By Anna Anthony
Anna Anthony: Rodrigo, how do you define shamanism?
Rodrigo Duque: There’s this Hollywood version of what Shamanism is. It's a crazy person with feathers all over the place, a necklace made of bones, and a lot of bracelets, holding magical bundles. They go into trance states, then do something special for you. I don't come from that line of Shamans. The bulk of it is in my roots. My mother was a healer. There are many people who maybe take part in a ceremony, a class, or travel to South America, and they’re suddenly a shaman. In Shamanism, at least from my perspective, the connections to higher states are already there. You do not need to go into a trance to go to these places. When you’re working with people the connection is already there. There is a dialogue from this place with the higher self of the person, and they decide what needs to be done, which gets communicated with work. I do not go crazy; and my eyes do not turn around in my head. I’m just a regular guy. When you lay down on the table and I start working on you, you will feel the energy through my hands. The energy comes in huge waves.
AA: How do you become a vegan at six years old? How did this come about for you?
RD: I learned very young that the meat I was eating came from the animals. This did not sit well with me. My brothers would give me a hard time, yet fortunately, my mom was understanding. We would occasionally visit family in the country, and they would prepare a very nice meal, and of course there was always meat. I would dread this part of the trip! Many people saw my attitude towards not eating meat as arrogant. When I began practicing yoga, many instructors suggested not eating meat, which was very easy for me as I had done this already from a young age.
AA: When did you first experience a calling to do shamanic work?
RD: When I was a child my nickname was "Little Doctor." I loved that nickname, and it made me feel special. Thanks to my brothers, I was able to read and write from a very early age, which allowed me to enter school at the age of five, as opposed to the age of six, which was when you started school in my community. At the age of 13, I became a yoga practitioner. Back then yoga wasn't popular as a fitness trend. I began studying astrology and martial arts. At that point in my life I had not set a path. I ended up following in the path of my brothers, and studying electronics. I started at (the) university, then I eventually came to the U.S. and completed my engineering degree with a focus on electronics. I started working in the electronics engineering field, however the other part of me did not remain dormant. I received an interesting phone call one day from a Chief Luciano Perez of the Lakota Sioux Indian Nation. He said, "Listen, I am supposed to work with you, so we need to meet." He extended to me an invitation to attend the Sun Dance. This is one of the most sacred ceremonies for the Lakota. I became a Sun Dancer as well as a Pipe Carrier, which is an individual who carries a pipe, and is able to perform public ceremonies. The "certificate" for lack of better terms in this tradition is an eagle feather. I’ve received quite a few eagle feathers. This is not recognized by the U.S. Government as I am not 100% native.
AA: Healing Arts Metaphysical Center offers many unique classes. What are some of your favorites to teach?
RD: First I must clarify that what I teach is not from books. My teachings come from my experience. Some students prefer classes where they receive reference materials. I don’t provide this because this information didn’t come from books. "Sacred Geometry" is very special to me. The story of how this came about would require an entire conversation in itself. "Awakening the Healer" is a class that I created after becoming aware of what reiki was doing for people. Reiki is a very beneficial practice. I usually start the class by stating that they’ve learned half of the truth. Now we’ll learn the other half. It’s taught on a level that even students with no reiki background can benefit. Students go thru a similar attunement with focus on the shamanic way, even though this is not a shamanic class. The "White Witchery" class has caused many conflicts with its name. If I could put another title on it, I’d call it "female shamanism."
AA: I know your "Animal Tarot" class as well as readings have been a favorite from day one! This is how I was introduced to your location. I fell in love with this deck one day, walking by your store in Batavia, and never went back to my traditional tarot deck. ("Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams & David Carson.")
RD: I had a very similar situation. My wife and I were having lunch in the city, and there was a crystal store next door that we walked through. The deck had just come out. I believe it was 1989. I never went back to my old deck either. What I love is the positive messages that the animals give you.
AA: Many people feel guilty when it comes to investing in themselves from a spiritual & metaphysical perspective. What advice would you give regarding this?
RD: Society has taught us that financial success equals happiness. When you invest in a class or event that will provide financial gain in the future this is justifiable. However, when you invest in something that will truly add to fulfillment of your soul, then you feel guilty. Investing in your happiness and your healing process is very important! We need a revolution! What we’re doing to our minds is terrible!
AA: What’s the biggest message that you want to spread to the world right now?
RD: If there’s one message that I’d like to get out there, it’s that we humans have the capacity to heal ourselves, as long as we retake the power into our own hands. We’ve given our power to doctors, vitamins, supplements, and anything but ourselves. We’re more powerful than we think.
Rodrigo Duque can be contacted at Healing Arts Metaphysical Center, which is located at 4 East Wilson St. Batavia, IL 60510. 630-937-4094. healingartsmetaphysical.com.
Anna J. Anthony is the Advertising Coordinator for Conscious Community Magazine. She is passionate about collaborating with and promoting local artisans, Lightworkers, and conscious business owners. Anna studies the art of tarot, the paranormal, and is curious about various forms of consciousness, and spreading light and magic to others.