Photo credit: Asya Shirokova asyaphotography.com
I am a Mexican “Curandera” healer, a “Yerbera” herbalist and “Oracionista” working through the power of prayer and candle work. Curanderismo is a holistic approach to wellness that has been used in the Americas, pre- and post-contact, for hundreds of years. In Mexico, it is also known as Mexican Traditional Medicine, "medicina del campo," It is usually a synthesis of Mexican pan-indigenous, culture and beliefs, and depends on the practitioner's religious, cultural, and/or tribal background. In some instances, curanderas may be referred to as "mujer de conocimiento" (woman of knowledge), or if trained in traditional Native ways and serving their native community, "mujer de medicina" (medicine woman). Each curandera has a distinctive practice that is most often learned within the context of her family, community, or tribe. Curanderas are woman who have knowledge of herbs and cultural remedies, and who may also have other gifts and abilities such as clairvoyance. Curanderismo believes that disease is caused by social, psychological, physical, environmental, and spiritual factors; a disharmony of body, mind, and spirit. While Curanderismo is practiced throughout Mexico, Central and South America, My healing practice is rooted in the Mayan healing lineages of Mexico.
Curanderismo is a luminous weaving of healing wisdom, I am very honored to keep this tradition alive, and to be part of this rich tradition.
You live a globe-trotting lifestyle and seem to really honor freedom and your creative spirit, can you share more about your perspective on prioritizing the life you want, even if it is outside of what is “typical”?
It is very important to find a partner that has the same aspirations as you. Our priorities have always been to travel, and to live an unconventional life. Not having children allows us to be more flexible with our time, my partner and I are fortunate to be able to work from our home. We both are artist’s at the core, the need for reflection and inspiration, is a priority. It took us many year’s to find the right balance, but I think after 23 years we have found a harmonious way that guides us. Our curiosity to explore and experience life, it’s beauty and profound mystery has been our quest. We support each other in every way, trust and respect is the foundation of our union. We have never felt trapped, and when obstacles occur, we have each other to overcome them. I am able to be the woman that I am, because of his support and unconditional love. I realize that freedom is a state of mind, releasing expectations of oneself, of situations and of other’s free’s you in many ways. Finding your life purpose, and honoring your path, allows you to be truly happy. I never wanted to fit in any social system, I always marched to the sound of my own drum. Since I was a child, my rebellious spirit guided me to find my authentic voice, I see the world with wonder, I am enthusiastic about every experience. As long as I keep learning and I am engaged, I will continue to dance through life with ease and grace.
Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life? If there is no “typical” day for you, what constants remain?
Morning ritual of warm water, meditation, activation of my altar and healing space. An hour later a light breakfast and yoga, a light lunch and then I am ready for my healing sessions. I honor stillness and mindfulness in everything I do, I am always trying to slow down and appreciate the ceremonial aspect of each act, if it’s in the preparation of my food or tea, my yoga practice, or activating my altars, or simply walking in the park, I try to find beauty and grace in each act, honoring the simplicity and poetry of each moment.
What rituals have been most significant to you lately?
I really find it beneficial to plant new seeds during each new moon, and nourish the work during the full cycle, by doing so you are connecting with your will and faith.
How does a session with you unfold? And is it different depending on where you are offering the work?
The Spiritual cleansing, or “Limpia” with an egg, is done with an auric fan reading, herbal bath and extraction if needed. I balance the chakras (vital energy center that reside in our bodies) with Reiki and crystals. Through the use of these techniques, I am transferring “universal energy” allowing for self-healing and a state of equilibrium. This holistic therapy works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
The egg is believed to be the purest form of energy, as it is an embryo. Rolling it on the body with prayer is believed to release all that is not needed in our energy field. The egg is essentially a psychic vacuum that is picking up, and releasing unwanted energy. Spiritual baths, “Banos”, are used when the energy field is damaged. Herbs and Essential Oil Therapy cleanses and strengthens the system. Herbs are used primarily for physical symptoms, and the essential oils have the power to cleanse and heal the auric body in a profound way. They neutralize irradiation in the energy field and heal the weak areas. These healing baths catalyze the clearing of negative mental debris, and emotional blockages.
When I am in Brooklyn I conduct the sessions out my house, I have a room that has been activated for this kind of ceremony. When I am in Tulum I conduct these sessions at Casa Violeta. When I travel around the United States, Latin America and Europe I work out of my clients home, hotel room, depending on the location. Recently I was invited to bless and conduct healing’s for the 1Hotel Group in Brooklyn and Miami. Part of my work is to clear energy, cleanse spaces, activate altars, create a harmonious environment, that allows productivity and connection.
