A year ago, I had the privilege to visit Greece with my family. Being a priestess of Yemayá, I am always very excited to see a different ocean, not to mention to go into it. In my mind, all of the ocean belongs to my mother Yemayá. She is rich as Croesus as she rules over the vast blue waters that cover 70 percent of the surface of our planet.
The trip was going to take us not only to Athens but also to visit two islands: Mykonos and Santorini.
On our way to the port to catch a ferry to Mykonos, I was fumbling with my dictionary trying to make small conversation with the taxi driver. He was charming, his hair white and his face adorned by deep brown eyes and lines that spoke about the experience and plenty of laughter. I felt at ease on the front seat leading our excursion. The 50-minute drive went by fast. The ocean was near and I could feel the excitement of my teen-age sons and my own as we approached the port. Suddenly, I felt a wave of energy sweep through me, my eyes feasted upon the deep blue of the waves crashing against the boat.
I was about to get out of the taxi thinking about greeting Yemayá in another one of her many ports. I handed the money to the driver who held my hand for a brief moment as he locked eyes with me and said: “The Greek gods are not dead. Poseidon is alive. You will see.”
It has taken me nearly a year to let this reality sink.
His words were unexpected. The journey was wonderful, we visited lots of beaches and gathered rocks from many of them always leaving a little token to Yemayá and Poseidon. Sometimes my footprints were left upon dark sands, sometimes the waves that cooled me from the brutal heat of Greek summer were quick to erase our footsteps.
I usually can connect with Yemayá in the Caribbean waters with ease. Mykonos and Santorini did not offer me the same solace. My ayagbá was there, but then again, she was withdrawn deep in the recesses of the dark blue waters.
I could feel a different vibe, different energy about the ocean, cooler, deeper… The strength of the Greek isles is both gentle and deep. Being a daughter of Aganjú, the connection between the ocean and calderas is also powerful in Santorini. If I could have, I would have taken a dive in those deep waters, but I am forbidden to go any deeper than waist-deep into the ocean.
The words of the taxi driver were not capricious. The message was meant for me. The Greek gods are not dead. In those islands where the winds curled my hair and the suntanned me, I felt the call of another mystery, of another power. The Greek gods are certainly not dead. Just like Yemayá, Poseidon is certainly alive and well.
Omimelli, Oní Yemayá Achagbá
PS. I may be Puerto Rican but after doing a DNA study, most of my ancestry comes from Greece and Italy. I the future, I will write more about what I call spiritual resonance to a land. I have visited many countries, some have felt familiar, some have not. Greece felt like home.