The Goddess Path Issue #25
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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,
Keeping On Keeping On
Warning: Little humor to be found in this issue. Perhaps it will return
A New Year
It doesn't feel like a happy New Year...my 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
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 . . .
Goddess of the Ocean and of the
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.
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:
Gifts of the Sea
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.
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
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
© 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,