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Yemayá and Olokun: 2 African Deities united by the Waters of the universe

Yemayá and Olokun

Two Orishas represent the immense natural forces of the seas and oceans in the yoruba pantheon, forces that sustain life on Earth.

Both are united by the same qualities that represent them as gods of the waters and as such, it is said that they protect themselves as brothers.

  • Yemaya, the mighty Queen of the Seas
  • Olokun, the mysterious Sovereign of the depths of the Ocean

The Queen Mother of the Waters, Yemayá

The orisha Yemayá

The name of Yemayá, Sovereign of the seas of the world, it must be pronounced by those who have it seated with great respect, touching the earth with the fingertips and kissing the trace of the dust on them.

She is a female Orisha, although she works like a man and possesses the determination and courage of a warrior.

Characteristics of this Yoruba goddess:

Yemayá is as old as Obatalá and so powerful, that it is said that when the Earth was created, it was the Orisha with more strength.

But due to his character he lost the hegemony of the world and was given control of the surface of the seas, which, when moving from right to left, represents the movement of the waves of the sea, the character of his personality as well as wisdom. and the intelligentsia.

  • She is the mother of all children on earth and represents the uterus in any species as the source of life, motherhood and fertility.
  • Yemayá is a fortune teller par excellence and a powerful force, both at sea and on land.
  • She is the patron saint of salty waters and their secrets, the one who can keep the sea calm, but can also cause gigantic waves and tidal waves with her anger.

That is why the sailors invoke her, asking her to appease their anger and give them her blessing to avoid shipwrecks.

In Santeria, their offerings should generally include tools related to marine elements, and objects made from their colors, which are light blue and white.

  • Yemayá syncretizes in the Catholic religion with the Virgin of Regla, protector of the sailors and ruler of the Bay of Havana.

A short prayer translated into Spanish dedicated to Yemayá:

Holy black woman, with your seven rays in your face, queen guess, receive our greetings.

Mother owner of all sea, mother son of fish, far away she has her throne under the sea where you have her riches, for her obedient son.

Thank you, my goodness.

The one who knows all the secrets of the deep, Olokun

Orisha of the Sea Olokun

Olokun is the owner of the depths of the sea and represents the deepest secrets of life and death, as well as the mysteries of the seabed that have not yet been seen by human eyes.

He is characterized as one of the most dangerous deities of the Osha-Ifá religion, feared and respected by all, but also highly adored by his faithful, who relate the immense miracles of this Orisha.

Characteristics of Olokun, the Monarch of the Deep Ocean

Olokun is androgynous, and can be a very moody man or a beautiful maiden. In his image he is represented half man, half fish, and he is always masked.

Some believe that he is still tied with seven chains, as reflected in a patakí, because when he gets angry he wreaks havoc and Obatalá was very prudent in leaving him tied.

Even so, it is held that men should never forget their worship for its great power.

He is a powerful, terrible and extremely mysterious deity who embodies the sea in its terrifying aspect, but who also blesses his devotees with great health and prosperity when they pray to him with faith and invoke him showing fidelity and sincerity.

Some of the mysteries they hold Yemayá and Olokun in the Yoruba religion

Although some devotees affirm that Yemayá and Olokun could be the same deity, the truth is that the Patakíes show different cults for Yemayá and Olokun, because while Yemayá lives on the surface of the sea and in the waves, Olokun habita in the depths of the ocean.

Even one of Yemayá's paths, called Yemayá Okute, is represented as Olokun's gatekeeper and the one who accompanied him.aña always like a sister.

Also in the Yoruba Patakíes both cults are reflected when it says: "Olokun, the lord of the sea, is the god of the sea of ​​the Yorubas, he is one of those who came from the body of Yemayá".

However, both command highly interrelated natural forces, so their powers also unite and both deities protect each other.

Yemayá as daughter of Olokun:

In the city of Ifé, Yemayá is recognized as the daughter of Olokun, the orisha of the oceans and an immense festival is celebrated for both of them that has the sea as the main protagonist, through a deeply rooted identity.

Many scholars of the Yoruba religion accept, in fact, the thesis that Yemayá is the daughter of Olokun and sovereign of the seas.

The Pataki say that she was made Olofin's wife and one day, tired of that life and that her husband ruled the world, she decided to go to where the sun set.

Olokun had prepared a pot for him that contained a potion so that he would not fall into the water while he was on earth, which Yemayá took with him in his flight.

When she was surprised by the armies of Olofin, Yemayá decided to break the vessel and a river was born in the ground that took her back to the oceans of Olokun, which gave her the key to the seas.

Prayers to the ocean deities

In fact, many of the prayers to Yemayá mention Olokun and vice versa, like the one shown below:

“Iya mine will tie maguá mio, hojó asharé Oggún, ayabá tiguáOdún, O Mio Yemayá Asayobi, Olókun. Aboyó yogún e!óeyá e!ó my emi boshe, Iyá alonú akará biabé. Yemayá iguéreekún asayabio Olókun ya bí elede omó arikú alalajara, déyeíoma kamari Ikú kamarí arún, kamarí eyó, kamarí o»o, kamarí yem biéne

My mother, my goddess owner of my soul and heart, I ask you, through your sacred intermediary, Olokun and the other gods of the sky and the depths of the earth and the sea, give me their support in this mission that I am now going to begin.

Deliver me from death, illness, tragedy, slander and the envy of those who do not love me.

Learn about some of the rituals and offerings dedicated to Yemayá and Olokun

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