New Moon in Taurus: Spiritual Manifestation

New Moon sign

New Moon May 2016: Taurus-Scorpio

May 6, 2016 at 17:29

19 degrees Taurus (tropical); 24 degrees Aries (sidereal)

“somebody/ anybody
sing a black girl’s song
bring her out
to know herself
to know you
but sing her rhythms
carin/ struggle/ hard times
sing her song of life
she’s been dead so long
closed in silence so long
she doesn’t know the sound
of her own voice
her infinite beauty
she’s half-notes scattered
without rhythm/ no tune
sing her sighs
sing the song of her possibilities
sing a righteous gospel
let her be born
let her be born
& handled warmly.”

Ntozake Shange, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Fertility and abundance is stirring in the air at this time as the fullness of the season blooms with intensity and fervor.  Both Taurus and Scorpio, the signs ruling the season right now, are signs of intensity and sensuality; the depth of the emotions (Scorpio/Water) and the height of sensual input (Taurus/Earth) come together like water and earth, creating a fertile matrix ripe for rich manifestations.

During this New Moon we have several powerful forces at play creating dynamic influences: the energy of Aries, the sidereal energy of this New Moon, calls us to look within and to assert our own identity and independence along with several planetary aspects involving Venus (attraction and feminine energy) and Jupiter (expansion and movement).  This New Moon is also a supermoon, so the Moon is closer to earth than normal. We can expect Her effects to be that much more intensified in our lives.

May begins with 5 (yes 5, that’s Oshun’s number!) in retrograde, meaning that from Earth, it looks like this planets are moving backwards.  Retrograde planets are both a curse and a blessing, or at least feel like a curse!  When planets go retrograde the dissolve all normalcy. What we are used to clinging to for support and security are no longer guaranteed.  The blessing is that retrograde periods encourage us to go within to connect with out own truth as we get pushed beyond our comfort zones.

The planets in retrograde are:

  • Mercury, the trickster who rules communication: This is a time when communication and movement in general can go awry.  Be intentional with your words.  Mercury retrogrades 4 times this year, in each earth signs.  We are being urged to pay attention to how we relate to physical reality: our physical environment, our money, our possessions, and our physical bodies.
  • Mars, the warrior: Stubbornness and unnecessary strife are possible.  Use your Mars energy towards competing with yourself to outdo previous goals instead of competing against others.
  • Jupiter, the benevolent optimist: In retrograde, Jupiter calls us to look within to connect with our source of growth and development.  Jupiter reminds us that soul growth is intentional.
  • Saturn, the karmic law-keeper: Saturn is the planet of karma and (perceived) limitations.  In retrograde there is a strong tendency to be highly critical of yourself.  There is also a strong tendency to have extreme focus towards meeting goals.  Don’t allow for negative self-talk.  Make sure you schedule time to focus on your priorities.
  • Pluto, the subversive revolutionary: Pluto is always tearing things up, ripping to shreds whatever is no longer useful.  Pluto in retrograde removes internal obstacles.  This can be painful if we fight against our inner transformation.  It’s best to surrender and allow ourselves to be elevated and transformed.

 

Oshun Is All Up In This!

oshun3Oshun’s energy is all up in this new moon!  Oshun, the orisha (Yoruba deity) of love, attraction, beauty, and sensuality is a deity of water — bringing nourishment and life-giving energy — but she is also of the earth, as she manifests as abundance, fertility, and the coursing rhythms of female sexuality and sensuality.  Oshun calls whom She wants to Her honey pot with no shame, knowing and relishing in Her ability to give and receive ultimate pleasure.  During this New Moon, Oshun reminds Black women, her daughters, of this sacred gift that should be used with the fullness of our agency, no one else’s.

Venus, the planet of the feminine divine, dances with both Neptune, the deep-ocean planet of mystical awareness and experiences, and Virgo, the earthy planet of work and harvest. These forces in our lives attract energies of spiritual manifestation and sensual mysticism where we can both manifest our magic and lose ourselves through intentional sensual participation to transform and elevate Self.

