Filipino Protective Tattoos


ORASYON Protective Tattoos of the Philiiphines have always fascinated me, I first came across the talismanic undergarments, magical amulets ‘Agimat’  which contained Christian Magical Formula and composed of Letters and phrase with emblematic pictorial motifs and esoteric diagrams designed to endow the wearer with perscriptive magical powers.

According to Fr. Francisco Demetrio on his treatise “On Magical Prayers and Living Christianity” in the book Myths and Symbols Philippines described Orasyones as “a mishmash of lines lifted from the Roman Missal, the Latin Vulgate, and a dash of Visayan and Spanish prayers mixed with gibberish and “lam-lam” (cebuano colloquial term for nonsense).”

In some respects they are similar to Sak Yant magical Tattoos of Thailand inasmuch as we find similar combinations of ‘Katas’-magical formula- spoken and writ, magical geometry and pictorial elements.

The functions of the protective tattoos in the Philliphines also seem to mirror the many of the same talismanic functions of the Sak Yants. But it this case these Tattoos and their magical function is refracted through the Esoteric Christian lens, of Saints, Symbols and Motifs of Christianity and magical formula from the Christian Cannon along with magical diagram, Hebrew, Latin, and some which very well may have their origin in the Solomonic grimiore traditon, and a whole lot more.

Another parallel to Sak Yants is that the Orysons can be acculmulated and as can be seen from the examples an individual can have a great collection of these magical tattoos which each have different talismanic function.


Check out these two pictorial blogs on ‘Protective / Oration tattoos  by Sidney Snoek @MY SARISARI STORE 1  &  MY SARISARI STORE 2

All Photos by and copyrighted to Sidney Snoeck



Barry William Hale

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