Photo credit: Asya Shirokova asyaphotography.com
I’ve heard you say that the herbal world is the most profound medicine cabinet. What are some herbs that you keep with you at all times?
Nettle, Oat-straw, Chamomile, Elder Flower, Elder Berry, Echinacea, Elecampane Root, Burdock Root, Dandelion Leaf, Fennel seeds, Red Clover, Violet Leaf, Chickweed, Rose and Linden.
What are some cultural touchstones you consider a part of who you are today?
Having a very creative and artistic mother and grandmother, who exposed me to museums and cultural events at a very young age, paved a way for my love of art. I was immersed in a world of diplomacy, art, culture and travel since I was born. Speaking four languages, French, Spanish, Italian and English has influenced the way that I interact with my surroundings, opening doors of connection and assimilation. Growing up in Geneva and Paris was an “Education Sentimental”, I really learned about my femininity, simple pleasures, and subtlety. My college years in New York, where amazing, I fed my intellectual mind, studying at NYU painting, etching, drawing, and I minored in French, Italian and Latin American literature, while living in the east village and exploring the wild untamed night life of the city, it’s vibrant gallery scene, and of course going to every music venue to hear jazz, world music and classical. I could continue to see ballet performance’s, which was very important to me. Even though I had not chosen to continue my dance training, my heart yearned for the exposure of a dance ensemble. I grew up as a child going to Monte Carlo every year to pass my ballet exams at the Princess Grace Academy of Dance, the preparation and discipline of those formative years have served me in my life today. My spiritual journey was awakened in Asia, I spent ten years gathering knowledge and wisdom, the rich healing heritage of each country, inspired my quest for ceremony, healing herbs and a balanced way of life. India, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines are some of the countries that have marked my journey.
Your absolute go-to travel pieces are….
Travel size watercolor set, sketch pad and camera. Rosewater, Coconut oil, lavender and geranium essential oils, aloe vera gel.
Sunglasses, djellaba, bathing suit, parreo, havaianas, pashmina, cashmere sweater, cotton kurta shirts and thai fisherman pants.
Panama straw hat and a french market basket.
Favorite beach on the planet?
Tulum in Mexico and any cove in Sardegna
Photo credit: Chloe Garcia Ponce
You split your time between Tulum and Brooklyn and other traveling spots. How do these two places influence you?
Tulum and Mexico are my home, I am nourished and inspired by it’s nature and rich cultural heritage. I tap into my natural instincts, while I am down here, emerged in a simpler way of life, connecting to the rhythm of nature. Waking up to see the sunrise, being outdoor barefoot on a beach, my cellular body absorbing the healing benefits of salt water. I am One with a living temple, nurturing each ritual and offering in my frequency. Coming back to Brooklyn and grounding my work is also instrumental. Finding the balance, beauty and poetry between these two realities is my lesson in life. The challenge is always to expand and release into your divine potential, regardless of the setting. I am grateful and humbled by the traveling, splitting my time between Mexico, the United States, and Europe, feeds my soul, allowing me to connect with beautiful souls. I have met the most amazing people that have truly left a mark in my life. Each reality bares gifts, every experience widens my perception of life.
Your favorite spots in NYC? And favorite spots in or around Tulum?
De Maria and Dimes for lunch, Mimi Cheng's Dumplings, SOBAYA for buckwheat soba, Hasaki for sushi, Cha-an Teahouse. ABC Kitchen for dinner. Stanton Street Yoga is my favorite space in the city to practice.
The Rubin Museum of Art, The Neue Galerie, Asia Society Museum, Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, walking through Central Park, The Morgan Library & Museum. Carnegie Hall to see concerts, The Village Vanguard is a great jazz club, and I love the New York City Ballet. Favorite shops, Matta New York, Warm, Creatures of Comfort, Opening Ceremony, APC, Kisan Store and Maryam Nassir Zadeh. In Brooklyn I love going to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Brooklyn Museum always has interesting exhibits, and BAM has great performances. Oroboro in Williamsburg is a fantastic boutique and art space, another favorite is Bird. Marlow & Sons for lunch, Samurai Mama for dinner. I love getting my tea at Bellocq tea atelier in Greenpoint Brooklyn.
In Tulum my second homes are Posada Margherita and Casa Violeta. I have been going to Tulum for twenty years, much has changed in my little sanctuary. I tend to stay with my musician friends and have quite evenings. During the day I am working and connecting with the ocean. When I am traveling through the Yucatan to visit my family in Merida, I always spend time in Valladolid and stay at my friends Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato’s hotel’s, Coqui Coqui, each location is unique and spectacular property. Izamal, Rio Lagartos, Las Coloradas, Laguna Bacalar, Holbox, and all the Mayan archaeological sites in the region are magical.
