I have noticed three elements that are always present when I seek to do deep, spontaneous magic from my heart: water, darkness, and movement.
I’ve been intending to begin dance classes in Yemaya’s name, wherein I will dedicate each movement to her; so far, mostly due to scheduling and financial issues, I haven’t been able to make it work. I still want to one day, but until then I can always take time for intentional movement. And when I work magic by petition, sometimes I move in ways I was not expecting when I started.
Yemaya is, as well as being the mother of all orisha, the Lady of the Ocean. Water is a part of her identity, and I find I am often moved to pray and work deep-down-to-the-bone petition magic while in the shower. I clean myself first, and then I take time to stand beneath the flowing water and just feel and be before moving into whatever working I’m going to do. Sometimes I don’t know what it will be until I begin; the magic I do here is almost never planned in advance, instead coming from my heart and soul in the moment, based on what I’m feeling most deeply. So far, it has never been magic for myself. Naked and vulnerable, I petition Yemaya on behalf of others and speak aloud.
Another thing I’ve begun doing that I spoke of once before is, when I begin my shower and I have the urge to work magic once I’m there, I turn out the lights. There’s a light just outside my bedroom window that shines dimly though the curtains, so there’s enough light to see by so I don’t hurt myself. Once I’m under the water and clean, I close my eyes and I am enveloped in warmth and darkness. Yemaya is of the oceans and the seas, and said waters are often storm-ridden and dangerous. Yemaya has many faces, follows many roads, and many of them are warriors. There is a Yemaya of broken, dead ships as well as the Mother. There is a darkness to the ocean, too, in the deep, dark depths. Some consider this the realm of a separate orisha, Olokun, but for some Yemaya and Olokun are two sides of the same being. All I know is that the Yemaya I have come to know is angry as well as loving, and will fight for her children as well as shelter them.
As any deity, she is complex. I do not in any way know everything there is to know about her, or even a fraction. For one, I’m not initiated into La Regla Lucumi or any other religion for which she is officially a deity or spirit. I’m just… some white girl she decided was worth her time and attention, and I am very grateful to her. My life is far different than I expect it would be if she hadn’t, and I am very different. Oh, maybe I would have learned the lessons she’s taught me, but it would have been a longer, harder road paved with far more crappy good intentions.
My relationship with her has been one built on feeling, instinct, and gentle guidance. Incorporating these three elements into my practice has been a long journey of pure instinct that only came together for me tonight. I worked spontaneous magic under the water, in the dark, and moved with intention.
I’m finally beginning to feel like a Witch again.
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