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Ancestral medicine practitioner Nana Xochiketzalli brings her global teachings to Humboldt County

Xochiketzalli (Zo-chee-ket-zal-ee) or “Xochi” for short, is a local Humboldt county XoAj’Q’ij (a Daykeeper/Spiritual Guide in Maya culture). She is a healer, teacher, artist and dancer of Native California Indian, Mexican and European descent who founded “Spirit Medicines Centro de Sanacion,” a collective of women who practice Mexica and Mayan ancestral medicine.

At 19 years old she left Southern Humboldt County and set off to Europe to find herself. She said she backpacked, taught English, nannied and practically “did any job that could support her life abroad.” After a few years of life in Europe and Asia she had a vision of returning to California to begin reconnecting to the lands of her ancestors in the Americas, specifically Mexico.

Nana Xochiketzalli and Sandra Alvarez, apprentice and colleague photographed at Spirit Medicines Folk Healing Center by Adrian Alvarez

In 2010 she journeyed to Mexico to heal a broken heart with no return date.

Xochi was pulled into the “red road”, the Indigenous path of commitment to life and its creator. She spent a full year backpacking, camping and staying with people to begin going to any and all ceremonies within Mexico and Guatemala. She became very disciplined and is privileged to say that she was able to commit herself fully to the ancestral dive.

“It pulled on my heart strings to reconnect with my people,” Xochi said. “I just changed my life around and started dedicating my path to these ways.”

In 2015 she began training as an XoAj’Q’ij, a Mayan timekeeper, someone who is a guardian of the Maya Chol Q’ij calendar. She said she gives thanks to her maestras Nana Tomasa and Nana Sebastiana for showing her these ways and how encouraging they were to allow her to adjust these teachings to fit the people of California Xochi would soon serve. 

Now, Xochi offers her services to people of all ethnic backgrounds in Humboldt County:

  • Workshops including curanderismo and drummaking.
  • Free (women-based) community ceremonies: full moon lodges, sweat lodges and Equinox & Solstice Mayan Fire Ceremonies.
  • One-on-one soul retrieving limpias, platica, personal fire ceremonies and more
  • Personal rituals: home cleansing, Mayan baptism and coming of age ceremonies

Xochi specializes in healing women, especially those who have experienced “susto” or trauma which was not what she initially expected to do in the beginning. She became extremely passionate about healing clients’ trauma in the emotional and spiritual plane when most clients came in for help with susto. 

“Susto is a spiritual ailment in curanderismo that affects everyone throughout their lives. It’s a shock that can be on a different level,” Xochi said.

Xochi explains that when people experience trauma, at times the spirit literally leaves  the body. She said that a person can still function as normal but not completely because  they are missing a huge part of themselves. This spiritual illness can soon manifest itself into physical illnesses soon, such as insomnia, PTSD and more. A limpia is a spiritual cleansing for your mind, body and soul that wards off bad energy and balances your energy, Xochi recommends people get a limpia performed to assist in soul retrieval.

Xochiketzalli and her visiting Madrina-Abuelas smile as they come together for ceremony.
Photo provided by Xochiketzalli

Xochi offers a nine moon series, a nine month long workshop of women identifying peoples who have experienced trauma and would like to heal and perform self rediscovery in a group setting, meeting every month under the full moon. 

Upcoming Plans

Xochi will be collaborating with DreamMaker’s Ink People’s upcoming project called “Somos Medicinas.” Every month a group of BIPOC women identifying healers of different origins will do free spiritual healing to community members in a pop-up arrangement. 

Follow Xochi on her website https://www.xochiketzalli.com and Instagram @spiritmedicines. 

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