Tzules whispered words, she invoked the 4 elements, she praised Mother Nature. She burned leaves as incense to purify the soul; candles were thrown into the fire to honour the ancestors. The fire grew as a supreme force, its piercing heat and timbering crackle, amidst a soul-cleansing column of smoke.
Everything to fortify the spirit, to cleanse the soul, to exorcise the evil.
There was bare flesh covered in soil, soil from the wild garden that surrounds the place where Tzules practices her rituals, just off a narrow street in Antigua. Earth then washed away by agua ardiente, and at last, by that beautiful tropical rain that I will never forget.
This work was created in Antigua, Guatemala, on the 7th of September, a day known as The Day of The Snake on the Mayan calendar.
* Tzules Sunun is a shaman who still lives according to the ancient traditions of the Maya. She is descendent from a long lineage of healers and spiritists, and lives at the base of an active volcano just out of the city.
Shot in Antigua, Guatemala.
Mia Le Journal