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.
“Erika Buenaflor’s new book, Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo, is a major contribution to a body of knowledge that has remained unrecognized for too long. It is particularly important because it takes curanderismo from the esoteric to the practical world. It is a long anticipated addition to our understanding of curanderismo.” — Antonio “Tony” Zavaleta, coauthor of Curandero Conversations
“Accolades to Erika Buenaflor’s brilliant book Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo. This is a much-needed teaching and an important validation of this ancient sacred healing tradition, which must be widely used in tandem with allopathic medicine as an answer to our modern life maladies. As a practitioner myself, I highly recommend it.” — Itzhak Beery, author of The Gift of Shamanism and Shamanic Healing
“It is a pleasure to endorse Erika Buenaflor’s book Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo on energetic and spiritual limpias. This publication will allow my students to explore the history and different types of limpias practiced by a number of shamans/curanderos/as. Highly recommended.” — Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, Curanderismo: The Art of Traditional Medicine without Borders
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