Since I was a little girl, I’ve been captivated by fairies. I’d imagine them sheltering in majestic trees, invisible to the human eye. They would glide between the leaves, whispering secrets to the birds and making cosy beds among the branches, forever safe, protected, and held by the grounded tree. I was so captivated that at times I believed I was a fairy; that I could fly up high among the butterflies, the clouds, the sky.
Zimbabwia and I wait outside our campsite in Lagos, a southerly, Atlantic hugging town in Portugal. I knew that we’d made the right choice to come here, that this would be the destination where I would finally have some answers, some direction and some guidance.
Any minute now, Mayatitta, the mysterious witchy woman from Lisbon will come to collect me. I’ve booked a personal retreat with her to attend to my heart healing. My stomach does backflips, my mind monkeying into an array of freaky scenarios. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know this woman, and yet I do know I trust her.
My worries melt away when she arrives and greets us with a longgg hug; a hug that confirms, I’ve made the right decision, and everything is going to be fine. She then turns to Zimbabawia and reassures her: She’s in safe hands. A wave of guilt washes over me; I hadn’t even considered that this would also be a worrisome time for Zimbabwia. I squeeze her hand in parting and then we leave.
We head to find a quiet, shaded spot in a park behind the medieval town walls. Nearby you can hear the cold Atlantic Ocean churning. Mayatitta asks me to find a space and write down my intention for the day — what I want to gain from this healing session — while she prepares.
Plonking myself on the grass, I stare at the blank paper. What do I want? I let my pen tell me:
To understand my powers and my purpose
To unite my inner and outer world
To heal my heart
Satisfied with what I have written, I return to Mayatitta and find the space transformed. Rugs, crystals, oils, and some burning things that I do not recognise but later learn are sweet, earthy palo santo and herbaceous sage. She managed to create a ritual space in a public park, in Lagos. Some seriously witchy shit.
We sit opposite one another. Following Mayatitta’s lead, I take her hands and close my eyes. She invites spirits to be with us on this journey. Releasing my hands, she asks me to place my intention at the ‘altar’ — I quickly decipher that the altar is the holy looking space with candles and crystals. I am in total surrender to this experience.
Mayatitta looks fully into my eyes and asks me to share what has brought me here.
Taking a deep inhale, I summarise my tales of self-destruction with, of self-abandonment, and my addiction to love. I’m trapped in a loop, and my heart breaks every time I go for another round.
Thanking me for my sharing, Mayatitta begins to explain what chakras are and what happens when they are blocked. I frantically take notes with more enthusiasm than I ever did in any university class — Why has no one told me this?
After an hour of intellectual learning, we move into the massage, however, before beginning, Mayatitta has an offer – ganja.
You expressed that ganja was a powerful tool for you to reach the 5th dimension. I wondered if you wanted to have a small bit now, with the intention for it to heal and guide you in this process.
The proposal stumps me, I had only just vowed to my friends that I would never smoke again, but this is a healer, and if anyone surely I am safe with her.
So I do it — just two tiny puffs.
My body becomes heavy, and I lie down. Mayatitta begins to work her magic, and within moments, my back drips in fragrant, silky oils. Mayatita’s hands connect with my back, and together we create a bond. Her hands, my body, our breath, the scents and the thrum of the psytrance create pure alchemy.
And then I sense a familiar change from deep within. My rationalising brain is saying stop but reason has no power where I am going. I drift deeper into relaxation and feel myself slipping. Mayatitta’s rhythm changes and I jolt back into reality, willing myself to stay here. But the force is too great. I’ve stepped over the edge. Looking down at what should be solid ground, I see the endless void of the fifth dimension. No longer am I a body, no longer is there time, gravity; I am powerless. FUCK, I don’t want to go here again!
But it’s too late — Even as I shout ‘NO!’ I’m falling in.
I’ve got you, I’ve got you, you’re here, you’re here on earth, in Lagos, in Portugal with me, open your eyes. I open my eyes. In disbelief I find myself 50 metres away from our ritual space, and a sudden flashback shows my body sprinting away in terror.
With tears streaming down my cheeks, Mayatitta leads me back to the rug, lays me down gently, and requests permission to help me re-ground with reiki. I give my surrendered consent.
She places cool, heavy crystals from the altar onto my body — one on each chakra. My eyes are closed, yet I know she has begun the reiki; I can feel her energy in me. If I were to look down, I know I would see her hands hovering above my base chakra — like a liquid, radiant heat transmitting from her hands into my whole genitalia. I visualise my internal organs glowing red. How the fuck is she doing this?
Her hands glide one by one to concentrate on each chakra; with each I feel the sensation of radiating heat unlocking hidden volts from deep within. Once unlocked the stagnant wastelands of energy leave my body and I grow lighter and lighter.
Her hands reach my heart. My breath quickens as the radiant heat intensifies, burning like the sun is deep inside the centre of my chest – painful and inescapable. Mayatitta’s chanting wills me to surrender to this experience— I cry out as a force suctions me forward and my entire chest rips off the ground. My back is arched, my hands clenched like claws, my mouth agape, like a scene from the exorcism.
I thump to the ground, and Mayatitta, unwavering, continues to chant her way through the last of the higher chakras, like a true witch. I’m distantly aware of the more subtle heat that passes through my throat, my third eye, and up to my crown and whether through exhaustion or magic, I fall into a deep sleep.
Dribbling, I awake. Am I still in the park? Whose lap is this? It’s Mayatitta’s!
Hey my love, how are you? Woah, that was some serious shit you’ve been carrying.
Urging me to stay lying down, she nourishes my body with food and water. Even for Mayatitta, it was rare to witness such an intense opening.
She explains how enormously porous I am to external energies, how I open the gates for everyone, and anything to come inside and use my body.
And then some words I will never forget:
You cannot do this. You need to learn how to be grounded, to master your emotions. You chose to be here on this earth, so you need to learn how to root down, like a tree.
And so I learned that whilst I’d been admiring the fairies for so long, true elevation had always lied within the tree.
Artwork by my absolute favourite prayerpiece drawer merakilabbe
My deep and humbled gratitude to Mayatitta Devi — if you are ever in Portugal find her