As I prepare to go to the Goddess Rising Conference it occurred to me that it will be occuring at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, in Malibu. And I remembered that just a few weeks ago I was making offerings at the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Hudson River, because an Ifa priestess, Joy Wedmedyk, told me to do so this summer. In order to honor Yemeya, African Ocean Mother, who she called "The Mother of the World".
There is a poetry in this, a "Conversation" , and I felt like exploring it a bit more here.
In July I visited a friend who has been a medium since childhood, and has also pursued shamanic and Spiritualist training. In the course of our visit, we had a "visitation" I have been thinking about ever since.
We were sitting at the table drinking coffee and Wendy said "Excuse me, but someone is here". She said that a very tall, thin, black man wearing a flat, disc like mask that was black with a white band across the eye holes and a red spot on the forehead was standing right behind me. He put his hands on my shoulders. He told her he was something that sounded to her like "samarai", and that he wanted me to help in some way. He said that I would help to "revive Yemeja". I, of course, neither saw nor heard any of this, but I did feel an intensity in the room. Wendy said she also perceived a number of people with him, his tribe.
They were showing her images of the ocean, and how they made offerings to the ocean with baskets of fruit, flowers, and small white shells. Tears were running down her face (Wendy says that when the energy is very intense this happens) and she said that he was thanking me. Then they were gone. I thanked him and said that I would do what I could to the best of my abilities.
|Plank mask from Burkina Faso|
Shortly after leaving my friend Wendy's house, I went to the Starwood Festival, where I ran into Joy Wedmedyk. Joy studied with Malidoma Some in Burkina Faso, and has become an initiated Priestess of Ifa, dedicated to Yemaya, who she calls "The Mother of the World". She told me that I needed to go to the ocean, and make offerings to Yemaya, and I felt that meeting Joy, in some way, completed the message.
"Reviving Yemaya", from the perspective of Joy, is "reviving reverence for the Mother of the World." Our Mother, ourselves, our living Earth and Her Waters. What else can we endeavor to do now, expressed in so very many ways, in prayer, in action?
So, I write this to remind myself, and, like the painting above (alas, I was not able to find out who the artist is who painted it).......when I find myself on the Pacific Ocean the day after tomorrow for the Conference, I'll make my offerings of fruit and flowers.
I looked on Google for flat disc masks such as a tribal shaman might wear, and found that there are indeed many such among the peoples of Mali and Burkina Faso. I did discover as well that there is an extensive group of people, in these lands as well, with a long cultural history, called the "Songhai", which sounds quite similar to "Samarai", and some of their domain touched the western ocean on Africa's shores. I learned about the Bwa masks of Burkina Faso when I Googled "Songhai shamans".
These masks are plank shaped with a circular face at one end and a crescent moon at the other. Their wearer looks through a hole in the mouth...........The plank section is decorated with geometric patterns which are an essential design element in many African masks and carvings. Geometric pattern creates an external rhythm which echoes the internal spiritual energy of the artwork.It can also be used as a coded language where the design communicates secret knowledge to those in the know. The designs on this Bwa Mask, which is used to celebrate boys' initiation to adulthood, represent information about myths and morality that the boys must learn before they can be accepted into adult society."