Norman Lewis - The World, the World - The prophecy of Tia Margarita
Type of Spiritual Experience
This was recorded in the 1950s.
A description of the experience
Norman Lewis - The World, the World
Santiago [in Cuba] was famous for its clairvoyants, in particular one called Tia Margarita, and as arrangements had been rnade that I should spend the night in the town and I had time on my hands, I went to see her.
Someone had told me that one person in three in Cuba regardless of colour or social status, was a secret adherent of one of the cults introduced by the Negro slaves, and Tia Margarita high priestess of Chango, was said to be consulted by Batista [Cuban general, dictator and one time president] himself.
She proved to be a comfortable-looking middle-aged black woman of compelling humour and charm, living in a small surburban house with a garden full of sweetpeas, attached to the usual straw-thatched voodoo temple. Women like her were to be found in every town in Cuba combining in their operations all the excitement of horoscopy and divination with the real social service performed in solving personal problems of all kinds, and in treating the sick from a repertoire of herbal remedies.
Tia Margarita ushered me into a chamber cluttered with the accessories of her trade ...... I added my contribution - a pair of dark spectacles - to the homely offerings, which included roller skates,
tubes of toothpaste, and a jar of Pond's Cold Cream, stacked under the war-god's altar. I noted the framed autographs, offered in gratitude by farnous personalities - senators, baseball-players and motor-racers who had come here with their troubles....
The mild, maternal eyes scanned my face, and her expression was one of slightly puzzled amusement. She expected to be called upon to demonstrate her speciality by forecasting the exact date of my death, instead of which I asked her what the people of Santiago thought about the war, and its likely outcome.
If that was where my interest lay, she said, who better to discuss the matter with than Chango himself - surely the final authority on all such matters - who spoke through her mouth at seances held at the temple every saturday night? Unfortunately this was a Monday, and when I asked Tia Margarita for an off-the-cuff opinion as to the way things up in the Sierra were likely to go she
was oracular and obscure. 'Chango says victory will come to whom victory is due,' she said.
Still, something came out of the interview, because Tia Margarita went into a kind of mini-trance,
lasting perhaps ten seconds, then said that the war would be over in a year - which, give or take a few days, it was.