African Sea Goddess - 1991 (Mixed Media)
to Luisah Teish in "Jamabalaya", this ocean
Goddess or Orisha of West Africa is called Yemonja in
Africa, Imanje in Brazil, Agwe or La Balianne in Haiti
and New Orleans and Our Lady of Regla/Mary Star of the
Sea as a Catholic Saint.
body is both fishlike and serpentine. She is the
Goddess of childbirth and creation and the birthwaters
of Her womb created the great oceans. We commonly
think of the oceans as the Mother of all life, so this
is very apt.
has memory and is like a great sense organ. It shapes
and forms and creates. Life is created in the dark
deep depths of the oceans where underground vents spew
forth heat and hot life-giving waters and light from
the magma within the belly of the Earth Mother by
fault lines in the Earth's crust. I have explored the
powers of the waters in my book "New Age and
Armageddon - the Goddess or the gurus? A feminist
vision of the future" (The Women's Press, London
1992) and every aspect of the Goddess and Her ancient
cultures, Her mysteries, have been explored in
"The Great Cosmic Mother - Rediscovering the
Religion of the Earth" which I co-authored with
Barbara Mor (Harper & Row, San Francisco 1987/91).
my image the waters are also a web .... it is striking
how water patterns are so similar to the symbolism and
images on neolithic stones and Goddess images.
According to Marija Gimbutas in "Language of the
Goddess", symbols for watery energies are indeed
most prevalent and common in Goddess 'language' and
signs from the Neolithic.
is swimming with a dolphin. An old word for womb is
relating to the word dolphin and with Delphi, the
Greek sacred shrine where oracular mediumistic
priestesses breathed in the fumes from the underworld
and prophesied, the spirits of the dead speaking
through them. This was a very ancient sanctuary of
Gaia and Her omphalos, navel of the Earth and her
python. The python was slain and Apollo's priests took
over the venerated shrine but they still had to listen
to the prophesies of oracular women.
would be very interested to know what is the
relationship between ancient women, Goddess cultures
and the whales and dolphins now known to be the most
highly evolved and intelligent beings on this earth
and have great psychic and telepathic powers of mind.
Sumerian creator Goddess, Tiamat, was known as a
Leviathan or great whale. The Inuit Goddess, Sedna, is
Mother of the oceans, of the spirits of the dead that
come to Her after death and She is the mother of all
sea animals, fishes and beings. She is the most
powerful and important deity to the Inuits of
Greenland who entirely rely on the sea and Her
protection for their lives and livelihoods.
patriarchal religious beliefs the male creator god is
seen as all fire, sun and light and is seen to wage
war on the dark Earth and Her waters while in reality
life itself cannot exist without the benign
co-operation of all the elements. This is the sole
reason why all patriarchal religions become so
life-denying and destructive as they attempt to create
impossible polarities and dualities that do not exist
in the world of the Great Mother who is Sky, Earth,
Water as well as Sun, Moon and primordial Fire, who is
both Dark and Light. Life simply could not evolve in a
continuously fiery and light-filled world.
here to see a larger version of the image on this page
in our Monica Sjöö online Art Gallery