10 January 2012

Blessing of the Waters and Yemaya

Last night saw the annual Yemaya ritual held down at Grange, Adelaide that takes place around the first Full Moon of the calendar year.  With Adelaide going through a rather unseasonal "cold" snap, being only around 22C (as opposed to double that just over a week ago at New Years), I wondered if anyone would actually turn up.  Last year we had true beach weather, making it difficult to find a clear spot on the beach.  This year however we had no problems at all.

To my delight, there were about 20 attendees in all, braving the onshore wind, both familiar faces as well as a number of new ones, who took part in honouring Yemaya as well as the waters of the world. 

With no "formal" circle casted, the ritual commenced with a water blessing that included part of a prayer from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Thanh.  A brief introduction and statement was given before we honoured all the great waterways, as well as acknowledging how important water is for all species on our plant - after all, it is the originator of life.

An invocation to Yemaya and meditation followed that included backgroun to the varying names that the Goddess is known by. After this participants were asked to empower their offerings with their desire which they would like Yemaya to grant.

The standard offering to Yemaya is the sea-shell as this was the first gift She gave humans so that her voice could always be heard. Flowers are also a very welcoming offering, as well as champagne, molasses, even pebbles and melon.  These were cast into the sea which was rather warm (that is, aside from the wind chill).

Watermelon, sacred to Yemaya, was passed around, and a libation of that was also given to the Goddess of the waters, the seas, the oceans and the rivers.

As we started to leave the beach, the Full Moon was peeping through the gap in the houses in the East, and with the setting Sun in the West, it felt like we were truly between the worlds.

And the waters of the world were still on my mind early this morning when I woke to the sound of rain on my roof.

Water - such a precious gift that nourishes and cleanses, but it also can destroy, a worthy reminder as the anniversary of the 2011 Queensland floods draws near, yet we cannot exist without it.

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