It has a cure for sure

“Hey, by the way, ¿have you heard about the Sons of the Thunder? I asked him. I did not expect a foreigner to ask that question; I swear I heard his heartbeat, like he had either touched on a sacred topic or a too personal one. Well, I bet she would have played dumb if I had started the conversation around here.

We had been chatting for a while and to shut up all of a sudden would have been a total discourtesy or also to openly expose the embarrassment of a taboo. He hesitated for a moment, lowered his voice and continued. A Son of the Thunder knows it all because he was hit by a lightning before, therefore being wise is vocational not a choice, these are the Yatirig. If you are hit by a lightning, you are dead.

If you go unseen, you get reloaded, you survive and become wise; nonetheless, If someone sees you, you die. This way, if the lightning hits someone, we give him/her time to get it together, and that takes a few minutes. The Sons of the Thunder can foresee your destiny, cure diseases, find lost things and resolve vital doubts. Yet, they do not expose themselves, people know where they live and meet them. Could I talk to one of them? Will you take me to visit one? You would need an interpreter since they are very old and they don’t speak Spanish, just Quechua and Aymara. But, can I pay both of them? Yes. But, do you know what you are looking for? The thing is that, if you do not present your sorrow, they will find it either way, and you may not like what they find. You definitely cannot pay them a visit like it is a game.

What do they do? How do they act? In a lot of different ways, it depends on the problema. They take a lot of coke but they also read their leaves tossing them on a blanket and later they interpret the position and the surface of each leaf and they get the information from the leaves. By the way, they never fail. Sometimes they touch your veins and they read them. They even put their urine in a pot, they shake it and later they read it. All of these things tell them secrets.

For example, by reading the coke leaves, you can find out who stole your cattle in order to avoid arguments by ruling out the innocents. Some other times, they rub your body with a guinea pig alive, and then they slaughter them with an even cut on the neck so that they bleed slowly. Lastly, they read their veins, muscles, nerves, bones and entrails. A lot of times a sweet mass is carried out. It is an offering to the Mother Earth that consists of a fat pastry, coke leaves, berries and flowers. The pastry is burned on the fire with dried llama excrement.

They dig a little cavity on the ground, close to the fire and they bury it. When the fire is extinguished, they read the last flames and ashes. Do you know any healing case? He lowered his voice a tad bit more and started talking like he was reaching the climax of a short story. My father died of cancer. When doctors could not do anything else for him, we took him to the shaman. He made an offering to Pacha Mama with a sweet mass, yet my dad was already very sick. After burying the pastry, the fire extinguished suddenly, leaving a very dark ash, which means you are going to die—a drawing of a coffin was perfectly visible in the ashes. I saw this with my own eyes. All in all, the shaman could not do anything for him—maybe he did not want to because he got scared “what do you mean? His voice was by then a whisper; I had to turn my neck and get close to hear to be able to hear her. Look, sometimes when a Son of the Thunder cures you, he absorbs it. Therefore, the sick person gets healed but the shaman can suffer serious damage.

This is why there are less and less of them and why they only perform very occasionally—this is no joke. See, a cousin of mine—at this point, I could barely hear her because she was acting like she was going to be punished for telling me—went to visit one Daughter of the Thunder from Puno—her name was Maria. My cousin used to work the land and one day she had a horrible backache that prevented her from moving. Maria told her that she had worked the land so hard that the land was dragging her down, which is why her back would not obey and was aching so bad. Maria carried out a sweet mass and told her: now go away and you will be alright. Two days later, she was healed, yet Maria lost an eye because it exploded like a thunder.

This is as real as it gets. She is now blind in one eye and that is the price she paid for healing my cousin’s pain. These doubts cannot be paid with a human currency. We exited our confessional; we were getting close to Puno. Her name was Susana, she was 35 year old and was scared of everything. She lived in Puno with her 5-year-old little daughter and a nephew. She never mentioned any husband and it was pretty obvious that she was not living in the lap of luxury. She worked 13 hours a day, 6 days a week; but how could you rebel in the face of social order if you believe that a natural order co-exists with a supernatural one?

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