Life with the Shaman

Various and sundry observations about being a shaman, traveling to study and work with shamans, learning and sharing new healing techniques, all there is to know about shamanism!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Working with a Medicine Woman

One aspect that turned out in my favor this summer in Peru was my ability to speak Spanish. In the picture you see Doña Bernardina, a powerful healer from the Lake Titicaca area. As it happened, at the Shaman Dialogues, there was a day when it was possible for the participants to receive healings from the shamans. I had offered to help translate for them, and got to work with Doña Bernardina.

WOW! In one day, I probably learned more about shamanic healing than in years of study!! She was so patient with me, helping me to understand the Quechua names of things, how to do coca leaf readings, ways to create despachos (healing and offering bundles that are given to Mother Earth), how to do egg clearings on a person and then how to "read" the egg!

It was amazing! I was so humbled by her knowledge and her abilities. Here is a woman from a very poor area in Puno, near Lake Titicaca, who received her knowledge directly from the Apus. Her coca leaf readings were spot on - not the usual vague "you've had an accident recently...". She nailed the details, the dates, the type of accident, the effects, the soul loss, the trauma... you name it, she knew it, just from tossing the coca leaves! I was absolutely overwhelmed watching her. Imagine her clients too, being told specifics that they hadn't divulged at all!

And best of all was the healings she would do after finding out what was wrong with the person. Invariably, everyone on whom she worked felt instant relief in all areas (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) and this relief continued after the session.

A privilege for me to know her, and to work with her. Again, what can I say except WOW!


  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Dick Newburger said…

    I remember as a freshman at Georgetown University playing tennis with Fr. Joseph Herrero, S.J. He was from Spain. He taught in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the university. I am reminded that his mission was to go to Peru to educate the mountain people. He was spoke quechua, the ancient Incan language. I was new to Catholicism, having been raised in the Reform Jewish tradition. I asked him one day: "Father. When you priests take the oath of poverty, chastity, and obediance is it considered a sin to lust after a beautiful woman?" In his broken English he replied, "It is like going on a diet. But that does not mean that you cannot pass judgment on the menu!" I never forgot that comment or Father Joe. I wonder whatever became of him.


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