The Wisdom of Ecuadorian Shaman-healer Rocio Alarcon

By April Thanhauser  Several members of ONE are soon to embark on a journey to study with Ecuadorian Shaman-healer Rocio Alarcon in her native country. One of us reflects on her introduction to Rocio’s teaching as given in a recent workshop at Partner Earth Education Center, Vermont.

To nurture the evolution of the planet, we can begin with evolving humanity. And to change humanity for the better, why not start with ourselves? Each one of us. Caring for ourselves as if we are this beloved planet, teaming with life, bursting with beauty, and also wounded and starved. At the same time, with the help of our connections with nature, can we bring our consciousness to a point of clarity so we can see: for each wound, what is the cure, for each hunger, what is the right medicine?

Rocio taught us some simple remedies: self care and self-cleansing: “clean, clean, clean,” she would say. Sometimes our energy bodies become so polluted we cannot even perceive our own true needs, let alone those of others. And our poor physical bodies! Even though they may appear fit--are the streams of lymph flowing clean and clear? How about the alignment of our hips, the openness of our hearts?

We began to learn methods of spiritual/physical cleansing based on indigenous wisdom from Ecuador. Plants, both their physical presence and their spiritual capacities, are the major players invoked and invited to participate with the human practitioner in washing the energy body, along with the physical body, in the ritual of “limpia.” Sometimes this ritual involves water, but sometimes, surprisingly, we use an egg or a candle together with the plants as a cleansing medium. The candle or the egg serve to draw out pollution from our energy bodies, then, in their burning or decomposing they recycle that which was troubling us into that which the earth can find useful—like composting.

For those whose vision has been trained, they can also help with understanding the nature of the dis-ease and receiving clues for remedies. This is done through observing the egg or candle after the treatment: the patterns made by the egg broken into water or the dripping wax of the burning candle speak to the intuitions of the healer.

Those of us who have had short trainings with Rocio have received just a taste of these wisdom teachings and are longing for more. Remembering how she took us in ceremony to a sacred place in the Sweetwater brook, we are eager to follow her to holy springs and rivers in her home country. And this in turn will teach us how to reverence and restore the special waters near our own homes.

So, off we go to Ecuador with a promise to report back after out return.