Q - XamAM, I would like you to tell us a little bit about your life.
A - I was born from the womb of a courageous “cabocla” mestizo the daughter of mixed Indigenous and white blood and a very, very good father. He was a bastard, (born from an affair between a black man and a simple woman, his cook). I was raised by three old maids. I consider them my moiras, the ones who weaved my destiny with me, and filled me with stories and dreams. I was an asthmatic child until the age of seven, when I was taken by one of the old maids, my godmother, Bebela, to be cured by a healer on the fire of Saint John. The man lived in a place called Poço, Maceió, Alagoas. I will never forget him. He cured me, granting the right to play and to walk in life with my own breath, to run, to have popsicles and go to the beach... I have an inexpressible respect and gratitude for my old moiras. I want to go to the place where they were born, on the beach of Morros in Alagoas, to feel the smell of the sea, the white sands and the sea waters that they talked about so much. To feel the smell of my Grandmother´s hair – dona Mariazinha, their mother who taught me the true meaning of love. All of them are in another dimensions, but their smell is alive in me, their memories and their protection is in me and for me. Their influence in my spiritual life is so strong and vivid that it became like a tattoo in my being.
I became an adult, got married, had children and then I received the inner call. I followed it. I love to do what I do. I would not be able to do anything else. My path is guided by my heart and in this sense, Shamanism is my History, my Destiny.
I learned many years ago how to dive deeply into Nature and try to find in it the teachings that my soul dictated to me, to understand that I am a cosmic being. Or rather, that we are cosmic beings and that we have a mission to follow. And all this without a religious vision in the institutional sense, but a true religion, a re-ligare (re-connection) with the soul, with our Superior spirit.
Q – What is your academic background? How did you find Shamanism? What does it mean? How did you become a Shaman?
A - I am a psychologist. That´s my academic background. I graduated in 1987 in UFBA (Universidade Federal da Bahia), where at the time there was only one institution that offered this course. I learned how to organise my thoughts and to better understand the functioning of the psyche. Shamanism came as a greater choice. I never thought of following this path. On the contrary: I thought of following the academic path and this is why I also had training in psychoanalysis, psychodrama, as well as studying a lot of Gestalt... But destiny had reserved me something greater and this is how I started feeling a very great restlessness in myself and went out to search for something, I did not exactly know what it was, but I knew that when I found this, quietness would envelop me. I travelled a lot and one of my trips that I consider emblematic for me was my trip to Chipre (Cyprus) in search of the Magician of Strovolos, who at the time was in this life. After a very deep journey, full of obstacles, I found him and was received by him. There I drunk from the fountain and I heard him saying: “go on to Peru. You are an Inca!” Then everything started and a large portal, full of other portals, opened in front of me. Everything or nothing. I went on and I found what I was looking for. I feel that I rebuilt the link with my ancestors and with myself. And one of the beautiful things that I feel and that I learn each instant is that Shamanism is a process, a dive without guarantees and no way back.
Q – Is Shamanism a religion? Or to state it better, do you practice it as a religion?
A - Shamanism, the way I practice it, is not a religion in the common sense of the meaning of this word. It is not even a sect. It represents a way of life, a way in which Nature is the guide and master. In the line that I work we devote ourselves to the Mother Goddess, the matrix that provides life and light to go on, the mother of all mothers and all fathers, mother of the Universe. We practice it as a way to reconnect ourselves to the Divine, lost in us. As a way to understand our lineage and to truly follow the bigger Destiny. The true religare. Miracle of life.
Q - As someone who travels around the whole world, tell us a little bit about your journeys, your feelings...
A - I travel a lot. I receive invitations from many countries in the world to speak and talk with the tools that I believe in. I walked through trails in which I took several groups to India, to Peru, to Estonia, to Italy. During many years I trailed the Way of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, I went to Iceland, I have had groups in Germany since 1998, in England since 2012, I journey to Sardinia, Italy and naturally in Brazil.
My spiritual works are evidently Shamanistic with the major purpose that each person might truly know herself or himself and therefore free herself or himself from useless beliefs and come out of the robotic way of life, come away from the illusions created by the ignorant mind. All these experiences are the fruits of an enormous dedication, and large renunciation regarding my personal life. I consider they are portals that I need to overcome and I go on. Everything demands of me a lot of faith, as I do not have anything that can assure me about the following day.
Everything is a great journey into the unknown, a dive into myself, but I assure myself each day that I am guided and I always find marvellous people that help me, that open the doors to me, masters whom I love very much who confirm my path and my choice. Beside this, I count on my husband who has been with me since 1999 and also dives deep in this way, supporting me in everything and being present in my everyday life in an assertive, courageous and peaceful way.
Q – How many times did you get married, how many children do you have and how many grandchildren?
A - I got married only two times, ha ha... In the first marriage I formed a large family. Six children, three biological and three from by my ex husband. These are children of my soul, beings that destiny has reserved for me in this life. I have seven Grandchildren. However, I live close to only two of my Frandaughters. The others are very far away. It is unfortunate as each day I find out that it is very good to be a Grandmother.
From my second marriage, we did not have children. It was our choice - mainly my choice - to receive other sons and daughters, coming from other wombs and that had searched and still search for the path to know themselves.
Q - Do any members of your family follow your steps?
A - I don´t know if they follow my steps or if they find their own steps in the steps that I have walked. My daughter Minah, born Maria Izabel, mother of Mani, my Grandaughter, follows this path through the arts that she believes in, arts to awaken, the movies that she edits, her way of life and her dive into Nature and into the Community Foundation, Terra Mirim, the place where we live.
My son, Thyago, little by little has found himself belonging to this large movement.
My other children follow other ways, but always supporting me, always saying yes respectfully to this great journey that I have the honour to serve.
Q - How do you see Shamanism in the world today?
A - Shamanism is spreading more and more. Before only the native places practiced this way of living and being. Today, it is different. Science, through research performed by serious scientists, deprived of prejudices and who are in search of themselves, have already admitted Shamanism as a way to reach the internal illumination, of finding peace and love without prejudices. When I started and brought Shamanism to Bahia, there was so much prejudice and I was so criticised, so violently judged that I thought I would not be able to resist. But time passed by and I got more confident and now a lot of people who once criticised me want to become a Shaman or else to use our rites and our healing instruments.
Q - How should people interested in the topic get in touch for more information?
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