Yemaya (Yemoja) is a spirit from the Yoruba religion. She is an Orisha and the mother of all Orishas, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. She is often syncretized with either Our Lady of Regla, or Stella Maris. Yemoja is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent her wealth. She does not easily lose her temper, but when angered she can be quite destructive and violent, as the flood waters of turbulent rivers.
She is often depicted as a mermaid, and is associated with the moon, water, and feminine mysteries. She is the protectress of women. She governs everything pertaining women; childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing. She oversees deep secrets, ancient wisdom, the moon, sea shells, and the collective unconscious. According to myth, when her waters broke, it caused a great flood creating rivers and streams and the first mortal humans were created from her womb.
In Santería, Yemayá is the mother of all living things as well as the owner of the oceans and seas.