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Maya Wisdom & Magic Blog

Stories & Teachings

Learn about the Sacred Tzolkin, Discover true stories of Maya Magic, Read more about Shamanism and Maya Life. The supernatural weaves itself through everything here, all is connected, all is alive. 

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Shamanic Everyday Magic

A simple white taper candle, short and unobtrusive is standing on a plate in a tiny mountain of wax drippings. Can you imagine its calm flame? Can you envision looking into it for a few moments and watching it flutter briefly in an unseen wisp of moving air?

Do you know how powerful it is?

This is what Don Francisco, a generational Maya shaman in Yucatan, uses to seal the little plastic bags of wild harvested medicinal tea that he prescribes for a myriad of seekers who come to see him. He just puts the tea in the bag and then runs it over the candle flame to melt the plastic and seal the bag.

Seems simple, especially in a place where life is rustic. Of course, they don’t have fancy or expensive bags for tea. So, in truth, for a long time I never thought much of it.

Until one day I asked, “Is there a special reason you use the candle to seal the plastic bags?”

Imagine my surprise when he told me that, yes, it was very important. So many times, I had seen him slide the bags over the little flame. Usually there was a lot of talking going on all around him and he didn’t seem particularly concentrated on what he was doing other than to keep from burning himself and make sure it was a good seal. There were never any magic words, no ceremony, no magic wand.

And yet, it was a magic so important that the tea would not work properly without it.

“It is so that when the people drink the tea, they believe it will work.”

That was the simple answer. The sealing was for the power of belief. And according to Don Francisco, there is nothing more important when dealing with healing and all things supernatural than the power of belief.

But let’s go back to the offhanded way he seemed to do it. Because that is what this story is really about. It is a way of approaching magic, which you can call working with energy if you like. It is about the simplicity and everydayness.

You wash your dishes with soap because you know the soap kills germs and you put a carved elephant into a bag and set it on a shelf in your office because you know it keeps negative energy out of the room. You give peppermint tea to your grandson when he has a bellyache because you know it will help him feel better and you seal a little plastic bag with a candle because you know it will make the drinker of the tea believe that it works.

You see, it’s all the same.

In the kitchen, hanging on the wall over the open cooking fire is a bag of deer skulls because hanging them there attracts more deer to the kitchen fire to feed the family. Scattered on the floor of are leaves from the anona tree because they absorb negative energy. Drying in the sun are bright red chilies because they are delicious and help fight off illness (They are super high in Vitamin C and a few other power-packed elements), and growing on a garden wall is a vine called cruz de ojo because it prevents your neighbor from being jealous of your happiness and success.

While there are times when Don Francisco prays specifically for something or engages in lengthy ceremonies--especially the Chaac Chac ceremony for bringing the rain--the vast majority of the real magic is so commonplace that to him and his family, it is just as much a part of life as doing the laundry.

No hocus pocus, no magic wand, but more than a belief.

A knowing.

And that is what makes all the difference.

It isn’t about a fancy spell or complicated ingredients. It is about knowing that what you are doing gets results. It’s like knowing that if you stick your hand in the fire, you are going to get burned. Or knowing that if you drop a ball it is going to fall. Or knowing that if you seal a plastic bag over a candle flame, the tea drinker will know that the tea is going to work and whatever magic it was designed to do--be it break a curse, heal a body, or answer an important question--will be done . . . without question.

And so, the attitude of the magicker is the same whether they are feeding the cat or feeding the alux. There is no more need to wave a magic wand over the supernatural guardian than there is to wave it over the cat.

And while this story is about a generational Maya shaman in a tiny village in the jungles of Mexico, I bet you have magic very similar to this in your own home.

Take a few minutes to reflect. What do you do because you know it will change the energy of your space? Do you light a candle? Do you play soft music or add fresh flowers to the room? Perhaps you are engaging in magic that you were not fully aware of.

Of course, knowing that a curse will be broken is a bit different than knowing the energy in your room will change.

Or is it?

Doing magic,








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