1. Morning prayers to the universe, your ancestors, your guiding spirits
We are all spiritual beings having a material experience. We are so much more than the terrible things that happen to us and so much more than what the systems of oppression, the oppressors and society tell us and reinforce about us. Reminding ourselves of our power, worthiness and our divinity can fortify us and the collective.
I give praise to the universe
I give praise to mother earth
I give praise to all of nature and its beings
I give praise to all my guiding spirits
I give praise to my ancestors
I give praise to all that came before me in this struggle
I give praise to my elders
I give praise to all those who have cared for me, protected me, guided me and loved me
I give praise to….(add any others you wish to give praise to)
I thank you for allowing me to wake up this morning
I thank you for my breath
I thank you for my body
I thank you for my journey
I thank you for those who brought me into the world
I thank you that all basic necessities are met on a daily basis—(sunlight, water, the food on my table, the clothing on my back, my home, my mobility, my job….)
I thank you for my family (you can name one by one if you wish)
I thank you for my community (you can name then one by one if you wish)
I thank you for my comrades (you can name them one by one if you wish)
I thank you for my elders (you can name them one by one if you wish)
I thank you for….(you can add anything else you are thankful for)
Forgive us for the harm we do onto you (you can name the earth, the water, other beings, nature overall)
Forgive me for the harm I do to myself
Forgive us for the harm we do to one another
Protection and Blessings
Protect me (us) from death
Protect me (us) from sickness
Protect me (us) from litigation
Protect me (us) from loss
Protect me from the hands of ….(add anything else you want to be protected from)
I pray that for long life, good physical, spiritual and mental health
I pray for a cool head and coolness in the world
I pray for fortitude
I pray for resiliency
I pray for clarity
I pray for courage
I pray for a self-love
I pray for….(add anything else you pray for including people)
Libations are an age-old practice by many indigenous peoples across the globe. It is the act of putting cool water or alcohol on the earth/ground to attract coolness into our spaces and to ourselves. Libations can be done before a ritual or conversation, whether at a protest or in your home, your office, a meeting, or other spaces that may be part of your daily life or community space or events.
The concept of “coolness”
Water is life, we are water and our world is water. Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The earth is 71% water. The concept of coolness is integral to the delicate balance of our planet, the rise of 1 to 2 degrees in temperature of the world’s ocean that hold 95% of the earth’s water has been catastrophic thus far (hurricanes, tsunamis, melting ice caps). Similarly, when we get “hot headed” as individuals or loose our cool, we don’t think clearly, we allow emotional challenges to take over such as anxiety, anger, frustration, self-doubt, etc. We must maintain our own coolness to think clearly, calmly and strategically and for our own wellbeing, that of the collective, and that of mother earth.
Use a small bowl and put half a cup of water in it. Ensure the water is room temperature or cold (do not use hot water) Dip your index finger into the water and drop a few drops of water onto the ground while chant the first phrase below “May the earth be cool”. Repeat while you chant each one of the phrases that follow.
May mother earth be cool
May our guiding spirits be cool
May our ancestors be cool
May my (our) heads be cool
You could add:
May conversations be cool
My the day be cool
May our movement be cool
May my (our) comrades be cool
May those who want to harm me be cool
May this day be cool
May……(add any other thing, situation, event, etc you want to bring coolness to)
Close out the libation with call and response 3 times.
You say: May it be so!
Group responds: Surely shall it be!
Written by Francisca Porchas
Francisca Porchas has organized in working class communities of color and immigrant communities for 15 years. She has been initiated into the ancient West African spiritual tradition of IFA for 9 years. She is committed to building transformative organizing and movement building strategies that incorporate healing, culture, and ancestral practices for collective liberation.