To understand Olokun's nature we need to look at the nature of the bottom of the sea, a vast mostly unexplored dark habitat. The Abyssopelagic or Abyssal Zone lies 13,000 to 20,000 feet (4,000 to 6,000 metres) below the surface in perpetual darkness. The Hadal or Trench Zone lies deeper still. No sunlight ever gets down there. The pressure at such depths is phenomenal, about 11,000 psi (for comparison the atmospheric air pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi). Temperatures are just above freezing and nutrients are scarce. The bottom of the ocean is scattered with underwater geysers that belch forth poisonous sulfides at temperatures of 400ºC or 750ºF.
The deep sea floor is a seemingly hostile environment and yet life thrives down there. In fact scientists believe that there is more life in the dark abyss of the Earth's oceans than in all of the tropical rainforests put together. The only way to survive at such great depths is either through chemosynthesis, hunting or scavenging.
The Realm of Olokun is the Land of the Dead. All animal remains eventually drop down to the bottom of the ocean as so-called "marine snow". The bottom of the Abyssal Zone is covered in white flakes that provide sustenance to thousands of sea creatures. Due to the vast pressure at such great depth most of the life forms are severely distorted and look quite monstrous from our point of view. Of course we would look quite scary to them, too! There are also many varieties of huge invertebrates such as giant worms and almost plum-sized single cell amoebas.
To this day Olokun's world remains Her Dark Queendom of the Untold, as only one millionth of Her realm has ever been seen by human eyes.
Like Her world, so is Olokun the Keeper of Secrets. Anything that falls to the bottom of the sea floor remains intact forever more, never to be laid eyes on by anyone other than Herself and Her underwater children. Olokun is believed to hold the secrets of the past, the present and the future. She knows all and guards that knowledge well. New World Yorubas believe that Olokun holds the key to the mystery of exactly what happened to their ancestors on those fateful journeys across the Atlantic. Many didn't make it and thus entered the Realm of Olokun. For that reason still today their descendants in the Americas give baskets of food to the sea.
Olokun is all-knowing, She is the Keeper of Wisdom and Divination. She is the Goddess of the Unknown, the Darkness, the Realm of Dreams and the Unconscious.
Olokun is the Goddess of Death: Her Domain is the Graveyard of the Earth, its cold and dark nature being the perfect environment for the suspended animation of Spirits.
Olokun is also the Goddess of Rebirth and Renewal: At the bottom of the deep sea from Her Dark Watery Womb new life springs forth every moment, contributing to a vast and incredibly adaptive ecosystem.
Olokun is associated with great riches, She is said to be a Goddess of Wealth and Abundance. Women pray to Her to conceive a child as well as for good health and worldy possessions.
Olokun is often depicted as a beautiful black Mermaid.
One of the animals that symbolise Olokun is the mudfish, an amphibian that burrows deep into the mud to survive the dry season.
The Goddess Olokun is also linked to the red coral, a beautiful red gem-like colony of tiny animals that are joined together through the skeletons of their dead ancestors. As corals grow they form reefs which purify the water, provide shelter for other sea creatures and encourange the growth of wildlife habitats beneath the sea.
In the New World, especially amongst the Lukumi people in Cuba, Olokun and Yemaya are seen as different aspects of the same Goddess. Yemaya at the surface of the ocean is exposed to sunlight and the pull of the Moon. She is the Goddess's life-giving and nurturing side, while Olokun in Her impenetrable abyss is the Goddess's mysterious, dark and unknowable aspect.
Yemaya-Olokun is said to have a violent nature and is associated with wisdom and the Realm of Dreams. Some say She is a most powerful Goddess that can only be communicated with in Dream Space and through Trance.
*Culled from www.goddessinspired.wordpress.com