Valparaiso rises up out of its harbor into a bustling, modern port and skyscraper packed city and then up onto forty-five steep hills, each a maze of winding streets lined with colorful houses and post-colonial edifices.*
It’s filled with fabulous street art.
And street vendors are everywhere.
The best way to navigate the city is by taking the funiculars, steep railroads with two counterbalanced cars that go up and down the hills. Valparaiso has fifteen of them, nine of which actually work.
Near the top of one of these funiculars we passed a woman sitting beside a table full of copper jewelry (Chile has huge copper mines). She was one of dozens of vendors that we’d walked by that day, but something made me stop and look at her work more closely. Most of the pieces were made from fine copper wire that had been crocheted into chains and settings for crystals. It was pretty stuff, but not any prettier that the other handmade jewelry I’d seen.
And then I felt a tingle. It was very slight. If I hadn’t been paying attention I would never have noticed it.
It was coming from the crystal pendants set in copper wire.
I scanned one, checking for energy radiating out from it. There is nothing mystical about this. With varying amounts of practice, anyone can do it. Just look at the crystal, or a person,or whatever your scanning,and tell yourself that you want to feel its aura. Then hold your hand three or four feet away from the object and move it slowly towards it. Stop when you feel a slight squishyness, or heat, or tingle—everyone feels something different. The distance from where your hand stopped to the object is the size of its aura. Most clean, happy crystals the size of the one I was scanning generate an aura that goes out about one or two feet.
I couldn’t find the beginning of this crystal’s aura, even after moving back two and then three steps. (Later, when I had enough space, I found that its aura extends out about thirty feet!) I was blown away.
“Did you charge this?” I asked.
“6000 pesos,**” she replied. Her English was excellent, but she’d misunderstood me.
“No, I mean, did you put any energy in them?”
“Oh yes!” she said with a grin that went around her face two times. “I put them out in the light of the full moon and filled them with
She’d not only stuffed an amazing amount of power into the crystals but also spelled them for protection. My jaw dropped in awe.
“You can feel it?” she asked.
“Oh my gods, yes!!! You do excellent work. I’ll take this one,” I replied grinning right back at her.
She probably wouldn’t call herself a Witch, but I certainly would.
And it makes my heart sing to know that she exists in Valparaiso.
And that somewhere on one of its forty-five scenic hills
She is doing good, potent magic,
Quietly, with no oohs or ahs or fanfare,
Packing it into crystals and selling them to passers-by,
Who spread her magic far and wide.
Even as far as Portland, Oregon.
*My husband and I recently visited our son and daughter-in-law who are driving around South America in their camper van.