How will you honour World Oceans Day, celebrated annually on June 8th?
What does the ocean — and all the fresh waters of Mama Earth — mean to you?
For this Earth loving Crone, World Oceans Day is a spiritual occasion, a day to celebrate and honour my personal connection with the world’s waters and to thank them for supporting us on this planet. It is a day to ask the oceans for their forgiveness as we continue to pollute the water and put ocean life at risk and, for me, a day to perform a healing ritual for our oceans and waters around the world.
It is also a reminder to take action, to sustain the health of the world’s waters.
Each time I visit the shoreline here in Vancouver, in this place where Sea meets Land meets Sky, I see the changes to the health of those waters, those lands, and those skies: tankers polluting the waters; overfishing threatening ocean wildlife, livelihoods, and seafood for future generations; mismanagement of the forests resulting in rampant forest fires and flooding, due to the inability of the forest floor to absorb the rains.
As partners, supporters and defenders of Mama Earth, let us do our bit to support the health of all three realms.
Every year on June 8th, the UN recognizes World Oceans Day and I invite you to learn more about this special day and its goals for the health of our global waters at worldoceanday.org. The site also provides a resource guide with action, advocacy, planning and social media toolkits, images, posters and banners, and materials for kids.
This year’s theme and commitment is to Take Action for 30×30: protect at least 30% of land, waters, and ocean by 2030 #Protect30x30
A healing ritual for the world’s waters
In this ritual, we honour the goddess(es) of the worlds waters and offer a healing to her waters. You can also use this ritual for cleansing the Self.
I first adapted this ritual several years ago from one that honoured Yemaya (Mother of the Seas) and her sister Oshun (Mother of the Rivers), both Yorùbá Orishas (goddesses).
Adapt and change this ritual to align with your practice, your beliefs, but hold and honour the original intent, offering a healing to the world’s waters. Honour any Goddess of the seas or waters that resonate with you such as Aphrodite, Brigantia, Ganga, Boann, Sinann, Sedna… so many choices!
Where to perform the ritual
This ritual can be done at the ocean or any source of fresh water such as a lake, river, stream, pond, etc. If you are not close to a salt or fresh water source, fill a large bowl with the freshest water possible (such as distilled, from a spring, or simply tap water that has been left in the sun for several hours or to which you have added a handful of ocean salts). Preferably, the bowl should be large enough to either stand in or immerse your feet in. Bathtubs or foot baths are great for this!
Collect seven shells and seven white flowers, to represent the Seven Seas. The number seven was special to Yemaya, so I have always included that in my ritual. That being said, I believe that rituals are not “fixed” or absolute, so feel free to adapt this in your own way, especially if these materials are not available to you. The key is to honour the intent.
Do try to have at least one real shell, however, for the ritual, and make sure that whatever you are offering the ocean will not harm it in any way. Cowrie shells are strongly associated with Yemaya, but use any small shell of your choice. If you are not in a place where wild shells can be collected, use purchased shells (ethically sourced of course) of any kind in this ritual. You could even use small stones or river rocks to represent the shells, or simply draw some shells on a piece of paper.
Forage for wild white flowers such as daisy or yarrow, or any white blossom that is local for you, first asking Mama Earth and the plant for permission. Alternatively, you could purchase white blossoms from a florist or pick from your garden.
Begin the ritual
Go to the sea, river or other location (unless you are doing this at home) with your shells and flowers, and any other sacred objects that support you in your rituals.
Ground and center yourself, breathing deeply, connecting to your Wise Inner Self.
Meditate on your intention for this ritual, such as what you want to share with or ask the Oceans, and — if also using this as a cleansing ritual for your Self — reflect on what you want to release to the Oceans.
Stand in the water, making a connection with the seas and rivers. As you stand in the water, no matter the source, you are connecting to all water.
Call on all your ancestors, spirit guides, and any other deities and allies. Call to your goddess(es) of the waters.
Hold the shells in your palms, and call to the ancestors of the shells, to their ancient DNA from the time when the oceans were pure, teeming with marine life, unpolluted, in balance, and flowing with ease. Call out to these Ancestors and ask them to remember that time of balance and flow in the past and to bring it to our present and future so that the oceans and waters can be healed again.
As you physically connect with the shells, listen to their message. Perhaps they have a blessing for the Sea or wisdom for you as to how you can continue to honour Mama Earth and goddesses of the waters.
Immerse the shells in the water to bring the ancient healthy energetic patterns to all our world waters, saying something like:
“Goddess, I bring you these shells and their ancient energy to heal you, to restore your energy and to heal the damage we have done to you.”
Leave the shells as an offering for the seas. If doing this at home, add them to your altar in a small bowl of water (infused with salts) until the next Full Moon has passed.
Now hold the seven flowers in your palms, calling out to you goddess(es) of the waters. Thank them for the fertility and life they have brought us, for the fresh water that nourishes and cleanses all living things in our world and for the air that fills our lungs.
Ask the Goddess(es) for her blessing and a cleansing of all you wish to release. Stand in the water. Feel it moving across your feet and ankles. Feel all you wish to release leaving your body and merging with the waters for healing.
As you lovingly release the flowers to the water, thank your Goddesses with a simple affirmation such as:
“Goddess, I offer you these flowers to thank you for your love, protection and healing. I thank you for the waters and air that nourish and sustain our lives.”
Completion and Gratitude
While still standing in the water, take a moment to connect with the wisdom of the Oceans and the Goddess(es) of the waters and reflect on how grateful you are for what they give us. Listen for any messages or wisdom they are sharing with you.
When complete, give your thanks to the oceans, to all waters on our planet, to your Goddesses, Ancestors, and allies.
When you return to the land, note your experiences, thoughts and wisdom gained in your journal for further use in your Soul Work and rituals on this day, and throughout the month.