Goddess Oracle: Yemaya (Surrender)

Took a short break from the Goddess Oracle cards to take in the ones I’ve looked into so far..ready to move on!


Yemaya (pronounced ee’mah-zha) is a Santerian African – Caribbean goddess of the sea, who gave birth to fourteen orishas, or spirits.  Originally known as Ymoja, the West African Yoruban river mother, she also came to Brazil where she is known as Iamanja. At her celebration on the Summer Solstice, her worshippers arrive at her shorelines dressed in white and launch little boats loaded with flowers, candles, and gifts. Sometimes she accepts the offerings and prayers and sometimes she sends them back. It is said that those who come to Mother Yemaya and surrender to her find that their troubles dissolve in the waters of her embrace.

Meaning of the Card:
Yemaya swimming into your life signals a time for surrender. Are you carrying more than you can handle comfortably? Do you think you must do it all by yourself? Have you come up against a wall and feel the only way to get to the other side is by breaking through?  Surrender doesn’t mean giving up; rather you are giving over, asking for assistance so you can do what you want to do.

Wholeness is nurtured when you realize that the only way through some situations is to surrender and open to something greater. The act of surrendering is one of opening and trust. When we open and trust, we allow Goddess energy to work with us to achieve what we need.

Ritual Suggestion: Surrendering
You can do this ritual at the ocean or another body of water, or you can do this journey in imagination.

Prepare yourself by centering.
Take a deep breath and bring your awareness to your womb.
Breathe in and out from your vulva.
When you are ready, slowly and reverently enter the water while calling out to Yemaya to meet you.
Find a place where you can float on your back in a safe and comfortable way.
Feel Yemaya surrounding and supporting you.
Let yourself go into her embrace.

You can experience the total embrace of Yemaya by physically surrendering to her, or you can give over to Yemaya an aspect of your life with which you need assistance.
Do you need help with your finances or love life or job hunt or search for housing?
As the water washes over your body, as you float, Yemaya rinses you of all the burdens you carry.
Let her take them from you.
Give them to her willingly.
See, sense, or feel yourself handing them over to her with relief and certainly that all will be taken care of.
Let yourself go into the immensity of the ocean.

When you are ready to return, thank Yemaya for your time with her.
Then head back to the shore, feeling lighter, more vital, and clear.
Welcome back.

This one feels strange to me. Admittedly, when I first pulled the card, I thought – “Surrender?  I don’t need that.”  The Leo in me likes to be in charge (and I shouldn’t always be!), and the Gemini likes to think I understand and know ALL the things (I don’t.) The concept of needing help is tough for me, even though I know it’s necessary to be whole.  I just don’t automatically think I need it.  Not the best tendency.

Lately, the thought of surrender has come to me in regard to friendships. It’s no secret to those who know me well that friendships are something I have long struggled with. When I genuinely like someone, I immediately want to know all about them, communicate with them often – I wear my heart on my sleeve.  Then I experience massive disappointment or sadness when I realize I just like someone way more than they like me; that I am invested in them and they couldn’t give a damn. One of the light sides of Leo (thank goodness there are at least a few) is that I tend to feel really generous with people I care about.  When the relationship feels one sided, I get my emotions trampled on. I’ve experienced this very recently in a few different instances.  Being the one who texts or calls or e-mails and gets zero in return, and then realizing I am always reaching out, and if I stopped, I’d probably never hear from that person.  I don’t want to carry a friendship alone.  UGH.  I feel like that idiot sensitive girl crying in her car, wondering why someone doesn’t love me.  It feels so silly.  I want to give myself the pep talk about being complete in yourself and not being needy.

But on the flip side, I want to honor myself.  I know what I can give, and I am always more than willing to give it.  I am so far from perfect…it’s not funny.  Maybe my Leo side is upset because it doesn’t feel appreciated or liked, and, as sad as it is, Leos need that.  I know I am independent and may not APPEAR to need others, so maybe they distance themselves from me.

At any rate, maybe this is an area where I need to surrender.  Perhaps I need to let it go, and live, and know that the universe will send me the right people who won’t make me feel that way…or that it will teach me something internally so that I don’t feel that way.

I may have to sit with this one and try the ritual…if only I had a pool, or a beach nearby. (I don’t get into lake water…I love nature, but it feels…ew.)


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