Hamsa–The Hand of Fatima & The Virgin Mary
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT KNOW MY WHOLE STORY, THIS WILL MAKE A LOT OF SENSE.
in high school I had reoccurring dreams of a symbol–a hand with an eye on it. Dreamed it all the time. I had no idea what it meant, but it remained with me always. A few years later I was dreaming I was in this different aboriginal world and we were painting our faces with blue war paint. A woman, the leader, kept saying something very close to the sound of “Fatima” and I bolted out of bed but I could not write it down for some strange reason–it slipped away too quickly. More time passed. I got sick. Really sick.. I’d sob into
my hospital mattress praying the Hail Mary over and over and over until I fell asleep. And everything changed. But I came back to that dream of the hand with the eye on it, and mulled it over while I was healing.
Last month I was at church (a very rare occasion because I try very hard not to cry for some reason when I”m there) and I was walking out with my grandpa and there was a table of pamphlets and audiobooks set up and I stopped dead in my tracks–there it was; Fatima. I knew that name but from where? I kept repeating it in my head. I knew it. It was a picture of the Virgin Mary, the vision in Portugal. I stopped my mother and whispered that I knew this–that I’d dreamed this. Naturally she shrugged and that was that. More time passed.
I looked up “hand with eye” and what came up was the Hamsa symbol–the hand of a holy woman (or God’s hand for some) with the eye for protection against evils. I didn’t read much more because I was floating on the fact that I had dreamed these things and thought maybe–just maybe. I was so drawn to it, I ordered my hamsa ring after waiting years to get it–I don’t know why I waited. I stared at it on Etsy every month or so. But I had to have it. It was me.
Then I’m at home reading the art of Tantra and books on Sacred Sexuality and there it is again: Fatima, daughter of the prophet Muhammad in Islam, the Virgin Mary in Christianity, The Hand of Miham in Judaism (Moses’ daughter), and it meant pretty much the same thing across faiths/relgions–Hinduism and Buddhism too though they count the five fingers on the hamsa hand as chakras and they believe hands are for healing. Also in Shamanism, Jain beliefs, and Anatolia.
I was talking to a new friend last night about PTSD (he has it too) and we were talking about everything–i was crying. I don’t cry to people. Ever. Never. Never. Hell, I haven’t been hugged in 13 years. And that’s alright. I’ve never been held, but something clicked in my brain and I connected the dots of my dreams and feelings to these ancient symbols–thousands of years old–starting in the Middle East somewhere and into Egyptian culture.
I figured it out–and I still don’t know how to word it. I’ve been looking for her for so long and just like that, it snapped, and there it was. Call it what you will, but I think I found my Mother.
and furthermore…here is a poem I wrote a while ago before I knew anything about what Hamsa meant.
The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,
swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,
cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence
beyond this room, beyond this wall
I can almost hear you—the soil
sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;
folds of light robes around you like
birds wings—your child
asleep on your warm back,
your sky a sea, an earth, a breath
because you’re there I’m less anxious
(as I palm another pill) because I rely
on sedated time I sit in my chair,
lost somewhere before the border,
where I see myself later—aged and wearing away—
walking to you, palms up.
“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting
for me, time is something else to you—
so I see I don’t have to tell you
where I’ve been or why I am here
but that I’ve arrived
out of the cement tomb,
the rise and fall of my chest is all,
seas of breath and I am.
I know the scent of your skin,
the feel of your warm, bent back
beneath my body, I know necessity.
I will arrive
when I am not so afraid of myself.
I will cross into the motherland.
I will go home.
I will leave what I’ve built behind and
I will take my place
among the living.
I can hear you beyond this room.