Garden Spices met YeYe Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis a few years back. I chronicled my journey to Asheville, NC to a ceremony that honored the Four Elemental Mothers. Along with her husband, Chief Olu, Omileye was “answering the call’ to host and facilitate the event. She has conducted a number of these ceremonies to awaken awareness to the crisis of The Mother Earth.
This year, Omileye was “the first person and woman of African and Caribbean origin to be recognized as an Oracle and Living emanation of Mamaki in Tibetan culture and spiritual tradition.” This distinction is historical, and Garden Spices is honored to share the significance of this unique designation. – Victorine, GS
GS: When were you approached for this recognition and why is its racial/cultural/spiritual significance important?
OL: It was prepared and officiated by Nechung Kuten La, the highest medium to the highest oracle in Tibetan culture and Buddhism and the spiritual advisor of His Holiness. I was approached last February 2017, when I sent a trance message from Osun to Kuten La. He responded to the trance message and said he was bestowing the Crown of Mamaki to me. I was not sure what that truly meant.
This is culturally significant because you have two Water Mother Goddesses highly revered in their cultures, who are from what appears to be quite different cultures joining together. Yet these two Mother Goddesses share the same symbols and meanings. They are recognized by Kuten La as being the same Goddess and he said they are joining together. It all poses the question, “how is this possible?” and how does a Tibetan Mother Goddess and Female Buddha manifest in the body and energy state of a Black Woman? Let’s face it, it will throw many people through a loop as we say.
I think this is culturally significant because we are so divided from each other, all living beings and our Mother Earth. We are in a deep crisis, on the verge of extinction because of these divisions. I had received a message in meditation many months ago from Osun who said, “We have come together, because a symbol speaks more than a thousand words.” By Osun and Mamaki joining together it creates interesting conversation and loud silences!
Spiritually, this is important because it represents the rise of the divine story and in fact repeats ancient stories where the mother divided herself into two (and sometimes more) to help uplift the suffering on Earth. The second Mother who came forth was actually always fiercer. So, think of the story of Durga and Kali saving the world. It is also the rise of a deeper love and unity on our Earth.
GS: Is this a first time that two Mother Goddesses have joined?
OL: Yes, it is the very first time in living memory, but I am sure in very ancient times they were recognized as one, in the same way they are being recognized as now. According to Nechung Kuten La, Medium for the Tibetan State Oracle. Mamaki, the Female Water Buddha/Mother Goddess has never manifested in living memory before. Mamaki has never come through an oracle or in the body of someone else, in his and their living memory and they have quite a long living memory. I found that fascinating as well as historical.
GS: Can this event help to ignite unity in this paradigm shift?
OL:I believe this event can create dialogues of unity, understanding dharma without cultural boundaries and rise of divine feminine. How and why is it important to the ‘unity…without cultural boundaries?’ It is important to realize we are a tossed salad of very rich cultures, yet we are all still a salad. We are one. In Tibetan Buddhism Dharama is about sacred balance. My research indicates strongly that this concept originates really from the African concept of Maat – truth and sacred balance. In the Yoruba Ifa tradition it is called Iwa Pele (maintenance of balance and good character). In the Navajo tradition it is known as Walking in Beauty.
It is important to have Dharma without cultural boundaries because we have to all urgently embrace that we are all responsible for what happens, and we have to have “all hands on deck.” This is something the Zulu Wisdom Keeper Credo Mutwa said to me once. He said, “if all hands don’t come down on the deck and turn the ship’s wheel all in the same direction at the same time, humanity is heading towards a huge iceberg,” We have got to get on the same page, and quickly. We have to be brave and courageous to leave the distorted narrative behind.
-YeYe Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis
Yeye Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis M.Ed, NCC, LPCA is often referred to as an old spirit in a modern world who travels to local and international communities sharing universal and indigenous ceremonies and wisdom teachings which nurture compassion, oneness, balance and a sustainable planet. She is an international award-winning author of several books, former national UK journalist, fifth generation Wisdom keeper, storyteller, and sacred artist of Afro Caribbean roots.
A mother of two she is also a licensed contemplative clinical mental health psychotherapist, a licensed school counselor, a trained SEED Facilitator, and an inclusion and diversity consultant. She, along with her husband, have co-founded several organizations and projects: YeyeOsun, the Institute of Four Elemental Mother’s Compassion and Wisdom in Action; renown international Humanity for Water Awards; and UNICEF Interfaith WASH Alliance (founded with other world and cultural leaders). Her work and strength of visions has been recently blessed and recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kuten La, the Tibetan State Oracle and United Nations. Omileye has also received several ancient distinguished African spiritual titles and roles including Yeye Osun and Crown of Osun, is the award winner of the prestigious Prince’s Trust Award, and has a passion for working with children, diversity, and the environment. She has just founded her own private integrative and contemplative diversity counseling practice and consultancy.