Last week, my friend, Mathew, and I went to see La Llorona. I was really excited to see this movie because its a part of the Conjuring series and because of the story it’s based on. I don’t know if I had my expectations set too high for the movie but I walked away from the movie feeling slightly disappointed. I don’t know much about Mexican culture or a ton about the La Llorona lore (what I know is what you saw in my post about La Llorona) but even I could tell that a good bit was doused in Hollywood magic. As for a horror film, it was more humorous than scary. The one thing that I did like about the movie is that it touched on some traditional Mexican rituals that I haven’t seen in many movies before. It intrigued me to look more into them but the more I researched, the more I was drawn to one ritual in particular.
In the movie, the mother, Anna, reached out to Rafael. Rafael used to be a priest but became a curandero (a healer who uses folk medicine). One of the things he used to try and protect the family from La Llorona is using an egg to cleanse the home. In the movie, he and the family take eggs and wave them over the house. He explained that if there is negative energy there, the egg will have blood in it. I have heard of this ritual before but had never seen it before in a movie or in person.
During my research, I realized there are many different ways to do this cleansing. The cleansing, often simply called Limpia, can vary from area to area. For the most part, they had similarish directions.
- Take a fresh raw egg and wash it under fresh water. Some articles recommended spring water or bottled water since it was purer. They also recommended organic eggs but said that it is important to make sure it was fresh.
- After washing the egg, let it air dry.
- Once the egg is dried, pass the egg through the smoke of either incense or a white candle while reciting a prayer and asking to have the egg become a vessel in which to vacuum the negative energy out the person’s body or aura.
- Starting at the crown, run the egg over the body, making sure you cover as much of the body as possible. The egg isn’t really supposed to touch the body unless it is trying to relieve an injury or illness in a certain part.
- Once finished with running the egg over the body, crack the egg into a glass of water. Some articles said that the way the egg looked in the glass can be read to explain what kind of negative energy or curse or whatever was affecting the person. I won’t share what the different articles said for the meanings because I couldn’t find a single article that shared the same reading answers.
- When you are done with the cracked egg, you may toss out the eggshell in the trash and flush the rest of the egg in the glass.
I don’t know about you but that last direction seemed odd and kind of disrespectful to the egg. I have never heard of flushing anything ritual related down a toilet expect in Japan when dealing with Toilet Demons. At this point, I was getting confused with my research and decided I needed to reach out for more help.
I ended up reached out to my friend, Amanda (aka Pocahontas), who had helped me with the La Llorona post for clarification. She said that her family had two different ways of doing the ritual. Which one they used depended on the reasoning why they were doing it. Amanda said that one way they used the ritual was to cleanse the negative energy from someone. She said that they would take a raw egg and run it along your body to cleanse your aura. She said that when doing it, the egg had to end at the forehead. Then they would take it to a river to either bury it by the river or toss it into the river for the current to take the egg away. She mentioned that any kind of egg is fine to use. She’s even used an ostrich egg to do a cleansing!
The other way they did it was for demonic possession. For that one, a raw egg was held to the person’s forehead while a prayer was said. Then the egg would be broken into a glass to see if the ritual worked. Amanda mentioned that she had witnessed her grandmother doing this for one of her cousins. When Amanda’s grandmother cracked the egg into the glass, the contents of the egg were bloody. Amanda said that meant her grandmother was successful in cleansing the demonic possession from her cousin.
I thought it was interesting how her families’ ways were different than what I read about. Not only did they end the ritual at the person’s forehead but the way they disposed of the egg seemed much more respectful and believable. The way she described running the egg over the body and ending with the forehead is very similar to how I learned how to smudge someone with sage. I guess that just shows, don’t always trust what you read on the internet.
I did ask her about how they depicted the ritual being used on the house instead of a person in the movie. It struck me odd to do that since La Llorona’s spirit was chasing the children and not the house. Also, I couldn’t find any mention of doing a Limpia on a house in any of the articles I read. Amanda said that she hadn’t tried it on a house. I guess this was just made up for Hollywood use in the movie since they already showed people being saged earlier in the movie and they needed it to look different than how they portrayed the smudging.
If you have seen the movie, I would love to hear your opinion on it in the comments below .. If you have witnessed or experienced a Limpia, I would love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below about your experiences.