Santeria (or Voodoo) is a syncretic religion that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba. It is an Afro-Cuban religion which blends elements of West African, Catholicism, and Caribbean beliefs. The word Santería means “worship of the saints.” Cuban sugar cane plantation owners baptized their slaves as Roman Catholics and prevented them from practicing their Pagan faith. Santeria made it possible for slaves to retain their traditional beliefs while appearing to practice Catholicism. Yemaya is the African Mother Goddess and is associated with the Virgin Mary. She rules over the oceans, the moon, women and children, fishermen and sailors, Witches, and secrets.