|Today was a very interesting day. I'm still trying to process everything because certain things are so outside our realm of ordinary belief that it takes some time to think through what actually happened today. I'm usually a doubter of anyone that claims to have “powers” or “abilities” but today made me doubt my own doubts.
I went with our taxi driver (Komang) to see his teacher. We drove through winding roads surrounded by beautiful greenery. We got to Mahday's house and sat cross legged on a green tarp waiting for her. On the walls there were many paintings of different Hindu gods which Komang told me that Agung had painted. In front of the entrance to the household area there is a big elephant statue which Agung and Mahday made. We were brought tea and coffee and little fruit jelly filled cookies while we sat out there. Komang found out that Agung wasn't there today because he was out “healing crazy people” and the he had to go to Denpasar (the capital) in order to check on his paperwork for his retirement money (he is an ex-cop or did something in the police force like legal work). I was actually really upset at first that he wasn't go to be there because that was mainly who I wanted to meet. Komang tried explaining that Mahday and Agung both do healing so it didn't matter who I saw and that Mahday was the one to ask about my future. I realized I shouldn't be too mad because I'm not on a tight schedule and I can come back another day when he is here.
When Mahday arrived she tied a scarf around her waist (is done when attending religious ceremonies), sat down and the three of us chatted for a little bit. She doesn't really speak any English so it was basically me and Komang talking to each other for the most part. We explained that Mahday was born with a gift to communicate with the gods but when she was younger she almost died because of black magic. There were many people trying to hurt her (jealousy maybe) so she was very ill. She went to see Agung and he saw the light within her and saw that she had a special gift. He was able to teach her to harness her energy and speak directly with the gods. Now Agung stays at Mahday's house most of the time and only goes back to his own house in the jungle every once in a while.
After we drank the tea / coffee and talked for a little bit we went into a small room with a shrine in the front. Before entering the room, Komang and I both put scarves around our waists. I put 100,000 rupiah in the tray in front of the shrine as an offering (about $10). There was a big golden statue of Krishna that Agung made (it was really beautiful) as the main focus of the alter. There were also many paintings of gods on the wall (all done by Agung).
To begin the ceremony Mahday put a small tray of flower petals in front of both me and Komang with a piece of burning incense on the top of it. Then Mahday and Komang started singing a mantra (which he later explained is called “Gayatri Mantra”) over and over for a few minutes. Mahday has a really beautiful voice and I closed my eyes and just took I the smell of the incense and the sound of their singing.
Then Komang explained the next few parts of what to do so I could join in. We picked up one petal from the tray, put our palms together over our forehead and first prayed to the sun god. Then we placed the petal behind our right ear. Then we picked up another petal, put our palms together over our foreheads and prayed to Krishna. Then told me to do the same thing but pray to the god that I believe in. Then we did the same thing a final time but he told me to thank whatever I god I believe in. After this process Mahday came to Komang used a flower to dip in the holy water and splash the water on him a couple times. She then put the water in his palm 3 times and he drank it each time. Then twice she placed the holy water in his palm and he rubbed it over his head. He helped explain the whole process to me so I could do the same.
After this ceremony Mahday sat down on a little wooden stool and Komang told me I could ask her anything I wanted. Each time I asked a questions she would head to the alter, and facing the alter she would close her eyes, and all I could see was her holding the cup of holy water and splashing the flower in it a few times while she asked the gods the question. I couldn't see if she was chanting or silent because she was facing away from us.
I'll just touch upon a couple of the specific questions I asked and what answers she gave, but I won't go i9nto everything we discussed. I asked about my own health and she told me that I tend to hold my emotions inside and don't share things with other people when I have difficulties (which is definitely true). She also said that I have problems with my stomach and intestines, which has been true over the past couple years (even though on my trip it hasn't been so bad). My heart sort of skipped a beat when she said this to me because I couldn't believe how specific she was and how she pinpointed the exact problems I've had with my health. It was really really weird- the doubts about her that were in my mind quieted down after this.
She told me very specific characteristics about people back at home after I just gave her just their first name. Again, she was very specific and correct on most accounts. I asked about my future profession and she said I would be good in business (I guess only time will tell when it comes to that). I asked if I would have children and she said I would and that most of them would be girls.. oy vey! Again, I guess only time will tell if she was right about that one.
After Mahday answered my questions we sat outside and some tray of snacks while Mahday went to make me some herbal concoction to help with my stomach. Komang dropped me back off in Ubud after I received the bottle of herbal medicine from Mahday.
I was completely exhausted the rest of the day and just relaxed in the room.