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integrate yourself spiritually

to help another spirit.

Human beings are
sacred cosmic seeds in
evolution. The coca is a

sacred seed like us, only of
the vegetable kingdom. As
with Ayahuasca, or San
Pedro, they have been
FOR THE created by Mother Earth to
guide and heal their younger

FUTURE brothers - ourselves.

Similarly we have been
created to help other
people. As we become
more open we discover
plants like coca, for
example. Not everybody
traditional sees the spirit of coca,
Ayahuasca, or San Pedro,
Andean healer but they are here to help us.
DORIS RIVERA LENZ What about the cause of
disease, and how is it
talks to Howard G cured?
Illnesses do not exist, we
Charing and Peter What would you say was your create them with our minds
Cloudsley about the understanding of divination? according to our attitudes and the
It is meeting with the spirit of the things we do - our karma.
effect of belief on health, element that you are working with, Resentment, for example, causes
how we get sick, and whether it is coca, tarot cards, cancer; a woman whose ovaries are
maize or a mountain. In the case of unwell may be resentful of being a
how she helps patients coca, you meet the mother spirit, woman and suffers trauma. People
soul, or power of the plant, which is who do not have the freedom to
recover, and she looks the sacred part which never dies. express their feelings suffer from
to a future when we will The practitioner must be in total throat problems and so on.
communication, spirit-to-spirit. So how do we heal them?
need to keep balance It is more like listening to First we need to look at them
as material values no the coca leaves than through the coca leaves, to
reading them. It is a know what has happened.
longer isolate us from higher state of Why are they resentful,
the Earth consciousness. fearful or anxious?
You have to What is causing
be their problems?
prepared Difficulties
to existing
their body, such as a theft,
disillusionment, or being lied to
affect them because they are
predisposed to have this pain.
Then they get ill because they are
not in equilibrium with themselves.
The coca shows when and how
this began, it tells the story of how
they got ill.

Is there a difference between

the kind of condition which
develops over a long period of
negativity, like cancer, and a
disease which you can catch
from someone very quickly?
The first seems to be created by
oneself, the latter is biological.
Human beings are always
predisposed by their attitudes, this is
why you need to know their story.
Someone who has a superiority
complex, or is aggressive and baths to people, curing them of first you must ask permission from
violent, is on a downward spiral. illnesses, fright and so on - the Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
They are weakened in their heart, ‘health’ of the land and the people
stomach, and solar plexus - the ñawi were treated as though interrelated. Are people who come to you for
or naira (equivalent to chakra) where When they remove weeds from coca divination often unwell?
emotional attitudes are held. So for their chakra, they see it as removing Many people are unwell in their spirit
example, you eat a dirty apple, and negative emotions from their person. or mind, there are lots of problems
immediately you are ill. So they identify themselves with today. They are particularly afflicted
A person who harbours feelings their fields and with Nature, a little in the stomach, the solar plexus,
of hate may feel perfectly well for a like Feng Shui - you feel better after and the navel. It’s the place of
time, but problems with their you have had a Hoover up at home! emotional pain, and also where we
children, their husband, or lack of When they are feeling are linked to Life.
money, intensify their emotions, desperate, the people of the The first thing is to discover
which degenerate their body on a Andes benefit from going to a wild what is going on in the present.
cellular level. So they create their place, or some ruins, to scream Maybe the wife had an accident,
illness because they were already and shout so that even the the husband was unfaithful, they
out of equilibrium. This is why two mountains will hear. In this way haven’t got a job, the house is
people might eat the same apple you align with natural forces, this falling down… Then I look to see
but only one falls prey to the illness. puts you back into equilibrium. their capacity to accept a criticism,
to listen to the coca mother leaf
Can you explain the Soul retrieval can be found in ticking them off saying “You
Andean concept of the many parts of the world. How do have done this, you are When they are
Hindu word chakra? they deal with it in the Andes? insecure, weak, a drunk, or a
The nearest word in Quechua is When a child falls suddenly, its prostitute.”
feeling desperate,
ñawi, or in Aymara, naira, and it soul can leave its body and it may the people of the
means ‘eye’ or energy centre of the get ill. If this happens, an offering This sounds like a more
body, but curiously chakra is a very is made in the place of the fall, to psychological approach;
Andes benefit
common word in Peru, and is heal the child. you are seeing what from going
Quechua for a piece of cultivated There are many ways to ‘call people are doing to
land, or field. I believe it has the the soul’. You can get hold of a themselves. How do you
to a wild place,
same linguistic root as the Hindu piece of the person’s clothing and make sense of the belief or some ruins,
chakra. Just as some fields have make a little doll and decorate it that the problem is caused
lots of stones, and others are very with flowers or whatever the by sorcery, for example
to scream
fertile, so our bodies, also part of person likes, and you call his soul someone feels that and shout so
nature, are similar. in the place where the fright took another is envious of them
In the Andes, people will place. You can use items like and will curse them?
that even the
frequently consider an aching herbs, a dove’s nest, rabbits’ You have to show the person mountains will
stomach to have been caused by droppings, feathers, tobacco, he is not the victim of sorcery
sorrow. Less than a generation coca, or whatever. and that he is creating the
hear. In this way
ago, people would make offerings, It doesn’t matter if there is no problem in his mind. They you align with
before preparing their fields for fixed place where the problem need to go back over it;
sowing. They would chew coca began. If, for instance, someone talking about it brings it out
natural forces,
leaves, drink chicha [maize beer] has been oppressed by someone and is the first part of this puts you
and even play music - a whole else, you simply go to the highest becoming well again.
ceremony. The ancient healers or mountain or near to a river to call It is true that some people
back into
shamans would give floral or smoke the soul. And before any session, will take vengeance through equilibrium.

