This was my first experience with having coca leaves read for me. I’ve dabbled with tarot cards, but those have images to depict as the situation calls for. As I sat across from Don Augustine and his son Sunto, who was translating from Quechan to English, I wondered, how. How can these leaves tell these people who know nothing about me, information that sits right with me. Information that resonates.
Sunto asked if I had any questions I would like to ask.. because I was unsure how the procedure would go, I didn’t know what an appropriate question would be. I figured it would be best to begin with a general reading. He began by gathering the leaves into a stack, all facing the same direction. After muttering some words just under his breath, blowing on the leaves and having me blow on the leaves thrice, he tossed them onto the small table between us. From this layout, he looked at the leaves, touched a few, moving some gently and just enough to gain a better understanding of it’s position, and placing it back. It was then that he spoke and Santo translated. “You will be healthy here in Peru, you will stay for some time longer, learning more about healing and spirituality, and later on, you will find love.”
Each reading took only a minute or three. He asked again if I have any questions. It was at this point, when they started popping into the front of my mind. “Where will I find to live and stay for long term?”
Again, Don Augustine gathered the leaves and muttering under his breath, blew on them, only this time, he touched each four corners of the table with the leaves before tossing them onto the table. “You will stay in Peru for some time, but not forever. The coca leaves say you will be in either Mexico or Central America.. But not yet, that will be later.”
Ah yes. I had been coming to this in my own. Feeling that that was eventually where I would end up and station my life.
“How about.. what will I do as a profession.. for income?”
“While you are here in Peru, you will learn more about healing. You will do something that involves healing and spirituality.”
“Last question. While I’m here, will I heal what I have come to heal?”
“You are healing. The illness will be gone, but the healing will continue for more time after before it is fully.”
“Okay, thank you.”
And just like that, the reading came to a close. I shared my gratitude, and left the room, still marveled and baffled. I wanted to ask more about how such things could be seen, about what the positions meant. About the history of the tradition.. But I knew my time with them had finished. There are some things in life, that are better left as a mystery in that moment.