Alaafia family! Wow… is it really 2012? And is it really February already? Time surely flies when you’re having fun and I pray that the first two months of 2012 have brought some fun, love, clarity and all kinds of positive energies into your life.

Aside from being Valentine’s Day (did you know the day is in honor of a martyred Catholic saint?), February 14th is my mother’s birthday so I say e ku ojobi to my mother, Rev. E. Regina Hoist, and salute her for bringing me into the world. The Yoruba say, Iya ni wura iye biye, ti a kole fo wora (a mother is priceless, more precious than gold) and she is, indeed, so very precious to me.

My personal reading for the year also reminded me to pay a lot of attention to my divine mother, Osun. She is an Orisa of love, communication, healing and relationships (both romantic and platonic) among many other attributes. She is embodied in the Osun river in Osogbo, Nigeria and, by extension, in the “sweet” (fresh, drinkable) waters of the world. If you’re interested in knowing more about Osun, this book edited by Joseph Murray gives a wonderful picture of how she is conceived of in Africa and in the Diaspora.

As a tribute to Osun, I decided to make a sweet Osun bath for some of my fellow lady-scholars. We hold weekly meditations (more on those soon!) and, since it so happened that we had meditation today, I was moved to share a little gift of love from my heart to theirs. I posted the picture above on facebook yesterday and gave the Ase Ire facebook family a chance to guess what it was. That was a lot of fun!

Want to try some for yourself? Here’s what I used:

5 cinnamon sticks
5 drops each of 2 sweet perfume oils (I used Golden Blossom and an Egyptian queen oil)
5 pinches of fresh lavender
5 small dashes of sweet liqueur (I used Chambord)
1 teaspoon of honey

All these ingredients I dissolved in a medium pot (about 1 ½ quarts) of warm water. I then turned the pot on very low – the water steamed but never came to a boil – for about 15 minutes until the bath took on the brownish hue that you see in the picture. I then allowed the bath to cool, poured it into the jars and refrigerated it. During the steeping process I made prayers over the bath, asking that Osun would bring good connections, healthy, beneficial relationships and sweetness into the lives of those who would use the bath. If you try it, make your own prayers as you steep the bath on the stove.

I can’t wait to hear from the ladies how this bath made them feel! If you try it, do let me know how you enjoy it. Remember that any fresh bath you make should be kept refrigerated and used within 7 days.

May love of self, of others, and all the sweet things life has to offer be with you today and every day. Ase!