The Healing of Paloma

by Gray Wolf

In 2006, I was invited to visit a small sustainable ranch at the base of the majestic pine forests of central Oaxaca. Its owner, Pierre, was visiting his family in San Miguel and had experienced several healing sessions with me during his visit. Pierre explained that he and his life partner were establishing organic produce gardens and hoping to create a small, off-grid, intentional community on their ten hectares of land just forty-five minutes north of Oaxaca City. The primary home was converted from a 150-year-old adobe lumber mill that sat directly on a mountain stream that flowed from the forest 365 days per year.

They had several fruit trees, a 150-year-old avocado tree and several planted organic lettuce beds producing five different types of lettuces that they sold at two organic markets every week in Oaxaca City. Though I was already established in San Miguel de Allende, I fantasized about a life in a sustainable, intentional community... in forested mountains with streams, no less!

On my first visit to Rancho La Maquina, I took a small traveling altar for my daily prayers as well as an extra massage table for providing healing and bodywork to the four members of the community. One morning, I was busy pruning trees and prepping firewood when an old pick-up truck arrived to the ranch.

Two thirty-something Mexican women emerged from the truck and asked to see "Lobo Gris" (gray Wolf). One was bi-lingual and explained to me in English that her friend, Paloma, wanted to talk with me. She stated that she would translate our dialogue as Paloma only spoke Spanish. At that time my Spanish was less than introductory level. Putting down my ax, I escorted the two women into the living area, removed my gloves, changed my sweaty shirt, washed my hands and lit my altar.

In Spanish, Paloma expressed, with tears erupting from her eyes, that she had been unable to function for the past seven years following the fatal car accident of her husband, the father of her three small children. She was still stuck in deep clinical depression, unable to emerge from her grief and unable to be emotionally present for her children. Through the translation of her friend, I recommended a neo-shamanic ritual of resolution through communication with and separation from her husband's spirit. Paloma agreed to this recommendation. Then, assuming that she would be in the way of the ritual, the translator stood up and stated that she would wait in the truck. In my broken Spanish, I explained to Paloma how I wanted Paloma to position herself on the table in front of the altar. Paloma lay on the table. I stood in front of the altar immersed in feelings of inadequacy as I had never guided this spoken ritual in my very limited Spanish. Gazing into the flame of the candle, I began praying:

"Great Spirit… I am completely limited here. You are not. I invoke your healing, your compassion, your love. Help me speak your language of love and healing in this moment." I prepared Paloma for the ritual with a traditional limpia (cleansing) of burning sage, then balanced and anointed her seven primary energies with sacred oils of Sandalwood and Cedar while continuing my desperate and silent prayers for profound help. I sat down with my head close to Paloma's head, closed my eyes and entered healing trance. Seamlessly, Spirit spoke perfect Spanish through me. At the moment that I invoked her husband's spirit to appear, Paloma broke into profound sobbing and catharsis. With deep relief and gratitude, I knew that Spirit had intervened, that Paloma understood Spirit's language of love and healing and was now in contact with her husband. The ritual completed, Paloma emerged from the table and from seven years of immobilizing grief in peace and resolve. On my next visit to Oaxaca, Paloma's friend visited me at the ranch and stated that Paloma was like a new woman: successfully working a new job, healing and re-establishing her relationship with her children in follow-up counseling.

All healing is an act of Spirit. The healer is only invoking and holding the presence of Spirit so that Spirit may act. My humbling experience with Paloma was a profound reminder for me to get the hell out of Spirit's way so that true and lasting healing may occur.

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Gray Wolf holds a B.S. in pre-medicine from Lipscomb University. He is certified in traditional massage therapy from the Florida School of Massage and in Ericsonian Hypnotherapy from the Institute of Integrative Healing Arts. He is an initiated Reiki master, a graduate of the Stillpoint School for Spiritual Direction, an initiated neo-shaman (International Foundation for Shamanic Studies) and an initiated shaman (Lakota tradition). Gray Wolf currently resides and practices in San Miguel de Allende.

Gray Wolf Healing

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