IYEMOJA

Some say she is not as fierce as Oya or as elegant as Oshun, but she is no less spectacular. In Brazil thousands of worshippers invoke her name at the ocean, for she is mother. Yet though an orisa, she was born a human, like us and named Omileye, with royal bloodline descending from his emperial majesty Oranmiyan. She had extremely large breasts, symbolizing her ability to provide for her children. Yet the size of her breasts was also a sore spot for her.

She married Okere, the first king of Saki who was also a great medicine man. They both pledged to abide by each others taboos. She would never go into his medicine room and he would never use her big breasts to insult her despite her offense. Yet when their child got sick while Okere was away, she went into his medicine room to get medicine to heal their son. Upon discovery Okere was infuriated and then insulted her by talking about her large breast. This caused her to flee the palace never to return again.

While fleeing from the palace, carrying the medicinal herbal pot, she fell and the pot broke gushing water forth to later become the Ogun River. She was deified and called Iyemoja “Mother of Fishes” for her exemplary selfless maternal nature. She is mother to fish, human beings and orisa. Mother figure of Sango. Her example is most poignant for human beings as she surpassed the realm of human beings to ascend the realm of orisa. Yet she will always be one of our own. One of her oriki “Awoyo” means "she who stirs up emotion in one" because we love her like we love our mother. Iyemoja. The voluptuous fierce and loving protector of her children. The quintessential mother orisa. We hail her by saying Olodo!!!! Awoyo! Iyemoja!