Before converting to Judaism, I explored a variety of spiritual and religious paths (Go check out the Archives for more). Being raised Baptist by one parent and Methodist by another (they were married) and attending Catholic school meant there were always a variety of saints and religious figures dancing in my head. Expressions of connecting with the Divine was just as varied; joyous and sometimes scary possession-like fits of the holy ghost coupled with the pomp and circumstance and incense of mass. Through it all I landed on paganism and wicca in the later years of high school and the first few years of college. Because of a lack of community I connected with (mostly white wiccans) I left it behind and spent many years as someone who didn’t believe in anything.
Now, almost 40, I am deeply exploring Judaism’s hidden and forgotten stories of the Divine Feminine, learning about the priestesses of my faith who have been lost to time and purposefully disregarded. At the same time I’m learning about the G!ds and G!desses of my African people; Nigerian people, Yoruban people (thanks 23&me!).
Because infertility and the lack of female G!d energy in my life over the last few years I’m drawn to the Yoruban G!ddesses Oshun and Yemoja, with my focus really zeroing in on Oshun. I’ve researched her story, her colors, her moods and how to pay tribute to her. I’ve done some painting and drawings and traced her sigil. In researching her sigil, the sigil of Papa Legba was often close by. Papa Legba isn’t connected to Nigerian people, so far as I can tell, so I haven’t really done much research on him but the strangest thing happened last night.
I’d fallen asleep looking up these sigils and reading. In my sleep I smelled pipe smoke and could hear the gentle jingling of beads (shells?) and bells. They seemed to be coming from the closet. In my dream state I knew that it was Oshun, Yemoja and Papa Legba coming to visit me. I could feel them squeeze between my wife and I on the bed to become the middle spoons and I felt tightening around my body as though their three great arms were squeezing me. I was scared. It was too much and out loud I said, “I’m not ready” and in that instant I awoke and the squeezing was gone.
In every book and article I’ve read about these three deities, caution to essentially not fuck around has been given. You are not to invoke these Divine beings until you are ready and I am not … yet.