Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pagan Caravan


Being a Pagan in this Christian dominated country is very difficult. Although there are a lot of Pagan practices still existing in the highlands, these are practices which are tainted with Catholicism. Shamans and other common folks would normally put their worship of the Anitos and the dead side by side with the statues of the Catholic Faith. Prayers that would normally ask the help of an "abyan" or a "Surog" has become Pidget Latin with invocations to the saints, angels and the Mother Mary.

Majority of the Pagans here in the Philippines are influenced by the Christian Faith. Most if not all of the merkos, albularyos, siruhano and siruhanas that we have would utter Pater Noster prior to doing "but-but" or "Luy-a" to discern and heal afflictions. Compared to the pre-Hispanic practices which requires these Babaylanes to call the Diwatas and offer them food. Though there are still some rituals that are untainted, majority of the libretas that these people own are full of Latin Christian prayers.

I have heard from my lola that prior to doing "luy-a, luy-a", you need to pray a few Christian prayers, unlike witchcraft that would just call for the inherent power of the herb to heal. This could be attributed to the Christian belief that no matter what you do if God would not permit it, it wont happen. In the Pagan practice, the Will of the Gods will be followed, however, if one knows how to utilize the power of Nature, then it is simply saying that the Goddess really wants you healed.

As a still existing pre-Spanish practices, these cultural treasures should be preserved. Knowledge such as these are priceless and since these are verbally transferred, once the person who knows about this will be gone, this will vanish forever. I am planning to have the entire Arcana document lost tribal practices in the highlands. I know that this project will be quite difficult but if this would mean learning and saving some hidden knowledge, then it'll be worth it.

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