Those who have suffered experiences of abuse, abandonment or other trauma, particularly in childhood, often develop low self-esteem and associated unhealthy patterns in adulthood around seeking love and a sense of belonging in the world. Unfulfilling habits like looking for love in the wrong places, giving too much (or too little) in relationships, or allowing disrespect or dishonourable treatment from others, and many other ways that can lead a person to feeling less worthy of love, more uncertain of self, and ultimately even more starved of a sense of belonging in the world.
It is clear that for many people today there exists an intense desire to feel loved and wanted, to feel a full-bodied certainty of value in the world and to be available to experience and share love in healthy ways. There is also a growing understanding that the search for healthful relationship must begin with the journey within. As acclaimed author Brene Brown tells us in her book Daring Greatly: “true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”.
Marosa is a healing plant that can help a person embark on this spiritual and emotional journey into the self in a deeply experiential way. Well known amongst Amazonian Shipibo healers for her power to heal a broken-heart and inspire a renewed appreciation and love of self and the beauty that resides within, Marosa is one of the master plant spirits revered for her watery feminine quality and the great healing power she embodies. Marosa is chosen by many Shipiba maestras as a key spiritual ally in their healing work. There is even an ancient melody recognized as the sacred Icaro or song of Marosa, the voice of her spirit.
This video presents a short preview of Shipiba Maestra Lucinda Mahua sharing the ancient Icaro melody of the master spirit of Marosa:
Since the dawn of humanity people have used plants to heal the body - to fight infection, soothe digestion, invigorate and purify the blood and organs, calm the nervous system, etc. But in the West we have forgotten the ancient wisdom of the profound spiritual and emotional healing power of plants. Native shamanic peoples around the world still understand and deeply embrace in their traditional healing practices the knowledge that plants are not simply dumb, inert beings of limited intelligence, but rather are highly advanced sentient spirits that carry immense wisdom, power and gifts of healing.
Westerners are starting to cotton on, but the Amazonian Shipibo people have never forgotten that we humans, along with all other living creatures on the planet are equally vital members of one grand web of consciousness that is Mother Earth, Pachamama. The secrets of how to enter into energetic and spiritual connection with the living intelligence or consciousness of these teacher plant spirits through “Master Plant Dieta” has been passed down from Shipibo generation to generation over thousands of years.
In Dieta, an experienced maestro first prepares the participant's inner energetic landscape by clearing away negative or unclean energies and contaminants from their entire system (body, mind, emotions and spirit). Then using their own established relationships with the master plant spirits, the maestro invites the Marosa spirit into the inner world of the participant and an energetic ‘seed’ of this union of human and plant consciousness is sown in that inner ‘soil’. For a period of time it is then necessary to follow certain restrictions that the Shipibo have learned are required by the plant spirits. If this is done well, with solid focus and discipline, the seedling of energy may grow and flower within causing surprising shifts in sub-conscious and conscious awareness at a root cellular level. Through Dieta, one is able to receive the sacred knowledge and power of the master plant spirits in a subtle but profound way, and over time this can facilitate a deep transformational healing of the integrated physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being.
Caya Shobo is running a Women's Retreat this November where guests have the opportunity to diet the Marosa master plant teacher spirit or other sacred teacher plants during a 10-day stay. Below, some recent guests at Caya Shobo share their experiences of dieting Marosa and how she helped them heal a broken heart, rebuild self-esteem and initiate a sacred journey of returning to self love:
Hassti, Germany Ted, California, USA
June, California, USA
“My first night after the marosa dieta was opened, I woke from a beautiful dream of being a 13 year old girl and I was filled with the feeling of excitement for my day ahead, a youthful optimism in what the day might hold for me. I felt a curiousity to know what wild beauty I might discover,
what delicate moments of uncertainty I might encounter along the way that would let me flower
into the unknown person I was becoming.
For years before I had felt my heart very closed, like a kind of squished pancake with no warmth in it, just numb, flat and deadened with the coldness of the heart-ache and major disappointments I had felt from my various relationships over the years.
But I awoke from that dream with such a surprisingly warm and expansive feeling in my chest - physically, my heart felt warmer, fuller, more alive. It felt delicious! And I had a powerful urge to write in my private journal (even though I hadn’t had one for at least 10 years!). All I wanted to do was write and draw, not about anything in particular, just in playful expression of what I was feeling and who I was in that moment - a curious joy to be alive and feel young again.