The Sun, force of life that animates Earth, is in a positive flow (in astro terms, we call it a Trine which is a super-positive planetary aspect) with Jupiter, the benevolent and optimistic planet of expansion and Pluto, the subversive planet that tears down and eliminates anything unnecessary to growth and development. This is a time of both building up and tearing down; we build up our inner selves and use our magic to progress towards our goals to harvest the fruit of our creative energies while also destroying what holds is back, what keeps us boxed in, and what prevents us from blossoming.

“How is believing that you are anything less than love working out for you?”

– India Ame’ye

The Sun and Mercury, the trickster planet of movement and communication, are in an embrace during this Moon Time so expect in increase in intensified communication; poetic communication, words and tones of sensuality; this is a time for artists (especially of the written and spoken word) to create and manifest. Put honey on your tongue and ask Oshun to make your words sweet and smooth, to bring healing to yourself and others.

Moon Focus: Take advantage of this easy flow of energy towards attracting the tangible and subtle resources needed to manifest goals — making vision boards and brain maps isn’t just for the new year. Whatever you have been pondering and considering in your heart, write the vision down and make it plain. Write down the plan and begin executing.  Manifest your dreams into tangible reality. 

 

Suggested Moon Activities:

  • walk on the earth with your bare feet and ask Her take any negative emotions and energies
  • give oranges and honey to Oshun at the river and pray to Her
  • sit under a tree and listen to what it has to say
  • gather materials, snacks, and wine and have a vision board party
  • start a new creative project you’ve been thinking about doing…stop thinking…just start!

Additional Magical Moon Information:

  • Chakra: sacral
  • Color: green, orange, pink
  • Element: earth (and water)
  • Herbs: cinnamon, vanilla, jasmine, raspberry leaf, chamomile
  • Scents: jasmine, rose, lavender
  • Stones: rose quartz, citrine, carnelian, moonstone

 

 

Shifting My Eating Paradigm

 

Over the past few days I’ve been reflecting my attitudes towards food. In my early 20s, I was rather disciplined when it came to eating. I was a vegetarian with vegan tendencies, many that I often went long stretches without eating dairy. Because of this, I used to whip up vegan dishes and desserts so much that friends began suggesting I sell some of my vegan cakes and cookies.

Somewhere along the way, though, my relationship with food began to change. But when? And why? That’s what I attempted to uncover through my reflections.

I realized that the change came about in my mid-20s. I was making more money than I had previously had and spent a lot of it eating out. My previously disciplined and holistic way of relating to food – considering how it impacting body, mind, and spirit – had been sacrificed for what seemed to be more fun and enjoyable. Why deny myself the plethora of amazing food choices even if they are filled with fat and sugar? “Eat now and worry about it later” became my subconscious mantra, never said aloud but all the while guiding my eating habits.

And I also realized that it’s this shift in my attitude towards food that keeps me from being as disciplined as I was previously. In the back of mind, discipline is denial, robbing me of something enjoyable that deserved to have.

Wow. Writing that just now feels just as powerful and freeing as it did when that revelation first came to me.

It’s only until I truly believe and accept the truth – that it’s the fatty, sugary, glutenous foods that are robbing me and denying me of my health and energy – that I will be able to return back to those days of disciplined eating.

I’m steadily working on shifting my belief system regarding food and eating. It’s not an easy task but I know in my heart that it’s absolutely necessary.


 

Goals this week:

  • Exercise daily: 1 hour on 3 days and 30 minutes on the remaining 4 days
  • Lose at least 2.5 lbs
  • Eat gluten free*

*For gluten-free oatmeal try Bob’s Red Mill’s Whole Grain Rolled Oats

Equinox Goals: Losing The Weight

I went to my doctor this week for my yearly checkup and she told me the same thing she told me last year: I need to lose weight.

My doctor is a Black female so when she tells me I need to lose weight, I know she is not telling me that because she thinks I need to be a size 2.  While I am grateful that I don’t have any serious health concerns, I know that weight loss will help me achieve my optimal health.

It’s not like I don’t know how to eat healthy or that I don’t know the importance of exercise.  I absolutely do.  It’s just that until about 7 years ago, I never had an issue with weight. I was a size 5 and didn’t have to think about what I was eating or how much exercise I did each week.  And then, almost overnight, it seemed I couldn’t just eat whatever I wanted or shrug at exercise.  Now I had to be intentional about being healthy!

