lunar ritual: breaking vows and welcoming abundance

this is a very effective ritual for creating change in your life. if you're holding on to doubts about change or fear "losing" people/situations that you've become attached to, you may want to gain more certainty and clarity before beginning this process.

but...if you're really ready to release and shift, this is definitely for you.

also: i have seen this reversed. some people release on the full moon and give thanks on the new.  this method worked for me, but if your intuition leads you in another direction, follow that.

on the new moon...
  • write/materialize your obstacle list.  what's in your way? what needs improvement? what's keeping you from achieving your goal(s)?  it should be made tangible so you can destroy it later. 
  • prepare for prayer.  ground & protect yourself (visualize being surrounded in pure, brilliant white light from the bottom of your feet to the crown of your head).  open your prayer as you normally would...calling in directions, protective spirits, etc.  you can say your prayer on the morning or night of the new moon, whenever your energy runs highest. 
  • say the vow break prayer. at the bottom of this entry, i've listed the vow break prayer as it appeared on the website i used (if anyone finds it in this language online, let me know). my notes are in brackets.
  • banish. safely burn your obstacle list, or tear it up.  after your prayer, gather the ashes/pieces and place them on your altar or in your bathroom overnight.  in the morning, drop the ashes/pieces into the toilet, cover them with "first urine", and flush. 

during the waxing moon...
  • reflect on what you want to create in the "new" space you've created with the obstacle removal. 
  • take note of your dreams.  visualize. plan. 
  • give thanks when you see signs of negativity and other unnecessary things leaving your life. 

on the full moon...
  • give thanks.  you can make a special time to do this, or incorporate it into your typical daily spiritual ritual.  the point is to consciously express gratitude for the obstacles that have been and will be removed through your work. 
  • write a gratitude list. start each sentence with "i am grateful for..."
  • have a party! celebrate the fullness and beauty of the moon and yourself.  



[even if you only use their list, still put it on paper.  definitely add obstacles/issues in your own words as needed and necessary. again: be confident that what goes needs to go.]

I rescind any and all vows & contracts I have taken, anyone in this body has taken, and anyone within my genetic lineage has taken pertaining to:
Going to sleep and forgetting who I am
Participating with limitation
Making limitation Real
Not following Spirit
Not trusting the movement of Spirit
Denying karmic interaction
Resisting Divinity, Infinity, and Ecstasy
Resisting communion with Spirit
Resisting full embodiment of Spirit
Parasites, fungi, bacteria, microbes, mycoplasma and/or anything else which feeds upon my bodies or beingness which are not in alignment with my highest good...
Vows to ignore a given chakra or body
Denying the mastery of myself or others
Denying the sovereignty of myself or others

[add your own language here] 

I now declare these vows & contracts null and void in this incarnation and all incarnations across space and time, all parallel realities, parallel universes, alternate realities, alternate universes, all planetary systems, all source systems, all dimensions and the Void.

Spirit, please release all structures, devices, entities, orientations or effects associated with these vows & contracts. NOW! 

MOON PHASES 2012 - 2013
[source - http://www.calendar-365.com/moon/moon-phases.html]

New moon - September 15, 2012
Full moon - September 29, 2012

New moon - October 15, 2012
Full moon - October 29, 2012

New moon - November 13, 2012
Full moon - November 28, 2012

New moon - December 13, 2012
Full moon- December 28, 2012

New moon - January 11, 2013
Full moon- January 26, 2013

New moon- February 10, 2013
Full moon - February 25, 2013

New moon - March 11, 2013
Full moon - March 27, 2013

New moon - April 10, 2013
Full moon - April 25, 2013

New moon - May 9, 2013
Full moon - May 24, 2013

New moon - June 8, 2013
Full moon - June 23, 2013

New moon - July 8, 2013
Full moon - July 22, 2013

New moon - August 6, 2013
Full moon - August 20, 2013

New moon - September 5, 2013
Full moon - September 19, 2013

New moon - October 4, 2013
Full moon - October 18, 2013

New moon - November 3, 2013
Full moon - November 17, 2013

New moon - December 2, 2013
Full moon - December 17, 2013


my thoughts on "Single & Yoruba"

over two years ago,  i listened to this blogtalk radio segment and wrote a sort of running commentary.  it's been sitting in my "drafts section" all this time, but since the conversation continues in ATR circles, i figured i'd post it anyway.

point of order: can we stop with the "males" and "females" thing? ugh. especially since i typically hear "men" followed by something about "females". men and women sounds so much more...civilized {no binary-o}. thanks. 

1. polygamy - this was probably the most balanced discussion on polygamy i've heard in a very long time.  i was glad the hostess and panel had personal experience with polygamy and were able to give a FULL breakdown of it.

is it for me? no. i joke a lot about how i'd much rather have two husbands (polyandry). in all seriousness, i see the question of polygamy as one better considered by sistas who have children and/or may directly benefit from a polygamous situation in some way.  if i'm making the commitment of marriage, i would only do so with the understanding that our situation would be monogamous--at least starting out.   

as a woman not necessarily committed to childbearing--and not planning on having a large family even if i do--being one of several wives holds no interest for me. i'd rather stay single and/or be the primary partner in a polyamorous situation.

2. some of the traditional ways i dig. others i don't--probably because i'm just "too far gone".  i trust and love my parents and my family, but damned if i wanna get with someone i haven't even looked in the eye good yet.  direct courting/dating works well for me.

i've heard that some elders take on a "chaperone" role with (adult) godchildren.  others will say, "leave me out of it 'til you're really serious/ready to go to the mat."

i honor the opinions and advice of my elders, but when it comes to marriage, i'm the one who'll have to live with him, not anyone else. i've been raised to hold that responsibility as an adult woman with {hopefully} good sense, guided by my heart and mind.  if that's wrong or "nontraditional", so be it.

