On Tuesdays and Fridays, one can be cleansed at the market for $3. We went one Friday with out tutor and I tried it out. It’s a mixture of Catholic and Aboriginal beliefs.

First, a bouquet of medicinal plants and herbs is rubbed and torn to release the fragrance. The lady held the bouquet to my face for three deep inhales and then she began to whack my body with it while chanting. The whacking doesn’t hurt, but it really isn’t soft either. She used a strong hand. My whole upper body was thwacked multiple times, including lifting my arms to get my side body. Maeve was extremely concerned as she watched this happen and squawked and panicked a bit. When I had been sufficiently whacked, an egg was then rubbed over my body, my eyes, my face, my arms, my chest, my stomach (against the skin) and my low back (against the skin). She drew crosses with eggs on my forehead and eyes. Then the lady cracked the egg into a plastic bag, held it up to examine it and read it. She told me that I’m worried and I need to relax (so accurate). The next step included liquid (alcohol of some kind) that was super fragranced like flowers. The perfume was poured into my hand where I was encouraged to breath deeply of the smell. Then the lady poured some on my head and rubbed it in. Ok, here’s the crazy part. Then she put some of the liquid in her mouth and spat/sprayed it on my bare stomach and back and the back of my neck. That was an odd experience. Last of all, to close the energy doors to my body, crosses were drawn with charcoal on my forehead, stomach and the nape of my neck. 

A truly interesting experience! There were many small children and babies cleansed while we were there. When we asked some of our local friends about it, they were like, ya, we do that every week. Their kids too. I’m not sure that I’ll do it again because I’m sensitive to smells and I didn’t love smelling so strongly. If I did do it again, I’d do it on the day before a hair wash day! But, I want to take Conor to the market on a Tuesday or Friday so that he can experience this very interesting and very different experience.