Moontime Power: Mamita’s wisdom and Reclaiming my Womb Medicine

At dawn, my eyes and heart saw the sunrise from the East, and the full Moon rose in the West, powerful as always. The sky’s colors and the loud joyful birds chirping brought me closer to the Spirit of Mamita Virginia. I say her name; I smile as beautiful memories rush up through my body from reminders that I exist because of her. I say her name so her Spirit can continue guiding me towards walking my paths, my journeys, and my stories towards a collective consciousness.

Mamita taught me about Metzi Power (aka Moon phases), during all the trips and trails we walked together. Those early journeys in the Mountains of Chalatenango were powerful teaching moments. As a child, my curious Spirit supported me to absorb as much of Mamita’s teachings and wisdom. She was passing on what she inherited from our ancestors. These elements would serve me for survival, but especially for adaptation and abundance of life. Her teachings prepared me in reconnecting with my path to liberation wherever life would take me.

“Munus,” she would tell me. Hurrying me as it was the right time to start walking, usually as early as five in the morning. I don’t remember resisting. I trusted her. She was home, she smelled like home, she was centered and strong as my home is becoming. “Remember,” she told me over and over, “when you look up at the sky and see the Moon which is our Light in the darkness, remember that she always will be with you and this means that I will always be walking with you, even if you don’t see me physically”.

Today at dawn, Mamita’s beautiful smile was reflected in the universe. I saw her when I heard the birds singing, I saw her reflected in the Moon, I saw her while walking – reminding me that the ocean of life may feel very hard to swim in some days but there are always great possibilities ahead. So, I heard her voice, whispering “child, remember to be patient, trust the process”.

Mamita Virginia taught me how to read, write, pray, and the importance of rituals as a discipline. She loved me and my siblings unconditionally. Her love is still ingrained within my Spirit. She made me feel that I had Medicine within. Due to all these teachings, I was able to skip the second grade in school. Of course, it was the teacher’s decision, my mother and I did not have a say. Though, it also brought lots of hard consequences. I grew up feeling the pressure “to have it all together”.

I remember coming to Mamita with my math homework, discussing how I resisted the ways this subject was taught. Math cannot be limited to a logic subject but a skill-set that connects to our personal lives and life’s complexities. Also, to be taught in a way that embraces kids’ various knowledge, wisdom, passions, and learning styles. Math must be a creative co-learning process.

“I can’t master multiplications, I can’t understand the ways they are supposed to work,” I would tell Mamita. And with a tender voice, she would sit next to me and say, “Why are you in such a rush?” “Why do you feel the need to get it right so soon?”

“Because there are new topics and lessons the teacher will be sharing and I don’t want to fall behind,” I would reply.

“Erika, you will have a year and lifetime to learn all the lessons, there is no need to anticipate, you will always find a way to get where you need to go, you will follow your path,” she stated. Mamita never judged me, she smiled at me, and she put her arm around my shoulders.

Every time I faced a challenge in my journeys and started anticipating, it only exacerbated my anxieties. So, I came to use her mantra as my daily practice of going one day at a time. Most importantly, to realize that there are many underlying and limiting beliefs I’ve internalized to be “my truths” but in fact, they are the opposite of my Spirit’s Divine truth. I am a Medicine Human. I am Love. I am abundant.

This morning at dawn, I gave myself permission to put my life in perspective, instead of fixating on all the systems in place that cause me an internalized overwhelm. I chose to look up and find answers not with my intellectual body but with my Spiritual body that had the power to connect all the dots in my life’s puzzle at this moment.

Today I allowed myself to see with my Soul and experience júbilo and love as I am nurtured by Mother Earth and by my ancestors, day by day. In the past few years, I’ve been navigating many borders imposed. Living in a country with an immigration status which does not allow me to seek employment has been a challenging creative transformative process.

Unemployment for me is a temporary reality that has unveiled [during the quarantine] an opportunity to work abundantly towards long-term material stability. I deserve to be paid doing what I am passionate about and unapologetically be the embodiment of my vision. I am moving away from the limited belief of scarcity thinking, which capitalism has instilled in me. I am abundant. I carry powerful Spiritual wealth. I am whole.

Being unemployed has offered me the space to deepen my Spiritual awareness and find clarity of making my entrepreneurship creative so it works for me. May I continue to align and access my Solar/Masculine Power and Lunar/Feminine power beyond gender constructs and categories.

I am humbly in so much gratitude with the Divine in all the Moon, Sun, Mother Earth, the Eclipses of the Cosmos because I am re-birthing to re-earth Spiritually.

What are the limiting beliefs that your past experiences have instilled in you?

What are the self-love practices and rituals that support you to be in alignment with your Spiritual creative vision?

How are you aligning your Healing journeys toward a vision for collective liberation globally?


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Espíritu Nómada

Vivo en un cuerpo temporal que tiene limitaciones.
A la edad de nueve meses en el útero templo de mi madre
nací en este mundo
Soy una ciudadana global sin tierra, sin padre, sin dinero;
de ahí mi Espíritu Nómada guerrera del pasado, presente y futuro

Estoy viviendo en un lugar temporal dominado por la blanquitud,
mis raíces Indígenas violadas
pura nutrición de la conexión apapachadora y humanista
Resistencia, opresión, resiliencia, complejos pecados sistémicos
¿Por qué me preocupo tanto por esto?
porque es un espacio mágico e incómodo no permanente.

