While in Cuba we visited a temple in Trinidad to Yemaya, the Goddess of the Seas in Santeria. We gave her a donation and it is customary to shake the maraca afterwards to ask for her blessings. We love that the source of life in this tradition is the sea, as it really is for all of us. Her temple is gorgeous:
"Yemaya is the great mother who lives and rules over the seas. Water is essential to life, so without Yemaya, life on earth wouldn't be possible. Although she's maternal and nurturing, she's also fierce. Her punishments can be terrible when she's outraged, but she's fair minded and forgiving when proper remorse is shown. Yemaya is clever and brave. When she goes to war on behalf of her children, she wields a machete with expertise and no one can defeat her. Her eleke is made out of transparent crystal beads alternating with royal blue ones, in a pattern of seven, which is her number. Her day of the week is Saturday, and her colors are blue and white. Traditionally she wears a long flowing dress, cinched by a wide belt, with a full skirt made of blue and white ruffles, which represent the waves in the ocean. She likes verbena perfume. As a mother, she's wise and virtuous, but she likes to have a good time and she enjoys dancing. When she dances, she begins slowly and gracefully but as she swirls and moves her skirts to reflect the rhythm of the waves, she builds up speed and intensity, showing her immense power." Read more here.