If you are not so active, you can get away with a weekly or monthly observance schedule. If you know that you will not have time to do observances for more than a couple of weeks, it is a good idea to delegate this to a friend or family member who can do this kind of active prayer on your behalf. You can always do thought-directed prayer for yourself anytime, but if you need things to manifest in the physical realm, it behooves you to do physical actions or have them done for you.
Remember, the spirits do not need us or our prayers. We need them.
Spiritual Metabolism and Possession “Lite”
It happens sometimes, especially if we bring a specific issue to the Orishas during our observances, that we will be bathed in the energy of a particular spirit or deity. If you are not prepared for this, it may be highly uncomfortable or confusing, especially if the deity or spirit is not extremely friendly. What has happened is that you have been possessed a bit, and need to channel that energy in a positive direction.
The thing to do is perform some action related to the being. Off the top of my head, if you find yourself running into things and knocking things over, and losing things, Eshu may be playing with you. Give some treats to some kids, or feed and do chores to help an elderly person.
If you find yourself touched a bit by Ogun, and understand from your overheating and depressed feelings that this energy is building in you and needs to be processed, you need to do some work with your hands. Build something. Make a work of art. Do some chore or job that you have been putting off awhile.
If you feel the bubbly energy of Oshun, clean yourself and your home. Take a luxurious bath. Make things pretty around you. Do something to enhance the beauty of those around you.
Whichever Orisha has touched you, go out and do their work. Be their hands in the physical realm.
In some of my past teaching efforts, I kind of took it for granted that everybody knew that African spiritual practice begins with the Ancestors/Egungun. Apparently, this isn’t universally known. One should get to know Eshu as the Gatekeeper, and the next step is the Ancestors, not straight to the other Orishas. You will learn along the way how your own Ori and your Ancestors relate to the other Orishas, but to start with, you have a complete enough pantheon to start with in your own family, if they were reasonably good people. Even if they weren’t very good people or had many personality struggles during their flesh lives, the lessons they learned are relevant.
People with European ancestry who come to African belief systems often worry because some of their Ancestors were racist. So they avoid communing with them because they are afraid that these may be harmful Ancestors. If it helps, even Africans have to be careful of Ancestors with harmful agendas.
This is why we start with Eshu. If your family has a history of atrocities or complicity with those who commit them, you must specifically ask Eshu to prevent your harmful Ancestors from communicating with you or harming you or those you care for until they have sufficiently detached from their flesh lives to let go of their evil ways. Pray for them to heal so that they can move forward to the next life without damaging their children’s children.
Because we are our Ancestors returned, and even minus any mysticism, all actions have consequences, it is good to pray for their growth and healing because otherwise our children will bear the marks of their bad deeds. In the worst case, lines can be cut short if wrongs are not righted.