Black Smoke: A Powerful Story of Healing

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | February 13th, 2009 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth


“I totally connected to the ocean, spending as many hours a day as I could in it, even to the point of not going out with the others at night,” Margaret De Wys told me, referring to the few weeks she spent in Puerto Rico in December. “I connected to the Great Mother there.”

How many friends do you know who would say such a thing? Do such a thing? I am always so awed by her openness. She gives herself over so fully.

The pivotal part of her story is that she has been on a healing quest since being diagnosed with and recovering from breast cancer. Her surrender to alternative healing methods took her deep into the Amazon to work with a charismatic healer of the ancient mystical traditions of the Shuar tribe, using visionary plants and ritual purification. Chronicled in Black Smoke, A Woman’s Journey of Healing, Wild Love, and Transformation in the Amazon, Margaret immersed herself in a new reality, leaving behind her husband and grown daughter and her career as a composer and Bard College faculty member … to save her life.

From a primitive village clinging to the rugged slopes of the high Ecuadorian jungle to a ceremonial lodge where transcendent visions of creation vie with strange, terrifying visitations from other dimensions, the path leads her to places most of us never glimpse — and places within herself she had never imagined.

I for one couldn’t put the book down once I started it. Margaret’s full-throttle plunge into the indigenous spiritual and healing world is breathtaking, as are her insights and results. She tells me that her next book chronicles her healing journey into Africa. I’ll be standing in line for when they come off the press. And I’m inspired to open myself up to follow more of my intuitive guidance.


  1. Thanks, Annie, for such a great review. I’ve known Margaret since 2003, and have heard bits and pieces of her journey over the years, but nothing prepared me for the depth and intensity and truth of Black Smoke. Like you, I could not put the book down once I started reading it! Margaret is an amazing person, and she has written an amazing book. I encourage everyone to read it; your perceptions of reality will be forever changed!

    Gina Rabbin | February 14th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. “Black Smoke” is one of the best spiritual/shamanic books I have read! Having been studying and teaching in the spiritual healing and alternative health field for decades, and being an avid reader, I speak from experience. Her story is honest, containing a compelling mix of desperation and courage along the path of healing.

    Like Annie, I too am eagerly awaiting Margaret’s next book, especially since I understand that she will share some of the experiences she had when she went with one of my groups to the well known spiritual healer John of God, in Brazil!

    Josie RavenWing | February 15th, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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