La Siren / La Balenn: Mother of the Deep
By Sosyete du Marche
In Kreyol, we sing the following song to LaSiren, the mermaid of Haitian mythology: LaSiren, La Balenn, chapeau tombe a la mer!
It translates as: “La Siren, La Balen, my hat falls into the sea!” Falling hats into the sea is code for going under possession. Your head “falls” into the sea of consciousness, where all the knowledge and power of the world preside. Here is where we meet LaSirenn, wife of Agwe Tawayo, the supreme lwa of the ocean.
LaSiren is feminine, enchanting, sensual. She moves with unerring grace through the water domains of her husband. She carries her trumpet, which she uses to call the faithful to service, seducing us with her siren song, taking our heads as it were, under the sea, to gain “konesans” – consciousness of the intuitive world
La Siren is considered to be the “Mother of the Fish”. She shares this title with Yemaya of Santeria, whose names also mean “Mother whose Children are the Fish. In both cases, the inner meaning is that since she is the mother of the world, her children are too numerous to count – not unlike the fish who Continue reading
Yemaya, The Mother of Earth
By Yamaya Cruz, 2011 [Edited]
Humanity started in Africa. Everyone human being can trace his or her lineage back to our mitochondria mother in Africa. This mitochondria mother is known as Yemaya in Santeria. She is known as Yemoja in Yoruba. She is also known as Yemanja in Brazil. She is known all over the world.
There are thousands of stories, great myths, and legends about the African goddess. In Yoruba, she was known as the river goddess. She became the Yoruba deity of the ocean during the enslavement of Africans after the Mid Atlanticcrossing. Millions of enslaved Africans appealed to her for guidance and support. Thus, she became the Orisha who presided over the oceans.
Yemaya can also be associated with Our Lady of Regla in Santeria. She is linked to the second chakra or swadhisthana chakra in Sanskrit. The 2nd chakra is located in the womb area and is a vessel for creativity [creation and protection of the hero]. Yemaya presides over the womb and is called upon for maternity purposes, or to help aid mothers while giving birth. She helps mothers give birth, not only to children, but also to new ideas, opportunities, and beliefs. Yemaya is the divinity of creation itself. Continue reading
Myths and Legends of China
By Edward T.C. Werner, 
Chapter XIV – How the Monkey Became a God
The Hsi Yu Chi
In dealing with the gods of China we noticed the monkey among them. Why and in what manner he attained to that exalted rank is set forth in detail in the Hsi yu chi 1—a work the contents of which have become woven into the fabric of Chinese legendary lore and are known and loved by every intelligent native. Its pages are filled with ghosts, demons, and fairies, good and bad, but “it contains no more than the average Chinese really believes to exist, and his belief in such manifestations is so firm that from the cradle to the grave he lives and moves and has his being in reference to them.” Its characters are said to be allegorical, though it may be doubted whether these implications may rightly be read into the Chinese text. Thus:
Hsüan (or Yüan) Chuang, or T’ang Sêng, is the pilgrim of the Hsi yu chi, who symbolizes conscience, to which all actions are brought for trial. The priestly garment of Hsüan Chuang symbolizes the good work of the rectified human nature. It is held to be a great protection to the new heart from the myriads of evil beings which surround it, seeking its destruction. Continue reading
HADES AS PLACE
by Brian Clark, 2001
In Greek myth, Hades is not only the personification of the Underworld god Pluto, but also refers to his extensive Underworld kingdom. Mythological tradition and epic clearly differentiate the Underworld and the god Hades, who is regent of this place. The topography and atmosphere of this mythological nether world is symbolic of the sphere we are drawn into during a transit of Pluto and provides a context for the textures and shades of subterranean feelings experienced during this time.
Descent into the Underworld, or catabasis, is a common motif in myth, and this journey is undertaken for a variety of reasons. The journey to the Underworld crosses the crucial threshold between this world Continue reading
The Universe Has Three Souls
Notes on Translating Akan Culture (1)
By Phil Bartle, Journal of Religion in Africa, Volume XIV, Number 2, 1982, pp 85-114
CHANGING ONE’S CULTURE
In learning to think Akan, I began seeing things as “both-and” as well as the previous “either or.” Instead of classifying things as “profane-sacred”, for example, I discovered that there were two kinds of sacred: “sacred/white” and “sacred/black”. Then what I had thought of as “profane” later became, in a sense, “sacred/red.”
I discovered that the universe thus had three elements: two of which contrasted the familiar differences between yang-yin, female male, down-up, or left-right. There was a third, however, which sometimes went beyond, but sometimes was parallel or equivalent to, yet different from, the first two. I saw that the concept of the human individual, too, had this three-fold nature, and reflected the concept of the universe. Or was it that the concept of the world was a reflection of the concept of the individual? I found the symbolic uses of colour categories, red, black, and white, helpful in sorting out these Continue reading
By Philip Neimark
Ori plays an important role for Ifa devotees. The word itself, in Yoruba, has many meanings. It means head, or the apex or highest pinnacle of achievement. In a spiritual sense, the head, as the highest point of the human body, represents Ori. The head of a company or organization is known as Olori, or Ori for short. The supreme being, our single God, is known as Oludumare, another form of the word.
In the human body, Ori has two roles: the physical and the spiritual. The physical functions of Ori will be familiar to us: our brains think, our eyes see, our noses smell, and our ears hear. Our mouths speak and eat and breathe. Our faces are different from all others and provide our physical identities. Our spiritual Ori are themselves subdivided into two elements: Apari-inu and Ori Apere. Apari-inu represents character; Ori Apere represents destiny. An individual may come to Earth with a wonderful destiny, but if he or she comes with bad character, the likelihood of fulfilling that destiny is severely compromised. Character is essentially unchangeable. Destiny is more complex. Continue reading