A Yabas Tale
Yabás are the feminine Orishas very present in AfroBrazilian Culture, Religion, Myths & Lore
A man walked alone, tired and joyless in his life.
He remembered his father, who once had his mother, and thought: " How good it would be if I, like my ancestors, could have a companion."
So the man bent over his knees and prayed to the Great Spirit asking that he could find de right partner on his way.
Soon during his journey he found a woman brushing her clothes in the middle of a clearing; a sword lay at her feet and with one hand she covered one of her ears with a kerchief. The man paused and observed her, but before he could say anything she looked at him and started to scream and bitterly cry, while turning back to her battles, claiming to the four directions that she would never be properly loved, despite loving so much...
The man pitied, because he found her pretty and brave, and he would like to have listened to her story, and maybe, join her.
[Oba, a warrior orisha]
Ahead he discovered a river where a beautiful lady still in her girlish youth bathed. Her skin shone like gold and he desired her. The young lady smiled and in her eyes he saw she could make him immensely happy. As happy as any man could ever be, because she smelled like honey and everything about her was sweet and perfect, from her voice to her hands, from her charming ways to her senses. Along with her, he could possess the world, since he would be willing to offer everything she deserved, because she knew she was worthy and her love wouldn't be gratuitous. He would need to give himself away to her. Less than that she would not accept.
[Oxum, orisha of rivers, waterfalls, romantic love and fertility]
Unsure if he could attend her needs, he went away until he reached a swamp region where he saw a more mature woman whose mysterious beauty left him intrigued. Before he had time to gaze a little better she detected his presence and came towards him.
“I know what kind of things run deep in your soul. I know how to heal all of your pains. Come with me, I will transform you.”
But the man didn't know himself as much as necessary to accept her proposal, and afraid of saying goodbye to what he wasn't sure to be and to become what he did not know he was, he walked far away from her, until he could not see the lilac mantles which covered her body.
[Nana, orisha of mud, swamp, a grandmother of other orishas, related to the archetype of the old wise women]
Following his journey he finally got to the sea and there he saw a woman of noble features, who wasn't so young neither too mature, but who was a mother for sure, since everything about her scented of coziness and comfort. When he approached her, she looked at him and tears started falling from her eyes for all the pain he already had, and for all he was to experience yet. The woman was able to love in such ways that he felt undeserving of coming any near her, even if he knew that she would give him everything without asking for nothing in return. And if one day he went away, she would suffer, but she would always open her arms to receive him back and give all of her. because that was her nature, the deepest donation.
[Yemanja, orisha of motherhood, the sea, related to the archetype of the Great Mother Goddess]
Then the man continued on his path until it started raining and on the top of a mountain he stared at a woman who danced among lightning bolts. He came closer and noticed that she saw him, but she didn't care, and kept dancing along with the winds. Not being able to restrain himself any longer the man asked:
- What do you want from me?
And she answered:
- I don't want anything from you.
- What does it take for you to follow along with me?
- I am fine where I am and the way I am. If you want me to go with you, captivate me, because I only walk beside those who have something to teach me. I do not ask, nor give. I just know how to trade.
[Yansa or Oya, orisha of the winds, buffalos and lightingbolts]
Undecided the man continued on his way until he found his greatfather, who was so old and wise that he had already turned into a tree. In the shadow of the ancient wiseman, the young man questioned him:
- Father, which woman should I marry? I'm confused, I don't know which one of them I must tie my life to.
The Old Father blew his beard onto the ears of his greatson, so that he could listen better:
“- Son, every woman is a blessing for each heart, but in order to know how to choose yours, you need some consideration. A man who doesn't know himself, doesn't know what he is looking for, doesn't aknowledge what he finds and can't deal with what he gets the right form. Because they don't know themselves, several men transform their blessings into curses. A poorly beloved woman becomes bitter and full of vengeance; the one who has everything may become a tyrant; that who doesn't listen can't learn nothing new; the one who only gives, keeps nothing; and that who is not engaged you can never count on.
Likewise the one who knows how to heal a broken heart will be awarded with unending loyalty; those who dare surrending themselves to their women without reservation will live jubilously. A power beyond compare will be unveiled for those who allow the power of the woman to transmute them. The man who becomes the guardian of the one who gives all of her best to others will be the most valorous king. And eventually the man who is able to see in his mate the extension of both himself and his apprenticeship in this land will never know boredom and won't live deprived of passion nor enthusiasm for all that's new.
So, my son, before you make your choice, seek first into your soul. Verify what is your real need for a partner and only then, go back there, to meet the blessing that fits you in this moment of your journey.”