Those who are Lukumí know that the Orisha manifests in different ways. If you are lucky to live near an active community of followers you have may have had a blessed experience to directly have spoken to an Orisha during a Tambor de Fundamento (drumming party with consecrated drums). But there are many who have never lived through this and who are not followers; yet, they are touched by the Orisha and awaken to their existence in other ways.
Such is the case of Kjerstin, who back in the fall sent me an email about a most vivid dream and subsequent visions. She found the blog and realized that perhaps the dream meant much more and she wanted to unravel its meaning in her life. Her description of this ‘dream visitor’ caught my attention because it was vivid and it reminded me of Obba. Now, some initiates perhaps will not agree that Orisha communicates with non-initiates. But who are we to judge the ways in which Orisha selects or not to be known to the world?
Since The Mystic Cup is about spiritual experiences, I will share some parts of our conversation via e-mail; this is how our exchange started:
Kjerstin: I am a medium, and am used to seeing spirits, usually they are of a person deceased, though it is not at all unusual for me to see other spirits as well. I am just out of my element when the spirit I encounter is clearly related to an African religion. I am just not clear yet who she is.
Every time I see this woman spirit, I am so struck by her beauty; she has fine features, intense red dress, delicate long limbs and a golden glow about her. The way my abilities work I seldom see a spirit of someone deceased who has such vibrant colors. This has led me to search for names of deities – something that would resonate with who she might be.
In each vision, as soon as she and I make eye contact, she begins to point to her left, (and my right) that there is something she wants me to see.
Omimelli: She reminds me of Obba, the legitimate wife of Shango, King of Oyó. She wore red dresses (sometimes pink or lilac as well) and she was missing an ear (she concealed this under her headdress) but she would point at her left to remind us she was missing an ear due to a betrayal from another orisha. She wears gold bracelets, five of them. This orisha is the representation of repressed love, suffering and sacrifice for those who we love; she also symbolizes domestic/marital happiness. This queen comes from the land of Takua and is given in marriage to the king of Oyó who preferred another orisha to her, many others in fact for Shangó was the embodiment virility, an attribute hardly containable or sated with one woman/orisha.
Kjerstin: When you write of Obba that is the loving and somewhat sorrowful resonance that matches how I feel when I see her. Thank you for explaining her bracelets, I have never seen such bracelets, and why the left side of her head was covered with a veil when I could find no pictures of ancestral dress that was like this. She is very much HERE today and I will just be with her.
The interesting part is that Kjerstin decided to follow this dream and to actually seek out communication in a way in which was familiar for her, through meditation and devotion. Here is an abbreviated version of her experience:
Kjerstin: When Obba came to see me this second time, it was a bit is a pleasant surprise. It was also very intense. I lit a candle for her and made an offering and waited in the asana position (meditative pose) for her to tell me what she needed me to know.
Obba has been able to communicate with me through rich and vibrantly colored visions. The visions are so strong that I literally am immersed in the 360° experience. By showing me a certain series of pictures Obba has been able to communicate very effectively with me in a sort of silent charade. She, in the first visit, also allowed me to ‘listen in’ on conversations from past events and has filled in parts of her story to me while still honoring the fact that I am not a member of an ATR, and therefore not an initiate to whom it would be appropriate for her to communicate with me directly.
Before the visions began, however, Obba brought me a feeling of such compassion and literally wrapped me in it like voluminous soft red fabric, I physically felt myself being wrapped up on this warmth and healing Love. So far, each time Obba has visited me, she has brought healing and love first, then we talk about messages and spiritual things.
For whatever reason, this is the way it has been.
Today – following the hug from Obba, there was a series of visionary events; I will just translate from my spirit writing what I saw.
Today, as Obba stands before me, she is still in the vibrant red dress and her head covering is longer – almost like a cloak. Before she looked slender, and muscular, now she looks full, well fed is the feeling I get and her body is soft and goddess like. Her red dress is really much the same as I saw before. She stands with the radiant mystery darkness behind her.
Next Obba shows me in visions behind her an orange landscape; everything is shades of oranges as though it is during sunset. The terrain reminds me of the colors of the red cliffs of the Colorado Plateau near the Mojave Desert.
Obba shows me a boat now, it looks to me like the long boats from my people’s past and yet it is somehow different – more like a dugout boats, very long and many oars and many ghostlike passengers in the boats. There are more boats than I can see at the shore of this dark lake and there are other Spirits helping with the boats.
I get that Obba is about to ferry this large group of souls across, once that is done we can begin to release the darkness that has been in our hearts. She leans over the beautiful heart, the heart of mankind, and takes it into her hand and very carefully, so as to not disturb the healthy flesh she takes the tiny, hard kernel out of the heart – she then inspects it briefly – holds it up to the light. She then pinches the kernel between her finger and thumb, closes her hand around it.
I ask other questions of Obba “If I may share the visions?’ Yes, this one and the one before. I ask if there is any more messages at this time and she shakes her head No.
I want to thank Kjersting for sharing her experience. Have you had a dream or vision about the Orisha? If so, you are welcome to share your thoughts below.
Oní Yemayá Achagbá