SH ISSUE 57 2007 33
sorcery when they feel prejudiced, or
offended in some way, because they
are sick. When people think they have
power and feel superior, the ego can
When a child falls become very negative. The first thing I
suddenly, its soul do is to wake up the consciousness of
the person who has been harmed and
can leave its body tell them that evil does not exist! ‘You
and it may get ill. are inventing it’, I tell them. Brujos
[sorcerers] do exist of course, but you
If this happens, an need to use a bit of psychology.
offering is made
So the power of sorcery
in the place of the does not really exist?
fall, to heal the child. Neither good nor bad exists, we create
the good and the bad. But I recognise
that the person may feel attacked.
It doesn’t matter if When someone falls ill it means they
are weak and the curandero [healer]
there is no fixed place where the must speak positively and encourage
problem began. If, for instance, them to shine light on it. Then they
can create positive thoughts for
someone has been oppressed by themselves. If I agree and say they are
someone else, you simply go to bewitched, it makes them worse.
the highest mountain or near to I see you are trying to shift
a river to call the soul that person’s reality around,
but do you recognise that
sorcery can exist?
Of course, but the act itself is not so
powerful as white magic; it is the
negative spirit of the Brujos’ which
creates the power of the spell. If you
get hold of a chicken and take off its
feathers, put a toad inside, and hang
it in the doorway of a hated
neighbour, you can give them a
nasty fright, but without a powerful
negative spirit nothing will happen.
But if the intentions are very
negative and the person is weak
they will pick it up quickly.
The most powerful Brujos are
found in the jungle where there are
powerful plants for healing, just as
there are dangerous plants that can
paralyse your body. But plants have
much more wisdom than people. Do
you think that if I go to a floripondio
[a shaman who works with flowers]
and say “I want help to do harm to so
and so”, that it will be at my
disposal? You have to make a pact
with the spirit of the plant.

Do people need to
believe that your ceremony
has done something?
When people trust that I am a
curandera they open up, and I have
special permission to go into their
soul, and work with suggestion. I
might give them a floral bath with a
herb that has spines, and ask
permission from the spirit of that
plant to heal the person from fright or
a bad spell - I bathe them, put them
on a diet, cleanse them and purify
them. I call their soul and give
them strength and they get well.

You are a psychologist?

It’s okay to say that.

A lot depends on the mind

and education of the person.
Some curanderos hardly
speak to their clients, do they?
No - but I talk a lot, although there
are times when I can’t say anything.

