BY KAYLA BABOOLAL
I was born on a small island located just off the coast of Venezuela. The name of my fair home is Trinidad. My island was originally part of the mainland of Venezuela, but due to seismic activity, a division was formed, a waterway grew and gave birth to what is now called the Dragon’s Mouth.
The original inhabitants of my island were the Carib and Arwak Indians. While most, as is the story throughout the Americas, were infected by the arrival of the Europeans, some remained. Their story becomes part of my story (see: Baby’s first spirit story).
My family heritage covers seven generations on island (as far back as our records go), and I am the result of the culmination of seven nationalities, all mixed and mingled on island. The open warmth of the Trinidad people resulted in a blending, not just of bloodlines, but of spiritual practices.
Folk-Hinduism was the main religious path of my Maternal Grandparents (hereafter referred to with love and respect as Mama and Papa). Anglicanism, the path of my Paternal Grandparents, but, there was something more… what I refer to as Shakti-Shamanism.
This term is based on the practices of my Mama; the stories she told, the rituals she taught, her dreams that she foresaw, the spirits she worked with and against, and the healing she administered.
It is important for me to mention that Mama herself had no name for her traditions. It was simply a part of who she was, and what she did. (This, however, will be re-addressed in Jaguar Spirit Emerges.)
Mama, mother to 9, grandmother to 16 and counting, was a simple ‘country’ wise woman. She was not educated, or ‘book-learned’ in the ways we are today. She was taught by spirit, by nature and by her own innate wisdom. She was well respected, and sought out in times of need. She never turned away a soul.
When I was born, the path I would now walk, had been foreseen by Mama. She told my mother that I would have the gift of healing (hands and feet!) and that I would walk between the worlds, for she saw that I was born with a “light-shadow”, dead at birth, my first breath took me from behind the veil.
But it was Papa who noticed my insatiable interest in all Mama did, and in our heritage. It was Papa who told me, the year before he died, that I would be the “Keeper” of the family stories and ways. This website embraces all that they taught me, and all that I ventured to learn based on the doors they opened.
What follows is a personal account of my adventure with Spirit, rituals created by my Mama and myself and some factual research to round out my experience. There is nothing more or nothing less. I share it here in perfect trust.