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Shaman and Shape-Shifter

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Francisco, herbatero/shaman, in his family's central kitchen

It’s called a yui (pronounced “why”). It is a shapeshifter. It was causing trouble, but before I can tell you the story about it, I have to tell you about the story-teller, my friend and herbatero/shaman, Francisco.

You see, there is no way you will believe this tale unless you understand the integrity of its teller.

I have known Francisco for almost three years now. He is the last shaman in his village in Yucatan, Mexico. He is quiet and well spoken (Spanish and Yucatec Mayan). He is very humble and understands the medicinal uses of over 5,000 different plants.

The medicinal garden

He is honored in his village and does not seek outside contact with the tourist world. It was fate that I met him one summer day in Yucatan. I was first introduced to him by a man whose young daughter was cured by Francisco of cancer, herbs only, no drugs, no chemotherapy.

Since my first meeting with him, Francisco has taught me so much about the uses of different plants and about the connection between the physical and spiritual planes. He is studious, intelligent, honest, and humble. He loves his family and lives with them in a small compound that includes extended family members, a central kitchen,

The kitchen from outside

herbs and flowers, and chickens and pigs.