Meet Francisco: A Humble Shaman
Updated: Sep 7
A lot of people ask me about my shaman. So, I want to tell you about him. And the description is not at all what you might imagine.
His name is Francisco. In his village in Yucatan he is referred to with the title of Don, which means he carries a gift and is honored. Of course, when I met him three years ago, I had no idea I should call him Don Francisco and he did not introduce himself that way. To me, he has always just been Francisco.
Why is that important?
It speaks to so much about him and his culture. To the Maya people, having a big ego is about the worst thing you can do. I did not find out I should have been calling him “Don Francisco” all this time until I heard a good friend of his refer to him that way.
This story about Francisco centers around how humble and unpretentious he is. If you met him, you would not know he is the village (and last in his village) shaman. He might be wearing his baseball uniform because he loves the game and plays often. He also might be wearing a traditional white guayabera, a beautiful and formal shirt with pleats down the front. He would great you with a big gin and open arms. And he would usher you into the dirt and concrete floored compound that is his home.
What would you find there?
Don Francisco has family all around him all the time. The compound includes three homes, one for he and his wife, Angela, one for his daughter and her husband and children, and one for his son and his wife and children. There is a central kitchen where everyone hangs out, a building (each of these buildings is pretty much just one room by the way) a building where the kids watch TV, swing in hammocks, and Francisco meets with his patients, two buildings to store corn, squash, beans, and other food stuffs, a chicken coop (of course the chicken are never actually in it) a pen for the pig, lots of fruit trees, a pib where the smoke the tamales underground, and of course his medical plants which range over and through everything.
Immediately you would notice that Don Francisco would take a very genuine interest in your well-being. He would ask why you have come and how he can help (although he would probably already know the answer). He would lead you into the room with the hammocks and have you sit on a little plastic stool as you told him your story and he would listen with compassion and attention. While doing this, he would be lighting a candle on a small green-painted wooden table, sprinkling water he brought up from a cave on a branch of ruda (that he harvested for you before you got there because he knew you were coming), and lighting a bowl of copal incense and placing it under your chair.
Then he would take a beautiful aqua colored crystal stone out of a little cup of that same cave water and look at you through the stone.
This is the shaman stone. It was given to him by his father who received it from his father before him. Francisco told me it is not from this earth. He is not the kind of person to inflate any kind of story (remember having an inflated ego is taboo).
So, let me tell you a little about my experience with this stone.
The first time I saw Francisco, he looked at me through the stone, told me I was feeling exhausted, and then did a cleansing and gave me an herbal tea. The SECOND time I saw him I had brought my daughter, my grandson, and my daughter’s boyfriend. And that time he let us look at each other through the stone and explained what we were seeing.
There is no hype. There are no flowing robes or headdresses of flowers or necklaces of teeth. But there is real power.
Like an enthusiastic teacher, Don Francisco captured our attention one at a time as he let us look through the stone at each other. Each person’s image looked different. I had a bit of a dark cloud near me, my daughter had the same dark cloud, but it was in a line under her arm. My grandson had a white cross on him, and my daughter’s boyfriend had a cloud similar to mine, but it was white.
I was amazed by two things. One: I could see what the shaman was seeing very clearly. Two: He held no secrets and was eager to share with us.
Preface this next part with the information that we did not yet have Francisco phone number and had no way of letting him know we were coming to visit, even though it was a three-hour drive. We just showed up and hoped he would be home. We also were willing to wait and planned to spend the night at a nearby hotel. . . The next time we went to see him, Francisco greeted us at the door with a big hugs and bubbled over with the news that he had prepared a gift for us. He explained that he had seen us coming and prepared a little gold colored statue of Buddha with a blessing for us that he knew we needed. He explained that we had something important to do, to offer the world, but that to do it we all needed to stay together and that the statue would help keep us living in the same area so we could accomplish our task. (We tend to move a lot)
Ok, so….can you go back to the part where you “saw us coming”?
How on earth did Francisco see us coming? Well, he looked into the stone of course!
ON another occasion when we were asking questions about the stone, Don Francisco explained that it was good for many things! You could diagnose problems, read the future, or see when the tamales were done! And yes, one day when we went to visit, the entire family pitched in to make tamales for us including burying them in the pib to smoke and yes Francisco used to stone to tell when they were done!
So, back to what would happen if you went to see him.
After he looked at you through the shaman stone, Don Franscico would use the ruda plant he harvested for you and tap you all over with it as a cleansing. While he was doing this, he would pray in Mayan and call on all the deities for you. Then he would check the stone again (and let your friends look in it) to see the changes (and there would be some!) After that, he might prescribe a tea or give you an amulet to wear. You might not feel much of anything, but when you went home, as time went by, you would notice your life had changed!
So humble. So kind. So powerful!
Oh, and by the way, he can also rid your home of shapeshifting creatures and rouge aluxes!
More on that next time.
Hugs and Butterflies
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