Sankofa. It means to go back.
To give thanks and praises to the Creator, regardless of the name in which we call Him/Her.
To remember our ancestors, we know not by name, and their ultimate sacrifice.
To remember our recent ancestors, and the wisdom their lives left behind.
To reflect on where we have been, to be clearer on where we are headed.
This is my personal diary of the last decade of experiences with attending Sankofa: The Caravan to the Ancestors, hosted by the Houston Chapter of the National Black United Front….and how these experiences changed my life.
The intent of this is not only to inspire all who have attended a Sankofa: Caravan to the Ancestors to share their their stories, but to bring an artistic and literary perspective to the history of this ceremony. The art of storytelling has long been a part of ancestral tradition.
2018’s diary gives my reflection of the shortest trip to the Caravan in the history of my attendance. Hear the audio version of these diaries infused with old skool music and other mystic teachings on 222.9 The Mothership Internet Radio, and read the written part of this diary on www.poeticallymused.org/echoesoflegacy.
Pataki. Oni mi Ojo Abameta, Owara Ogun, Odun Egbawa Mejidilogun
Mokandilogun ojo Ogba Ooru.
Translate: Diary. Today is Saturday, October 20th, 2018, 29 days into Autumn Equinox.
The day vibrated on a 5 again, a day of releasing to the fullness of self.
The Moon was waxing in the 12th house of Pisces.
It was a 11/2 year, ideal for new beginnings.
My ile sister and I attended Sankofa as a solo pair because neither of our godparents or our godbrothers were available to attend. A part of me wondered if our godparents did that on purpose to test our abilities alone…yet they stayed a phone call away. Parents do that sometimes. Spirit opened the way for this to be, so we allowed ourselves to enjoy it.
As I mentioned in a previous diary, getting no sleep the night before Sankofa was getting to be the norm. I started calling it Sankofa’s Eve. This year, I took more time to focus on the effort and artwork of offerings. The night before, we held a ceremony in nature, giving thanks to our ruling orisa crowns. She to Yemonja as Oya to me. We enjoyed a literal rainbath of blessings as soon as we finished…definitely a great sign. Come to think of it, it rained every time we were together. She was still aborisa at the time, and I was an infant priestess.
After preparing everything for the next day, I remember a deep meditation within mauve-amber walls. The energy flowed into journaling, then a relaxed slumber…all four hours. I broke tradition a little this year.
My ile sister arrived at my house so early it was still dark. We spent some time adorning in my bathroom. The roads were nearly deserted, so it was a smooth ride. Iba Se Ogun. We were the first ones on the beach that year. We got there before dawn and set our tent up, far off to the side of from the main ceremony would be. By the time we finished, the sun was rising. I love Yemonja and Olokun’s domain at sunrise…there’s nothing like it. The weather was cloudy that year…Oya’s presence felt more fierce this year than Her usual sunny breezes. She even put three ancestral warriors on the front and back of my skirt, and a crown that resembled a cloud.
We basked in the sunrise while preparing beautiful offerings for The Waters, and the seagulls wasted no time in taking our requests to Orun. Seashell hunting was a treasure find. I gathered lots of Murex this year. We gathered these sea riches as early birds gather worms. As we were rejoicing, the NBUF Caravan arrived on the beach. We greeted a few people, and I assisted some with setting up the offering table. We stayed for the beginning of the ceremony, but we left before joko. This was the shortest Sankofa I’ve ever experienced, but still very sound in spirit.
My mother Oya was calling us to Her domain to make give thanks at the historic cemetery where I greeted Her last year. Birds were usually the only creatures to greet us at the waters of a Sankofa ceremony. This year, a black and grey dog ran around us as we were packing up the tent. He had no owner in sight, but seemed to have a joyful demeanor. He was well groomed, so perhaps he slipped his leash long enough to get some spirit work done.
It was just odd to see a dog without an owner at Sankofa…Iba Se Ogun.
I remembered where the cemetery was without GPS. We took some time there to meditate with Oya. as if She wanted the time we spent between Yemonja and Her to be divided more evenly… We came early, and headed back early…because Creation was calling us…loud. This year’s Sankofa was by far the most peculiar, but the most aware.
Ase in Love,
BONUS!!!! AN ORIGINAL SANKOFA POEM BY YOURS TRULY!!!!