Any other favorite spots on the planet?
Kyoto Japan, Jaipur India, Oaxaca Mexico, Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Paris France, Beirut Lebanon, Egypt, Iceland, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Thailand, Borobudur in Indonesia, Machu Picchu in Peru. I still have so much more to explore, I have dedicated my life to travel, experiencing ancient civilizations, my quest for knowledge and wisdom has taken me to profound places.
Photo credit: Chloe Garcia Ponce
Matta, Yvonne S, Ulla Johnson, forte_forte, Christophe Lemaire, Eres Paris (bathing suits) K Jacques St Tropez (sandals) Dries van Noten and Yohji Yamamoto.
Favorite blogs/IG accounts?
Favorite Blogs: mysticmamma.com, freeandnative.com, thelocalrose.com, Magnesium Blue by kirstenrickert.com, prismofthreads.com.
Instagram accounts : Baelyn Elspeth “allmattersofspirit” Sophia Rose “laabejaherbs”
Do you have a mentor?
I respect the teachings of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh.
What woman epitomizes beauty for you?
Joni Mitchell, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Flor Garduño, Pina Bausch
What woman epitomizes wisdom for you?
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, María Sabina, Rigoberta Menchú, Pema Chödrön, Jane Goodall, Aung San Suu Kyi
Can you share a yet-to-realize dream project you have with us?
My dream is to build a wellness center, a place for knowledge, healing and creativity. Weaving a community of artist’s, musicians, holistic practitioner’s, beautiful dreamers. A place of inspiration and nourishment for the soul, mind and body. My partner and I are planning to move to New Mexico, in search for the right property that will inspire the project.
What books have you read that have stuck with you and been most impactful — recently or in general?
No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel García Márquez, The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, The Beloved by Kahlil Gibran
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov, A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka, Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke,
La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, Nana by Émile Zola, L'Écume des jours by Boris Vian.
What moments or practices make you feel personally fulfilled?
My yoga practice makes me feel fulfilled, my healing practice, being of service, helping other’s find their way back to their heart center.
Sharing moment’s of laughter with my loved one’s. Experiencing a new country, going to see an exhibit, ballet or concert. Getting lost in a souk, flea market. Entering a mosque, synagogue, church, or temple and feeling a humble quietness of divinity.
Are there any daily practices you have implemented in your life that have made a profound impact?
My yoga and meditation practice, ground and center me. They balance my endocrine and nervous system, without them I would not be able to perform my healing practice. A holistic way of life is a choice, it takes discipline, being mindful with the foods you eat, taking care of your body, mind and spirit is a conscious choice. Like everything in life you have to work at it, to reap the results. Making time for yourself, is the first priority, feeding your soul with breath, prayer and meditation. Nourishing the body with yoga and sattvic food.
Photo credit: Asya Shirokova asyaphotography.com
When it comes to your own wellbeing, what are some non-negotiables?
Eating three meals a day, yoga, meditation, drinking lot’s of water, sleeping eight hours, and minimizing electronics.
How would you suggest we start creating an altar in our space? What elements are important?
Find a place in your home that you feel you can sit peacefully and go within. Place a white cloth on a table, you want to invite the four elements to your sacred space. A bowl of water to honor the water element, a candle to ignite the fire within and honor the fire element, a feather to honor the air element, a crystal and plant to honor the earth element. You can add your choice of deities that you would like to work with, an example is Ganesh a Hindu deity, that removes obstacles. Depending on your faith, whatever religious icon you feel connected to, place it on your altar to help you pray and ask for support and protection.
An altar embodies your soul, it’s a place where you can connect with your inner Self, and ask for guidance. A sacred time to renew your intentions and to contemplate what you need to change and shift to move forward in your life.
Do you have any simple cleansing rituals we can all do at home?
Opening the windows, allowing fresh air to move the energy, allowing the sun light to nourish and illuminate your space.
I love singing mantra’s to activate the space, burning sage, sweetgrass, lavender, copal or palo santo. Letting go of article’s of clothing and objects that no longer serve you.
What makes you feel most alive?
Drumming in ceremony, swimming naked, finding sacred places in nature were I can be in absolute silence and hear mother nature breath. Sitting at dusk hearing a symphony of birds always open’s my heart.
Walking barefoot and feeling the morning dew. Music makes me feel alive, their is nothing like the vibration of the collective of a great concert, dancing and getting lost, surrendering to your primal instinct.
What matters to you most?
Protecting our Great Mother Earth, and securing the future of children. Standing up for injustice, helping people find their creative voice.
How can people get in touch with you?
Facebook: Nomadic Songlines
my website is currently under construction www.nomadicsonglines.com