Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yemaya, Goddess of the New Year


Last night at my drumming and chanting circle we celebrated Yemaya, the Mermaid Goddess sacred to the spiritual traditions of West African and Caribbean people. On New Year's Eve, people in Brazil who honour the Goddess build sand altars on the beach where they leave small gifts for Yemaya along with their wishes and prayers for the upcoming year. The tide washes everything out to the sea -- to the Great Mother, Yemaya. She responds with Her blessings.

At a special point in our Circle, we closed our eyes and each drew a small pewter seashell from a blue bowl half full of water ("Alberta ocean"). Every seashell had a different word engraved on it -- a word representing Yemaya's blessing to us for 2011. My seashell had the word Strength.

We took our seashells home with us after the Circle so they can remind us throughout the year of Yemaya's special gift to us. I put mine in a small pottery dish on my bedside table.


[Portrait of Yemaya by Maria Giulia Alemanno]

26 comments:

Dark Mother said...

What a beautiful Ritual. I have gone to Yemaya on more occasions than I can remember, she is a beautiful Goddess.

Crystalrainbow said...

What a magical evening :) may Yemaya's strength carry you thru 2011 blessed be x

turquoisemoon said...

What a wonderful ritual. Blessings...

Just A Gal said...

Yemaya hero. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. But really, that sounds amazing. How fun would that be to have a drum circle of like-minded friends. Kudos. May Yemaya bless you with all the strength of her seas.

Cinner said...

I found this very interesting. strength is a good thing to have. I think you do the most amazing things. have a great day.

mermaid gallery said...

She is beautiful, mysterious, and compelling. I hope you get much strength from her in the coming year.....

Em said...

How lovely! That's a wonderful ritual.

I need to reintroduce more ritual in to my life. It's been so infrequent of late.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

There are a lot of deities, gods and goddesses in the traditional Chinese belief/cultural systems BUT we don't have a Mermaid Goddess.

So wonderful!

Best wishes for 2011!

mxtodis123 said...

Lovely ritual. Yemaya is one of my favorites.
Mary

Cora said...

What a wonderful sounding ritual. I hope you are blessed with strength for the entire year :-)

Wendy said...

What a gorgeous way to honor yourselves and the lovely Yemaya. Strength from Yemaya is a wonderful blessing to have, Debra :)

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I love that very much..and strength...? is a great word for you..

Her Speak said...

What a stunning idea! Yemaya is one of my favorites--her imagery is so lush and energetic, juices me up just to see a picture. :)

So Many Blessings in the New Year!~*
Molly

The Wizardess said...

Your circle sounds splendid! Thank you for posting the artist's link for the beautiful Yemaya painting.

Kathy said...

What a beautiful ritual! I learn so much from all my Pagan mentors. Thank you.

The Frog Queen said...

What a fantastic celebration.

Strenght....that is a good word.

Here is to 2011!

Cheers!

miss*R said...

perfect! I love rituals like this.

Little Messy Missy said...

Sister hen 1 and sister hen 2....hahahahahahaha I LOVE it!!!!

Jabacue said...

I'd love to 'follow' you around for a month Debra. You do such interesting things that I would love to do.
Jim

Elena said...

Beautiful ritual! I love your 'Alberta ocean'...tee hee! Thanks for sharing a beautiful custom and wonderful picture.

divinebydesign said...

beautiful. sounds as if you've picked yourself a Divine Talisman. May the gift from Spirit carry you through 2011, with strength, dexterity and devotion to our your higher self.

lila Check said...

What a beautiful Ritual.In Brasil we celebrate Yemanja ,godess of the sea...almost the same name hum?
lovely,lovely blog!
hugs
Lila

BelladonnasJoy said...

Wish I could have been there. Drumming too, awh. My avatar is a mermaid.

Good for you!!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Thank you! You commented it so much better than I posted it. On the topic of personal assisted suicide. Thank you.

diana said...

I have just recently become interested in Yemaya...she granted me a wish and I have dedicated a corner of my entrance hall with all things Yemaya!

almaclara1 said...

Good evening,
who is writing you is MARIA GIULIA ALEMANNO the author of the image of the YEMAYA you have published here.
Could you please contact me so that I can send you more details about my artwork?
Thank you so much and good luck.
http://www.mariagiulia-alemanno.com
crescentmgçgmail.com