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I met Susan a few months ago, and was immediately drawn to her beautiful, warm energy. My first session with Susan still has me searching for the … read more
-- Elaine Derby, Ithaca, NY
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Gift of a Shaman

Ecuadorian Shaman visits IthacaI recently had the opportunity to host an indigenous visiting shaman from Ecuador. Alejandro is a shaman and community leader of the Tsa’chila tribe in the lowland jungles region of Ecuador. We came together to have two events open to the public in Ithaca, NY USA.

The first event was a fire ceremony. I prepared the fire and met Alejandro and his friend and translator, Clay Martin. Clay brought him from Ecuador, where Alejandro had been his host father for years! The evening of the fire grew darker and cold, and a few people arrived. I asked it we should start the fire at the set beginning time, and the shaman Alejandro paused. He felt for the answer and said no, that more people were coming. Sure enough, within a half hour many more people arrived.

We sat around the unlit fire as dusk turned to darkness. Alejandro spoke of his life and community, and of our connection to the world, that the earth is our mother. Then we lit the fire and it burst into brilliant light and warmth. We came closer to the fire to feel its energy and to experience more. Alejandro spoke Spanish and his native language, Tsafiki, which means ‘true word’. Clay translated for Alejandro and you could hear the varying waves of laughter and reaction as the words were translated. The Spanish-speaking members at the fire would laugh first, then others would join in as the translation came though. It was wonderful. All of us present were attentive and honoring, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. In opening sacred space, we rattled, drummed and called in the elements and the four directions. About 40 people were present. Alejandro asked me for a blessing and cleansing, for his travels so far from home. After I did this, we held eyes in silent communication for a long time. What happened between us in that time went beyond words, it was a pure spirit connection.

Then an extraordinary thing happened...
 

Alejandro began to do healings and cleansings of all present. He had a special liquid concoction, very aromatic, that he had brought from his homeland. We received a few drops into our palms, and we breathed it in deeply. He performed this ritual with me and asked me to do this with everyone else. Then he cleansed those present with huge living green leaves, running the leaves downward over each person’s body while Clay followed behind, tapping stones together. The heavy energy that was released from us was sent to the earth. The leaves were then burned in the blazing fire. Alejandro then took two powerful medicine stones and placed them on our eyes, blowing into them. It felt amazing, like being given new sight. People were enthralled. To receive such an unexpected cleansing and healing was a gift.

Gift of a shaman.

We sang and created ceremony together with this incredible man, Alejandro, a Tsa’chila shaman from Ecuador. I learned a lot from him that night, and the journey was just beginning...

 

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