Skip to main content

Picture This

Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

September 1, 2014 at 4:53 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Northwest Wanderings: Igniting the energy of healing

Think of being by a campfire, with its elemental appeal and power.

"Fire is a great transmuter of energy. Like all the elements -- earth, air, water and fire -- it gives life but it can also take life," says shaman Llyn Roberts.

Roberts trained in Ecuador and for two decades has been learning spiritual healing from indigenous people around the globe.

She has a master's degree in Tibetan Buddhism and Western psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., and teaches workshops at holistic educational institutions. She also is co-founder of the Olympic Mountain Earth Wisdom Circle based in Washington state.

On a Guatemalan altar cloth given to her, she places "huacas," sacred items.

There's a rattle from Tuva on the Asian Steppe, given to her by a shaman.

From Uzbekistan there's a yurt bag, holding chimes from Tibet.

From Ecuador there are two ancient Incan stones, along with river stones from other parts of the world.

Walking barefoot for direct connection to the earth, Roberts takes a sip of highly volatile rum because Trago, a sugar-cane alcohol from Ecuador, is not available.

The flame of a candle ignites it in a fireball. She describes a circle of people in Otavalo, Ecuador, naked, who would be cleansed with fire brought close to the bodies.

For her, this is the channeling of powerful forces to "become one with the spirit of the volcano. Have great respect for fire. This is not a party trick."


Llyn Roberts is a shaman, and she uses fire to heal and cleanse, produced with flame and rum. Roberts has spent years learning spiritual healing from indigenous people worldwide. She is co-founder of the Washington-based Olympic Mountain Earth Wisdom Circle.


Llyn Roberts places sacred items on a Guatemalan altar cloth, including a rattle from the Asian Steppe, a yurt bag with chimes and ancient Incan stones.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►