Over the following weeks in the dieta with Marosa, I experienced many other dreams where I felt her watery spirit working on shifting the roots of sadness in my heart, bringing up memories from my subconscious of moments of self-confidence and exquisitely sweet feelings of being in love, of feeling accepted, adored, held and nurtured. Past failed loves were re-envisioned as fully restored, and I danced in bliss in the arms of all my past loves combined. Even though these dreams were about relationship with others, I woke each day with renewed joy and celebration for myself. I found myself pining less for someone else to fill the void in my heart, and more excited about continuing to unveil the feelings of joy and love that lay dormant within me. I had a strong sense of returning to myself and of my mind’s eye returning from the distant horizon of hoping for love ‘out there’ and instead turning inward to look at the beauty of my soul and myself in every way, how I see, how I feel, and who I am in the world.
During the days I also noticed waves of old deeply submerged sadness bubbling up to the surface, which was then cleaned away by the maestra’s healing icaros in the Ayahuasca ceremonies at night. I could clearly see the roots of trauma in my childhood experiences - the fear, sadness, loss and confusion - being dislodged from my psyche and transformed into beautiful new sacred plant-like configurations of inner peace and understanding. Marosa brought it all up to the surface for clearing, and the maestros expertly washed and fanned the negative energies away from me, cleansing and purifying my inner temple, and securing my connection with the spirit of Marosa. At the close of the dieta I felt incredibly elevated, purified, beautified and full of gratitude for the blessings of this great feminine healing spirit and the maestras and maestros who helped me to connect with her.
In the months since the dieta I have found all of my key personal relationships shifting into full review, sometimes painfully but always with a strong underlying capacity within myself to bring my focus and my choices to the beautiful task of re-discovering me, claiming my place in the world, making good choices for myself and courageously expressing the gifts I have to share with the world.”
John, BC, Canada
I don’t think I ever felt that I truly belonged. My Mother left me when I was 8 months old, and my Dad left me with my grandparents and their teenage children when I was 2, where I was physically abused and probably also sexually abused. I never really felt I had a right to be, or that any sense of belonging was developed in me. This continued into my adulthood, my marriages. I spent my whole life justifying my behaviour, trying to prove myself, never really feeling I had a right to be there.
The first visions I had in ceremony with the opening of the Marosa dieta, I witnessed myself being born, or actually it seemed as though my soul was being born, from a cocoon, my soul emerged from a vast cosmic ocean where I had been sleeping and I was guided up by angels, lovingly welcomed into this reality. I felt Marosa and other high spirits saying to me “come”… “come up with us”…“you’re loved, come up to see us”. I was looking up wanting to be picked up, and she lifted me up and said “you’re welcome, come and join us”. She (Marosa) was giving me permission. I had a sense that this reality is a place for souls to be born, to come out and become enlightened.
During the dieta I had some of the most amazing ceremonies. Some difficult ones but with a lot of insights. I looked back at the relationships I’ve had and the journey I’ve been on. I could see what I’ve been doing, the patterns of my ego and the reasons why. And I came to see myself as a spirit who inhabits this human body in this lifetime. I understood that I’m here to do a number of things, to learn what it means to have empathy and to share love. That’s part of my makeup at a cellular level. The love I was shown was just profound.
And I’ve learned to really trust my intuition. I don’t judge or question it any more. I know my truth. I still have to get through stuff, but I know my truth. The clarity with regards to who I am, what I am, Marosa has allowed me to accept that without fear. I’ve found myself in situations where I have to stand up for myself. My normal behaviour would be that I would turn and walk away. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. That’s changing for me now. I no longer have the fear to say “This is who I am, this is what I like to do. If you don’t like it, that’s not my problem.” I’m not so worried about what they think or feel. For me that’s profound, because I’ve always avoided - avoid, avoid, avoid. Instead of taking responsibility for who I am and what I feel.
Since the Dieta, I’ve found that I’m participating more in life, and feeling that resonating with me. And I have tons of love for myself now and so much love for other people, for everybody. I’m able to start to express that. I’m no longer afraid to give people hugs. And at the same time, I’m able to go up to somebody and say ‘no’, that’s not what I want. I don’t have the same fear of being abandoned - at least a lot less. It’s like Marosa is forcing me into these situations where she’s challenging me to put myself first, and be able to say no, and take care of myself.”
For women interested in entering master plant dieta with Marosa, take a look at this special retreat for women coming up at Caya Shobo next month (November, 2017):