Cleansing

Ian Frank - Ecuador


March 4, 2015

I have been a witness to an uncountable number of shaman ritualistic cleansings. It is a steadfast belief of my host family that ritualistic cleansings can be used as treatment of illness. Arguing the validity of practicing shamanism as treatment of ailments is undermining all curiosity. During most instances, my family would ask if I would like to let the shaman wisp away my bad energy with a gesture and a handful of leaves towards the heavens. I can’t make a film about what I have been witnessing without genuine experiences to reflect honestly on, so I did finally accepted the offer.

I sat on a narrow stump at the shaman’sfeet. I listened as he rummaged through a plethora of Kichwa. I comprehended more of what he said, then in any other instance repeating words like woman, rock, head, human, and mountain. As the words ran from his lips they cast a vivid arc by rhythmic rhyming. I shared my energy by letting each word move me, rock me back and fourth. The tobacco smoke lingered as he blew it over me in the stillness of the night. He ran his hands through my greasy hair as energy moved through me. Knowledge surfaced at each temple, leaching out like antennas.

This was storytelling that transcends two people non-verbally. He vicariously observed my emotions, my state of being, and my life. It was my openness to communicate with him telepathically that caused him to speak of a magnificent future. Along with telling me I can do whatever I want with my life, for all he sees is blinding intelligence and utmost possibilities, he would also like to take me and teach me the workings of his craft. The practices of a jungle shaman.

I tried to tell all my friends when I was a kid that I had powers but nobody wanted to believe me. So for him to offer an apprentice of an ancient art and receive recognition made me feel immortal. What does he see in me that would make me a insightful shaman? For the quest for an answer plagued my thoughts‰Û_ And until I started writing this I didn’t have a clue, my capacity to empathize. Compassion that allows me to feel whatever my companion feels. To look into eyes filled with joy or sorrow and have that emotion resonate so deeply inside of me that for a few moments it becomes truth.

My abilities stem from close attention and drawing connections to body language. The way people sit, move and converse in social settings teaches me bits about people. In heartfelt conversation I subconsciously decipher how people react to their emotions, an ever-changing painting. I don’t make assumptions or try to give advice. If you are at a point of darkness in your life, I aspire help by joining you in depths of the darkest cave. There is healing in empathetic listening and a shaman is tuned into all the questions.

Ian Frank