This peice is called Eyes of the Medicine Woman its 45" x 45". It is hand painted silk using the French Serti Technique of fencing in areas you want to paint. You first stretch the silk like canvas on a stretcher frame, then you treat the silk and paint. Its controlled chaos. The results are usually surprising.
A few years back I went to see a medicine woman. A real live Belizean medicine woman way out in the bush, because I needed help. Something was going on within myself and I had no idea what or why. Before I went to see her I had a dream and painted this image. I saw a mature woman, with eyes coming through the jungle and blue behind her.
I had had a series of mishaps, a devastating run of bad luck, jam packed into a 6 month stretch.
- was brutally assaulted.
- contracted spinal meningitis and became very very sick, and couldn't walk for a while. Or do anything except lay in bed very very still in excruciationg pain, except when I was sleeping knocked out from the narcotics they were giving me to control the pain.
-had a gun held to my head as I knelt on the side of the road in Mexico while 3 cops shook down the driver of the vehicle for mordita.
- won't even begin to describe the revelations regarding my now ex-husband.
-2 near drowning experiences.
-lost everything in a fire which turned out to be arson (landlord didn't want to fix the property so he burned it down) Lost Every Thing, 3 years worth of artwork, 53 original paintings, etc. etc.
I was in such a funk when I moved to Belize that I was afraid for the other people on the plane, because I was sure that it would crash because I was on it.
I'm not being a drama queen.
A close friend in Belize (a massage therapist) recognized some of the symptoms and referred me to the medicine woman. Beatrice Waight is her name. She practiced with Rosita Arviga (Rosita wrote the book Sastoon and 100 healing Herbs). Beatrice's father had practiced with the famous medicine man Don Elijo Pante, although he wouldn't teach her anything because she was a woman, she learned from her grandmother who was a Granny Healer.
I took the 8:30 boat from Caye Caulker, then the 10 a.m. express bus from Belize City to San Ignacio, arriving at noon. I caught a taxi to Bullet Tree Falls and 45 minutes later arrived in a little compound. The place is magical. Its like you're transported to another place and time.
Beatrice took me into her stick and pimento thatch examination room and had me lie down on a massage table. She lit copal which is an aromatic resin that produces a white smoke when placed on charcoal embers. She placed some herbs on my wrist and took my pulse. After a few moments she started praying in Mayan and Spanish and moved all around my body placing her hands and chanting. I felt a big rush of emotion and a gushing release. She ended the treatment with cupping her hands and blowing onto my chest.
Her diagnosis: a hex had been put on me and I needed to take the cure.
The cure was 7 herbal baths, over a period of 7 weeks, a herbal tincture with woman's herbs that you drink every morning (in a ginger wine base) and special prayers. The 7 baths were a ritual and had very curative effects. Some of the herbs were fresh white sage, marigolds, john charles, polly redhead, hibiscus, basil and the secret herb which I didn't recognize. I would pick a pigtail bucket full of herbs then add water and shred and crush them, letting the power of the sun soak into the mix. I would go into an outdoor wooden shower stall and pour and rub and scrub, leaving the herbs on my body. There was also 1 session of uterine massage to adjust my uteris and place it back into the proper position and to change my menstration so that it did not fall on the full moon. (does the picture of coyotes howling at the full moon come to mind here?) I would leave the sessions with grass in my hair and with what looked like oregano all over me, drying in the bus on the way home. Quite a site.
She told me who had placed the hex and why.
She sent it back.
The person died of stomach cancer 3 years later.