Today I was thinking about the usefulness of the Mexican/Indigenous limpia, and the need I had for doing one on myself. Limpia comes from the Spanish verb limpar which means to clean. A limpia or barrida (a sweeping) of the energy field of the body with aromatic herbs, waters, can also be complemented with the use of the egg. There are many ways to do limpias. My Yaqui grandmother used to use prayer and aromatic floral waters to purify herself and others. While studying under other curanderas and curanderos, I also learned the use of other tools in the form of smoke, herbal tinctures, herbs, and eggs. Each had thier own style and regional differences. There is also the difference in spiritual beliefs, some may be Catholic, Christian, or adhere to their Indigenous spirituality. My grandmother was Catholic, she was also strong in her Yaqui ways and integrated both ways of being. The differences in practices can be very regional, personal or led by Spirit. For example, I was taught by a Mayan healer to blow herbal tinctures out of my mouth and spray the patient while reciting prayers. He taught me the importance of making my own herbal preparation for this purpose. I have developed my personal techniques and prefer the use of the fresh herbs, eggs and sacred breath when doing a limpias. Depending on the guidance I get, I will use other methods as well.
The herbs that I have found profoundly effective are Pirul (California Peppertree), Romero (Rosemary) and Ruda (Rue). I was always taught that your personal medicines can always be found growing in your own yard, this I have found to be very true. I am blessed to have a male and female Pirul tree, Nettles (nettos as my son calls them) , Malva, Wild lettuce, Dandelion, and Wild oats growing at different times of the year.
With the limpia I was taught to set my intention while I prayerfully gathered my herbs, and then stating to the Creator and the good spirits to help bring the patient into balance and remove any stagnant energy and sickness. I then follow the energy lines of the body beginning from head to toe. It is critical for all aspects of the body to be swept over, including the breasts, genitalia and buttocks. This is the point in the cleansing where I hand the herbs and egg over to the patient and turn around, so that they can cleanse themselves. I found this to be very important, especially for women. Women, by nature, tend to store their emotions in the womb. If this energy has not been dislodged by moontime or other forms of healing it can cause imbalance and sickness in those areas. A limpia should be used regularly as maintenance, especially if one is highly stressed, near negative people, jealous people, etc.. A limpia is also very good and effective as a primer to any other healing modality.
I also think it's important to mention that kids need a little cleaning now and then too. Little people sometimes pick up our heavy emotions, violence at school, TV, video games etc... it is good prevention to clean them up now and then. Something as gentle as bundle of rue, rosemary and lavender would be good for them. As children have more sensitive energy fields, it is not as critical to use a strong herb like Pirul. I learned this completely by mistake 10 years ago when doing a limpia on my son who was 6 at the time, I had used Pirul (big mistake) and swept over him. About 10 minutes after I was done, he says "mom, my legs feel very weak, and I am really tired", this is the son who most times would be bouncing off the walls. I had learned later that Pirul contains large amounts of cosmic energy that can clean not only stagnant energy, but take our vital energy as well.