Whaaaaat???!!!

I thought my body was turning on me.  Why was she being so stubborn about holding on to extra pounds.  And then slowly those pounds started creeping up…first 10, then 20…and now, 7 years later, I am a good 60 pounds over what I was back then.  And it has been much harder to lose this weight than it was to gain it!

I have lost a few pounds since the beginning of the year but I know that, with more intention and commitment, I can lose even more.  So I decided to put some accountability around this and make this weight loss journey public.  And I am hoping that other Black women who are working to make their bodies healthier, their minds freer, and their spirits lighter will join me on this journey.

Here are my commitments:

  • I am exercising daily.  Yes daily, for at least 20 minutes. 1 hour of exercise at least 3 times per week.
  • I am going to join at least one new exercise class.  I signed up for the Y yesterday so I have no excuse.
  • I am eating all my foods at serving size.  So if 2 crackers is the serving size and I am hungry, I need to eat the 2 crackers or opt for something else.  This will generate more discipline. Of course, veggies are at an unlimited serving size.
  • I am not adding any extra sugar to my diet.  Fruit is okay, in moderation, but no candies, cakes, cookies etc. except…
  • I will have 1 indulgence per week, at  serving size.  An indulgence means anything that fits into that “no good for you” zone when working to lose weight.  If one cookie is the serving size, then that’s all I will eat.  This also includes alcohol, so I will probably save my 1 indulgence for my glass of wine while watching Scandal.
  • I will eat very limited carbs, and especially wheat.  I haven’t been diagnosed with gluten allergies but I don’t like the way I feel after eating wheat, so I have been using gluten free products lately anyway.
  • I will update my progress at least once a week, including how much weight I have lost, how much exercise I got, how well I kept to my diet, and any other changes.

Cheer me on and share your insights!  I would love to hear them!

Thoughts on Radical Healing

I’ve been reflecting much on what radical healing and wellness is and the work of River of Honey Wellness. For almost a decade, I’ve been learning various aspects of wellness, as well as intentionally developing my political consciousness as a New Afrikan, along with learning about and eventually initiating in the Yoruba tradition.

It’s important to me that these things — wellness, a politics of Black liberation, and African spirituality — inform my work and inform each other in the ways that I work. How can be a priestess but ignore Black people’s need for mental, physical, and emotional, and material healing and wholeness? How can I be a community organizer and ignore spirituality and its ability to be a tool for liberation? How can I focus on wellness and ignore the dire material conditions of African people?

River of Honey is a space for these three aspects of my work to come together, and there are a few other projects I’m working on that will be much more community-involved (look out 2016!). In the meantime I wanted to share my thoughts regarding the specific work of River of Honey.

Core Values/Core Action

O.S.H.U.N

1)Openness to Spirit: River of Honey promotes an openness to the work of Spirit within ourselves (intuition and higher self), in others as we work in community, and in the various spiritual paths created and channelled through the divine.

2) Self-love and Self-care: This is vital, especially for Black women, who give 100 percent for our partners, children, and our community, often leaving nothing for our own healing and creativity. River of Honey Wellness supports and provides resources and supports for self-love and self-care.

3) Holistic Liberation and Radical Healing: True liberation must be holistic (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and materially) and we only realize holistic liberation through radical healing – pulling up the roots of our individual and social sicknesses and replacing them with healing and wholeness.

4) Utilizing our gifts/talents/medicine to bring about the Good Condition:  Our ancestors have taught us that we each were born with a medicine – something we uniquely came into the world with to bring about what Ifa calls The Good Condition. Human beings have the specific purpose of bringing goodness into the world and we do this by utilizing our gifts and talents to bring about  positivity and goodness.

5) Natural and Sustainable Living: The way of life that maintains capitalism and consumerism is making the planet and all who dwell here sick. We must return to the natural and sustainable ways of our ancestors, whose spirituality and ecology went hand-in-hand.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and know that this is all a work in progress.

Monthly Spotlight: Afia Asaase BreTuo Oyonko

River of Honey Wellness is committed to honoring the Divine Feminine by celebrating the amazing work of Black Women. Every month we will feature a Black woman who embodies the Divine Mother by utilizing her Goddess-given talents and gifts to support the overall well-being of Black people.

