In my first blog post, I wrote about my father’s experiences with Nahuales. Most of his experiences with Nahuales were not bad. As I asked my mom to tell me what she had witnessed, I noticed that it was difficult for her to start talking.
My mom explained to me that in her opinion, Nahuales are evil. She believes this because a Nahual used her powers to cause physical and emotional pain to my grandmother. Before giving birth to my aunts, mother, and uncle, my grandmother, Balbina had four failed pregnancies.
I have translated what my mom said to me in regards to the Nahuales.
“Every time my mamá was pregnant, she suffered. Whenever she was about to give birth, she said she saw a black dog with red eyes at night time. She lost four children. They died before she could even give birth to them. My mom was always sick. It was strange because her stomach would get purple then black. She would get really depressed.
My father took my mother to a curandera because many people advised them to go with her. Her name was Octavina. Octavina assured my parents that she would heal my mamá since the first time she saw them. But she was not a bruja, she was a curandera. My mom used to tell me that Octavina gave her liquid herbal medicine, but she did not know exactly what was in them and she prayed a lot. She had catholic saints in her home, and she prayed a lot for my mom. She had an altar. And she performed a limpia(cleansing). This curandera told my mom that it was an evil Nahual causing her suffering. Octavina said that the Nahual was a woman who was in love with my father. Her name is Agueda Mejia. This lady wanted revenge because my dad ended up marrying my mother instead of her. She used her powers for evil, she was the black dog that my mother would see at night. But, Octavina healed her. Thanks to Octavina, my mother was able to give birth to me, your aunts, and uncle. She healed my mom! If it wasn’t for Octavina, we wouldn’t be here. After all of this, Carla (sister) was born.
Because of that woman, Nahual my mom suffered a lot. She was just jealous. It’s a shame.”
As my mom was telling me my grandma’s story, and about Octavina, the curandera, I remembered Ultima. When Antonio’s uncle Lucas was very sick, Ultima was their only hope. Octavina was my grandmothers only hope. Octavina’s and Ultimas healing methods were very similar. Although the church did not approve either Ultima’s or Octavina’s methods, the Marez family and the Torres Garcia (my mother’s family) family were very thankful to the curandera.
Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless Me, Ultima. New York: Warner, 1994. Print.
Torres, Otilia. Personal Interview. 27 April. 2014.
Image: wikimedia <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Ghost-BlackDog.jpg>