Away from the beautiful but very tourist-crowded Plaza Central of this ancient political capital of the Inca Empire sits picturesque San Blas square with its 18th century Baroque church.
On approaching, I noticed the small recessed windows that creatively displayed silver and natural stone pendants with Inca symbols on each. Trying the door and finding it locked, I had just turned away when the door opened and an imposing figure invited me to enter. What ensued was an hour conversation about life and living with one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.
Jesus is of Inca descent and a traditional healer or shaman, in a small village near Cusco. This skill is passed on from generation to generation within families. Jesus was tall, solidly built and had long shining black hair which hung loosely down his back His most noticeable attribute was his glowing skin and face. When he asked me to guess his age, I guessed 35 and noticed a change of expression. Thinking I had overestimated, I was ready to apologize when he answered that he was 58.
After I recovered, Jesus proceeded to tell me about his work and a bit about his family. He lives and does natural healing in his village for part of each month, using natural herbs, roots and other ancient methods and practices. For the balance, he works in his small shop designing and creating one-of-a-kind pendants, each having a different Inca symbol, colours and a story to match. I stood there enthralled by both the man and the atmosphere in the shop.
When I asked why the door had been locked, I received a most unique and honest answer. Jesus told me that he only unlocks when he senses “good vibrations” on the other side – he is not a salesman, he proclaimed. Prices are not displayed on any item and there is no bartering. People come to him by word of mouth and he will open at a mutually convenient time with prior appointment and notification. As to his family, his father aged 102, lives in the warmer lowlands and one sister is also a shaman nearby. Jesus’ wife is a Zuni Indian lady from Arizona – a mixed marriage from the Inca point of view.
We went on in a mixture of Spanish and English to talk about the “rush world”, the chasing after material possessions and the lack of inner peace felt by so many in the westernized world. Jesus then asked my permission if he could scan my body with his hands and I replied in the affirmative. He very silently and rapidly passed his hands about 10 centimetres from the back of my neck and down my spine. He then proceeded to tell me that all major systems were healthy but that I “think too much with my heart.” (So true!) The heat emanating from Jesus’ hands was amazing – a healer in the purest tradition of all ancient cultures.
This chance encounter wound up with a hug from Jesus after he casually mentioned that he was mentioned by Shirley MacLaine in one of her books about her experiences in Cusco some years back. I could not decide on a piece of jewelry and in the end run , the meeting was much more significant than any physical souvenir. I left feeling uplifted and good about such people living on our planet. Such are the rewards of independent travel unfettered by schedules and fixed itineraries!
Jesus de Jairo at “Magic Hands”
Plaza San Blas 618. Cusco, Peru.
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