Wouldn't it be cool if.....?
That is my new power tool, for manifesting, that is. Wouldn't it be cool if I could meet a shaman?
That's how this whole story started.
Maria and I were sitting in my living room in Puerto Morelos doing a bit of dreaming. "Wouldn't it be cool if I could meet a shaman?" I piped up. Maria had manifested a pair of blue sandals she loved earlier in the week. Now it was my turn to turn a dream into a reality.
"Yeah, that would be totally, cool," said Maria excitedly, "But I want to meet him too. So wouldn't it be cool if we could meet him before I leave?" Maria was flying home in two days, so that might be a bit of a tall order since I had been looking for a shaman for a few years and had not found a real one. They don't really have web pages or ads on FaceBook.
"Yeah, that would be super cool," I agreed. "And wouldn't it be cool if we could learn about energy healing and plants from him?"
"Yeah," Maria agreed. "And wouldn't it be cool if we didn't have to look too hard to find him?"
Well, we left Puerto Morelos around noon and headed down the Route de Los Cenotes and into the jungle. We had planned a trip to see Ik Kil, a fabulous cave cenote just outside of the ruins of Chichen Itza. We planned to drive the three and a half hours to get there, spend the night at a little hotel across the street, soak in the healing ecological pool there, sip margaritas, and then get up early and go swimming (well, Maria planned to go swimming. She didn't know I didn't plan to join her, but that's another story) in the cenote.
We did all that and then we packed up for a relaxing ride home through Maya pueblos where dogs slept in the street, kids played with soccer balls, and old men sat in plastic red chairs and watched the world go by. We stopped for lunch at a super cute place and shared panuchos and Yucatac pork.
After stuffing ourselves, we found an old man named Sebriano and listened to his wonderful tales (follow above link for tales from Sebriano) and then we hugged his neck, started saying our good-byes (these things can take time), and asked if he knew where to find a shaman. "There is a good one in the next village over," he assured us.
So, off we went.
I drove aimlessly through the little town stuffed with grass-roofed stick houses, exotic gardens rife with wandering bougainvillea blooms, and wild fruit trees.
I felt a tiny bit impressed to turn down a narrow road where most of the pavement was gone and there, sitting on the curb at the next block were two smiley, dark-eyed Maya men.
Maria said, "Let's stop."
So, we stopped and asked the smiley men if they knew where we could find a shaman. Of COURSE they did! He lived just around the corner and the younger smiley man would be very happy to take us to him because the shaman (Note: He reminded us that the Maya do not call them shaman's. They are herbateros.) had been treating his daughter for cancer. She was doing very well. "We are winning!" he said. "You know, you don't need to take those horrible drugs that make you sick or have an operation. The herbatero knows all the plants in the jungle that heal you."
The second girl from your right, the one with the gauze on her arm, is being treated by the herbatero and is doing very well
I didn't doubt him at all and I was very happy to hear his daughter was doing so well. It's just awful that such a young girl would face such a battle, but I am so pleased to hear that she would not have to suffer through what so many people from modern cultures suffer as far as side effects from medicine. Now, I was really interested to meet this healer.
Younger smiley man jumped in our car and directed us to the home of the Maya metaphysical-herbologist. What a WONDERFUL place! The medicine man's family greeted us warmly. They asked us to please take as many photos as we liked, welcomed us to play with the kids (I just happened to have a box full of toy donations for Maya children in my trunk), and made us feel like family. Francisco was the herbatero's name. He was in his 40's and also very smiley and gentle. Soon, we were sitting in his counsel room.
A white pillar candle burned on a green wooden table surrounded by a few herbs and a plastic bottle with a bright green liquid in it. In front of the table was a wooden stool painted with silver paint. Francisco asked me to sit on the stool thinking I had a problem that I wanted him to address. Maria (in her fantastic Spanish) quickly explained that we were very interested in healing with medicinal plants and wanted to hear more about the herbatero's craft.
The smiley healer directed us to a comfy looking couch covered in a bright, multicolored throw. We sat down and he pulled the silver stool up close to us and sat down to chat.
What a lovely soul!
He explained how almost every plant in the jungle is good for medicine, talked about dry and wet seasons and when and how to harvest, lamented that he was the only one of his siblings who chose to learn the ways of the plants from his father, talked about the young people today not being interested in carrying on herbatero traditions and how the village used to have seven practitioners and now he is the only one, and explained that all sickness begins in the non-physical realm and derives from a misalignment of energy and that plants bring that energy back into alignment.
This story continues. Soon, I was sitting on Franciso's silver stool in the middle of the room and he was sprinkling salt on the floor behind me. But, this post is already at 1000 words long, so I am going to leave you hanging right here......
I want to do justice to sharing the ritual he performed for me, so stay tuned and check back to read about it.
Enjoying the adventure,