La Curandera


Contact by Mara Friedman






      “Deep within each of us is a person who     dances to the Drum around the ritual fire —a person who knows the healing lore from times when plants spoke. A person who yearns for the Peace & Blessings of walking again in the Balance of Earth-Our Mother.”
~ Tamarack Song


       Journey to the Ancestral Self

*A curandero (Spanish: [kuɾanˈdeɾo], f. curandera) is a traditional Native American and/or Hispanic/Latino healer. The curandero dedicates their life to the administration of remedies for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual illnesses based on their evaluation. There are many different types of curanderos. “Yerberos” are primarily herbalists. “Hueseros and Sobaderos” are bone/muscle therapists who emphasize physical ailments. “Parteras” are midwives. “Oracionistas” work primarily through the power of prayer. (Wikipedia)


Ancient Remembering
The plants told us so…

I remember a time when I was running through the jungle, barefoot and free, in love with all that was around me. Roaming with a magnificent black panther at my side, deep into the ‘heart’ of the Mother. The earth spoke, my heart glistened and the world was right. One day, the panther circled me and looked into my eyes. I looked back and saw within those luminous windows of spirit, the great mother, the Black Madonna. In awe I thought to myself, “This could not possibly be the Black Madonna…” She answered my thoughts quickly and with great certainty, “I have may faces.”



In times past, all was provided and we had great gratitude for the abundance and generosity of the Great Spirit. The trees provided shelter, food, and shade, while the plants provided food, medicine and perfume. We knew what plants were needed to heal ourselves; and what would keep us naturally healthy. The plants told us so…

Essential oils with all their unique qualities are a gift from the Great Spirit. Our sense of smell triggers a time and place long forgotten in our memories. It brings us beyond logic, and into our emotions, allowing us to see from an expanded perspective. Essences have a calming and healing effect on our minds, bodies and our souls. Ancient peoples used essential oils to consecrate themselves to the Divine. They knew the power of the oils for healing, ceremonies and celebrations. Essences were used in their daily lives for protection, dispelling negative energies, and clearing spaces. Our ancestors knew that they could seek to find out more information from these essences.

BLACK CUMIN (The Black Seed)


Take a look at this beautiful and mysterious flower.  The seeds when pressed make precious essences that come from the little pods at the top of the flower. Can you imagine how many seeds it takes to create this oil?

The seeds are black as the night and it takes many pounds to make this essence.

Black Cumin is known as the “blessed seed” and has been honored and respected in the Middle East for over three thousand years. Seeds always speak to new birth and the possibilities of new growth, new ideas and new manifestations.

The Prophet Mohammed declared that, “Black Cumin heals every disease except death.” The seeds could quite possibly contain everything that a human needs to stay healthy and disease free.   Tests conducted on Black Cumin found many vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as one hundred unknown compounds that we think work with the human body in a healing capacity.

cuminbookOpt       Nigella sativa, black cumin, has been known to help people suffering from immune and autoimmune diseases such a Lupus or Fibromyalgia. Black Cumin creates a harmonious field for your physical senses to evolve in.  Dr Peter Schleicher and Dr Mohamed Saleh wrote a wonderful book about it called Black Cumin: The Magical Egyptian Herb for Allergies, Asthma, Skin Conditions, and Immune Disorders (Inner Traditions, 2000.). (

This book is a great resource for anyone interested in knowing more about this magical plant.

Cynthia Olivera de Kapp

Curandera - Cynthia Olivera de Kapp, Wisdom of the Earth ~ Educational Director Medicinal Aromatherapist and healer, Cynthia Olivera de Kapp, has indigenous roots in the Caribbean and in Corsica- cultures rich in curandera traditions. Her personal mastery and teaching the healing medicines of the Mother Earth, make her the perfect choice for this new section in Next In The West magazine. Cynthia is a Master Aromatherapist and Educational Director for Wisdom of the Earth Essential Essences in Page Springs, Arizona, where she teaches advanced Aromatherapy certification courses with her husband Barry Kapp, the founder of WOTE. She has been teaching women to dance their prayers, heal their sexual issues and meditate with the Earth and work with ‘essences’ as their allies. Please feel free to ask questions and communicate with Cynthia in her blog.