SOLAR ECLIPSE means from a Babaylan - "...we have an eclipse because the serpent spirit has swallowed the moon."
One night the serpent in the sky swallowed the moon, and a boy in the village kept his mother awake with his questions.
—Nanay, where has the moon gone?
—Binacunauahan ang bulan, anak.
Despite the darkness in their room, the mother saw the confusion in her son’s eyes.
So she lifted her left arm and made it undulate in the liquid dark. Her son’s eyes followed that slithering arm.
—Our people believe there is a sawa, a large snake that lives in the sky, the underworld or the sea.
She bent her right hand at the wrist, making a broken tail that had been stepped upon.
—People across the sea call it the naga but in our shores we call it the bakunawa. Bent (bako) snake (sawa). Son, we have an eclipse because the serpent spirit has swallowed the moon.
The boy was quiet, absorbing this snake that must have been as long and thick as a coconut tree.
—Nay, what can make the bakunawa spit out the moon?
—Hear the noise our neighbors are making? The babaylan is getting them to scare the bakunawa into throwing up the moon.
(By Mayette Q. Tabada article "Why doctors become nurses", Sun Star Cebu)
“Who is a Babaylan? The babaylans, predominantly women, were mystical women who wielded social and spiritual power in pre-colonial Philippine society before the coming of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century.
In his research on pre-colonial women, anthropologist Dr. Zeus Salazar described the babaylan as a specialist in the fields of culture, religion, medicine and all kinds of theoretical knowledge about the phenomenon of nature."
(By Marianita (Girlie) Villariba’s article “Babaylan Women as Guide to a Life of Justice and Peace”)
Image: Patricia Ramos. 2012 <http://freakypencils.deviantart.com/>
Thank you Kamalayan for sharing this photo & Jr Guerrero for sharing this website.
Big Love and Thank You to Carlos Bulosan Theatre for starting the fire with my Babaylan quest circa 2007.
Big Love and Thank You to Moksha Yoga for fueling the Babaylan quest.