“Yemaya” (also titled “Water Goddess”) by Qahira Lynn

“Ichar-tsirew’s themes are unity, community, justice, spirituality, purification, home, peace and organization. Her symbols are water, orderly items and peace amulets.  In Ghana, this water Goddess flies into people’s lives, saturating them with peaceful intentions and tranquility, especially in the home. She reveals in good organization and any matters carried out in an orderly fashion.

Among the people of the Gold Coast, this festival, Odwira, is a time to honor their bonds as a nation and revel in the laws, beliefs and customs established in the early 1600’s (many of which are probably far older). One of the neat customs that can invoke Ichar-tsirew’s organized attributes is that of burying a bundle of branches. This puts away any unnecessary negativity and banishes old habits that somehow disrupt the orderly flow of your life.

When you find that the people in your living space have reached critical mass and you need to call a truce, Ichar-tsirew’s waters can help. Go through the house (or building, if the ‘war zone’ is in your office) before talking to anyone and sprinkle her peace in every nook possible (just a little us fine). As you go, repeat this incantation,

‘Negativity cease; by peace released!’

Continue until the whole area is done. Now try reapproaching the people with whom tensions have been building and let the Goddess harness harmony.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Well, not too much information on this Goddess today.  From what I did find, Ichar-tsirew inhibits a large rounded rock on the beach in Cape Coast in Ghana ” about four hundreds yards to the east of the [Cape Coast] Castle.  She is black in colour, and of ordinary human shape and size.  No man may intrude on this rock or in its immediate neighborhood, and it is the place to which women resort to wash.  New-born children of either sex were formerly carried here to be given names; and when a girl was about to marry, she was taken to the rock, from thence to the husband’s home.  An offering of rum was poured into a hole in the rock, and a piece, or pieces, of white cloth laid upon it.  This was believed to promote peace in the household of the future wife, and also to guarantee a safe recovery from the dangers of maternity.  Ichar-tsirew carries a scourge in Her right hand, with which She drives away intrusive males” (Ellis, p. 45 – 46).

Ellis goes onto say that “when a girl arrives at the age of puberty, usually in the eleventh or twelfth year, she is taken to the water-side by others of her sex, and washed.  At the same time an offering, consisting of boiled yam, mashed and mixed with palm-oil, is scattered upon the banks of the stream by the members of her family, who call upon the local gods, and inform them that the child has reached a marriageable age.  In Cape Coast the girl is taken to the rock of the Goddess Ichar-tsirew, and there washed.  After the washing, a bracelet, consisting of one white bead, one black, and one gold, threaded on a white cord, is put on the girl’s wrist.  These three beads in conjunction are termed abbum, and their being taken into use is a sign to the Sassur that its protecting care is no longer required.  In the interior, on such occasions, girls are streaked white” (p. 234 – 235).




Ellis, Alfred Burdon. The Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West Africa.