Vivo en un estatus temporal que nunca es el mismo
siempre en movimiento tan cansadas son estas caminatas.
Purificando mi altar el ritual diario ha sido hasta ahora
mi práctica de soltar lo que me mata y
dejar crecer lo que me transforma,
estática yo no soy, aunque el imperio lo diga así.
Págame por la labor emocional que requiere contar estas historias un modo de sobrevivencia.
Estoy cansada de que me definan por mi país de origen.

Estoy viviendo en un apartamento temporal en dónde he hecho café cacao y amor.
Mientras leí sobre poderosas Espíritus quienes partieron hace mucho.
Aceptando las recientes visitas del Espiritu de mi madre
llorando por las dolorosas realidades de persecuciones y derramamiento de sangre
a la vuelta de la esquina y por todas partes.

Vivo en un trabajo temporal esclavizada por el capitalismo
préstamos estudiantiles esperando a ser pagados,
no hay tiempo para idealismos, aunque el dinero no es lo que más importa
pero las comunidades y la solidaridad colectiva entre nosotres
RECLAMEMOS nuestro espacio y seamos valientes para contar nuestras verdades.

Estoy viviendo en un estado mental temporal
constantemente cambiante ideas esperanzadoras emergen
al mismo tiempo que la baja autoestima me hace pedazos.
Sanando traumas de mi infancia pasada y abuso sexual intergeneracional, guerra.
Liberación sexual y placer Bruja SANADORA soy.

Estoy viviendo una vida temporal, nunca mía,
educada y socializada para actuar de maneras que fueron confusas.
Anhelando pertenecer aquí y ahora en cualquier lugar y en todas partes.
Volando con mi imaginación a mundos posibles
dónde mi Espíritu Nómada pueda conexistir con todas nosotras.

Este poema fué escrito originalmente en inglés y posteriormente traducido al español. Una versión editada del poema Espíritu Nómada, ha sido publicado en edición en español de la agenda 2021 de We’Moon titulada El Mundo. We’Moon es un calendario lunar, una agenda en ritmos naturales, y una colaboración de culturas femeninas internacionales.

Nomadic Spirit

I am living in a temporary body which has limitations
at the age of nine months in the womb of my mother’s temple
I was born into this world
I am a global citizen landless country-less fatherless moneyless
Hence my Nomadic Spirit warrior of the past present and future

I am living in a temporary place white-dominated my Indigenous roots violated
purely nurturing of love connectedness and humanity
resistance oppression resilience complex systemic sins
why do I care for it so much?
because is a non-permanent uncomfortable and magical space

I am living on a temporary status never the same
always in movement as tiring as these journeys are
Cleansing my altar daily ritual has been so far
my practice of letting go of what kills me and
letting grow of what transforms me
static I am not even if the empire says so
pay me for the emotional labor that requires storytelling a survival mode
I am tired of being defined by my country of origin

I am living in a temporary apartment where coffee chocolate and love
I’ve made through reading about powerful Spirits that left long ago
accepting the recent visits of my mother’s Spirit crying for the painful
realities of persecutions and bloodshed around the corner and everywhere

I am living on a temporary job enslaved by capitalism
student loans waiting to be paid
there isn’t time for idealisms though money isn’t what matters the most
but communities and collective solidarity among us
let’s RECLAIM our space and be brave to speak up to tell our truths

I am living on a temporary mindset constantly changing
Emergent hopeful ideas
at the same time, that self-doubt breaks me to pieces
healing traumas from the past childhood and intergenerational sexual abuse war
sexual liberation and pleasure Bruja SANADORA soy

I am living in a temporary life never mine
taught and socialized to perform in ways it felt wrong
longing to belong here and now anywhere and everywhere
flying with imagination to other possible worlds
in which my Nomadic Spirit can coexist with us all

An edited version of this poem was included in the English edition of We’Moon 2021 datebook titled The World. This poem has been translated to Spanish. We’Moon is an astrological planner complete with moon signs and phases. A calendar filled with beautiful and inspiring art and writing.


Copyright © 2019-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Mesoamerican Teachings: ancestral survival liberatory Spirituality

I took a lot of time to write this piece. There are no words to describe the feelings of sorrow, pain, loss, and devastation from the deaths of so many Black and Brown people in the United States and around the globe. Pain that has been enacted due to anti-Blackness, imperialism, racism and white supremacists. May the Spirits of these Black and Brown unjust killed people rest in power. May their Spiritual energy come back from the womb of Mother Earth to give us strength towards healing and collective liberation.

I want to appreciate the Spirits of my ancestors who have visited me in my dreams the last few weeks to give me permission to speak up and share their wisdom with gratitude and humility so that we can continue to work towards politics of solidarity and healing.

In this altar, I burnt sage and palo santo as an offering to honor my lineages.

During these times of deep reflection and transformations around the world, I’ve been having powerful conversations with my collectives. We have been reflecting and dialoguing on these questions:

  • Why do we want to survive this current and future chaos? What do we need to survive? What does solidarity mean to us?
  • How can we show up to amplify Black peoples’ power, stories, and struggles right now?
  • Why is it important to be in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement?
  • What are the survival skills mama, mamita, and our communities have taught me? How can I offer these survival skills toward collective liberation? How can we learn anti-racist practices locally and globally?
  • Where do I truly want to be? On which side of the imposed borders [mental, racial, social, geographical, etc.] will my physical and spiritual presence be more effective/useful?

