Exploring Balinese Astrology
upskill’s Intercultural Communication Summer Course Excursion
The rich and diverse cultural tapestry of Bali is a treasure trove of traditions and beliefs that have fascinated people around the world for centuries. One aspect of Balinese culture that stands out is their unique approach to astrology, deeply rooted in Hindu beliefs. This article delves into a recent excursion organized by Upskill, in partnership with the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) at Udayana University, we had the privilege to explore the intricacies of Balinese astrology.
The excursion into the captivating realm of Balinese astrology was led by an enthusiastic and diverse group of individuals from upskill and also from Udayana University. The Udayana team included Bu Titah, Bu Shanti, Pak Richard, and the esteemed Bu Wendri, the Balinese Astrology expert who is also the mother of Bu Titah. Bu Titah and Bu Shanti, dedicated educators from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) at Udayana University, brought their expertise and passion for intercultural communication to enrich the experience. Pak Richard, a valuable member of the team, brought a global perspective to the table. Lastly, Bu Wendri, Bu Titah's mother and a revered authority on Balinese astrology, added an invaluable layer of insight, sharing her deep knowledge of Balinese culture and astrology, creating a truly enriching and insightful excursion.
The excursion took place at the residence of Bu Wendri, situated in Banjar Sasih Batubulan, Gianyar. This traditional Balinese house provided an authentic setting for the exploration of Balinese culture, including its astrology.
One of the highlights of our excursion was a guided tour through the Balinese house, shedding light on its significant elements based on both function and Balinese belief. We gained valuable insights into the layout, design, and purpose of different areas within the house, enhancing their understanding of Balinese lifestyle and its connection to their astrological beliefs.
Embracing Balinese Astrology
A crucial segment of the excursion was the direct experience with Balinese astrology. Bu Wendri, an expert in Balinese astrology and one of the guest speakers for the intercultural communication short course, shared her extensive knowledge with all participants. The session focused on understanding Balinese astrology using the 'Wariga Lontar' method, a traditional method of divination based on lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts).
The students, along with Udayana lecturers and the upskill team, had the unique opportunity to engage with the Balinese Astrology system first-hand. Bu Wendri deeply explained how the Wariga Lontar method is utilized to provide detailed insights into an individual's health, behavior, and current life challenges. By decoding an individual's birthday using the Wariga Lontar formula, Bu Wendri offered advice on achieving a balanced life, such as engaging in activities associated with water for certain individuals.
The Significance of Balinese Astrology
Balinese astrology is deeply ingrained in Hindu beliefs, which are prevalent in Bali. It is not only a means of understanding oneself but also a tool for guidance and balance in life. The excursion not only enriched the participants—especially the students—with unique cultural knowledge but also instilled an appreciation for the profound role astrology plays in the lives of the Balinese people.
Ensuring the Preservation of ‘Lontar’ Knowledge
Bu Wendri expressed her hopes for the preservation of Wariga Lontar knowledge. This ancient method of divination is a precious cultural asset, intricately tied to Balinese heritage and Hindu beliefs. By integrating this subject into the intercultural communication summer course, Udayana University aims to generate interest and ensure the passing down of this valuable knowledge to future generations. The aspiration is to not only preserve but also expand the understanding of this unique form of astrology and its deep-rooted significance in Balinese culture.
The excursion into Balinese astrology was a transformative experience to our intercultural communication summer course. It illuminated the intricate relationship between Balinese culture, Hindu beliefs, and the role of astrology in their lives. With its efforts to preserve and expand the understanding of Balinese astrology, Udayana University is contributing to the appreciation and recognition of this extraordinary cultural heritage, fostering a deeper connection between different cultures and enhancing intercultural understanding. Balinese astrology stands as a testament to the richness and beauty of Bali's cultural heritage, captivating the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to explore its depths.
By Billy Bagus