Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo
Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo: Limpias Espirituales of Ancient Mesoamerican Shamans
Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo is a tutorial on the ancient practice of limpias to heal the mind, body, and soul
· Offers step-by-step instructions for the practice of limpias, shamanic cleansing rituals to heal, purify, and revitalize people as well as physical spaces
· Examines different types of limpia ceremonies, such as fire rites for transformation, water rites for cleansing and influencing, and sweeping rites for divination
· Explores the sacred stories behind limpia rituals and traces these curanderismo practices to their indigenous roots
Exploring the essential tools and practices of Mesoamerican shamans and curanderos, specifically the ancient Yukatek Maya and Mexica (Aztec), Erika Buenaflor, M.A., J.D., provides a step-by-step guide for conducting the most common practice within curanderismo: limpias. These practical and incredibly effective shamanic cleanses heal, purify, and revitalize people and spaces with herbs, flowers, eggs, feathers, fire, and water. They are also powerful tools for self-empowerment, spiritual growth, soul retrieval, rebirth, and gracefully opening up pathways for new beginnings.
Drawing on her 20 years’ experience as a curandera and her graduate studies focused on Mesoamerican shamanism, the author traces modern curanderismo practices to their indigenous roots. She explores the sacred stories behind limpia rituals and examines different types of limpia ceremonies in depth, such as fire rites for transformation, water rites for cleansing and influencing, and sweeping rites for divination. She outlines how limpias work holistically to enable one to let go and cleanse the body, mind, and spirit of limiting beliefs, traumas, and broken stories; heal acute and chronic illnesses such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety; and revitalize and activate sacred spaces by renewing their essence and clearing negative energies. She explains the healing properties of the plants used in limpia rites and how to perform the medicinal chants used by the curanderos. In addition, the author details how the practice of platicas, heart-straightening talks, supports limpia rites by encouraging one to vocalize their needs as they eject traumas and unwanted energies from the body, setting the stage for self-awareness and healing.
Sharing the story of her own complete healing from a catastrophic injury with limpias as well as inspirational testimonies from others who have experienced limpias, the author provides a personal and thoroughly practical guide to the ancient shamanic method of limpias to promote healing and personal transformation in our times.
About the Author:
Erika Buenaflor, M.A., J.D., has a master’s degree in religious studies with a focus on Mesoamerican shamanism from the University of California at Riverside. A practicing curandera for over 20 years, descended from a long line of grandmother curanderas, she has studied with curanderas/os in Mexico, Peru, and Los Angeles and gives presentations on curanderismo in many settings, including at UCLA. She lives in Tujunga, California.
“When and Why to Smudge Yourself or Your Space
Because old thoughtforms and other negative vibes tend to accumulate no matter how clear you try to keep yourself or a space, it is a good idea to smudge every so often to continue to attract positive vibrations into your life. Smudge any time you feel that negative thoughtforms, including your own, have gotten stuck in your energy field.
You know you need to smudge or clear your space when chaos is present, arguments abound, anger presents itself, or general feelings of agitation and frustration exist. If an argument just occurred, clear your space. If you encountered an unpleasant situation, clear yourself. If your children are unruly and your spouse is cranky, clear your space.
How to Smudge
You can use either a ready-made smudge bundle, make your own smudge bundle, or use loose herbs. Smokeless alternatives are also available and will be discussed a little later. To use loose herbs for smudging, you will need herb-burning charcoal discs as well as a dish to hold the burning herbs. Abalone shells are often used for this purpose, since they are sturdy and represent the element air. When a shell is used, the vibration of all four elements—earth, fire, air, and water—is present. (The dried herbs represent earth, the burning embers represent fire, and the smoke represents air.) When all four elements are working together, the cleansing effects are magnified.”