There is no right or wrong answers. We are all at different moments in our learning and healing journeys. We are committed to aligning our mind, body, and Spirit towards the liberation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Towards global decolonization.

Military dictatorships, civil wars, massacres, disappearances of community members, sexual violence, human rights atrocities, post-traumatic stress, etc. in Latin America and the Caribbean – all these problems are rooted in colonization, imperialism, and patriarchy. In other words, white supremacy and anti-Blackness.

I have been connecting with my sacred Spiritual praxis and values, and embodying them through poetry, adapting cantos that I grew up singing with the grassroots faith-based communities in the ’80s and ’90s in El Salvador.  Most of these cantos are compiled in the El Pueblo Canta book which was [and is] a Spiritual storytelling tool that popular movements created to reclaim practices of love, faith, and peace in defending their dignity of belonging. Singing connects me with my roots, my lineages, my relatives, our Abuelo Sun, our Abuela Moon, our relatives Trees, animals, all part of the Creation, as we all belong to Mother Earth.

See, growing up in critical Spirituality was the cornerstone of my family and community’s survival. Our Spiritual praxis was rooted in the liberation theology framework to support class liberation for the peasants’ popular movements of that time. These movements included Indigenous liberation, and nowadays queer communities are reclaiming a liberatory Spirituality in Central America as well.

In Indigenous cosmology a balance in dualities is crucial, therefore change is a spiral and is ongoing, Mother Earth is crying for deeper transformations now. Many of these structural struggles are prevalent nowadays because Mesoamerican economies continue to be dependent on capitalistic systems of free trade; these continue the culture of extracting resources that destroys Mother Earth – and us as a result of her destruction.

This framework supported the facilitation of very hard conversations. Mama was one of the millions of women facilitators in grassroots faith-based communities. She combined readings from the Biblia Latinoamericana, with cantos and people’s stories to guide the conversations. She was committed – she believed and acted towards justice and the liberation of all.

To break it down [or simplify it], the reflections focused on three main elements: a) awareness, b) reflecting, c) acting. The faith-based collectives met weekly and there was at least one per barrio. Mama believed in the power of collective ceremonies. After reading, the participants sang, and whoever was hosting would share a cup of coffee or whatever was available.

Consciousness-raising was about people being empowered in their dignity as human beings. People would argue the need to center our lives in resistance of the bombings led by state terror and U.S. military intervention. Answering hard questions: what are the causes of the civil war? Why are we, as peasants/Indigenous communities, historically marginalized? What resources do we need to move forward with popular education, healthcare, childcare, and rebuilding houses? Folks shared their hopes that the civil war would end and bring about peace. We named the causes of our problems – how structural sins like poverty exist, and also how peasants were demanding access to land, organizing to demand an end to human rights atrocities, and mobilizing to defend families and communities. Finally, the faith-based communities talked about the urgent need to transform that unjust reality. Mama would guide the dialogues in ways that allowed each person to commit to taking actions in being part of that change. Anger, rage, fear, laughter, togetherness, prayer were feelings and actions that constantly were expressed during these Sacred reflections.

Some of the great outcomes of these faith-based conversations included strengthening cooperatives, creating committees, and embracing youth voices as they volunteered as popular educators of each escuelita. There were also doulas and promotoras de salud who facilitated health visits directly in people’s homes. Mama was doing her part – she traveled with groups of women to San Salvador the capital, visited nonprofit organizations and churches to tell our villages’ stories, and requested donations to rebuild the houses, pipelines, clinics, and other talleres for the well-being of our people. These faith-based communities centered Spiritual Healing, life and collective well-being.

How can these Mesoamerican Teachings guide us as we move toward a global Spiritual liberation? How can a liberatory Spirituality framework lead us toward undoing anti-Blackness and support our collective liberation? How can Black, Indigenous, and people of color build and strengthen solidarity during an unprecedented time of living in the middle of a global pandemic and structural policing? What are the Spirits of your lineages and Mother Earth asking you [body, mind, Spirit] to do now? How are you all tending to your spiritual needs right now? Saying “I am not racist” is part of the problem within non-Black communities, so please let’s try do more than that.

I want to amplify the voices of Black and Indigenous communities locally and globally below:

  • Become a monthly donor with Birth Detroit, and join our #SAFETYCircle. Safety is the foundation of Birth Detroit. We know birth center care improves health outcomes and enhances the birth experience. All families should have access to a full range of safe birth options (birth center, home, and hospital). Leseliey Welch shares in this video more about her story and how she and her team began this amazing labor of love.
  • Support Canasta Solidarias, a fundraiser to support impoverished families impacted by storm-season and COVID-19 in El Salvador. This campaign is organized by a small group of locals who source street vendors and coordinate with community leaders to deliver solidarity “baskets.”
  • Buy a book at a local Black-owned bookstore in your town or city.

Many of you may be asking yourselves: how do I begin to amplify Black, Indigenous, and people of color voices when my body is in “flight, freeze, fight” mode? As a self-Healer, I practice and sustain daily rituals to build boundaries to protect me from all the toxic energy enacted from the systemic violence surrounding us. I am embracing life in abundance and staying away for any type of scarcity pattern. You can also begin there, in your inner-home. Recognize your deepest fears, shame, emotions, thought process, joys, visions, values, and find ways that work for you to release them, to unlearn the ingrained limited beliefs about yourselves. How do I release, connect, and heal? I dance it out, I smudge it out, I sing it out, I laugh it out, and I cry it out.

