On the road to Ocha I found a light
Held by my ancestors, shining bright.
On the road to Ocha I found a simple joy
Like a child feels when she gets her favorite toy.
On the road to Ocha I found my fears
And the strength to overcome them after all these years.
On the road to Ocha I’ve found my power
But also the vulnerability of a freshly picked flower.
On the road to Ocha I have found my voice
And the breaking of generational cycles by this one choice.
I have been on this path since before I was born. From the moment my mom sought help from a root worker to make her a bottle of liquid that would help her conceive once more after the loss of her first born to the time when she was visited in a dream, 8 months pregnant with me, and told who I would be and what I should be named.
I’ve known it since I was a child, raised next door to that same root worker and her husband who had a hand in not only how my heart was shaped but how my spirit was formed around the inevitability of what was to come.
I had my first ceremonies in an African Traditional Religion (ATR) as a teen and then, because there are forces around us that will push against the light, all of that simply stopped.
But here I am. Closer to that goal than ever before. With a much better understanding of who I am, of my purpose, of the purpose of the ones that will come after me and the clarity to see the intention of those that came before. And I am ready. Ready for what is to come. For the peace that passes all understanding. Ready for the revolutions ahead, knowing that I will finally be equipped with each one of the weapons I’ve always been meant to wield.
I am thankful to all of my Eggun (ancestors) who have guided me to this point. Who have covered me with grace by their prayers whispered so long ago. I am grateful to my spiritual family who gathers around me now and envelops me with their love, their faith, their knowledge.
I am thankful to each person that has crossed paths with me in my online spaces for the words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you for walking down the road to ocha with me and keeping me company.
And of course, I am thankful to the one who has my crown, Oyá, Yansan.
Ocha (Kariocha, making Santo): The initiation of a new priest or priestess where his/her tutelary Orisha is put on his/her head (crown) during a seven-day ceremony. The newly initiated priest/priestess then enters their Iyaworaje, their year and 7 days of purification, rejuvenation, transformation and learning.
Iyawó means bride of the Orishas and it is what the newly initiated priest/priestess is called within the Lucumi community during that year and 7 days.
Lucumi (Lukumi): African Traditional Religion (ATR) as practiced by the slaves and their descendants starting in Cuba and now expanding across the Americas.