I sat on the little silver-painted stool in the middle of the room, having agreed to a cleansing by Francisco, the hierbatero (Maya shaman or herbalist). The room was quite big with almost nothing else in it save two small, brightly colored couches and a narrow wooden table that was pushed up under a window. Francisco lit a small, white pillar candle on the desk and took out a branch of a leafy green plant. It may have been rue, but he called it by a Mayan name. (Note: Mayan is the name of the language, the term Maya is used for everything else)
He dipped his fingers into a short drinking glass that looked like it was filled with water and had some kind of stone in it and he sprinkled the water on the plant over and over again, blessing it each time in both Spanish and Mayan. I heard him say, "Jesus (he-sus) Chisto y Spiritu Santo" repeatedly, but I didn't understand the rest of what he was saying. Mayan sounds very different from Spanish. Its more abrupt and has odd sounds where they repeat a vowel like "ka'an" You can listen to a recording I did of a local speaker saying phrases first in Spanish and then in Mayan HERE;
Mayan Language Recording
After blessing the plant, he set it down and then took a pinch of something from a bowl (maybe salt?) and placed it on the floor behind me and to my left. Then he picked up a plastic bottle filled with a bright green solution which he rubbed on my forehead and down the right side of my face, on my upper back and shoulders, legs below the knee, and feet. It was slightly warm and minty smelling. Quite pleasant.
Then he took the stone out of the glass of water. It was in the form of an egg, about the size of a real egg, but made from some type of almost clear, aqua colored stone. Really pretty. He picked up the green-leafed branched, held the egg on top of my head and started gently tapping me all over with the blessed branch while repeating something over and over in Mayan.
This lasted for a couple minutes. The branch was still damp from the water, so I felt a bit of a cooling sensation. When he finished, he put the branch down, took the egg off my head and started looking at me THROUGH the nearly clear stone. The looked at me all over and then asked for a translator to come in.
My friend Maria, who had accompanied me and was fluent in Spanish, came in. I got up off the wooden stool and joined her on the couch, which was covered in a colorful throw. She translated as my Spanish is still a bit weak and Francisco spoke very quickly.
"You are tired and your energy is low," he began. I nodded in agreement, I had been feeling a bit discouraged lately. "But this is not normal for you." I nodded my head again. He was right. i am usually a very high energy person and this discouragement was really getting to me. "But don't worry," he said. "You have good energy. You don't have any illness, nor do you need to worry about having any illness in the future." And then he said something that I thought was awesome.
"All the things you have been dreaming of and desiring will come to pass. Just keep focusing on them and they will happen for you."
Now, it would maybe be easy for anyone to say that. But, first, this guy did not seem like that kind of person at all. He seemed very genuine, passionate about his work, gentle, and authentic. Second of all, I HAD been intentionally focusing on some dreams and desires. In fact, that was what I was discouraged about. I had been focusing really had on some things and I was not getting the forward movement in those areas that I was wanting and hoping for. his words hit home and were a real encouragement and comfort to me.
He gave me a packet of a powdered green plant mixture that he said had over 40 different types of plants in it and explained how to mix it with a liter of water and then drink it in small amounts throughout the day.
Maria and I left after thanking him, paying him 200 pesos, 100 for the ceremony and 100 for the herbal medicine. (200 pesos is about $10 USD). He gave us his phone number and name and said we were welcome any time and to call if we needed anything. I am hoping to go back and maybe bring a few friends who are interested in having him perform the same ceremony for them.
So what were the after-effects?
Well, I did not take any of the herbal brew until the following day. Maria and I had a long drive back to the beach (about 4 hours) and I wasn't quite sure what it might do to me. HOWEVER, lets just say that even without the herbal brew, my intestines were completely empty by morning. I am not sure why because maria and I ate exactly the same food, we even shared plates and she did not get sick. I am assuming it was part of the "cleansing."
The next day I mixed the plant material with water and started drinking it. It tasted kind of awful at first, but the more I drank it, the better it tasted until I was actually craving it. I felt fine and did not get sick from it. I didn't feel much except more relaxed than I had been feeling and more energetic and focused.
Its been several days now and I still feel more positive, energized and focused. I am getting a lot done and feeling pretty happy. Like I said, I want to go back and maybe bring a few friends. If you want to go, let me know!
Always discovering something wonderful,