April 10th ~ Copper Canyon, Mexico
I’ve had a fascination for Eastern and Alternative Medicine since my long ago college days. One of the classes I took was called “Posture and Relaxation” where we learned the basics of self-hypnosis. For a dozen years, I continued to use the techniques from that class periodically to help me unwind or fall asleep.
Fast forward to the early 1980’s and my studies took a turn into the fringe of the medical field when I completed my education to become a Certified Hypnotherapist. During that period of study I read an extensive number of books covering many, many Eastern philosophies and modalities involving a variety of holistic practices.
I long ago left my practice before Tim and I started up our business together in the San Fernando Valley back in 1991, but the interest for “outside the box” medicine still intrigues me. So, when we had the opportunity to meet with a local shaman from the Tarahumara tribe, I was very curious.
I’ll do my best to describe how the hour went and you can be the judge…
When we first arrived at the Shaman’s home we were instructed to sit on benches in a horseshoe shape. Manuel was to be our translator and introduced us to Alondra. I was immediately taken by her beauty and her youth.
Appearing to be in her 20’s with the typical colorful flowing skirt and long shiny black hair. Her smile was infectious.
Manuel told us that Alondra had learned her skills from her grandmother. On the small wooden table in front of us were a variety of dried herbs. One by one, as Alondra picked up an item, Manuel translated and explained what the ingredient was and the normal illness or disease it was used to cure/heal/ improve.
Then a small ceremony of cleansing was done. Alondra disappeared into her home for a few minutes and then returned carrying a dish with a mixture of seven ingredients that were giving off smoke. I wish I had written down what all was being burned but I do recall that both peyote and marijuana were mentioned as being used for “medicinal purposes” here.
Stopping in front of each one of us for a moment, allowing us to smell the smoke as she spoke a brief blessing.
We joked about taking a deep breath and holding it. Yes, most of us lived through the hippy culture of the 60’s and survived.
She next took a long wooden stick and drew a line from East to West in the dirt in the center of the open area in front of us and completed the cross with a line from North to South.
An egg was placed at the end of each arm, and one positioned where the lines intersected.
Manuel asked for four volunteers. Karen and I jumped up and raced forward as did two others from our group.
We were told to face the East and to each stand straddling one of the eggs at the end of each line. The egg at the cross-road was left standing all alone.
Alondra approached the first woman from our group (she asked that her name not be used), so I will simply refer to her as Lady #1. The Shaman picked up the egg from between her feet and held it in her hands along with a couple different herbs.
She proceeded to lightly rub the egg up and down each leg, across the torso, chest, arms and then the backside of her. The head was not touched.
She then took the egg over to the wooden table and poured a small amount of water (perhaps a cups worth) into a clean glass. She then carefully broke the egg and allowed it to gently fall into the cup of water.
It was from the shape and color of the egg and yolk that she was to determine what, if any, medical illness or condition that Lady #1 had.
I was fascinated by her facial expression as she glanced from Manuel to Lady #1 and back again. She was clearly disturbed and hesitant to say anything.
Speaking in Spanish, with Manuel translating as well as inserting some commentary, we found out that the yolk was broken and badly deformed. He had never seen one like this in the many times he had witnessed the ceremony.
As it turned out, Lady #1, spoke Spanish and Alondra was able to speak directly to her. She was told that there was a very serious illness in her body. As it turned out, this was no surprise to Lady #1. There were in fact three separate life threatening illnesses that she was battling.
SIDE NOTE: Later in the day when we returned to the bus, I asked her if she would be comfortable sharing about her illness, but she demurred, saying she really did not want to think about it. She also gave her permission to tell the story, just asking that her name not me used.
On to Lady #2, Nancy, at the top of the cross. The egg routine was repeated with gently running it over her body, water poured into a second glass and the egg again cracked and contents carefully slipped into the water.
Standing now in front of Nancy, swirling the egg and staring into it, she asked if she had problems with arthritis. Giving an affirmative answer, Nancy held up her hands showing definite signs of knotted joints in her fingers.
I was not overly impressed with that, as it was clearly visible and did not take any divination to notice.
The next question was a little more of a surprise however when she asked if there was something wrong with her eyes.
Nancy replied, “Not any more. I had cataract surgery just a couple of weeks ago.”
OK, that impressed me a little more.
She finished up telling Nancy that she was a very happy person.
I was next in line and the anticipation was building. Tim had been taking pictures for me during the entire process and I could see him off to the side snapping away.
The egg I had been straddling was collected by Alondra and the now similar routine followed – herbs and egg passed over my body, from shoulders on down and front to back.
When the egg was cracked into the third glass of water, the yolk appeared pristine!
She again stood in front of me and asked if I had any stomach problems. I have been battling reflux for years, and that is the only ailment I mentioned at my recent yearly physical just before our trip. The Shaman then stared a bit longer at the egg, and looking at Manuel, said I was in very good health.
Good to hear, and my primary MD had also just given me that good news, confirmed by a legion of blood tests.
Then Manuel caught me by surprise, stating that the only thing wrong with me was my brain.
I think he was joking, at least he thought it was pretty funny!
On to Lady #4, our traveling companion and good friend, Karen.
Again Alondra studied the shape of the egg yolk and white and while concentrating, asked Karen if she had an issue in her lower abdomen. Karen shook her head no. Then passing around to her back she inquired about the lover back area. Karen again shook her head no.
But the truth is that Karen had an enlarged spleen (abdomen area) as well as a tumor in her kidney (lower back).
But here is where it got even more specific and spooky. Alondra looked at her, and said that there was something wrong with her blood and that it was being “changed out” or “exchanged”.
What no one, including her children, knew is that just a couple of weeks prior to the trip, Karen had been diagnosed with a blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera.
“Also called PV, this a rare, chronic blood cancer where the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells. You may also have too many white blood cells and platelets (blood clotting cells) in your blood, but having too many red blood cells causes most of the problems associated with PV. PV is part of a group of diseases called “myeloproliferative neoplasms,” or MPNs.” ~ VoicesofMPN.com
Too many red blood cells can cause the blood to thicken. Thicker blood doesn’t flow normally through arteries and veins. This can lead to an increased risk for blood clots, heart attack or stroke. It is rare and incurable. The current treatment protocol is to drain blood via IV weekly.
She let Karen know that she would be doing a special healing/prayer ceremony for her.
And what about that 5th egg that was in the center of the cross?
To complete the ritual, all four of our eggs would be combined with the egg from the center and at the end of the day they would be burned with some form of healing ceremony performed.
Just before we departed, I asked her if she had any recommendation for reflux. I chuckled when she said, “Apple Cider Vinegar”, which is exactly what I had just recently started taking.
So, there you have it. Four women, four different experiences, four correct diagnosis.
And to add to my collection of souvenirs from the trip, I purchased two hand-made figurines from Alondra’s mother, made out of paper. One man and one woman, $6.00 each.
Would love to hear from you: What do you think of our experience? Have you had any interactions with healers, shaman, witch doctors, or anyone outside of the “normal” medical community? What happened? Are you a believer or think it is all a bunch of hocus pocus?
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that there are forces beyond our vision, and knowledge and wisdom to be learned from many. I remain open to the possibilities…