Ancient ways for a modern life

Meet Paloma

Paloma Cervantes Drumming circle

I do not like to talk about myself, but I imagine you are curious to know who is Paloma Cervantes.


The Spiritual Path was not “my calling”, although I come from a spiritual family. Not only I was born and raised into the Mexican Tradition, since I was very little, my mother pushed me in this direction and also into her appetite for learning about other traditions.


She believed very strongly in numerology and sacred geometry.  So we, her children, were used to “complete” her ceremonies with the right vibration or number of people in the ceremony and the right “position” or mandala. She was strict in that sense.


When I was a little older and I wanted to go somewhere, the usual answer when I asked for permission was “You’re going to Thursday’s practice first”. We didn’t have to do any house chores at home but we did have spiritual chores. This gave me a sense of spiritual responsibility since I was very little.


From my mother I learned all sorts of ceremonies, rituals, spiritual practices, spiritual healings related to our tradition and also metaphysical modalities like Akashic Records, Numerology, Reiki, Color Therapy, Sound Therapy, Tapping/EFT therapy, etc. We were her guinea pigs, her experiment and her companion in all her spiritual adventures.


I learned many things from my family, my mom, and also from her mentors . I grew up in the Mexican Caribbean, the Mayan territory. From the Mayan Indians I also learned many things. I had no clue where all my learning was leading me. I went to university because my love for Mother Earth is so big that I wanted to learn everything, therefore I decided to study science. This gave me another perspective about my Spiritual Tradition. I learned to merge science like quantum physics with spirituality. That is how I learned about how and why our ceremonies and spiritual tools work with such amazing results.


When I came back from school, the Mayan Indians of my town in Quintana Roo, México, saw in me a potential I did not know I had. I was “forced” to break some sort of bad omen or spell in an Indian from my town and that is how my life as a Mexican Shaman or Curandera started. This happened in the 80’s.


This is the story:

One day a Mayan Indian came and asked me to remove a spell that somebody put on him. I said no in the beginning, but he insisted. The Mayan Indians of my hometown don’t take no for an answer. So I said yes because although I had no idea what to do, I was afraid for my safety. What if I couldn’t do anything? What are the Indians going to do with me? I bought myself some time and told the Indian to come next day. I thought 24 hours was enough time to think about what to do. I had all my family and mother’s training, but it was not about breaking spells and dark things.


Next day the Indian came as agreed. I asked him what exactly what he want from me. He said that he broke up with his girlfriend like a month before and she went to see one of the curanderos of our town to cast a spell on him. Since then he had been very sick and losing weight among other things. He described all his symptoms. He wanted the spell to be removed and also a healing ceremony. I knew I could do the healing but the removing a spell I had no clue. I asked for the name of the curandero and he gave me the name of our worst sorcerer. I became so afraid. I said definitely I cannot help, please go look for help somewhere else, but he said nobody wanted to do that work because not only that sorcerer was the most feared in the region, he was the father of the ex-girlfriend and the other curanderos were afraid of any retaliation. I was super scared. The Indian was super scared too and desperate so he threatened me. I had no choice but to do the work.


I asked him to lie on the floor and close his eyes. I went to my altar and prayed to Grandfather Creator, Mother Earth and every spirit that I know for guidance and help. I prayed so hard for a long time and then did every preparation technique for ceremony that I knew. I used my feathers to go over his body specially his heart. I use my spiritual waters until I ran out of them. I kept praying and working on him and then after I felt that I was done I stopped. I was so deep into my spiritual state that I remember very vaguely what I did.


He had a big smile and was very thankful. He was insisting on paying for my services. I told the Indian that the cost for the ceremony was his silence. I asked him not to tell anybody because I was afraid that somebody else wanted something similar and for sure I wouldn’t be able to do it again. The Indian said that he was going to keep our secret.


He did not. Next day I had a line of Mayan Indians at my door asking for services and I started officially working as a Professional Mexican Shaman or Curandera. Now you know how it all began.



curandera beliefs


After a while, in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I started teaching classes and training people. I ran with the same situation over and over again, some clients will come with the same issues repeatedly no matter what I did, said or instructed to do. I asked permission to my mentors to start teaching my clients how to improve their lives with our traditional practices and the permission was granted. That is how I became a maesta in Spanish or mentor in English.


All over the world, the words Mexican Shaman or Curandero (male) or Curandera (female) are often used to represent a person that practices our Spiritual Tradition. The Mexican Shamans or Curanderos do not call themselves in this way. They are called “People of Wisdom”. This means the person that has or carries the wisdom to help himself or herself, others and Mother Earth. A big part of our spiritual practice is to cultivate humbleness and for that when we are among ourselves we don’t use any titles at all. We just call ourselves practitioners.


One becomes a “Person of Wisdom” or Curandero after years of training with a qualified mentor. At some point in the training, the mentor decides when the student is ready to perform the work and then the student goes through a series of ceremonies to be prepared to be a “Person of Wisdom”.


A Curandera never stops learning. My learning continues and will do so forever. My mentor says that life is an endless lesson and it is up to us if we want to learn or not.


To merge the knowledge of the past with modern life is what I teach in our classes…. And why not? We can combine the best of both worlds. That is my passion. I like to share how I learned to combine both worlds. If I am sick, I will take my medication plus I will have a healing ceremony. In fact, we should combine everything that is helpful and not label it or judge it….just live it and enjoy it. Like it was done in ancient times.


So, this is me, as my mentor calls me: “The one who walks among worlds”. He says that I walk in the ancient, modern and spirit world and at the same time.


I do not live in Mexico anymore. Beautiful California is my home. We are blessed with a beautiful place to teach classes, and to have private consultations and ceremonies, this place is S&C Center.


I also travel in and out of the US performing ceremonies, teaching and giving private consultations. You can join us for a class or for a full program or for our events. If you would like classes in your city please contact me.



Paloma Cervantes shamanism and curanderismo