Peruvian hat and healing appointment
Yesterday, I had an appointment across town--on the east side of NYC between York and East Avenue on 87th Street--to see two Peruvian shamans. These are women in their late 60s and 70s who are well known energy healers in Peru. They are visiting for a short time in the U.S. to give ceremonies and to offer healing sessions---their nicknames are "the twins." A student of shamanism KM, who runs the website Earthkeepers, sponsors the twins to come and give healings by appointment. It was their last day in town. I went because they were highly recommended by good, knowledgeable sources who suggest alternative forms of healthcare when necessary, and because TT had given me an hour with them as a birthday present. These two women healers are featured in the book, The Gift of Life, and have had a film made about them, shown on the Discovery Channel.
I was looking forward to the appointment, because...
...for weeks, I had experienced a small but painful tight cough that would not desist, my chest and breathing felt continually constricted, and my energy was lower than usual. For three weeks after much market research--groups and ethnography, plane travel, and close exposure to people with colds in town--and although I had been taking homeopathic supplements and herbal remedies--I really needed an energy tuneup. Anyone who's an active qualitative researcher has to keep herself in tip-top shape because of the a) amount of flying around the U.S., Canada, and globe through the tedious security checkpoints of many airports, b) early mornings and late nights, c) maintaining client team excitement and sense of ongoing inquiry, d) intense strategic thinking, e) strenuous work with many types of consumers in groups and ethnographic observationals, f) writing up findings, reports, and toplines at top speed, and g) figuring out deep, new insights from masses of data. This takes effort; the anthropologist-qualitative researcher needs to be in almost-perfect physical, emotional, and spiritual condition.
On the way to these healers, I wanted to get a cab. Although initially optimistic, I gradually became concerned when no cabs appeared. After another 15 minutes, there were still no cabs in sight, even though 10th Avenue going uptown from 44th Street usually has many cabs whizzing by. I was nervous that I would be late. Either the cabs were full, none came, their lights showed off duty, or other cab-takers got one before me. I had to remember to "rejoice for the good fortune of others"--a Buddhist maxim of what is called bodhicitta. After more minutes when no empty cabs appeared, I was really feeling worried. There was no time to get a subway. It was too far to walk. Without a cab, how would I make this appointment across town in time?
Again, a woman across from me on 10th Avenue successfully waved down a cab, but nothing for me. Again, I said thank you to the spirits-that-be for her being able to get a ride, i.e., "rejoicing for others." I sent out a new silent affirmation for a cab.
Then, I turned around and saw a woman in her 20s walking on my side of the street with a dramatic wool, brown-and-white, traditional Peruvian hat with dangling wool braids on either side. I knew instantly and absolutely that I would get to my appointment on time. The sign was the traditional Peruvian hat, which is rarely seen in New York City, and the two female healers who are traditional Peruvians.
Within 10 seconds, an empty cab stopped, picked me up, and away we went. It was driven by a charming man in a traditional cap from French Angola; he and I talked about the difficulty of speaking the English language well, higher education in Africa vs. the U.S., French banks, and going to Montreal on business....all the way across town. I was 10 minutes early and had a chance to totally relax before my wonderful healing with the two Peruvian female shamans.
After the hour healing, my cold and cough are much better, BTW. I am on the mend. Although my energy is still slightly low and a vestige of the cough persists, it is significantly less and I can breathe more easily. I also feel as if I am happier, healthier, and freer, less subject to outward circumstances, stresses, and flus. What happened at the session?
The shamans were lovely and loving, elderly, motherly, smart, intuitive, and highly active. Both were dressed in white with rosary beads around their waist, with an altar in the room of this elegant East Side apartment containing a mesa of powerful healing stones, holy water, crucifixes, pictures of the patron saint of shamans, and many other shamanic tools. They are the real deal. They removed "cords" and toxicities, prayed over me, blew Florida water on my centers, diagnosed the energy issues with an egg and candle, and spent an hour working hard to heal my cough, cold, and energy blockages. I felt delighted, safe, and privileged to be able to use the highest levels of traditional indigenous medicine...the purview of anthropologists and those who support the idea that healing is more than physical. We know that bonafide traditional shamans can offer significantly effective, adjunct help, and taking up the opportunity to have the appointment was itself a special moment in my healing.
So, the synchronicity of this situation was interrelated--the need and desire to see the Peruvian healers, my concern that I would not get there on time, the sign of the girl with the traditional Peruvian cap, and my inner knowledge that all would be well once I saw the Peruvian hat. One sign pointed to the success of the second relevant occurrence.