Oomancy: Egg Tawas as shared healing tradition

Oomancy Egg Tawas demonstration at PJHA Office in Bucandala, Imus, Cavite on 2011.

For about a century aside from using paper and candle, Traditional Filipino Healers uses Raw Egg and Glass of water as tool to determine the cause of spiritual illness of an afflicted person.

When I presented this into a workshop in 2011 that highlights the healing practices of our Filipino Traditional Healers, one participant from National Commission on Culture and Arts have commented that this practice was not originally Filipino. And yes it was not originally ours, but our unschooled healers have employed it in terms of diagnostic and divinatory arts. And what amaze me with this method, Filipino healers have different techniques in employing it. I know a healer in Pangasinan which is one Province in Northern Luzon, she will whisper a prayer to the egg then she will rub it all over the body of the patient, then will ask the egg a question and place it on a plate to stand. There. a “yes” and “no” question is being answered so as the direction where they could find remedy or cure from an illness. Then after asking questions, they will break the egg on a glass of drinking water and make it drink to the patient. I am amazed on how she employ the egg as divinatory tool as well as on how she make the egg stand on a plate without dropping.

How Egg Tawas/Oomancy arrived in the Philippines

People who are born in this modern time can easily access to any information and skills all over the world with the use of internet. There are some who become Google Experts in certain field specially in terms of healing arts. I know some people have learned Basic Massage Application through Youtube. So as in the art of divination where they could download some instructional materials online without any supervision of an experts. But internet was not yet available during the time of our parents, so as in the time of their parents and their parents and our ancestors. How come that the unschooled traditional healer may know this art if not google-ling it?

Well that is our advantage now-a-days, if we want to learn for free, we can Google it. But what about our ancestors? How do they learn those skills? Formal Education and schooling are introduced during the 16th century. Do our Spanish Colonizer brought this practice in our country? Well aside from Religion and Government, Spain have also brought Trading System.

Our ancestors are good at trading. Long before Spanish came to our archipelago, our ancestors already have trade relations with our neighbouring country such as in China, Japan, Siam, India, Cambodia and the Molluccas. But when the Spaniards arrive, they have opened a door that we may also have a trade relations with Mexico through the Acapulco-Manila Trade or better known as the Galleon Trade. But this trade occur on 1565-1815 according to Philippine National Commission on Culture and Arts.

Curandero: The Traditional Healing Arts of Mexico

Mexico being our trade buddy who was colonized by on the same year on 1521 like the Philippines have shared same healing practice of Limpia and for us we call as Pagpag Pauli.

Though the trade relation we had from Mexico may share this healing practice to us but the question now is how this Oomancy/ Egg Tawas have come to Mexico? When I had an Italian Student (which is now a Pahid practitioner in Turino), he mentioned to us that Egg tawas is also a common practice in Italy as a form of Divination which they do on the eve of the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul that is every 29th of June. They break the egg on a glass of water and put it outside their house along the door and leave it there overnight and in the morning they will see the glass to read the images that it form as a prediction for the whole year round and also will serve as a protection.

Well this kind of Divination may have reached different countries and become popular as poultry industry becomes popular. As people developed and modernize, they maintain balance with their spirituality and device methods on how they could maintain the balance between the mundane and spiritual forces. Oomancy or Egg Divination is said to originate and became popular was in Greece and Rome. Though this practice might originate in Scotland among the druids before it was practiced in Greece.

Ancestral Heritage

Whether or not Egg Tawas as an indigenous healing practice of our ancestors, as it has become common practice among Native Healers in our Country, we claim it to be part of our Traditional Healing Practice in our Country. This form of Divination or Spiritual Diagnosis may not be learned through Academic Institution, this practice have help ordinary people to understand their situations and have been guided to live their lives through this practice. Healers from different part of our country has their own method of diagnosis and divinatory tool. Egg Tawas can be a practical form of Spiritual Practice that we can apply to understand the mysteries of the universe. And thanks to our Ancestors that this practice is still remembered and applied up to this day.

Mayari Na!

PagAsatin!

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