Love thyself.....words we all need to hear and probably practice more often than we do. In light of the #metoo movement and the call so many women are waking up to answer, women are stepping back into their power, finding their voice and taking back control over their sacred bodies-who can see them, who can touch them, and who can honor them. In addition to that we often fall into the business of life, taking care of others, or for any other reason, find the beliefs of our own beauty and Divine feminine essence can get diminished, stifled or even forgotten with insecurities, the media and stereotypes, or a disconnection to our sensual nature. Well, no more, I say!
Loving yourself and feeling good in your own skin is essential to any kind of growth or healing. Our internal power is limitless and we find we can tap into that part of ourselves for self expression, intimacy and yes-self love. Goddess archetypes can serve as an extension of aspects already within ourselves, and whom we can petition to reawaken the spark that already lays smoldering within our being.....so I've taken the liberty (and had fun doing it!) of creating a self love ritual working with the West African Yoruba Goddess Oshun.
Oshun-This Orisha is the Goddess of luxury, beauty, fertility, sensuality, divination, the rivers, prosperity, sexuality, sweet waters and dancing. She is your girl to call upon to get your self-love groove on. She teaches us how to love ourselves and our bodies, and there are many tales of her compassion and healing of the earth, while maintaining her independent and sensual nature. Used in the Yoruban traditions as well as Voodoo and Santeria, there is no doubt that she will help deliver your devotion to yourself so that you may practice giving, receiving and expression love for yourself as well as others.
This ritual involves tokens to her and a means to connect to your intimate self and bring out the Divine Goddess waiting to express herself. Many things are sacred to her, including honey, mirrors (to love herself, of course!), water, peacocks, yellow copper and more, and she is said to be connected to our solar plexus or Mani Pura chakra which rules our personal power, self-esteem and confidence.
Oshun Altar Tool Ideas:
bowls of water
yellow copper bowls or trinkets
amber resin stones
yellow and white candles
*for ritual bath you can use a little honey (mix with a cup of warm milk), herbs of lavender, jasmine, rosemary, mint, chamomile, lavender, rose petals. If large enough place river rocks in your bath with you, as bathing in the sacred river
The Ritual First be sure to give some quiet time to yourself, preferably with an empty house if possible. This is sacred space and love is for only you....for now anyway.
Set up your altar space-can be anywhere or set up in your bedroom for a little more sensual energy. Smudge and cleanse your space.
Offer ritual bath to cleanse your energy and bring about clear intentions for your ritual
Offer a meditation in your bath, as though bathing in a sacred river. Allow yourself to take in the luxurious warmth of the sun, the caressing flow of the water over your skin. Feel the heat emanate from your solar plexus or Mani Pura chakra, located between the lower ribs and the navel. Shed anything keeping you from loving yourself and the Divine essence that you are. Fill yourself with confidence, personal power and self-love as well as compassion and healing. You may take your mirror in as well and watch yourself bathing, admiring your own sensuality
After leaving the bath do not get dressed, light the candles on your altar and anoint with any of your essential oils.
Keep the mirror on your altar, be comfortable looking at yourself in a confident, loving way
Call upon Oshun to join you, meditate on all of your unique gifts that make you you. Spend as much time as you’d like here honoring yourself and all that you hold sacred and find beautiful. Find your favorite cream or body butter, nourish your skin in a loving way-feel the textures, let the scents fill your nose and engage all of your senses
Now here’s where is gets fun…… Put on some music that makes you feel sexy, go to the bathroom or somewhere you have a full-length mirror. Take a few moments to marvel, yes I said marvel, at your body. Every curve, every wrinkle, every dimple. Trace your entire landscape and lather it with pure love. Turn around, look at it all. Know that you are pure beauty, inside and out. Now remember, no one else is around-so now go on.....give yourself a little erotic dance. Or hell…..make it a BIG beautiful one! See yourself move in a sensual, sexy way- close your eyes, then open them again. Stoke that fire in your belly, place your hands on it and love every aspect of yourself in it’s barest form. See if you can lose yourself, move around the room or the house, free and completely confident!
Then grab your phone or camera and yes, get into the bed! Snap playful, sexy photos of yourself, capture your favorite places and angles, and all of your beautiful edges.....get creative. If you’d like spend some time adding cute additions or filters to your pictures (not to correct any flaws, but to bring out every corner of your beauty and bring out your artistic side!) You can choose to keep these photos just for yourself or share them with someone special….careful of sharing and iCloud options on your phones, ladies!
Remember you are a beautiful goddess capable of not only giving but receiving all of the love in the world. We can be forces of compassion and healing, while remaining our strong, independent and bad ass selves. Give yourself some love this Valentine's Day......you deserve it! Want another bad ass goddess to work with for some sensual self-expression, check out a new moon ritual working with my other girl, Lilith!