I am freed through communication
  • I release my anger, I embrace joy
  • Others recognize my needs and honor them
  • I connect with my needs and let them be known

Gemstones:

  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Aquamarine
  • Turquoise (light blue stones)
  • Pearl
  • Coral
  • Mother of Pearl (ocean sourced)
  • Crystal Beads
  • Cowrie Shells

Emblems:  Fans, sea shells and ornaments made of silver.

Animals: Ducks, sea birds, peacocks, fish and goats.

Yemaya’s Number: Seven (representative of the seven seas)

Feast Day: February 2nd, June 22nd (eve of the Summer Solstice), September 7th & 9th, October 26th, and December 31st.

Day of the Week: Saturday

West African, Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean Goddess Yemaya is Mother Water, Orisha of the Oceans.  She represents mother love and the affairs of women such as fertility, children, birthing, the home and family.  She is the merciful goddess of creation and protector of women during conception and childbirth and of children during their childhood.  She is the deep ocean of comfort for those in need.

African deities (Orishas) are usually represented by flowing, swirling images of color and movement, depicting the elemental energies rather than an anthropomorphasized image.  Yemaya’s energy is depicted with sky blue, white and silver swirling color.  In other images, she is a mermaid of a beautiful woman.

Yemaya brings forth and protects life through all the highs and lows, even during the worst atrocities that can be suffered.  She reminds women to take time out for themselves, to nurture their own needs and to respect their deserved position in life.

She is the mother archetype and the provider of wealth.  As the one who gives life and sustains the Earth, she is extremely generous and giving.  She is the nurturing energy that sustains the Earth, she is extremely generous and giving.  She is the nurturing energy that soothes anyone.  But like the ocean, when she is angry, she can be implacable.  Therefore, she represents the mother who gives love, but does not give her power away.  Yemaya is also the owner of the collective subconscious and ancient wisdom, since she holds the secrets tha are  hidden in the sea.  She is often invoked in fertility rituals for women and in any ritual concerning women’s issues.

As a creation goddess, Yemaya’s womb spilled forth the fourteen Yoruba goddesses and gods, and the breaking of her uterine waters caused the great flood, which created the oceans.  From her body the first human woman and man, who became the parents of all mortal beings on earth, were born.

Yemaya’s wisdom: I nurture, heal, touch, bless, comfort and make whole that which is incomplete.  I am within you and you need only look inside yourself to find my eternal presence.  She rules the sea, the moon, dreams, deep secrets, sea shells, ancient wisdom, salt water, fresh water, ocean secrets, the collective unconscious, and the surface of te ocean, seas and lakes.  Her many titles include Queen of Witches, Mother of Fishes, The Constantly Coming Woman, The Ocean Mother, Mother of Dreams and Secrets, Mother of All, Mother of the Sea, Holy Queen Sea, The Womb of Creation, Mother of Pear, Stella Maris (star of the sea), and Yeye Omo Eja, Mother Whose Children Are the Fish.  In Africa she is Mama Watta, Mother of Waters.

The African diaspora spread Yemaya’s worship to the New World, where she was syncretized with Mary as Our Lady of Regla (Virgin of Madrid), and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.  In Cuba she is Yemaya, Yemaya Acabba (stern aspect) and Yemaya Oqqutte (violent aspect), Yemaya Olokun (powerful dream aspect), and Yemaya Ataramagwa – Queen of the Sea.  In Trinidad she is Emanjah, a river goddess.  In Brazil, she is an ocean goddess called Yemanja and Imanje.  In Haiti her name is Agwe, Mother of the Sea, and in New Orleans she is called La Balianne.

On the eve of the Summer Solstice devotees cast flowers and votive boats into the water.   There is a Brazilian tradition of the candelaria on December 31st, lighting candles on the beach at midnight for Yemanje.  Votive boats made from blowers are cast into the sea.  It is a good omen for the coming year if she accepts your boat and carries it out to sea.  It is a bad omen if your offering is refused, and your boat is washed back upon the shore.

Invoke Yemaya for blessings, compassion, wisdom, fertility, creation, riches, inspiration, mother hood, femal power, natural wealth, love spells, with magic, sea spells, fertility rituals, water magic, womens issues, having children, sustaining life, wahing away sorrow, revealing mysteries, acquiring ancient wisdom, protecting the home, learning not to gie your power away, and comforting children in crisis.  Invoke her as Erzukie for beauty, good fortune, and good health.  Invoke her as Yemoja to cure infertility, as Yemana for rain, as Emanjah for teaching children, as Yemaya Olokun for dream magic and protecting babies in the womb; and as Yemaya Atarmagwa for money spells.  Invoke Yemaya as Agwe for affection and blessings.

Yams, grain, soap, perfume, jewelry, and fabric are all traditional offerings to Yemaya, thrown into the sea.  Her foods are watermelon, molasses, black-eyed peas and fried port rinds.  Rams are also sacrificed to her.  Wear pearls or crystal beads to invoke her.  To ask Yemaya to grant a wish or bestow a blessing, write her a letter and cast it into the sea.

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