3. no comment on the brotha with the bembe hook-up problem...

4. i wonder if, in our modern context, it's best to assist people in becoming the best they can be and go from there.  as one of the panel members said, many are "struggling with the basics"--for a multitude of reasons.  the need for healing is pervasive and real--the sooner we see that, the sooner we can heal ourselves, our families, communities, and our world.  that needs to be taken into account both personally and in the context of relationships.

even so, i think we can all agree that if you love, honor, respect, and uplift yourself, you will seek the same in a mate.

5. we have to be careful about these conversations being too heterocentric/heterosexist.  it's probably time to have some "alternative" discussions, particularly since queer folks are quite present in our traditions.  i'm sure--or would hope--that elders will deal with these matters as they come to understand their godchildren and their destinies.

6. glad to hear them asking what men can do instead of the usual, "oh...how can we improve ourselves/make ourselves more attractive" from sistas.  also glad they mentioned the importance of personal observation, intuition, and good, old fashioned common sense in choosing a mate.



so...apparently Nas' name came up in the latest ghostwriting exposé.

folks are upset.
me? not so much.

a disclaimer: i've always been more partial to R&B than hip hop, mainly because singers were more accessible.  my mom pretty much hated rap and thought it was all flin flarn filth, so i didn't start buying hip hop until, say, 8-10th grade when i had a bit more autonomy.  although i love it and see it as a part of the fabric of my generation, i accept that i don't "care" enough about this kind of stuff to be angry, or even disappointed. 

that said...

in most other music, we've come to accept that the greatest lyricists/songwriters are not always the great performers, and vice versa.  the great Black music houses employed songwriting teams whose names were often only bandied about by musicologists and die hard fans.  everyone else was focused on the performers.  

i didn't know until i was half grown that one of my favorite vocalists, Luther Vandross, built a stellar career remaking other people's hit songs.  i never heard him called a fraud.  on the contrary, even folks who remembered the originals often preferred Luther's versions.  put simply: no matter what he sang, no one sang it like he did. 

at its inception, hip hop was the next phase of Black music in America (by way of Jamaica).  the genre grew and expanded as its listeners and performers did.  it wasn't like there was an emcee program at Julliard  teaching the fine arts of cadence and metaphor.

in the main, hip hop was built on pure, raw talent--a voice of urban youth.  it did not emerge from a movement of "trained" musicians or artists. (note: there were--and are--exceptions.  and Nas' father is a musician in his own right).  to me, that suggests a naturally collaborative atmosphere: i can write the rhymes, but you flow better...and neither of us is dope with the beats, so...  

given the output expected of signed artists, how would most manage to write every rhyme, every single time, on their own, from lived experience--no matter how gritty?  genius-level output doesn't happen every day, or even every generation.  by the odds, it makes sense that occasionally someone would write a few bars for someone else. 

folks would probably argue that you "always" know who wrote a song, but ghostwriters get no credit.  well, i'm sure someone got a paycheck.  besides, have any of us figured out all of Prince's aliases yet?  there's plenty of stuff that's been done for the love, the exposure, insiders, or all of the above.        

any art form carries a standard of authenticity, and some are going to take that standard more seriously than others.  it's the constant battle between the sell-outs and the real heads.  fortunately or unfortunately, that's led to the obfuscation of certain information in hip hop circles.

bottom line: can many emcees flow like Nas? no.

plus, it isn't as if he never proved his capability.  if he let someone else do some heavy lifting for a bit, so be it.  according to author of the article, the ghostwritten items never worked as well as his own stuff, so maybe this will push Nas to some new, better work.  

but all this lamenting around "keeping it real"?

stop it, b.


the singlehood chronicles #11: a progressive retrospective

this summer's venus retrograde sparked a few revelations...and thanks to a rare astrological event destined to hit pisceans especially hard, my saturn return has lasted well into my 30s.

about 3 or 3.5 years ago, someone pushed the reset button on my life.  i left my spiritual family, my relationship finally, fully died...much of what i'd been working towards for the better part of a decade slipped away.

i don't regret any of it; it all had to happen. but it was still a lot to deal with.  i spent the first year sleepwalking, getting by as best i could between the pain and the anger.

in the last 18 months or so, things finally started to bear fruit.  i achieved my dream of becoming a Reiki master, and my spiritual life blossomed in wonderfully unexpected ways.  i am grateful for my new spiritual family, and honored that i'm still welcomed by the one i left.

perhaps most improbable: i can speak to my ex again. that one snuck up on me.

so i should be ecstatic, right?

well, part of me is. 

there's more, though.

i need to create space to breathe, live, love, laugh. i need to feel, deeply.  revel in corporeal joy...eating well, spending time in nature...

and, often, i need it to happen in a way that is not driven only by me.

i know i needed to learn how to do it "alone", but i never thought it would go on this long.  gradually, people i knew got busier, kids were born, marriages and relationships happened and un-happened...and i've just been plugging away at...me.

if i needed to talk something out, it was difficult to express "single people problems" in a way that didn't seem selfish, navel-gazing, or unimportant compared with the concerns of folk who are married and/or partnered, particularly with children.  

soon i realized the comparison was the problem. why give myself problems i don't have?  of course my challenges are different--i'm simply in a different situation.  

i suppose some would see a kind of paradox in declaring i desire a partnership without making the pursuit of one my alpha and omega.  frankly, i'd rather devote my energy to creating the life i long for.

you know that whole thing about shooting for the moon, so that even if you miss, you're still among the stars?  well, if i take the best care of myself now, my love will be a welcome complement and support to a content, whole, confident and blissed-out woman.

and if "the one" doesn't show, that's still a damn good space to be in.