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  • Writer's picture Yvonne Berenguer

The Story of the Astral Warriors


As we get ready to launch into the new year, it seems apropos to revisit a story that brings me light, a renewal of hope for dreams and passions - a reminder of my own capacity to see things through. It is an excerpt from my book in process, enjoy!

 

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 Reflecting on my childhood, I remembered how Dad told us stories about what it was like to grow up in the Philippines. His childhood was a stark contrast to ours and it captured our imagination to hear about what life was like in a land halfway around the world.

 

Dad grew up in the Philippines and he lived in a village in the southern most part of the islands. Because of the trading routes of old, many different ethnic groups also settled there: Malaysian, Indonesian, and quite a bit of Chinese. It is how one of my favorite stories hailed from an old Chinese man Dad knew: Mr. Lee.

 

Mr. Lee owned a small shop in the village. As a child, Dad and his friends loved to go to the shop because it had such different things. It had toys and trinkets imported from China as Mr. Lee’s family still had ties there. And because he had no children of his own, Mr. Lee would let them play with some of the toys. He also loved to entertain them with stories he had learned from his parents and grandparents.

 

One of Dad’s favorite stories (and mine) was about the Astral Warriors who lived in the skies.

 

These warriors were responsible for guarding the seven terrestrial kingdoms that held the universe together. Together, these kingdoms were responsible for the moons and the stars that graced the heavens each night. Without them, sailors would be unable to navigate the waters at night, astrologers would be unable to make predictions about the future.


The nemesis of the kingdoms was a mighty dragon that devoured the stars and moons. In its wake, it left the sky empty and dark wherever it went. Recognizing the danger this posed to the kingdoms, a great army- the Astral Warriors was created by a wise witch. They were a magical army, formed from stardust and moon rock, their bodies shimmered against the backdrop of the night skies.


One day, the Devourer ambushed the Warriors killing and wounding many of them. But in the end, the warriors vanquished the Devourer, preserving the safety of the seven kingdoms. This, however, came at a great cost, as the Devourer practically erased all of the stars from the sky – only a vast darkness was left.


This was devastating for the seven kingdoms as they could see the calamity that would befall the land and water dwellers. But the magical properties of the warriors was genius, and the wise witch who created them, summoned the warriors to the fields where the seven kingdoms intersected. There he tended to the warriors’ wounds, and for every wound, a scar formed. But being of stardust and the moon, the scars transformed into stars. And these stars floated back into the heavens, thus providing illumination for all who relied upon them.


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“Wait,” I asked, “I don’t get it Dad, that’s it? What’s the moral to this story?”


Dad replied, “That is exactly what we asked Mr. Lee and I’ll never forget his warm smile as he told us, ‘Believe in the magic that is you. So that when your heart is pained by the wickedness of the world, you will recover and not be defeated by it. Instead, transform your scars into stars like the ancient warriors once did, and let those stars remind you of where you have been and where you must go.

 

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