Awo Ifasola Sangobolade
YEMONJA! RIVER OR OCEAN DEITY ?
Yemonja: (owner of fishes) Also known as yemaya in the diaspora it is said to be originally from Abeokuta in south west region of Nigeria. Yemonja was originally worshiped at the very junction where the river met the ocean. This i believe is were the manifestation and adoration of Yemonja began at the shores of so many oceans across the diaspora. Truth be told she is with out a doubt a river deity. At least that is how she as had been worshiped and is still worship toady in Yorubaland by the traditional follows of isese. No one in Yorubaland go's to an ocean to do anything for or to yemonja.
Many cringe! at the sound of someone calling the spirit of yemoja at the shore of an ocean. Because her origins are not that of the ocean like that of Olokun. Which in many traditions specially in the afro- cuban tradition are given together as yemaya/olokun. As for me and my take on it . Well being an initiate of the more traditional ways of practice as done in Nigeria or yorubaland. I like to call things as they are.
Yemonja is a river deity just like yeye osun just like Oba are. But.... being that as it may. I still see and understand the relation and the why. Yemonja has become over hundreds of years a deity associated with the ocean. It true that all rivers eventually drain out into the oceans. So by virtue of that . In a way i guess we could say all river deities are in some way shape or form have an affinity to the ocean . I mean how could they not? But with that being said . For myself i dont have an issue with someone worshiping iya yemonja at the shores of an ocean.
I believe that she has been called for some many of hundreds of years at the shores of the ocean . That how could she not continued to be worshiped at those very edges of those shores.Where so many have found solutions to the problems they had. While giving her offerings in those very ocean waters. Sometimes we get so caught up in the right or wrong way of doing things. That we forget to ask the real questions. DID IT WORK? i feel that in the end that's all that really matters. May Yemonja continue to bless us all in all the bodies of water that she resides in . Today, tomorrow, and always! ase!,ase!,ase!