Our ancestors recognized a sacred twenty-eight day cycle which followed the phases of the moon. In the tradition of our Caney Spiritual Circle this spirit is called Karaya and it is recognized as the visible celestial representative of our Cosmic Mother Ata-Bey.
Karaya is important because she symbolizes the link between humans and the Divine, the Great Spirit. Our Cosmic Mother Ata-Bey forms part of the Great Spirit whom we call Yaya Guaturey. She is represented in the sky by Karaya the moon because Karaya marks out a monthly cycle very similar to the monthly cycle which manifests itself in human women every month called the “period”.
Because of the fact that through Karaya’s waxing and waning she manifests a monthly “period” we consider Ata Bey to be eternally fertile and capable of giving birth. Because of Karaya’s monthly cycles, Ata Bey is a permanent mother.
It is also through Karaya’s cycles that we recognize the link between humans and the Divine. If the Cosmic Mother Ata-Bey has periods and human women also have periods then there is a sacred link between the two and it is important to celebrate that link.
We know for a fact that the ancient Tainos celebrated the cycles of the moon and you also can do it. Even though it is preferable that this celebration be done always with the participation of at least one woman there is no reason why a man or men who may not have access to the presence of a woman can’t still celebrate this ceremony.
The celebration of the moon cycle is performed on or close to the day of the full moon. The most important objects to be used in such a ceremony are two candles and something to smoke (a cigar or a pipe).
Ideally the ceremony should start with the burning of tabonuko, the smoke of which should be offered to the directions by being fanned first to the South, then to the West, then to the North, then to the East, then down to the Earth and finally up to the sky with a feather.
Once the cigar or pipe has been smudged over the tabonuko smoke the celebrant does the tobacco ceremony. After the tobacco ceremony the celebrant lights the two candles and prays over them saying “This light represents the double light of the Full Moon”. Finally the candles are put out and the celebrant prays again saying: “Our women have within them the rhythm of the Universe”.
The lighting of the candles and the saying of these words should be left to a woman if one is present but can be said by a man if there are no women present.
After the prayers are said the celebrant is advised to sing the chant of the sacred words in the Caney Circle dialect of the Taino language: “Guariche guakia ba areyto Gua Turey”. Guariche ( women), guakia (ours), ba (have), areyto (ritual communal chant or song or rhythm), Gua Turey (Cosmic All, The Universe)