This month we celebrate Afia Asaase BreTuo Oyonko, a talented artist and spirit worker, and one of my closest sista friends. Her interview is below.

Want to be featured or recommend someone to be featured? Email me at alaade.ojekemi@riverofhoneywellness.com.

 

1) What is your name and what does it mean?

My name is Afia Asaase BreTuo Oyonko.

In my culture, your name is preordained by Nyamewaa Nyame (Amen and Ament – Kanit/Kamit Language) and given based on the day of your birth. Afia is a name given to females born on Fida, aka Friday.  Friday is ruled by and represented by the planet Venus or Abosom (deity) Nana Afi.  Nana Afi translates to Osun in Yoruba Culture, Azilie in Voodoun, and is also known as Het Heru in Kanit/Kamit (Nubia/Egypt). She personifies the magnetic, attracting force of life and unites things harmoniously. As a daughter of Nana Afi/Het Heru I embody these energies and work to stay in alignment with them. Asaase is a title of the Earth Mother.  BreTuo is the name of my Matrilineal clan, a clan of warriors known for their bravery, skill and protection that is personified by my clan totem, the leopard. Oyonko is my last name and the name I received from my husband and Ohenni (King). It is derived from his bloodline and is the clan of royal heritage in the Akan tradition.

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2) What do you do artistically/professionally and how long have you been doing this work?  When did you get your nudge from the universe to do your work?

Living in alignment with my divinely allotted function is my life’s artistic pursuit and profession.  Everything I do in this incarnation I consider artful practice and ritual. My expressions vary and range from Visual Art and Meditative Drawings, Massage Therapy and Reikii, Hoodoo Healing and Conjure Work, Dance, Dream Catcher Weaving, Ritually Crafting Healing Teas and Tonics and Holistic Bath and Body Care, Music and More. I have always been supported by the Universe, My Spiritually cultivated Ancestors and Ancestress, Nana Afi and The Supreme Being Nyamewaa-Nyame, to create and explore harmoniously and fulfill my role in Creation during this incarnation. It is a continual journey of self-discovery.   In addition to this, my artistic expression has extended, in its form and function, in the realm of self sustainability, nation building and entrepreneurship.

3) What is your spiritual tradition/practice and how long have you been involved in this tradition/practice?

Afurakani-Afuraitkaitnit Ancestral Religion of the Akan is the spiritual tradition I live and embody.  It exist in my blood and throughout my whole life has been bringing me home to its center.

4) What is your life’s philosophy?

My life’s philosophy can be summed up as Obra Bo. It means an ethical existence and generativity for Afurakani-Afuraitkaitnit people and the eradication and destruction of those entities and energies that are enemies to Afurakani-Afuraitkaitnit people.

 

5) What does the Divine Feminine mean to you?

The Divine Feminine is one half of the Supreme Whole.  It is the magnetic house of creation that births form from its constant dance with the divine masculine Nyamewaa- Nyame Nhyehye (Divine Order of the Supreme Being).

6) What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in life so far?

That the only way out is in… That the foundation of my existence is based on the Divine Law and Love of my Ancestral Culture and Tradition and that no matter where I am in life, I can Sankofa (go/return and fetch) and receive Divine guidance and support from my spiritually cultivated Ancestresses and Ancestors and Okraa Nana Afi.

7) What is your website and what are some of the services you offer?

http://chantfarm144.wix.com/enchantedfarmacymj#!about-/cheh

https://www.facebook.com/Enchanted-Farmacy-747467655339465/

Enchanted Farmacy attunes to the resources of wisdom based intelligence and technologies inherent to the Womb of Earth for Sustainable Wellness, Beautification and Nourishment.

Our products and services are formulated to celebrate and actualize the raising of vibrational awareness and energy. Balance and Harmony are the roots of Beauty.

Our signature collection unites and alchemizes natures’ elements. We compose formulas of sea, earth, air, water and fire for purification and beautification.

https://www.facebook.com/AsaaseYeDuruCreations/

The Harmony Of Abode

All In One Place

Ritually Made With Love

ABIBIAFAHODIE , ANKH UJA SENEB NEB, MEDA ASE.

African Liberation, All Life, Prosperity and Health unto you, Thank you!

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