Finally, if you are an action-oriented person, here are a few resources in English and Spanish that folks have shared with me. These are for you to engage, educate, and disseminate [at your own pace] to continue decolonizing from the toxic roots of anti-Blackness, racism, and colorism in Latin America, the Caribbean, other Spanish speaking countries, and within the U.S.

In solidarity.

Let’s go everybody to the banquet

Let’s go everybody to the banquet,
to the table of creation,
Everyone, with their chair,
has a place and a mission.

Today I wake up early,
Community waits for me,
I am walking up the hill very happy,
I am in search of your friendship.

God [Mother Earth] invites all poor people
To this common table for faith,
Where there is no capitalist greedy
and nobody lacks “nourishment.”

God [Mother Earth] is inviting us all
to transform this world
into a table of solidarity;
Working and praying together,
sharing all the resources


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Moving with the Rhythms of my Heartbeats

At the age of seven, I told my mother that I wanted to be a professional dancer. I pictured myself as a professional of danza contemporánea. Even though mama’s resourcefulness, we lacked money. In my super magical mind, I thought that to achieve that dream, money was not necessary. Despite the lack of a professional dance school to attend in my home rural community back in El Salvador, at that age I won an informal contest among other kids in my barrio. Our traditional end of the year celebrations always included listening to trova, cumbia, salsa and Samba music!  The patio of our home was my dance floor and the skylight was my spark of hope that for an instant, made me feel always powerful.

Though dancing for me was not about winning, but about bringing people together in joy and laughter – it was my prayer.

In my teens, I got to participate in community theater and a folklore dance group training by professional artists. I had the honor to have my brother Tito as my trainer and other facilitators who came from the city. We practiced twice a week, and unless we had a performance, we would practice new steps. We ended forming two groups because a lot of children wanted to participate in these workshops. We got to perform at various villages’ fiestas patronales. And one time, I recall we even got paid to perform at an art festival in San Salvador. Payment included transportation, food, and a little tour; for us, that was a door to many possibilities. With practice and teamwork, we developed the skill-set to feel comfortable in front of different audiences. I enjoyed wearing colorful costumes and embodying my artistic persona. Oh, how I miss those great times!

Growing up, my joy for music was rooted in the fact that with every beat, my body responded with a vai y ven. It felt as if the wind was dancing with me, my body transformed into a light masa that floated in a stage of trance, the pure connection of soul, body, and mind becoming one with Mother Earth.

¡Que deliciosa es la música!

 Music brought me so much happiness because it was a collective ritual I shared with my family and during the community´s baile as we danced together. I still remember how my body wasn’t listening to words, but the beats. And the way each individual responded with bodily sensations to specific songs.

La danza colectiva es un ritual sanador.

Cumbia and salsa dancing have always had a profound meaning in my life. More than just merely dancing, it is a spiritual connection with my ancestors. The beats represent a radical creative hybrid culture – a connection of rhythms and beats of resistance, gratitude, love, and vision. Percussion, the folk sounds inherited by my Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean traditions through the various instruments that over time, communities have adapted in Central America. I am not a ‘professional’ dancer at all, I never took classes.

I’m a soul dancer.

Bodily movements have been an essential part of my life. I am a voyager and in every new community I visit, there is music that invites my soul to move. I recall the first time; I was in the middle of eighty young people in a Caribbean community in Honduras. People were playing various types of drums during a collective circle; this is where I learned about Punta dancing. I was impressed by how each of the beats made my heart follow the rhythm. A combination of bongo, conga, timbales, cajón, marimba, guitar, and many other instruments was a radical collective spiritual healing process. Bring it on.

This is one of my happy places on earth.

A turquoise ocean in front of me, a burning sun up in the sky, a salty, clean breeze touching my skin, and my bare feet holding my body as they lead my calves, my knees, my legs and hips, my Serpent spine in a mixture of soft and fast-paced movements.

Gratitude dance in Batalla, Honduras.

During my first year of college, I tried to join a professional dance school, but on the first day of training, I was bullied by the manager. He shared inappropriate comments about the way my body looked. He put me down which only pushed me to never return to that school. I am glad I did so. A year after graduating from college I challenged myself to try taking some dance classes again. In my spirit, there was this deep desire to learn hip hop but when I got to the Humanum Tempore school I fell in love with the empowering way the tribal fusion dance instructor taught and brought the cohort together.

Yes, every time I think about movement, I do it with a more meaningful purpose. The experience of using my inner-self for channeling creativity by moving my feet al compás of the beats, snapping with my fingers, tapping out sounds on my desk, on my legs, while riding on the bus. This is my recipe for movement. Get an empty bucket and hold it with your legs while using your hands to create sounds. That is the first step to connecting with the beats and feeling deep rhythm throughout the veins. You are all welcome to listen to the music of life as it beats with your soul. Just embrace movement as a natural essence of our humanity and your ancestral connection.

I also had the opportunity to share creative space with Zimi Heb. They are a creative group in constant evolution. They identified with diverse cultures and while at the same time belonging to none.  In El Salvador with little opportunities and resources to create, they have accomplished creations in which they’ve mixed and integrated their history, their family, their roots, the technologies, and the new knowledge. Zimi Heb is a flexible group and their creations come from a balance between music, dance, poetry, and experimental film with or without themselves. Zimi Heb is characterized by improvisation and are limited by time. They don’t belong to any style except theirs – which is the result of fusion.

