The Goddess Path  Issue #25

Sea Changes

January, 2005

This Issue: Table of Contents

View As Webpage:  The Goddess Path : January 2005

A New Year
Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year
Gifts of the Sea
A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime
Keeping On Keeping On

*Fair Warning: Little humor to be found in this issue. Perhaps it will return next month.

A New Year

It doesn't feel like a happy New heart is heavy  following what must surely be the worst natural disaster of our times. On December 26 when the sea rose up to claim so many lives, I was just beginning work on the story of Yemaya, the Afro-Caribbean goddess of the ocean.

The timing was unsettling. Yemaya is best known as a loving mother, a creator, a protector and teacher of children, a goddess who is one of the few that are associated with the holiday of New Year's Day. It was hard to see her hand in what had happened.

Of course we are not promised only happy times, free of catastrophe. Sometimes we are called upon to make a descent into the depths instead.

Nor are we always given the gift of the ability to comprehend what the lesson of a goddess truly means. But the deeper that I delved into the legends of Yemaya, the stronger I felt that she had something important to say, especially now.

So I bring you the story of . . .

Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and of the New Year

Yemaya was originally a river goddess of the Yoruba in Nigeria, far from the ocean. In their creation myths, Yemaya was the mother of most of the gods and goddesses and of humans as well.

She was a nature spirit, an orisha, a powerful and beloved guardian spirit. When her people were hoarded onto the slave ships, Yemaya went with them and comforted them, thus becoming the Goddess of the Ocean.

Actually Yemaya shares responsibility for the ocean with another orisha. Okolun rules the dark and turbulent depths of the ocean. Her domain is the upper level, the part of the sea that the light strikes, where gentle waves rock the watery cradle of the abundant life forms of the sea.

Olokun inspires respect and fear, for the powers of destruction that can be unleashed from the ocean depths are vast. In The Secrets of the Sea, Gloria Rolanda tells of a time that Okolun, feeling unappreciated, decided to punish mankind.

At his orders, immense waves began to invade the land...the ocean swelled up, darkened, infinite, and people who lived furthest from the coast saw, terrified, a horizon of water mountains running towards them.

Fortunately the soothing of Yemaya was able to calm the fury of Okolun just in time, and the wave settled gently upon the shore, leaving mounds of coral and pearls when the water receded.

Yemaya is a mother goddess, the goddess of home, fertility, love and family. Like water she represents both change and constancy--bringing forth life, protecting it, and changing it as is necessary.

Yemaya reminds us that even the worst catastrophes can be endured and that, with her help, we can learn to negotiate the ebbs and flows of change in our lives with her wisdom, compassion, and grace.

Read the rest of the story here:

Goddess Yemaya

Gifts of the Sea

The goddess Yemaya offers us the gifts of the sea. Like all moving water, she is both changing and constant, bringing forth life and changing it when necessary.

She is the supporter of life through all its ebb and flow, reminding us that even the worst catastrophes can be endured.

The myths of Yemaya and Okolun are a reflection of the natural world that surrounds us. The ocean remains a permanent mystery for humans. On the surface where the light shines (Yemaya), it is the source of life. But its depths (Okolun's ocean floor) are a kingdom that inspires respect and fear since its powers when unleashed create destruction that is immeasurable.

Taken together, the myths of Yemaya and Okolun, speak of the need for balance and the reconciliation of opposites in our nature. They remind us that suffering can carve a place in our hearts for joy to dwell.

Okulun has spoken loudly. The toll in death and suffering from smashed cities, broken families, rampant disease, and crippled economies cannot even be calculated.

Now it is time for balancing with Yemaya...a time for compassion, generosity, and rebirth, as we push through our sadness and lend a helping hand.

Create Balance with Yemaya as we enter the New Year

As of today my government (the USA) has stepped up to the plate offering to assist to the tune of 15c per citizen, or $35 million (roughly the cost of 7 hours of our war effort in Iraq). If every US citizen gave only $1 (or even 85c considering our tax supported contribution), it could make a world of difference.

Yemaya weeps. So do I.

We can help directly and save lives today. Numerous relief agencies are already scrambling on the front lines to fight off starvation and disease -- and beginning to rebuild. They will be there for the long-term, helping communities recover and regain their ability to meet basic needs.

They need to raise millions immediately to provide safe water, sanitation, food, shelter, and clothing. Your contribution to these organizations can make this possible. World Health Organization spokesman David Nabarro has issued an ominous warning that "there is certainly a chance that we could have as many dying from communicable diseases as from the tsunami".

Please give what you can. To make it easy for you, we've linked to a number of relief organizations at:

For the message below we can thank our clairvoyant friend Lady Dolphinia who seemed to know that I needed these words in my life at this moment and passed them on to me. And we are grateful to the author, Bradley Gouldson, who kindly gave his permission for us to share this inspiring article with you.

Reason,  Season, or a Lifetime

People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime. When you know which one it is for a person, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a Godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered, and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons: things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

John Mark Ministries

Keeping On Keeping On

Persistence pays off. We got little else accomplished this month besides dealing with all the problems that the newsletter's move created. Reminder: be sure to add us to your address book and email safelist so that the filters don't block delivery.

Here's the link if you want to read the monthly progress report:

In closing, a reminder to...

Be clairvoyant--be a friend.

And use your gifts, whatever they may be. They are unique, just like you.

Till next month,


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