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.
2021’s diary gives my reflection of the best caravan experience I had to date, complete with the crown of Oya’s wisdom in celebrating 4 years to priestesshood. 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 Merindilogun, Odun Egbawa Mokanlelogun, Merindilogbon ojo Ogba Ooru.
Translate: Diary. Today is Saturday, October 16th, 2021, 26 days into Autumn Equinox.
The moon was waning in Pisces, an ideal time to send away all that tries to block the intuition, thus the Ori.
This year’s theme for the Caravan to the Ancestors was “Raising the Vibration.” It is a much needed thing, granted these trying times. This was also the Caravan to honor our community’s newest ancestor, Baba Fana. 23 years ago today, Sango had taken our family home, the one built on my grandmother’s land. The jury is still out on whether He was invoked, but somethings in life remain a mystery…an involuntary transformation of sorts, if you will. Memories as these come to mind when you reflect on how far your ancestors have guided your path.
The day vibrated on a four, divinely aligned with the digit of my life path, as well as my 4 years of Oya Priestesshood. I honored Her by forging a sacred crown. I spent 9 days in meditative creation.
9 Talking buffalo bone masks.
9 Copper swirl spirals
The stitching done by hand.
9 Cowries dripping Her sacred striped beads
9 Amethyst stones
9 Cascading picasso jaspers
Dark maroon fabrics from my grandmother’s dress
Stitched to swirling reds with copper threads
Of owl and red parrots that dance…..
To the rhythm of her natural weather of her winds.
I was feeling a surge this year, like fire under my skin. Within. Sango again. Speaking of, I caravaned with his son and high priest Baba Ifalade. He came just before dawn, when it was still the colder side of cool outside. I’d only slept two hours the night before. I’m starting to think that little to no sleep the night before Caravan is an unspoken part of the tradition.
Esu opened the way. Ogun cleared I-45. We actually passed the NBUF Caravan line of cars being escorted by the HPD. In the sky, the clouds dance beautiful patterns as rainbows peeked. Oya and the Eguns speak. Gotta love that link to Sango.
The Seawall became a bright and sunny sanctuary for healing…for myself and many others. Mama Oya was not playing with her strong winds. She was fierce…Ajalaiye, Ajalorun…Winni Winni. And why not? She had a dual force in the presence of two priestesses that day. Yours truly, and Iya Oyaremi….My first moment was our mutual greeting. The next moment, we were walking down the beach, sharing time, space, winds, and wisdom. I, in my tall Oya crown, and she, draped in Sango’s red. Our father had us blazing stages since the days of Kayenne Nebula and Xtremihties. That history amplified the profoundness of this moment. I was so proud to see her progress to presiding over the circle (portal opening) Egun and Orisa worship festivities. I remember when we were both dancing around the circle, before Our Mother crowned us. She called on me when we called on Her, and together, we honored the Mother of Nine.
There was so much power on the beach today, and so many people I was happy to see. I was truly overjoyed to see so many people I loved alive, well, and beautiful…especially in times like these. Mama Nailah of the Shrine. Brother Deloyd of the SHAPE. Sista Mama Sonya. Sistah Jenaki. Aisha Said…just to name a few. An added blast of Divine Queen Mother energy came through the arrival of Isis Brantley. She who endured incarceration for the freedom of our crowns. She who was one of the first to teach me to enjoy my strange. She joined through the door of return, and then at the water. In a moment of solitude, I stayed with Yemoja a bit longer that I did in the years before.
I went in deeper.
Took more than one bath.
Offered from my heart.
Even enjoyed a few laughs.
The winds whistled through my crown’s masks.
This it the most colorful of caravans than from previous years. There were godchildren in red. Ogun priests in gold. Sango priests in cool greens. Our people in any color are a sight to behold. Osun goddesses in gold and silver. And why not? Multi colors are sacred to Egungun. The energies were talking!
I was as a moon charged ray of sun, pouring prayer and positive energy over all I hugged and touched. There were many. There were daughters of Oya, people who had come from out of town, Queen Mothers, children, fathers, and brothers. I met so many amazing people. Inside, I was humbly beaming while allowing the people to honor the Oya and Sango in me. In basking this universal love, I reached a deeper self revelation. That revelation was how much I really loathe division. The finishing touch of this divine day was the healing embrace from my first godparents. The past of Egungun, the present of all that had taken place, and the road to a great future were brought into clearer focus.
Baba Fana would have loved this. In his ancestral presence, I’m sure he did. This year’s theme, “Raising the Vibration,” was divinely fulfilled. The raised vibration…was simply love above all else.
Ase in Love,
iiiYansaje T. Muse