Rainbow Bridges: Healers, Shamans and Curanderas

“The curandera shamana washed her hands under clear running water after her last client had left. The sun was low in the sky for the day was done. Since dawn, many had come seeking healings and blessings. At this point in her life, the healings were just as mysterious and miraculous to her as they were to those who came for them. As night descended, she sat down to relax and review what she had learned about healing…”

Healing has been practised as long as humans have existed, in one form or another by curanderos (traditional healers) and shamans. Fundamentally, healing can be considered as a change of state, resulting in improved harmony and a relief from suffering, whether it be spiritual, mental, emotional, and/or physical in nature.

In indigenous cultures, the focus of a curandero is on healing at the causal level, a holistic approach that addresses all areas of a person’s life, including their family, environment and community. A shaman is usually a healer. However, few healers are shamans. A shaman is a hunter, one who tracks down the cause of an imbalance and shifts off-path energy into on-path energy, functioning as a conduit between this world and the other worlds. Although there are many types of healers and shamans who are at different levels of development, there is no hierarchy because the Creator, the source of all life, is the only one who cures.

A healer can facilitate creative openings for someone to experience healing, but no one can predict whether or not, or how, someone will heal. If a person is willing to change and open for healing on all levels, then it may occur. In all things we have free will, which includes whether or not we will heal, and the degree to which healing will manifest.

Although anyone can study and practice the healing arts and shamanism, for we are all part of the healing of this world by virtue of our birth and the gifts that we carry, there are those who are called to this path, whose life purpose is to learn, so as to serve by carrying medicine for the people. Divination before birth may indicate that someone is called to be a healer and/or shaman. More frequently, an event occurs that identifies someone called to be a curandero/shaman, such as a near death experience, being struck by lightning, or recovery from a life threatening illness or trauma. It causes a crack, an opening in the person’s energy bubble, initiating a transformative process guided by their soul which transforms them from who they think they are into who they really are. This transformative process eventually culminates in the fulfillment of their highest potential and spiritual freedom.

Although the tools, clothing and settings reflect their culture, many of the tools are universal:  the rattle, drum, bell, feather, incense, fire, candles, crystals, stones, sacred songs, sounds and medicine plants. These tools along with a pure heart, an ability to listen with all of the senses, a clear intuition, and most importantly a harmonious relationship with Creator, the spirit doctors, contacts, and nature are a vital part of the healing art.

There are many ways that a healer may express their art. Many healers function quite effectively using the rote rituals, songs and formulas taught to them by their elders/teachers. At the higher levels, a healer becomes adept at dropping all sense of self, fully present in the moment, as a hollow bone or living conduit for healing energy to move through. When such a healer enters a higher state of unity consciousness, they can diagnose and intuit what has caused the imbalance and what can be done to restore harmony. By shifting their energy to match their client’s, a resonance occurs, like two sine waves overlapping in sync. Then, the healer can shift their energy into the appropriate healed frequency and the client moves into a more harmonious state of being. At the highest levels of healing, the energy body of a healer shaman affects change without action or word. In actuality, there is only one healing event occurring simultaneously for both the healer and the person being healed, for both are transformed by the interchange. Thus, healing is an art and an ongoing practice wherein the healer becomes more adept at being the healing itself.

We live in a time of great change, a pole shift of consciousness that is occurring globally and cosmically. As part of this transformation, we are going through a quantum leap forward in our evolution as a species. Since 1998, we have been outside of time which has allowed us to grow, change, and transform far more rapidly than before. As more opportunities open up for healers to learn from healer shamans/elders, we can become living rainbow bridges between the ancient and modern world carrying medicine in service for the people.

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