Featured photo by Rebecca Radmore ( Fire Soul Media )
This episode of my Blog is inspired by the question posed by someone who had come to me recently for more information regarding the Lucumi Path and Oshun in particular. His question was ” how can I serve Oshun?” I answered the question as best as I could when put on the spot, but it did make me think quite deeply about the spiritual path that we walk and La Regla de Ocha and what following this path actually means.
There are so many different layers to this question. So many people have a great love of Oshun, yet it is the rich tapestry of all the Orisha that make this tradition what it is. Putting one Orisha above all others doesn’t really work in this tradition. As a daughter and a crowned child of Oshun, I can honestly say that work with the whole pantheon and understanding all the qualities and influence from all the Orisha has helped me overcome obstacles and get the very best out of this life. Nothing would be possible without Elegua ofcourse, yet Obatala is my father, I am surrounded by his energy and his children. I am forever indebted to Yemaya for so many things, yet Chango is forever present in everything I do and stands up for continual work with him. Without Babalu Aye I would not have my health, not to mention the power of Olokun in my life. How could I leave out Ogun and Oshosi who I have leaned on when times have been hard. There is no Orisha without Osain, and a worship of all plants is an acknowledgement of his power. Orunmila and Ifa have been imperative to my spiritual growth, and I cannot forget that for me the reception of my Ikofafun of Orula was a turning point for me. I could go on, but it is the forces of all of these Orisha and an understanding that they are intermediaries between us and God and that they are expressions of God but not Gods perse which needs to be remembered and emphasised.
What does it mean to be of service to Oshun? If you are crowned to Oshun, then you need to be aware of your Ita and in particular the advice that was given by Oshun. If not, and you belong to an Ile where the Olorisha is crowned to Oshun, then you need to be of service within that Ile. That means that you should make yourself available to help within that community at any point in time.
Oshun, the Waters and her creatures. If you really want to be of service to Oshun, you cannot forget what she symbolises in the natural world. I think that it is imperative that you are active in the conservation and preservation of clean waters. That you are conscious of what you use in terms of ecology. That you limit your plastic usage. That you clear up after yourselves at the water’s edge, that also you engage in any activity which is involved in the clean up of rivers and waters in general. It is important that you care for her creatures. Engage perhaps in a project that is close to your heart, for example raising awareness of the danger of the extinction of vultures for example. Research into where you can make a difference.
Oshun and the Arts. Oshun manifests in all that makes living worth while, including the creative arts. If you are an artist or musician, use your Ashe to make a difference. Empower those that don’t have easy access. Inspire all that may not believe in themselves. Be a defender of women. ( and if you are a woman that means supporting other women)
Oshun is the Mirror, which to me does not symbolise vanity but self reflection and self love. Start with yourself and work outwards.
In the end, La Regla de Ocha, or the Lucumi Path requires that you try and live the best life you can. It means that you start with your ancestors and get to know who you are. It means that you connect with divination and take aboard the advice of Orisha understanding that sometimes you are advised to do what you need to do and not what you want to do. It means that you respect the knowledge of your elders and honour those that have come before you, whilst being open to the ideas of the young. Be forever humble.
Lastly being of service in the Lucumi tradition, does not mean converting other individuals. That is reserved for other religious orders. Those that need will find.