Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dreaming Babalú-Ayé

It turns out that my brand new daughter, Natalya, is a daughter of Babalú-Ayé. Yes, it is a bit daunting to think that this tiny baby embodies the god of infectious disease and healing, but the religion revolves in some way around these identifications.

Two days after we learned that she belonged to Babalú-Ayé, she was having some intestinal distress. Gas, and lots of it, was making it hard for her to sleep. As I held her in my arms and rocked her at 2:30 in the morning, I began to speak to Babalú about taking away her pain. In the process, surprise, surprise, I fell asleep. I immediately began to dream:

Babalú-Ayé was standing before me holding a very intricate já, a ritual broom covered in cowry shells. I held Nati in my arms, and Babalú said, "I will lead her on travels through the darkness."

This is one of those moments where the revelation is not entirely clear, but we have confidence from experience that it will become clear with time. Babalú certainly knows about traveling, as he wandered for years alone. He certainly knows about darkness, since he only eats at night. But here he is reinforcing his connection with my daughter and telling me something about what he has in mind for her.

May your travels be long and fruitful.

May you always have trustworthy companions.

May you always enjoy health.

May you always have God´s blessing and your parents´.

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