With Zimi Heb, we celebrated this concert dedicated to the rainy season, cicadas, and the intensity of life and time’s relativity

A year later or so, we created space to embrace migrations as part of impermanence and movements globally with this concert honoring transitions.

Every culture has a connection with dance and music rituals rooted in our connection to Mother Earth. Let it flow.

Since I moved to Michigami, it has been important to keep that connection to music, dance, and movement, especially during the winter season. Honestly, I miss dancing on the patio of my mama’s home, but I’ve learned to adapt my dancing to an indoor type of celebration. Lately, I set a playlist with music from various artists including Totó la Momposina, Orishas, Lila Downs, Anita Tijoux, and Ibeyi. The list only goes on and on.  In this apartment’s living room, in front of the altar created to celebrate humanity, I embrace my dancing as a ritual for my healing. Dancing and creating beats collectively is a powerful centerpiece for change.

Let’s move forward together!

What are dance rituals that make you feel connected within and with your collectives?

What are the stories of survival, resistance, and love learn through poetic music in your lineages?


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Sacred Cacao: a bittersweet process that makes me feel rooted at home

I love cacao’s flavor. I love the raw dark bitter cacao sabor. I was introduced to its taste while in the womb of my mother, and during the first forty days after birth through the breastfeeding period.

In Indigenous traditions, a person has to drink hot cacao for the first forty days after giving birth. Its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components support the body’s healing process. It also connects to an emotional need for warmth and connection. 

Cacao was a beautiful treat and one of the very first traditions mother and grandmother introduced and taught our family. One of the underlying lessons was that when feeling sad, there are ancestral home rituals for comfort that I can do to support me to feel apapachada within. 

Mother and I shared this bonding time [second lesson] while doing the process together, I call this a circle of deep love. I recall one weekend on my routine trips from college where I visited her at our village. I was feeling down because one of my professor’s teaching styles was very challenging and I was afraid of not passing the course. 

Mother knew me very well, so she used her spiritual wisdom to find ways to support me. She didn’t experience that type of challenge as she was not financially able to attend college, but she knew how to be compassionate and caring with my siblings and me so we felt that no matter what, she loved us unconditionally. 

That weekend, she went to meet me in Chalatenango city so we could go to the market together. We bought a few essential goods and one of the most important parts of this was buying cacao beans. We both loved the exquisite flavor of hot cacao drink. We rode the bus together for about an hour. When we got home, we prepared a meal together. Afterwards, we knew we wanted to talk but to get to that point, we needed to follow the process that made me feel rooted. 

We began by carrying wood to the Adobe kitchen stove where we made the beautiful fire. Hum, I can still smell that smoky scent filling our home with the dance of the wind and fire elements fused. Once the wood seemed to be burning, we would get un trapito, wet it in water, and use it to clean the comal de barro. The latter is a very important cooking tool as part of Indigenous traditions in Central America [with capitalist influence, this ancestral tool is commercialized as a metal skillet nowadays]. 

Once the comal was at a specific temperature, we would put the cacao beans to roast. Mother and I would talk while moving the beans and letting them roast to the specific taste we wanted. Hum, I take a deep breath in now, as I remember how all these smells filled the kitchen with a deep sense of home. She would ask me “how are you doing?” and I would sigh and respond “not so good mami, college is really hard, college is not a system that supports people like us from the rural communities”. Then, she would come closer and hug me, then I would cry in her regazo as I surrendered.   

How are you doing mama?” I would ask, and she would tell me about the various struggles going on in the community, and her frustrations with some of the leaders. Then, I would come closer and hug her, she would then surrender and cry. We both would sit in the discomfort of our respective struggles while we continued to roast the cacao beans. The next step was to bring two chairs to the patio under the cashew, mango and coconut trees as we peeled the cacao beans together. She would hold the huacal with the roasted beans and I would hold the huacal with the peeled cacao. Our fingernails got black and rusty from all the peeling. 

Mother would begin singing and I would tag along. Then, we would start sharing stories in which collective resilience was at the center, sharing so much laughter. Bien juntitas we walked to the molino to grind the cacao while mixing it with some brown sugar cane, and cinnamon. We would cover the huacal in which we carried it with a manta embroidered with so much love. On our way back home we would greet every person we encountered “buenas tardes”. 

When the moment to make hot cacao drink  arrived, mother would place a pan with water to boil and then add the cacao mix, she would stir and stir until it thickened, she would always point out that the amount of cacao should be more than the amount of water so the result of this magic process brought an intense flavor: bittersweet

Once it was perfectly cooked, she would serve us both a cup. In this ritual we both loved sitting next to each other on the hamaca while holding hands and talking. Cacao was not only our treat, it was the process of an unspoken language of love, an active unconditional love. Cacao was our way to open up our souls and lift each other up emotionally and spiritually. Mother supported me with her wisdom which in turn she received from her mother. Today I am humbly grateful for all those sacred moments together. Mama, thank you for your spiritual visit last Sunday, thank you for whispering this story on mother’s day.

May Mama Marcela’s spirit rest in power

May Mamita Virginia’s spirit rest in power

May all the womxn in our lineage before them rest in power.


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Connectedness: Home Remedies during Quarantine

One of the greatest lessons the global pandemic has taught me so far is that while indoors [for over seven weeks now], there are intentional ways to live, share space, and connect with loved ones near and far, whether they are chosen or biological families and collectives. Feeling “stuck” is painful. 

