The richness contained in these two orishas, Yemayá the embodiment of motherhood and ruler of the oceans, and Oshún, her younger sister riverine orisha and embodiment of womanhood, is as deep as the waters they inhabit.
Many lessons can be learned from their tenacity, intelligence, fierce love for their children, love for community and their graciousness. Their collective wisdom is weaved in stories or apatakis as rich and varied as their avatars representing them in both their might as well as frailties. How do these orishas impact and shape the life of their selected heads or priests and priestesses? What lessons have they shared? How can these orishas teach us about creativity, healing, strength and community empowerment? These will be the subjects that promise to be addressed on a fascinating conversation led by orisha elders in the Atlanta area from Oloshas United Atlanta.
In the spirt of community and sharing what these orishas represent in their lives, the group of oloshas will present a discussion at Clayton State University on Sept. 7, titled Saltwater & Honey: Uncovering the Essence of Yemonja and Oshun.
As a personal note, for many in the orisha community, September 7 is the day in which Yemayá or Yemonja, however it makes you happier to write it, is celebrated. As one of her priestesses and humble servant, my yeye (mother) is celebrated every single day equally. Why? I do not subscribe to syncretism with the catholic saint Lady of Regla. Thus I do not observe September 7; however I do respect those who do.
The panel led by M’Taminika Beatty, Senemeh Burke, Arturo Lindsay, Kemba Mchawi, Rodolfo Ortiz, and Tammy Ozier will start at sharply at 6:30 pm and will go on until 9. The panel will be at the University Center Auditorium 272.
The orisha community in Atlanta is quite active and will also hold a festival on Saturday, Sept. 10. The Yemonja Celebration at Hunting Island State Park on St. Helena Island will include singing and drumming to Egun and the orisha on the beach. There will be a special shrine dedicated to our great mother, Yemayá.
The tribute begins at noon and participants will be responsible for parking/entrance fee which is of $5 per adult and $3 per child. They must also pack their own supplies, food and water. Wearing proper white attire is expected. Appropriate, for those new to orisha circles, includes for females long skirts, close top or modest blouses, or a dress and a head cover. For males, long pants and shirts as well as head covering is part of the dress code. If you are unruly like me, not really, a few touches of blue are a must when partying in honor of Yemayá. I can’t help it, love blue! If you want more information about this event, driving directions or have any other questions, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May Yemayá and Oshún always show you the sweet side of life and protect you, your children and your loved ones.
Oní Yemayá Achagbá