Full Moon Ritual with Yemanja and Obatala
This Gemini full moon will fall tonight, and so as we seek to strengthen our network with our spirit teams, as a way to support us in our earthly purpose.
We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We rejoice in seeing our reflection in others. We smile at the message the animal brings. We are grateful for our earth bound connections as they are divinely organized. We offer gratitude to our spirit teams for their consistent support and guidance. We will no longer have to convince ourselves of ‘who’ and ‘why’ we are; we simply know ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘what’ we are destined for. We hear the affirmations from our spirit teams. Give thanks for this life. Ase.
Our full moon is in Gemini this cycle. This air sign fans the collective fire blazing from our sun in Sagittarius. Gemini encourages us to look at our networks and connections, during this time of intense focus on purpose and our courage, to follow that seemingly impossible (but currently manifesting) future. Our spirit teams have opened gateways so that we may make them our key connection and a central part of our network. They seek to consistently connect us to those and that which will carry us most efficiently into our bright futures.
In the present, we are grown by our spirit team through our lessons that are being learned quickly. Timelines are collapsing, and we are being forced to confront our most difficult and painful traumas. Folx are being called in and called out, not to shame, but to call them to accountability in their communities. Systems are being broken right down. The way we have known things to be will never be again. The pieces of our herstories that have appeared to break us apart are the exact pieces that we are now using to build us up; we are transforming their meaning and allowing the learnings to resonate, our truths to be validated, and our pain to no longer shield us, but releasing it to keep us on our truest of personal paths.
In many West-African traditions, when we look at the full moon we are believed to be looking at a path of Yemanja. She is perceived as the caregiver of us all. Some refer to her as Mama, but all who know her know that she is the one who gave us the salt waters so that we may cleanse away that which no longer sustains us. It is Yemanja who offers her chest to us for rest and a listening heart for us to release our challenges, fears and pains to. Her salt is protective and healing. And though the salt in the wound may sting, we will be immunized by and better because of it.
When we look at the Gemini twins, we are looking at an expression of duality. The complimentary conflict within each of our beings; the ever-presence of opposition in our mind states; the reflective truths of our seemingly singular person; the harmony of masculine and feminine energies sustaining our multi-spirit. The androgynous sky-god, Obatala, always makes me think of duality. They are the one who carries it most divinely, and it is for this reason we show them such respect. An elder taught me that Sunday was Obatala’s day; a day where we honour and pray to Obatala to help us release any of the behaviours, attitudes or actions that keep our being out of balance or keep us further from the Creator.
This Gemini full moon will fall tonight, and so as we seek to strengthen our network with our spirit teams, as a way to support us in our earthly purpose, it is only fitting that we look to the mirror Gemini holds up to us, and reflect. We call to Obatala to release from us our problematic behaviours and Yemanja to hold us through and facilitate the cleansing. May we come out the other end ready to step forward feeling safer, more courageous and better prepared for all of the bounty this life has in store.
Working With Obatala And Yemanja this Full Moon
Salt is a wonderful tool to use as a way to connect with Mama. Spend some time with it. Use it to bathe. Use it to clean the house. Cook with it. Lay some at your altar so it may be given room and voice to speak to you. Carry some salt stones with you; try selenite. Leave it at your work desk. Hold it when you feel stressed or anxious.
Sit with a mason jar of salt and water (or fill with ocean water if able). Collect seashells, crab shells, sand and silver to place into the jar. Add some mermaid symbolism in or around the jar, with a moonstone (any kind), and a splash of agua de florida added to the jar as a last step. Before closing the jar, lay it out overnight in the light of the full moon. Write a letter to Mama. What have you been holding on to that you no longer wish to carry? What pisses you off? What pains you? What do you dream of? What do you want to create? Tell Mama. If nothing particular comes to mind, just speak to her. Introduce yourself again.
Touch the tips of your fingers to the waters in the jar and anoint your third eye, your throat and your heart. When the moon hides away, you may seal the jar and burn a deep blue candle, anointed with a blessing oil, on top of the jar to seal your petition and spark the conversation. You can place the working on your altar or in a sacred space with the letter underneath it. Go back to that place to offer her coffee or watermelon in gratitude for her teachings. Go to her when mercury stations retrograde, with your stresses and strains. Seek her guidance and her blue, salt waters for healing of the throat and to encourage your true voice.
Obatala loves coconut. They are not a drinker and are a huge fan of the clean, clear and protective qualities of the colour white. Obatala likes to keep their being clear. After all, it is them who stays above us in the clouds and watches over our daily decisions. As a guide and as a protector. They know where we can make minor and major shifts to support our best and healthiest self. And they know that it will look different for everybody.
Gather a few white potatoes, boil and mash them. Thread through some shredded coconut and/or coconut water and/or coconut milk. Talk to Obatala of what you know you need to change in your day to day habits. How or where do you want to see your regular behaviours or actions change? What are you seeking better discipline in? Write them down. Anoint with coconut water and a blessing oil. Place the offering for Obatala at your altar or sacred space, with the petition paper placed underneath it.
Dress a white candle in agua de florida and place it in the center of the bowl with the coconut mashed potatoes. Light the candle and offer your gratitude to Obatala. Return to their offering place and bring them more coconut water or white flowers. Both Yemanja and Obatala love white roses or carnations, so offering these to them every now and again is a truly kind ebo (offering) for their ashe (blessing).
Featured Image: Anders Jildén on Unsplash
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