Shamanic Egg Cleansings – Kalyn Raphael

Shamanic Egg Cleansings: A Traditional Healing Technique of Mesoamerican Shamans
Kalyn Raphael
Lightwurks, LLC Publishing, 2003
131 pages

I forget exactly where I first heard about this little small press book, but it was one of those things that made me intensely curious, so I picked up a copy. While there are plenty of general books on shamanic practice, it’s good to see more specialized topics being covered as well, and this is the only book I know of that covers this particular form of healing from a practical perspective in detail.

As the title suggests, the book is dedicated solely to how to perform an egg cleansing ceremony for the purposes of healing a client, as well as various considerations to keep in mind for preparation, execution, and aftercare. The author describes a few different ways to do the ritual, including her preferred method as well as that of her mentor. She also talks about the trappings of the ritual and whether they’re necessary or not, how to cleanse the client on different levels of the self, and what to do if a client begins to react badly, especially at a first cleansing. Additionally, there’s information on how to do divination using the eggs post-cleanse.

I have to give this book big props for addressing and poking holes in the idea that illnesses are all the fault of the people who have them, or that they’re all some karmic debt being repaid. While the author does say that these things are possible, she also says that it’s not the healer’s role to make that judgement, and that the judgement can adversely affect the cleansing.

I do wish the author had gone into more detail on some aspects; there were several questions left unanswered (unless I happened to miss them while reading). For one thing, does the egg need to be fresh? Might a rotten one attract similar energy? Can the egg be disposed of in a compost bin so that the natural processes of decay may dissipate the impurities? There were also several places where I felt the author could have gone into more detail on the process; while the body map portion, for example, was covered in great detail, there were other sections that only warranted a paragraph or two. More anecdotes would have been helpful, even if the clients were kept completely anonymous.

Additionally, the subtitle is misleading. I would have preferred if the author had differentiated between what aspects of the book were traditional to specific tribes’ practices, and which were New Age. Some are obviously New Age imports, such as archangels, chakras and auras. However, it would have been nice to know which parts came from indigenous sources, and which were later additions by her or other practitioners. It’s not that the system isn’t effective, but I tend to support being more clear about cultural origins, especially when the system is claimed to be “traditional Mesoamerican”. There was no bibliography or other source material, or even recommended reading for such things as the chakras.

Because of my qualms I considered giving this book a lower rating. However, as a workable text I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I really was glad to see something new (to the publishing world, anyway) being written about. Granted, it’s been around since 2003, but I’ve not seen anything like it. So I’ll simply suggest that if the author does a later edition that she A) expand the material in more detail, and B) be more clear about what’s traditional and what isn’t.

Four pawprints out of five.

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2 Comments

  1. Abbadie said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Ohh, I’m not sure how to put it. A friend of mine is a practitioner of a native Mexican path, and his praxis includes many things I used to consider “shamanic practices” -yet he has been very adamant in stating that he is no shaman. I once told him about an old Witchvox article on “Shamanic Wicca” and he was flat out incredulous that the article described that a wiccan doing such things as drumming and dancing as a “shamanic wiccan” – Shamanism, he said, is a very deep, very powerful and also dangerous path, and has nothing to do with modern, new-ageish shamanic fads; one should not lightly claim to be a shaman. Even Carlos Castaneda, in his early books, acknowledged that what he wrote about was not shamanism.

    Me, I’m not a shaman, and Mexican shamans are a big mystery to me. But there is one thing I’m positive: egg cleansing is NOT a shamanic technique!!!! It is not, not, NOT shamanic!!! It is a standard, simple method for cleansing used by literally hundreds, if not more, healers, brujos and magicians in mexico and Latin America. And I’m sure a few of them will be shamans. But please! A shaman may drive a bike, and that doesn’t make bikes shamanic.

    What you describe sounds simple and useful, but quite frankly, I wouldn’t read a book that shows a glaring ignorance about its subject from its very title.

  2. lupabitch said,

    June 26, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Abbadie–Hmmm. Thank you for the context. Makes me think twice about my assessment….will have to chew on this a bit more.


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