A babaylan, we have been told, must be a daughter and sister,
And especially must experience being a mother and a spouse
But in our midst are women who dare to take a different road
Women who choose to journey on their own.
She finds love and companions but something greater summons her soul
She is healer, warrior and mythmaker, passions which call her away from home
Her life is not offered to one mate and the children birthed fom her womb
No her soul is a gift to those who dare to take the journey with her,
a journey where one seeks to be whole.
She dares to summon others to seek wholeness
For she has known brokenness and pain.
She lights the path through the darkness
She creates visions for others where once there was only shame.
She rises against those who would silence the weak
She enchants you so that you can begin to believe
She will hold your hand through the deepest pain
And set you on your way when you are well again.
No, a babaylan need not be lover or a mother
But she must know how to love herself
For the greatest love and gift to the living
Can come from a woman who has known her own soul.