Learning how to be present in my own body is still challenging because I always feel a huge responsibility to support communities who are at the margins, who have been impacted by hegemonic systems of terror and injustice. In my body I feel the pain, I feel the loss, I feel grief and the need to mourn.

As a highly sensitive being, one of my strengths is connectedness. That is the main source of my resilience. For me to survive and envision a better world, I need to connect with the resilience of being in movement. Zapatistas in Mexico state this in their Primera Declaración De La Selva Lacandona, their invitation to coexist: it is a powerful tool to reimagine a utopian world where JUSTICE and ABOLITION are a reality.

Thus, being in my body and listening mindfully is sometimes challenging because I have this deep desire to be at the front lines. I am learning that in calmness and stillness there is power. As a Healer, I am learning that it is okay to restore my well-being now. In the past, being at the front lines meant organizing youth within rural communities to support cooking and carrying meals to the families most impacted by flooding, earthquakes, and tropical storms ripping away their homes in the southern region of El Salvador in el Bajo Lempa. Or it meant going out to facilitate hard, honest conversations about what collaboration would look like between local youth leaders working for their communities in the Dominican Republic and U.S. students finding ways to support those local initiatives. There is power in all ways of organizing. There is power in centering communities and their ancestral knowledge. There is power in solidarity. There is power in cultural humility.

There is power in having a highly intuitive gift of knowing that everything is part of Mother Earth and we all belong to this expansive family of life. From the ladybug in my friend’s cornfield in Nicaragua to the thunderstorms in Michigami, to the mushrooms growing in the Black Forest in southern Germany, to the chemical fertilizers sprayed upon the banana plantations in northern Colombia, to the thousands of migrants fleeing historical systemic violence in their land of origin to cross imposed borders so they can dream futures robbed in the crossroads of racism, sexism, and fear-induced violence in their lands of arrival, to the elephant migration in the African continent.

Hence, coexistencia is necessary for survival as we all adapt to the new changes in the universe. Perhaps, it is time to challenge and deconstruct old ways of relating to money, time, toxic power, and freedom as we walk our paths. We are beings capable of adaptation and we are called to heal with Pachamama. In these last seven weeks, I’ve moved from resistance to stillness.

Mama and mamita, my first Teachers used to say, “hay que sufrir con paciencia”.

In general, I prefer being in a community with others as we share space, thus my difficulty accepting moving fully into virtual spaces. Don’t get me wrong – I am all about taking care of one another. However, in this situation, I’ve felt stuck as if the possibility of danger was scaring me to the point of feeling incredible anxiety when making eye contact with anybody at the grocery store. I see and feel their fear. I see the fear in people’s souls. There is a generalized collective feeling of being overwhelmed, and in that there is an opportunity to find ways to slow down.

Too much time in front of a computer, holding a cellphone, wearing headphones, texting, emailing, and scrolling through social media platforms is exhausting for me – especially if I don’t take breaks. So, I feel accomplished that I [temporarily] deleted Instagram from my phone today.

Sitting for too long only exacerbates my physiological chronic pain. I am clenching more and more in my gut, glutes, hamstrings, neck, shoulder, spine, and jaw. Clenching for too long without releasing is painful, and it is hurtful. I need to step back. If you have lived with chronic pain, please listen to your body. I call this boundary ‘taking agency over liberating my being from pain to whatever extent possible’.

My spiritual and emotional body is speaking to me through this physiological body.

I need to listen respectfully. It is important to learn the sources of all this pain. Is it that my well-being feels threatened again? Is it that I can feel so much empathy for the experiences and stories of the people I am interacting virtually with? Is it that I am heartbroken? Where does the source of this specific pain come from? Is it simply related to the lack of moisture in this weird, dry, cold winter weather?

All of my inquiries and reflection made me realize a few boundaries with and within connecting virtually, which allowed me to take action for change.

What have I realized?

  • That I miss sharing physical space with extended family and collectives near and far [especially hugs, which are a cultural remedy]
  • That I am experiencing loss and grief and this makes me feel very sad
  • That I can’t be in front of screens all the time because this toxic practice overstimulates me and messes up my sleep cycle
  • That conflict arises especially when we feel we lack of control related to uncertainty
  • That honest, respectful, flexible communication is necessary to coexist

What can I control now? What have I changed so far?

  • Scheduling intentional time to talk and deepening connection with family and collectives
  • Virtually facilitating short conversations while sharing rituals to increase joy and reduce stress as part of my offerings in partnership
  • Participating in webinars that make me feel connected to Brown and Black liberation movements globally
  • Staying away from screens – mainly social media platforms, news outlets, and too much TV
  • Noting being present in my energetic body, as these practices allow me to hold space for restoring my well-being while working on my visions
    • Somatic and physiological pain can be directly connected to emotional pain from past traumas, secondary traumas, the worries of uncertainty and the perceived threat of danger in my body
    • Being in my wholeness and in acceptance of what is right now, I continue to humbly use ancestral medicine and home remedies available here:
      • Taking naps
      • Massages in my legs, calves, and soles with essential oils
      • Journaling and creative handwriting
      • Cooking more salads and greens
        • Eating on time
      • Reading and learning ways my ancestras survived during their chaotic times
      • Yoga at-home practice

What are expansive ways to express gratitude daily?

