Outdoor Walking With the SpiritsSome people, especially children of Obatala, like to do their daily observance by walking outdoors. They tend to have altars and shrines and sacred places around their neighborhood or someplace they visit regularly. So this is not a hard set of rules, but a sort of example you can take inspiration from, based on a child of Obatala who works by the sea.
1. Prepare your mind.
2. Find a place between two trees or bushes, or a sort of natural “corner”, and call to Eshu.
3. If it is safe to, give Eshu some incense, but if not, some sweets or coffee will be wonderful too.
4. Stand at the edge of the water and greet Eshu of the Sea (known in some places as Exu Mare). Ask him to open the way.
5. Greet the deities of the day, and if it is a Yemaya or Olokun day, take a dip in the water and ask for cleansing and protection. If it is an Ancestors day, or if you are in a period of extreme sadness, you may wish to avoid submerging more than your toes in the water.
6. Give small fish and sea life friendly food offerings.
7. Exit the water if you were in it, and thank the spirits for their attention.
The Body Altar
Some people are imprisoned and have everything material taken away from them and no privacy. In these cases, some choose to make their body their altar. This is a highly energetic practice, and would cause the average person in a normal situation considerable discomfort. It is not recommended except in dire circumstances.
If you must, here is a brief list of the body parts that correspond to various Orishas. This may also be helpful in healing. Mind you, these vary by local tradition, and there is plenty of overlap.
Eshu – the atlas (the bone connecting the skull to the spinal column), all joints and corners of the body, and all openings of orifices into the body.
Obatala – the head and brain.
Yemaya – the uterus, mucous membranes, glands, and lymphatic system.
Ogun – the hands, feet, and muscles, and temperature regulation.
Oshun – the clitoris and vagina, the head of the penis, the prostate, the tongue, the senses, digestion, the fat and skin, and blood.
Oya – the lung cavity, vocal chords, and sinuses, basically anything to do with breath and breathing.
Olokun – the pancreas, liver, spleen, the kidneys, the urinary tract, and basically all the self cleaning mechanisms of the body.
Shango – the nervous system, and electrical energy in the body.
Some Orisha adherents who also do Yoga and Hindu based practices have developed correspondences between the Orishas and the chakras.
These are just a few of the ways you can go about giving daily observances for the Orishas. As I said, it is very personal, and there are just a few standards that mostly have to do with tradition and metaphysical soundness. Be creative, and be enthusiastic. This is the one time of your day or week, if at no other time, that you give your full attention to the spirits. Even this varies somewhat. If one has likeminded people around, one may be somewhat friendly and casual and enjoy the company of the humans who are also enjoying the company of the spirits. Some though, are very solemn and focused. This is their time to get away and meditate. Really, this is your thing and you should do what connects your Ori to the Universe the best.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Blessings and Ase!
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