Pachita Chamana: The Mexican Healer Operating with a Knife

Bárbara Guerrero, better known as Pachita the healer, was a Mexican shaman attributed with healing powers who performed surgical operations without anesthesia. Her astounding cures earned her respect from people, politicians, and artists who sought her intervention.

Pachita’s life is fascinating, marked by the mystery of her birth date, her abandonment by her parents, and her role as a soldadera. Additionally, some historians suggest she could predict the future through astrology and altered states of consciousness.

The Story of Pachita Chamana

Pachita’s childhood was difficult. Around 1905, her parents abandoned her because her predictions caused conflicts in the village. Imagine dealing with the mindset of that era, and on top of that, hearing a child say, “That person will die” as they walked by. What was impressive was that if she pointed out someone’s death, it would happen within a few days, leading people to call her a witch.

When her parents left her on the street, she was adopted by an Antillean black man who worked in a circus. This man, named Charles Mingus, discovered Pachita’s gifts and taught her the secrets of African shamanism. She lived in the circus, learning to meditate, heal with her hands, the secrets of medicinal plants, and work with altered states of consciousness.

As a teenager, she joined the army of the northern centaur as an adelita, serving as a nurse for wounded soldiers. Later, she started working by singing on buses, selling lottery tickets, and participating in cabaret shows.

With the knowledge she gained during the revolution, she began healing people from all social classes. It didn’t matter if they were rich or poor; they all came to her sick. She started feeling a force guiding her hands and believed she had to help sick people by healing their ailments.

Jacobo Grinberg and Pachita

In the 1970s, Pachita’s popularity attracted powerful officials, renowned artists, and famous writers. This also caught the attention of scientist Jacobo Grinberg, who in 1994 wrote a book titled “Shamanic Healings: Pachita, The Miracle of Mexico.”

His book, which you can currently download in PDF, offers an insight into Bárbara Guerrero’s life, her surgical abilities, and the influence she received from the spirit of Cuauhtémoc, the last Mexica emperor. However, the healer never claimed to have healing gifts, as she understood she was merely a channel for the spiritual entity that took possession of her body.

Her psychic surgeon abilities made her a celebrity. She appeared on television, in Año Cero magazine, newspapers interviewed her, and dozens of people lined up outside her house. Believers asserted she could heal any type of illness, and religiously, they had faith in her shamanic capabilities.

Doña Pachita Operated Without Anesthesia

Doña Pachita operated with a knife and without anesthesia. Witnesses say she removed tumors, excised cancer, and even operated on the liver of writer and filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. His son Cristóbal Jodorowsky witnessed more than 30 operations and observed how she operated on his father’s body.

Later, Alejandro published one of his books titled “The Dance of Reality: Psychomagic and Psychoshamanism” which summarizes his sensations, the smell of blood, the enigmatic candle-lit atmosphere, and the profound pain of the operation.

Additionally, he recounts feeling the knife’s edge cutting a frog-like membrane, which was later wrapped in a piece of black paper, and then she closed the wound with her hands.

Spiritual Fusion with the Tlatoani

The ritual began when she appeared in a white dress and sat in the center of her room. Surrounded by various flowers and the scent of incense, she would close her eyes, breathe deeply, and enter a trance. She had a very high-pitched voice, but when her body began to tremble, her voice changed—it was no longer her speaking, but the deep voice of the Tlatoani.

In a state of full consciousness, she could align with the laws of a higher level and, free from earthly prejudices, she could heal her patients.

Although many claimed her surgeries were circus acts, Spanish ex-Jesuit Salvador Freixedo, who specialized in paranormal studies, became interested in the spiritual possessions she experienced from whom she called “the little brother.”

Shamanism or Charlatanism

The materialization of organs is a technique to create new tissue in a damaged or diseased body area. Therefore, it is said that a shaman can heal a sick organ in a person’s body or even create a new organ out of nothing.

Incredibly, Pachita acted roughly and without hygiene measures, yet the wounds never got infected and healed within three or four days.

Her patients knew she had no medical knowledge, yet she performed medical interventions, which generated controversy, doubts, and accusations. Consequently, Pachita was investigated for witchcraft and accused of being a charlatan, but nothing was ever proven against her.

While her image grew as a miraculous healer, her detractors accused her of being a fraud, claiming the blood on her fingers was animal blood. However, lab tests showed it was human blood and corresponded to the patient she had intervened on.

The Legacy of Pachita the Healer

Doña Pachita not only operated psychically but also showed how to follow a path of spiritual peace, the same path taken by ancestral Mexican tribes.

Her son Enrique Ugalde Guerrero, who died in 2012, also practiced healing. Currently, her grandson Israel Ugalde Bautista continues the family’s shamanistic tradition.

However, it is believed that her legacy was passed on to singer Leo Dan, who spent more than 10 years by her side and supposedly received the secrets of the Mexican healer.

Biography of Bárbara Guerrero (Pachita Wikipedia)

Bárbara Guerrero, better known as Pachita, was born around 1900 in Parral, Chihuahua, in northern Mexico. She is considered a representative of Mexican shamanism, influenced by African esoteric beliefs and also gifted in manipulating expanded states of consciousness.

On April 29, 1979, in Mexico City, Pachita died naturally at 79 years old, leaving behind countless mysteries that science has yet to explain.

Her followers were left with unanswered questions: Did she really perform organ transplants? What happened to her descendants and family? How could she operate using a hunting knife? Does organ materialization exist?

Although we may never know for sure, Mexican popular culture has turned Pachita into an iconic figure, and her influence is part of the spiritual history of an Unknown Mexico.