Part One – A Nineteen Year Old Spiritual Seeker
One of my best friends had the most beautiful altar room I had ever seen. He was deeply into Maria Lionza’s cult and Santería (which are often interconnected but are completely different things), something not uncommon in the Canary Islands since the emigration of Canarians and the immigration of South Americans has been going on for over 100 years forth and back, blending our cultures together. My own grandparents lived in Venezuela many years, and with them travelled many family members who stayed there forever.
At that time, I was 19, and deeply into the study of shamanism, but I loved spending hours in his altar room, asking him about every detail of the deities, the Spirits, and his work helping and healing others. He was very generous and open, and shared a treasure of information with me on every evening we spent together there, drinking coffee, smoking cigars and just absorbing the beauty and energy of the room.
A few days before my 20th birthday, he phoned me and asked me to go to his house to pick up my birthday present. When I asked why did he wanted me to go to his house, which was not near, instead of giving me the gift at my birthday party, he explained that he had to give it to me on his altar room.
A few months before, I had gone through surgery, and one of the surgery’s wounds had not healed properly and was bleeding and probably infected. I was in pain and very uncomfortable, so I had to get a cab to go to his house, which was in another town, because that day the bleeding had not stopped for a minute. When I got to his house, we sat on the altar room, facing the main altar as usual, and my friend started saying prayers, lighting candles and cigars for the Spirits, and once he had finished, he handed me a box that contained a statue of Guacaipuro, the Indian Spirit of the Three Venezuelan Powers.
“I went to the (Santería) shop the other day, and Guacaipuro asked me to get you one statue of him”, he said. I did not need any reasons – I was ecstatic. As a starving 19 year old student, I could not afford a statue of any spirit/deity, much less a Santería statue imported from Venezuela, since they were among the most expensive. I placed the statue on the main altar, right in front of his much bigger Guacaipuro statue; while I prayed silently, my friend went to the kitchen to prepare another pot of coffee.
Out of nowhere, I felt a really strong pain on the bleeding wound. It was like if something was burning it, cutting through it and tearing it apart at the same time. I also felt an unstoppable flow of blood coming out of the wound, wetting my clothes. When my friend came back from the kitchen, he found me covered in cold sweat, shaking and almost unable to speak.
“I think I’m having a haemorrhage”, I whispered. “Something is very, very wrong”.
“Let me see the bandage”, my friend said, lifting up my shirt with a frightened look in his eyes.
When he retired the bandage, there was nothing but a clean, healing scar. The wound was closed and completely dry, and the blood on the bandage was also dry and looking dark, as if it had been dry for days. I was completely sure that when I left my parent’s house it was not like that at all, because I had just placed a new, clean bandage over it before leaving.
We looked at each other, speechless. We had our cup of coffee in complete silence, and then my friend said “Guacaipuro has healed you with his knife. That’s why he asked me to get you a statue, because he wanted to heal you and protect you”.
Part Two – A Thirty Six Year Old Spirit Worker Married To A Medium
That was 16 years ago. Guacaipuro’s statue came home with me, and two years later the statue inexplicably fell from the table where his small altar was and broke into pieces. I took the pieces to the sea so Yemanya, the Yoruba Goddess of the waters, could take him, because throwing him in the trash bin seemed very disrespectful to me.
I didn’t see it as a bad omen, just as a sign of the Spirit leaving to guide and protect other worshippers in need. I continued searching, learning and working with Spirits, and eventually became a professional Spirit Worker, helping and healing others – paradoxically, my friend lost his faith, dismantled his altar and stopped helping and healing others forever, at least in the way a Spirit Worker does.
Several months ago, my Spiritual Guides advised a complete change in my work. I was asked to dismantle my own altar, and create some kind of blank page state for a while. I won’t deny that I was heartbroken, as I was quite attached to my altar and its pieces, but I was also quite aware of the wisdom and love my Guides have, so I obeyed and continued my work as usual, trusting that a solution would come up.
One of the most difficult questions I was faced with was that, according to my Guides, it was the time to define myself into one Spiritual Tradition. Being someone who has absolutely no appreciation for labels, and having called myself “just a Witch” for over two decades, it was a very painful process for me. At first, I did not understand why was I asked for it, and rebelled against it – but slowly, and always with the invaluable help of the Spirits, I started understanding that it was a matter of focusing my energy into more productive ways, and that I could heal and help much better if I work inside the frame of one path, instead of mixing and matching several paths into my own way of doing things.
Fernando is a wonderful medium, and one of the different ways we receive advice from our Guides is through him. Using a Spirit Board, a method that we have researched and experienced for more than ten years, he enters a deep meditative state and the Guides use him to communicate through the board. During one of the seances, Guacaipuro, with whom I had not communicated in a very long time, showed up with a tremendous power, almost taking Fernando into a complete trance.
Guacaipuro not only confirmed everything that our Guides had told me, but also asked me if they, the Three Venezuelan Powers, could be the path for me. Without pushing, or menacing, or demanding, he calmly explained the reasons why he thought the path of Maria Lionza’s cult was perfect for me, my way of working and my Spiritual needs – and word by word, it all made perfect sense.
I could not believe how I had not seen it.
Guacaipuro left, letting me know before leaving that I could think about it for as long as I wanted to, and that if I said no, nothing would happen. As Fernando slowly regained full conscience, I told him everything I could remember from Guacaipuro’s words. He had the same reaction I had – he could not believe that it was so simple.
A couple of weeks later, we were buying offerings for Ochum’s day and stopped at the florist shop to get some fancy candles for the celebration. The shop always has a few Catholic Saint statues, so we were looking at a Saint Michael statue when my husband noticed that, on the lowest shelf, there was a statue of the Three Venezuelan Powers, something not easy to find on our area. Unfortunately, it was too expensive and we did not have enough money to purchase it.
We asked the shop owner to reserve it for a week, and he agreed willingly. When we were about to leave, he suddenly remembered that the piece was discounted because it had been on the shop for a long while… its price being exactly the amount of money we had.
Needless to say, we took that as a sign and purchased it. That same night, we placed it on our blank altar and called Guacaipuro through the Spirit Board to let him know we wanted to accept his offering. As of that night, and from now on, we won’t call ourselves Witches any more, but son and daughter of the Three Venezuelan Powers. One circle, that started 16 years ago, has been closed, and another one starts – the future is full with exciting possibilities, a faith stronger than ever and an energy to heal and help stronger than we have ever felt. Like children, we step confidently and joyfully into this new era of our spiritual search, knowing that the blessing of María Lionza, Guacaipuro and Negro Felipe are with us.
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