Who is the healer from Oaxaca who showed his death to John Lennon?

María Sabina became an important figure in the counterculture during the 1960s and 1970s.

“In the mountains of Mexico, a New York banker participates in ancient rituals practiced by Indians who chew rare hallucinatory mushrooms,” wrote Life magazine about Robert Gordon Wasson, vice president of J.P. Morgan. The banker and botanist visited Oaxaca to meet a supposed healer or shaman from the Mazatec ethnic group who performed healing techniques. Her name was María Sabina and she was even visited by John Lennon.

Who was María Sabina?

In the heart of the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, lies the fascinating story of María Sabina, a healer and shaman who transcended cultural boundaries and captured the attention of one of music’s greatest icons, John Lennon. In 1969, on a trip that took the former Beatle and his wife, Yoko Ono, from Canada to Mexico, an encounter occurred that would mark the history of the counterculture.

María Sabina, born on July 22, 1894 in Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, became a notable figure for her ancestral knowledge of the ritual use of psilocybin mushrooms. Her fame transcended local borders when ethnobotanist Robert Gordon Wasson mentioned her in a Life magazine article in 1957. However, it would be John Lennon’s visit that would bring her story to front pages around the world.

In March 1969, after their famous bed-ins for peace, Lennon and Ono decided to explore spirituality and the search for transformative experiences. This trip took them to Mexico, where María Sabina’s fame had already attracted the attention of spiritual explorers and celebrities alike. The couple visited Huautla de Jiménez and participated in a psilocybin mushroom ceremony, led by Sabina herself.

During the ceremony, María Sabina shared visions with John Lennon, including that of his own death. This episode became a highlight of the meeting and left a lasting impression on the musician’s mind. The experience was not without controversy, as some criticized Lennon and Ono’s visit as cultural appropriation and disrespect for traditional shamanic practices.

For María Sabina, media attention and the arrival of outsiders interested in psilocybin mushroom ceremonies were not always welcome. In later interviews, she expressed her displeasure at the loss of sacredness in the ceremonies and lamented the exploitation of her culture.

The meeting between John Lennon and María Sabina became a significant anecdote in the history of the counterculture of the 60s. Beyond momentary fame, María Sabina continues to be remembered as a guardian of ancient shamanic traditions, whose wisdom and experiences have left an indelible mark at the intersection between spirituality and popular culture.

Maria Sabina died at age 91 in 1985. Five years earlier, John Lennon was murdered by a man named Mark David Chapman. Supposedly during the singer’s first mushroom trip, he had visions that showed him his death. He told Sabina in Spanish “Thank you, I have seen my death” and gave her some dollars and a paper that said John Lennon.

 Source: Infobae