  • In her way, Mother Earth keeps telling us that we need to change. I am her humble daughter and grateful that she nurtures me daily. I am grateful to be alive.
  • Immigrant workers, caregivers, undocumented workers, global farmers, security guards, social workers, nurses, public transportation drivers, somatic healers, community organizers and medicine people, truck drivers, cleaners, food service workers, grocery store workers, delivery persons, mailpersons, etc. are always essential frontline workers. I am in awe of their presence in my life. I am grateful that because of their beautiful healing hands I can still eat.
  • I am grateful that my families have access to food and shelter for now. 
  • I am grateful that my body keeps speaking to me in different ways.
  • I am grateful for How to Survive the End of the World, a podcast by adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown.
  • I am grateful for my plantitas, which remind me daily that with a little water, they will continue to grow.
  • I am grateful for our collective resilience and for the reminder that being born in chaos has taught me many lessons.
  • I am grateful for the free resources available on the website developed by Dr. Kristin Neff from her research in Mindfulness.

How are you all, near and far, taking care of your energetic body while supporting your collectives?

What are past and present ancestral practices that facilitate you feeling more connected from within?


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Awakening: shedding my Serpent skin

My whole being is in constant awakening.

Awakening from my night-dreams and nightmares. First layer. Transitioning from previous lives. Opening my eyes to the mundane world, in gratitude for a new beginning, a new day. Awakening in my body to the cold wind of a winter morning in Michigami. Awakening to the land as she holds me and welcomes me for awakening with her. She tells me that with healing myself, she heals.

Awakening in movement, as soon as my feet touch the ground, icy snow is a memory of the current season. Awakening as my head rises up noticing daylight with purple-ish colors in the sky. My eyes are awakening at the dazzling Mama Luna. She is at her fullest cycle. A smile forms in my face because she controls my transitions and not the other way around. I’m in love with her, she knows me, I know her. We are bound to this universe.

Awakening in my body internally. Today a new cycle in my womb begins. This is my spell. Renacer. The blood of my womb connects me with my roots. There is healing in knowing where i come from, where i am, where my needs are calling me to go. Renanciendo voy. Renanciendo estoy.

When getting out of the bus, I saw toward my horizon the sunrise. Awakening in me the smiles and laughter of my lineage. They are HOME. I carry home with me. It is the bravest and safest space, inside.

Awakening to bodily sensations. The impact of thoughts, in turn, can dissolve or transform into words. The power of verbalizing. Words have meaning in their content, words can be transformative, powerful. Awakening to communicating peacefully with my inner being. Choosing to embrace a different way of being. Choosing my humanist self. Letting go. I am not my thoughts. I am not my behavior. I am expansive and can always do better.

Awakening to the smells of virgin coconut oil melting in my body as a moisturizer, hum, this smell reminds me of the tropical salty hot humid ocean wind. Deliciousness.

Awakening to black coffee. Perfectly prepared in a jarrilla. Salvadoran coffee. Sipping from my mug as if my grandma, mama, sisters, and niblings are standing right next to me. In my memories, grandma holds her taza de barro filled with warm coffee and drinks from it while taking a sunbath. Our life elíxir. Together we take the sun-love in. Natural vitamin for our emotional stability. That reminds me of taking multivitamins here now to prevent seasonal affective mood changes.

Awakening in my intentional breath. Inhalar. Exhalar. Respirar. One more time. Awakening as I fill my belly with love in every mindful breath. Awakening in liberation.

Awakening to the seasons. Winter is getting shorter. Spring is coming. As I swim, my whole being enlightens in gratitude for the pain in my womb, the pain in my knees, the feelings of freedom while floating in the waters. Gratitude for the privilege to be here, alive. Gratitude for the awakening of many ongoing layers. Gratitude for the uncertainty of what is coming. Gratitude for my collectives. Gratitude for the power of writing all these words. Gratitude for awakening to make this world a more joyful place. Gratitude in acceptance of the new life.

Gratitud en Renacer.

How are you all my global community awakening within?

What are some ways in which you are allowing yourselves to shed and re-earth?


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved

Writing as a Bridge between Death and Life

Throughout 2019, I wrote more frequently. Writing from emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and bodily sensation perspectives. Writing poetry. Writing my memories and anecdotes of my mother in her multidimensional life experiences. Writing as a storytelling tool was my automatic way of responding to my pain. And a powerful habit. Writing on actual paper. It was, at the same time a conscious response to gently show my Spirit its path through one of my worst metamorphoses. Either way, I am very grateful for doing so. In Indigenous mystique, this whole process means that I was shedding my Serpent skin.

In September 2018; mother, a powerful and resilient Medicine Woman had a stroke. She fell into a coma. This was a devastating process for me and my family and still is. It was especially hard for me, as this happened two days before my birthday. As a believer of a deep spiritual Indigenous mystique rooted in Mother Earth, I feel this has been one of the hardest tests I have been exposed to. Death and life are fully intertwined.

Mother was in such a vulnerable state for ten weeks. One of the first barriers I experienced was being separated from her physically, as she was in El Salvador. Also as a working-class family, we could not afford private health care and had to go through all the systemic bureaucracies that impoverished and working-class families go through within public hospitals. These barriers are only an example of how little control we had during this radical change. Hence, the hardest to deal with.

I still remember how my body trembled the moment I saw my mother connected to many machines at the hospital. During the entire time she was at the hospital (September through December 2018), and most of last year after she transitioned, I had panic and anxiety attacks daily. I still get mild anxiety moments, but less regularly. All of these experiences are normal to my grief process. It was both a traumatic and stress-inducing change.

