“Staying consistent in our connection to our spiritual Source, in whatever form of expression that may take, is the key to living life in fullness every day.”
– Miss Buttafly
According to Google, a goddess is “a female deity, or a woman who is adored, especially for her beauty.” That’s okay, I suppose. But like most things that have to do with femininity and womanhood, simple answers very rarely suffice.
I like this definition better:
“A Goddess is the form that a feminine archetype may take. Goddess types represent models of ways of being and behaving that we women all share and recognize from the collective consciousness. Understanding goddess types offers a woman very specific means of increased self-awareness of herself, her relationship to her lover/partner, her way of parenting her children, her inner urges in her self-expression and creativity. In this way, we bring into balance our hidden goddess qualities and better actualize our gifts. Through understanding these ancient goddesses, woman of today can reconnect with their own inner cycles, physically as well as psychological/spiritual Goddess cycles of disappearance/reappearance, creation/destruction, nurturing/devouring, birth/death, giving/taking away. Within the Goddess is the cosmos – containing the continuum of opposites as a circle. The Goddess not only nurtures physical life, but, also, the life of the soul.” (www.goddess-power.com)
This brings the concept of the Goddess down from the abstract realm of mythology and shows us where we manifest that Divine Feminine energy in our own experience of living as women. This definition brings focus to the inner realm of divinity that each woman possesses within herself. This is where we direct our energy when we perform ritual. This is what we connect to. There is no greater power in the universe than that of a woman’s connection to her own holiness. This connection is strengthened through ritual.
A ritual “is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence.” (Wikipedia)
For many people, the word conjures up images of hooked-nose witches with warts and pointy hats standing over a steaming cauldron casting spells. For others, thoughts of masked witch doctors and voodoo queens come to mind. And for the very keen, they may recall memories of communion and baptism and white robes.
Regardless of one’s thoughts about ritual, it is something that is inherent to every woman on the planet. Ritual is part and parcel to our existence. It is how we mark time. It is how we honor the cycles of our femininity. It is how we beautify ourselves. Ritual need not take on some overtly super-spiritual tone in order to be considered authentic. Consistency, focus, and intention are the primary factors when it comes to ritual, whether it’s getting a massage once a week as an act of self-care or whether it’s pouring libations for your ancestors every morning. Your ritual might be doing 100 fire breaths daily or twerking to your favorite song to get your kundalini rising. The important thing to remember is that there is no wrong way to ritual, just as there is no wrong way for you to honor your own divinity. It is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Your ritual practice is your energetic fingerprint. It is how you point out what you desire to release and to manifest.
Although many women perform rituals in our daily lives, we are often unconscious of it. One of the ways we can deepen our intrinsic spiritual connection and bring more awareness to that connection is to perform a prescribed ritual. The act of preparing the offerings and the altars help to bring the awareness into a heightened state. Here is a simple ritual that can bring you into a more intimate relationship with your own innate Divine Feminine energy. I perform this ritual during the full moon; however, it can realistically be performed at any time.
Altars are wonderful representations of our subconscious mind. They represent our deepest desires and most unspoken prayers. The items there are often obscure to everyone except the one who erected the altar. I keep an ancestral shrine/altar in my home at all times. It serves as a visual reminder of the commitment I’ve made to my ancestors and their investment in me.
Begin with your altar. I prefer to perform this ritual either outside or in an open space with lots of sunlight. This ritual can also be performed in or near a river. Wherever you choose to erect your altar, be sure to decorate it with symbols of Divine Feminine energy, such as:
cups, chalices, flowers, lunar objects, fruit, honey, perfume, spices, jewels, crystals, etc.
White and yellow candles
An heirloom or some other talisman that represents your intention
A bowl of water
A handful of river stones
One of my altars I erected to honor and invoke Oshun.
Always make sure all of the instruments of your altar work are energetically clear and charged. This is critical. We’ll talk more about clearing and charging your instruments (including yourself) in another blog.
Next, we focus on your attire. Wearing certain colors and fabrics attunes your vibration to certain frequencies. Wearing white or light-colored cotton or linen clothing is my preferred method of dress when I perform this ritual. I might also wrap my head, although I normally wrap my head. I may also wear certain crystal and earthen jewelry to magnify my energy.
Stand before your altar, say:
“I am (say your name), and I stand before you, Auset, Yemeya, Oshun, Oya, Het Heru, Mami Wata, and all Goddesses of the Earth, Air, and Sea. I honor you, for your blood runs through my veins, one woman, standing on the edge of the universe. Tonight, I make an offering in your names, as my thanks for all you have done for me.”
Light the candle and place your offering before it on the altar.
“I am (say your name), and I stand before you, Auset, Oshun, Het Heru, Yemeya, Oya, and Sekhmet, Mothers of the ancient people, Guardians of those who walked the earth thousand of years ago. I offer you his as a way of showing my gratitude. Your strength has flowed within me. Your wisdom has given me the knowledge. Your inspiration has given birth to harmony in my soul. “I am (“say your name”), and I stand before you to honor the Sacred Feminine that has touched my heart.
Honor the women in your generational line by saying their names. For each one, place a pebble into the bowl of water. As you do, bless her essence by saying her name three times followed by the word Ase’ (ah-shay: the African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and produce change). For those ancestors whose names you do not yet know, simply honor them by saying “And to all my relations whose names I do not know, Ase’. Ase’ Ase’.”
After you have placed a pebble in the water for the women in your ancestral line, be sure to reserve a pebble for yourself to place in the water.
Stand before your altar and say:
“I am (say your name), and I honor myself, for my strength, my creativity, my knowledge, my inspiration, and for all of the other remarkable things that make me a woman.”
Spend time in meditation and gratitude.
Give thanks. Dance. Chant. Breathe. The point here is to be present in this moment of divine bliss. Take as much time as you need.
End the ritual by ringing a bell, using a tuning fork or a gong, or you may also choose to do a cleansing breath to close the energy circuit.
This simple ritual is one that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Let your intuition be your guide. Happy Invoking!