the gift of Yemaya (Goddess Photoshoot essay)

Yemaya has been there all along - watching, waiting for us to notice, but we get so wrapped up in ourselves, in our daily routines, in our personal hopes and dreams, that we miss out on the obvious: The ocean of joy, the ocean of timelessness, the blue-green sparkling jewels cast upon our shores every day.  

Maybe Yemaya will forgive us for arriving today empty-handed - no sparkling copper pennies, not even a bit of watermelon - because she knows how we have given all that we can, that we’re running on empty. Our throats are parched, our eyes are too dry to cry and our smiles too forced to laugh freely.

That’s why I’m here today to offer myself to Yemaya and to become one with her. That’s why she takes me into her cradling arms and wraps me in the mantle of phosphorescent waves and puts her sea treasures into my hands to hold and to cherish. For one day, Yemaya and I will be fused in the embodiment of the ocean dominion so that I can see clearly how the earth world of great plans and great deeds must all ultimately be washed away by the strength and power of the seas.

Even beginning with last night’s plans for our goddess photo shoot, Yemaya has been toying with us, standoffish and coy. Perhaps the weather would be good for a photo shoot, and perhaps not. Perhaps she would sap our strength and stamina to the point that we would sleep past sunrise. Perhaps she would send out distractions in all sorts of forms to deter us from our quest. Perhaps she just wanted to know we were sincere in our desire to pay homage.

Here is the gift that Yemaya offered upon our arrival to the appointed meeting place: first, a heart formed from shells and sand, secondly, a graceful blue heron to accompany us on our photo journey, and, finally, a powerful current with splashing waves to shake us out of the torpor of our acquiescence, our yielding to a world not of our making, and not of our liking. We accepted the risk - of lost treasures - our cameras, our unique shells, our balance!!!

Is it possible to change the world with a smile, or with laughter? Can our joy wipe out the drone of cars, bulldozers, motors on the land, in the sky and in the sea? Do we have enough hands to pick up all the garbage left behind by those that have long since retreated to their manmade prisons? Is it too late to find a balance between the world that our race was born into and the world that we have created to satisfy our egos?

Come to the sea and find the answers to your questions. Yemaya is waiting for you.

Written by Chris Card Fuller, story-teller, language enthusiast, teacher, friend, Goddess.