A Healing Chant with the Berber Women

The day we were to arrive to the Berber family we were visiting, I woke up and vomited and had diarrhea all morning long. It took some good meds and willpower to get me in the car for the 4 hour drive from our riad in Skoura to their house in Ait Ouzzine. Things were mostly ok, but I have a history of this sort of thing and one thing I know is the pattern that follows a morning like this.

For days after, my abdomen swells and is gripped with pain. I have discovered that if I eat red meat the day of an attack, I tend to recover much quicker. And so it was on the way to the Berber family house, our driver Ismael, contacted the family and asked that we have beef in the dinner instead of vegetarian. This request would have some far ranging effects to the rest of our stay, in that the family just kept putting meat in everything regardless of our requests for none. Oh well. A precedent had been set and it seemed to help my situation.

I continued to struggle with minor pain and bloating for the next few days, but one night in particular as we waited for dinner I laid on the floor doing some stretches and rubbing my belly. I wasn’t aware that all the women of the family were watching me and headed my way to see how I was feeling.

The second matriarch, as I like to call her, came over and asked how I was. I told her in pantomime, that I had some pain and was feeling uncomfortable. With that the matriarch of the family was upon me. She took a seat on the floor and motioned for me to put my head in her lap. One of the other daughters accompanied her, along with the second matriarch as they positioned my body as they saw fit.

The matriarch began to circle her hands around my head and touch my face in three different places while she chanted. Each round would end with her putting her hands to her lips before beginning the circle again. As she chanted and moved her arms around me, I felt this warming and calming energy surround my body. I actually could feel the pain and gas moving through my body.

The matriarch of the family; days after the chanting helped fix my stomach.

The matriarch of the family; days after the chanting helped fix my stomach.

She then motioned for me to lay on my right side, ensuring I had a gap between the side of my abdomen and the floor. This already felt better and I was relieved to think the attention would move away from me. But it didn’t. The matriarch grabbed her prayer beads and began a new session of circling and chanting, this time passing the beads around my body and through the gap between me and the floor. I am not sure how long she did this, but I can tell you this, there was electricity to her movement and a healing energy that I have not experienced before. I lay in this position for a few more minutes watching as the matriarch got up and walked to the other side of the room to perform her nightly prayers. I sat back up and found that I had very little pain and bloating remaining. I ate dinner with the group and before going to bed, thanked the matriarch for her help in making me feel better.

I will never know what it was she was chanting around me, but I feel incredibly fortunate that she was there and willing to work her energy for helping me. It made a huge difference in my well being that evening and the following days. Whatever ancient wisdom she was calling upon absolutely did the trick. My body retains the tingly energy I felt while she chanted even as I write this a few weeks later.