Is there something similar going

on when you pass eggs over
people to diagnose and heal?
There are several ways of working
with an egg. We know that an egg
is the union of the masculine and
the feminine. We should recognise
that this union is supremely sacred. says that a bubble here always
We are the product of an egg too. means this or that. The moment the These people go to the city
So the egg is the total energy of human mind comes into the
the mother’s and the father’s cells. passing of the egg or a coca leaf and see a TV and think
You take the first egg of a hen, reading, the process goes out of ‘What a beautiful TV!
which is virgin, and ask the balance. If I want to comfort you,
‘angelic’, elemental spirit to take and I say “You’re not going to die, They sell their llamas and
away the illness of a person, you you’ll be OK” it’s spoiled. buy one. I am sad to see
ask the spirit for permission to do
it. Then you pass it over their body, The fact that there is a long their children who are so
its like an X-Ray. You can also do it tradition behind these methods pure, being contaminated.
with guinea-pigs or rabbits, but I of divination helps you?
don’t like doing it with animals. Of course, it’s an ancestral thing.
They learn negative habits
Is it a mechanical process, What is different about Western and are hypnotized, and no
or is there an energetic link people? What do they need?
between you and the client? Their heads cutting off - no, its only longer want to work their
There is a link, a connection with a joke! To be serious though, their land. It really hurts in my
the spirit of the egg, because I religion has failed them, the Church
don’t have X-Ray eyes. When I authorities have kept vested interests soul to see a Q’ero
break the egg into a glass of water and institutions going. Eventually curandero obsessing
afterwards and interpret the people have thrown the baby out
patterns there is no set of rules that with the bath water. In Peru, the about dollars
campesinos [country people] have values for material things is
never really believed in the European happening so fast, it’s incredible!
People will get a nasty shock religion, the Pope, sin, guilt etc., It’s the Western influence which
from seeing the increasing which has only confused them. has been working over 500 years.
changes and natural disasters When the Inca Atahualpa was They see on TV the huge kinds
told by the Spanish he should be of potatoes which can be
on the Earth and we will be baptised, he replied: produced using fertilizers, and they
shocked into changing. “No, I won’t change my God, think “How beautiful, I want that,”
for a God which has died already. I but they don’t know how the Earth
Unfortunately this is the believe in one which never dies.” is ruined by fertilizers.
only way we will change. It’s fine to have Gods - the
Oriental ones, an Inca, an extra- What do you think will happen in
terrestrial, Buddha or Krishna. You the future on a planetary level?
So that the collective can have as many Gods as People will get a nasty shock from
you want, it doesn’t close seeing the increasing changes and
fear will not infect any doors, no one is being natural disasters on the Earth and
us when these things judged. we will be shocked into changing.
But there will never be Unfortunately this is the only way
happen we need anything like Mother Earth we will change.
to work daily to and the Sun, or the Moon. So that the collective fear will
Think what would happen if not infect us when these things
balance ourselves we lost them - that is God! happen, we need to work daily to
Mother Earth is the balance ourselves. Even if those
feminine aspect of God, around you are overcome, you
and Father Sun is the must be a maestro and maintain
masculine aspect, and we your centre.
are all a product of that. Everybody worries about their
But what has become of future, no? But there will come a
Western religion? time when they will have finally
Materialism, loss of identity, loss of woken up to the realisation that
customs. How can we help people there is no future in the way we
in the face of the avalanche of are going. They will be shocked
problems being created today? Cut into living in the present, and this
off their heads? Give them a heavy will create a new human being.
dose of positive cosmic radiation? We will realise that individualism
There are so many struggles doesn’t work and this will unite us
today. People are no longer in a shared future.
thinking about nature, but money The desperation will show the
and the help they need. They have necessity of love. Who will want to
become completely insecure. do harm or be aggressive when
The tendency today is for money and material things have
everybody to want to move into the become useless? We will come
cities everywhere, to live like back to a new kind of community
America, build motorways. But consciousness.
imagine if we went to live in nature This is an expanded version of the
again, surrounded by mountains, or interview published in the book Plant
in the rainforest. Spirit Shamanism by Ross Heaven and
Howard G. Charing (Destiny Books)
It’s sad. I’ve spent time with
Howard G. Charing has worked with many
people in the Andes. I have seen shamans & healers in the Andes, the
people leaving their traditional Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines.
clothes and customs for the With Peter Cloudsley he organises
specialist retreats to the Amazon
Maranata religion. They are a Rainforest at the dedicated centre located
group that says why do you in the Mishana nature reserve.
believe in the Earth, the Sun, the Peter Cloudsley has built up a documented
puma and the condor? Again archive of Fiesta music, icaros and
shamanism, and has collected for the
religion is controlling the Andean British Museum. He has travelled
campesino. These people go to extensively in Latin America, especially
the city and see a TV and think, Peru, studying the diversity of music and
shamanism. Peter offers courses on music
“What a beautiful TV!”. They sell and popular culture in Latin America.
their llamas and buy one. I am sad For more information about Amazon and
to see their children who are so Andean work, contact Eagle’s Wing
pure, being contaminated. Centre for Contemporary Shamanism.
They learn negative habits and
are hypnotised, and no longer want Tel: (01273) 882 027
to work their land. It really hurts in Eagle’s Wing will be working with Doris and
my soul to see a Q’ero curandero Juan Navarro the shaman from the north of
Peru (featured in the article The Mesa
obsessing about dollars, meanwhile Nortena (Sacred Hoop Summer 2004)
forgetting his power. This loss of in a special tour in Peru March 2008.