There are about a handful of people staying here in the two condo resorts that share an open green space in the middle. We just so happen to be neighbors with an incredibly nice gentleman I’ll call a Shaman. He calls himself an energy worker, but from my meager understanding of what a shaman is, I’m pretty sure he’s the real deal.
He is a Native American who normally resides in Sedona. His uncle (who I suspect was a tribe elder but I don’t know for sure) trained he and each of his siblings in a trade. Our neighbor was trained in prayer, ceremony and energy work. His sister was trained in herbs and how to work with the earth. His brother was trained in survival skills and his other brother was trained in forging. At one point he asked his uncle why he didn’t train each of them in all things, and his uncle responded that this way, they would all stay connected. And he was right. Our neighbor calls his sister and nephew for herb advice, they call him for crystal energy work. It is fascinating to me to watch someone who uses their hands and materials of the earth to create so much. From harvesting herbs to tanning hides and leatherworking, the Native American way of life is filled with knowledge of the land and how to create things from it. It is no wonder “Native American Made” holds special meaning for many people looking for artisan work. But the land is just the beginning. There is a rich spiritual tradition there, an understanding of the underlying energy in everything.
Our very kind neighbor shaman passes all kinds of things over the balcony to us, whether it be a muffin or a handful of sage. He offered to take us out to harvest mullein and yarrow, two herbs that grow prolifically here. Stephen and our neighbor drove up the mountain together and a couple hours later he came home with lots of fresh greens we tied with string and hung to be dried. Mullein will be used for tea, it is wonderful to strengthen the lungs. Yarrow is used for disinfecting wounds as well as breaking fevers. It is amazing to me that these plants provide us so much beauty and yet, when we look deeper, we see they have healing spirits and bring much to us when we are in need of physical vitality. Beautiful but strong. Able to heal. I guess in a way I sort of find inspiration in these qualities.
And I felt a bit of pride in my husband, who our neighbor said was a natural harvester, taking just enough and leaving a variety of growth stages and plants to keep the plant population thriving. Hmmm…lego seller right now, but perhaps a budding herbalist?
Somehow, I doubt it…