Sun-Path Cycle (continued)

1. Spring Equinox

On the closest weekend to the Spring Equinox lay a 4′ by 4′ square sheet of cotton cloth in the middle of a room. set aside three lengths of cotton clothes-line rope about three feet long each and lay them on the cotton sheet. Set a white tapered candle in a candle holder and place it unlit next to the ropes on the cotton sheet. Either make a copy of a typical Yoka- Hu three-pointed cemi figure out of clay (no need to fire it) or substitute it with the cut-off pointed tip of a yuca tuber.

If there is a woman available she should braid the three ropes into one. and create an oval or egg-shaped loop around the base of the candle

The oval will represent a coa hoop (traditional Taino stone collar). It also represents the pear-shaped uterus of Ata Bey the Cosmic Mother.

Place the Yaka-Hu image on the cotton sheet inside the oval away from the candle base. The Yaoka Hu image should touch the braided rope loop.

Begin the ceremony with a tobacco smoking ritual. Then have a participant take the Yoka Hu image and bring it out respectfully and slowly from inside the hoop as if it is being born. At the moment that the image is taken out a participant should light the candle to symbolize the beginning of a life. All participants should cheer and celebrate at the moment the rebirth of Yoka Hu. After the ceremony is over and the participants have dispersed the candle flame should be put out. Keep the ropes for future ceremony. Unbraid them to put them away.

The ceremony should end with a dinner. We suggest that the dinner include some yuca product, preferably casabe.

2. Summer Solstice

On the closest weekend to the Summer Solstice lay a 4′ by 4′ square sheet of cotton cloth on the floor in the the middle of a room. Create a 2 foot long soft modeling clay image of a fish to represent the shark spirit Kahaya and lay it in the middle of the sheet. Each participant should arm himself or herself with a wooden dowel about the thickness of a pencil about a foot long (a wooden shish kebab skewer will do also). If is is possible a turkey feather may be tied to the end of each dowel with string.

The ceremony begins with a tobacco smoking ritual. After the tobacco ritual each celebrant takes a turn the sticking his or her “arrow” (the wooden dowel. In this way the shark of dispair and hoplessness is defeated and the way is opened for Life and Hope of Summer Solstice.

The occasion is capped off with a dinner which could include casabe or yuka.

1. Fall Equinox:

On the closest weekend to the Fall Equinox lay a 4′ by 4′ square sheet of cotton cloth in the middle of a room. set aside three lengths of cotton clothes-line rope about three feet long each and lay them on the cotton sheet. Set a white tapered candle in a candle holder and place it next to the ropes on the cotton sheet. Light the candle.

If there is a woman available she should braid the three ropes into one. and create an oval or egg-shaped loop around the base of the candle.

The oval will represent a coa hoop (traditional Taino stone collar). It also represents the pear-shaped uterus of Ata Bey the Cosmic Mother.

Begin the ceremony with a tobacco smoking ritual. Then all participants should meditate and focus on the end of Yoka hu’s life cycle. It is a time of endings. It is also the begining of some of the crop harvests, a time when the plant spirits give up their lives to feed the hungry people. Ceremonially douse the candle flame to represent the end of life. Keep the ropes for future ceremony. Unbraid them to put them away.

The ceremony should end with a dinner. We suggest that the dinner include some yuca product, preferably casabe.

2. Winter Solstice

On the closest weekend to the Winter Solstice lay a 4′ by 4′ square sheet of cotton cloth on the floor in the the middle of a room. Create a 2 foot long soft modeling clay image of a fish to represent the shark spirit Kahaya and lay it in the middle of the sheet. Each participant should arm himself or herself with a wooden dowel about the thickness of a pencil about a foot long (a wooden shish kebab skewer will do also). If is is possible a turkey feather may be tied to the end of each dowel with string.

Have a woman braid three lengths of cotton clothesline rope about three feet long into one. create an egg-shaped loop on the cotton sheet next to the fish.

Either make a copy of a typical Yoka- Hu three-pointed cemi figure out of clay (no need to fire it) or substitute it with the cut-off pointed tip of a yuca tuber.

The ceremony begins with a tobacco smoking ritual. After the tobacco ritual each celebrant takes a turn the sticking his or her “arrow” (the wooden dowel. In this way the shark of dispair and hoplessness is defeated and the way is opened for Life and Hope of re-conception and eventual re-birth of Lord Yoka Hu.

Have a man (if one is available) place the Yoka Hu image inside the rope loop touching it to represent the moment of conception of Lord Yoka Hu when he begins to gestate inside the womb of his mother.

The occasion is capped off with a dinner which could include casabe or yuka.

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