This month The Mystic Cup dedicates this area to the exploration of the experiences of those who have made a lifetime promise to learn the mysteries of Yemayá, Orisha of the Oceans and embodiment of Motherhood in the Yoruba pantheon.
No two spiritual paths are alike, however some are joined by common themes, experiences and devotions. In such light, I want to share with you how I came to be a priestess of Yemayá. Mine is but one story out of tens of thousands, and I hope, it is but the first to be shared in The Mystic Cup.
Since I can remember, I have known I belong to her. The first memory of my interaction with Yemayá comes to me as if in dreams. I remember the cadence of drums, the lulliby of songs raising energies into the night skies, the salty scent of the ocean and its constant crashing agaisnt the shore. A friendly woman placing a piece of coconut candy in my mouth, said “Eat this for Yemayá loves it and surely she will bless you as well for partaking of her favorite treats”, I remember hearing this and I remember her face, dark and adorned with a broad smile.
I was nearly 7 when one day, my mother took me along with her to visit Maria Remedios, a very famous Puertorrican santero and an initiate of Oshun, he said to my mother that I was a daugther of Yemayá. It was the first time her name resounded in my body as if I was a drum expertly played.
I was warned never to swim in the depths of the ocean, to always stay in the shallow part, and take if I must sand baths rather than plunging myself in her waters. Wise words which I not always respected. At the age of 18, I was pulled from the ocean by my long brown hair. An undertoe had pulled me down in waters no deeper than 2 feet. I have since taken great care to heed the warning about how close I get to the sea.
It was nearly a decade later than I finally knocked at the door of an Igbodu to ask for initiation. Many things happened to lead me there, but, I will let my story unfold parallel to those other stories of sons and daughters of Yemayá whom I trust will be proud enough of their status as initiates to share parts of their story. Post your story or send it on E-mail for posting and translation.
More to come….
Oní Yemayá Ashagbá