My soul yearned to stay in the beautiful paradise of Ecuador and learn more with Rocio, yet my heart needed to return to my family.
Learning from Dr Rocio Alarcon, Curendera and Ethnobotanist, on her home soil in the Andes in Ecuador was just incredible.
I have so much to digest. We experienced ritual, ceremony, healing with hummingbirds, master plants, ate fresh foods, incredible fruits, bought intensely aromatic herbs at the fruit stalls. We had the honour of holding ceremonies and planting beautiful flowers and trees on Rocios ancestral land she happened to sign papers for while we were there. Land Rocio will turn into a hummingbird healing centre and sanctuary.
We had the honour of meeting Yechech Titi and his wife Yechech Mama, Andean name for male and female indigenous shaman, they gave us an incredibly moving Limpia Ceremony.
We also felt Rocio’s ancestors strongly, we met Rocios beautiful family who still live on her grandmothers land. When i say ‘we’ i mean 15 beautiful women from Europe and the USA. An incredibly fun and inspiring bunch of women.
Travelling is so important to understand life. We really dont know what we don't know until we explore and learn.
I chose to visit Rocio in her home country in the Andes because i felt a need to keep learning with Rocio after meeting her in the UK where she sometimes offers Postpartum healing workshops, and Curandera workshops passed down from her grandmother Angela.
Before this trip I thought i understood healing in nature, the benefits of feeding our soul through nature, and the benefits for my clients to prepare for birth through nature but in Ecuador this week my body and soul felt this on another level, a level that you can only experience.
I really felt the benefit of fresh food, air, and healing in nature in a way I have never known before. The benefits of healing through nature and really understanding nature, and the landscapes we live in is so important to healing ourselves, and healing our earth, our mother.
Rocio is such an incredible wise woman with such a wealth of knowledge, i had met her twice before this week, and felt her support since we met. Rocio has so many facets of wisdom that flow through her. Rocio shone this week, she walks with so much more wisdom on her home soil, with her ancestors, her knowledge of plants, and Curandera wisdom from her grandmother Angela.
When you connect with the landscape you are in, nature notices you, you all connect as one. As a druid in the UK I have many experiences of interacting with nature, with the divine energies, but this week gave me a new facet with which to feel through.
We spent a lot of time with the hummingbirds of this landscape, going into trance with their beauty and ethereal qualities and feeling them respond to our spirit. It is an experience I cannot put into words.
Respect for our earth i also learned deeply, in a way we think we understand but we dont realise. As humans we feel privilage, not just with each other but over the earth, we often dont intend to and dont realise we have this privilage. But in reality we have no right over any other creature. We manipulate nature to suit us, our needs, we take from her when we dont need to, to feed our ego, even if we feel we have respect for the earth we are still human. Some people really live their lives knowing and understanding, most of us 'do our best to try', which isnt enough, myself included.
I notice too the more i travel and learn of other cultural spirituality the more alike we are, the more alike our ancestors were, and i see over and over how much wisdom our ancestors had that are lost to modern society. Im not even sure we in modern culture, even those of us deep within nature beliefs truly understand our earth or want to listen. Im not sure we can. I dont mean this disrespectfully to anyone, we are so far into modern comforts and expanding humanity on earth we have trouble really opening our eyes. We do need to try though!
We can only begin to see when we put nature first. Ironically im writing most of this as i fly over South America and back to the UK, its crazy to feel i flew all this way to this incredible paradise to learn more deeply about healing in Ecuador with Rocio yet im taking a plane. I’m not putting nature first to travel to feel her power deeper in another culture and place.
The people of Ecuador truly knew their landscape, their culture, they knew the spirit of nature and the plants they co inhabited their landscape with. Just as our ancestors in europe did. Yes they fought amongst each other but for 1000’s of years they lived with the land, and understood how to put the earth first.
We somehow seriously need to try to understand our ancestors, listen to them, and use the wisdom deep within us to practise healing our planet.
I am very grateful for the experiences i have had in Ecuador with Rocio, her family and the beautiful people I met. Much of these experiences I am not permitted to share, as it is Sacred to Rocios family, but I feel strongly everything I have come home with will help me to be a better doula, shamanic practitioner for my clients, and parent to my children.
The way forward is to teach our children, to show them these incredible places, to encourage them to listen to nature, be part of nature, listen to the divine, their own intuition, and as a doula I believe this starts with our children's pregnancy, birth, and how we prepare for their birth.
May the beautiful Quindè (hummingbird in Quechua) bless your lives.