What does Curandera mean?
When I first started my practice with the public, long ago, in a galaxy far away (It really does feel like that some days) Curandera was not my business name. It was in English, but people didn’t really get what I did, there was always this really drawn-out explanation. And when I would get a referral, the person would say “you explain to them that thing that you do, you know…”, and my elevator pitch sucked. I never waivered in the healing nature of my work, the spiritual component, or my belief in the divine but I really couldn’t explain what I did. For years I tried to fit into a community that wasn’t exactly used to the flavour of what I was offering. And even though I knew about curanderismo my whole life, I had never made the connection.
Ahhhh, divine timing how deeply frustrated my love for you is *kisses*.
I took a few years off from working with the public, to regroup and deal with some personal/family stuff that was going on. And upon my return I dug deep within me to really evaluate how I wished to present myself to the world. From my 10 years of business experience in the B2B technology space (I am fluent in geek btw :P). I knew my branding was important, but I had a choice. Do I name my business something everyone understands right away or do I stay true to who I am and how I work with my spirits and ancestors. And it was actually my ancestors that made the connection for me. The answer they provided come through crystal clear. The one word, all be it in a different language, that perfectly summed up what I was, how I worked and who I helped and ultimately incorporated how important my cultural practices were to how I showed up for people.
Curandera is the feminine of Curandero which comes from curanderismo; a practice found throughout Latin America. Derived from the Spanish word “curar” meaning to heal, it is a folk tradition of native healing that is common to the entire region.
Depending on which region of Latin America you visit, the “flavour” of the local curanderismo can change. The amount of influence from the diverse regional cultures such as: local first nations, descendants of the transatlantic slave trade, colonial rulers and independent waves immigration all join (in different amounts) into the makeup of uniquely local practices. For example, the curanderismo in the Caribbean would be much more influenced by West African populations then the curanderismo in Peru which would be more native influenced, but it doesn’t mean they can’t have both and more.
At its core, curanderismo is understanding that we are beings made up of not just flesh and bone and as such, when we address any imbalance in the body it needs to be from a spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical lens. Holistically approaching people in their totality of human experience, as the multi-dimensional beings we are. And layering that with the role that faith and belief in a higher power have in the inter-play of our existence on this planet.
Prayer is the foundation of this folk practice. In many instances, you will see religion intermingled throughout the healings and ties into the importance of faith and the understanding that these abilities come from God. As such it is imperative to always be of service to the community, making sure to make good use of said gifts.
Curanderos practice what can be understood of as ancestral medicine. They are Soul specialists and interact with the divine on an ongoing basis. And as such, traditionally they either inherited the practice or they were chosen, by the spirits, at birth. Possessing sacred healing gifts that allow them to effect the changes that people are looking for.
Part Shaman, part priest, part faith healer, part herbalist, part therapist and sometimes part seer’s, curanderos fulfill the important role of intermediaries between the natural world and the spiritual one. They walk between the worlds, working with spirits to illicit the help needed to achieve a desired healing.
They do not hold any form of official medical training yet have cultivated there own unique and effective rituals & healing techniques. Their tools can vary, but symbolism is a constant with all practitioners. Much of what curanderas work with is helping people deal with bad luck, evil eye and the variety of not so nice energies that live along side us everyday. Its important to understand that we live in a world of light and dark, and just because in the last 150 years we think we have moved away from spirit, it doesn’t mean spirit has moved away from us; The good, the bad, and the in-between.
Curanderas are their local communities’ intermediaries when it comes to dealing with the fifth element, spirit. And thier priority is healing their communities, helping their people feel better and ultimately improve their lives. You don’t need to understand the word to benefit from this holistic art that is centuries old and rooted in community service; Remember its not a job, but a calling. So next time conventional treatments aren’t cutting it or you feel like there is a component of what you are going through that needs some additional support, consider using an intermediary, your might just be surprised with the results.
If you’re interested in learning more about me and my work, book a free meet and greet with me and see if working together feels right.
Carolina has been in spiritual practice to the public for over 20 years. Her spirits first began working with her in childhood. Her work as a Curandera is considered a sacred calling. Carolina is formally education is in Social Work and her spiritual work informs her private practice. Her only goal is to use her many gifts to empower her clients so that the clearest voice they hear is the one from within.
Her spiritual practice has worked with clients internationally. She also works with religious/spiritual leaders as a consulting medium. Her private practice includes readings, divinations, energy healing, energy clearings, herbalism, spiritual counselling, hypnosis, past life regression and prayer petitions. Service areas include but are not limited to Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Oakville, Orangeville, Caledon, Bolton, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Markham, Scarborough, Ajax, Pickering, Milton, Dundas, Georgetown, Maple, King City, Etobicoke as well as online.