In December 2018, after my mother passed on, I felt as if life did not have a purpose. Though, this process of feeling uprooted pushed me to dive into a mindful reflection. Through her unconditional love, she gave me the trust, freedom, and courage to pursue change and transformation.

Journaling, and seeking for holistic medicine supported me being present in my pain and all the emotions that came with it. Aha moments kept me rooted. One of the reasons it has been harder for me to let go, was because in my body, her death felt like a part of me died with her and part of her spirit was born within me. Confusing, right? Not really!

Everything was difficult to grasp. I kept having dreams about my childhood. Dreams about her life experiences, her storytelling. Those dreams did not allow me to rest at night. The lack of rest only exacerbated my irritability, anger, and fear during the day. I was hurting and my mood changes also brought up behaviors and words with which I also hurt loved ones.

Change has been the daily tortilla for me since I was born. And even though I embrace it most of the time, adapting and transforming requires radical love expressed in nurturing energy and time. It requires a lot of intentionality and patience. 2019 was the most challenging because this painful and saddening experience woke the most creative and healer aspects of my Spirit. What a way to end a year and decade, ha!

Through my writing, I realized these contradictions. In the beginning, I resisted because I felt it did not make sense to be joyful and happy in life when my beautiful mother passed on. Suddenly I would feel a drastic change of mood from guilt to anger and a spectrum of emotions, all of which are normal. At the age of nine, I used to tell my mother very boldly, I will be a writer one day and my writing will be published in other languages. Her death reconnected me with a deep desire to finally sit to write, to fill my days with writing. In writing poetry, journaling and writing my mother’s memoirs to share with future family generations, I kept slowly feeling more awakened, more connected to my Roots. I was Reclaiming Home. I felt a powerful responsibility.

Building new positive habits and returning to inner rituals during change is hard for me. Writing has been the most constant one, which led me to seek other tools to support my healing.

Some of the things I’ve noticed are that to decrease stress, little by little I had to combine various tools. To allow movement in my new process, I needed to NOT run away from fear and anger, and instead HEAR what they wanted to say. One big part came from journaling, at-home yoga practice, meditation, poetry, and coloring rituals that require my time and my presence, no money involved. Another big chunk comes from holistic medicine including talk therapy, massage, acupuncture, and swimming; which requires a lot of planning, prioritizing, and monthly budgeting because financial resources are indeed limited. 

I owned my pain even if people told me I was a “hot mess” and even if they could not deal with the new me. It was my opportunity to not be okay, to keep trying and making sense of all the pieces at my own pace. There is not a “grief formula”.

The third source for Reclaiming Home healing practices are creating and setting new boundaries with loved ones. This is the hardest for me because navigating, nurturing and sustaining healthy relationships while healing takes time, energy, being vulnerable, and the aspects of acceptance and owning being hurt and hurting others. In this process, I also realized that I was craving connection at a deeper level. Somewhere to crash. Somewhere to be nurtured. Therefore, taking time away from social media and choosing social spaces that filled my soul was empowering. Even decreasing the consumption of food that hurts my body was part of choosing. I choose to feel alive instead of exhausted. Reaching out to my partnerships and friendships to host me and feed me for a few days. Unconventional retreats. There is a privilege in that. As a non-US citizen, this is not the case for anyone who goes through these huge metamorphoses. I speak English. I speak Spanish. Most of my life this skill set has allowed me to build community and trust across cultural borders.

I’ve started to notice the benefits of being responsible with my mindful well-being. I am aware that the process of practicing compassion and being patient with myself have supported reconnection with my Creative Medicine. These guided me to reclaim home rooted in a healthy radical healing practice to repair my sacred body, mind, and Spirit.

I’ve recovered my seven-hour sleep cycle after a year and a half-sleeping only 3-4 hours. I am now embracing the sensuality around healthy homemade food. My ancestor’s food.

Change continues to teach me lessons to recognize how resilient I am. Change this past year has reminded me that I am a creative healer. This has been my journey and I deeply believe each human being can find a tune with their inner Medicine. It may look very different from person to person, that does not mean there is a “wrong” or “right” way to do it. One can evoke power in one’s very specific way, and healing is never about “fixing” oneself and/or assimilating into ideas based on toxic social conditioning. Healing can be a self-paced guiding process of what one’s main needs are. During change and in any type of heartbreak, it is normal to not feel or not be okay; while at the same time trying ways to peacefully release the stress, whatever its roots are.

How do we as a global community hold space for our shared stories of death and loss in supportive ways? 

What are rituals rooted in your ancestral wisdom that allow you to feel more connected during moments of death, loss, grief and change?

In this moment of global pandemic and the feeling of global loss: 

Are there intentional ways you wish to be supported while you support your loved ones?

Also, if you have not joined my blog yet, please subscribe to Sanadora Soy directly on my website. 

Sending light and love to all.

Full summer moon

Great Mother
I feel you even if I don’t see you
Awaken inside my spirit
Your force has kept me alive
Is your voice

Great Sister
I sense your light
That grows deep
My soul
It is time to slow down
Observant I am

I call you with my inner desires
Traveling between worlds
I want to balance
Speaking human languages
And the spiritual ones

Full summer moon
Invites me to harvest
A life full of spiral cycles
Re Earthing
Letting go
Returning home


Copyright © 2020-2021, Erika Murcia | All Rights Reserved