SD is my close friend here at USC. Her parents are both from Columbia and immigrated to the US. Her mother is from Cartagena, Colombia, and immigrated to Newark, New Jersey, when she was sixteen. Her father is from Salento, Colombia, and immigrated to Clifton, New Jersey, when he was twenty. They all now reside in Orlando, Florida.
Here you see an example of an egg cleanse that the informant preformed on me while we were together.
DO (interviewer): As a Colombian-American, are there are religious traditions or rituals that your family has?
SD: Egg limpiezas I think are considered a ritual that we have. It’s like a spiritual thing, so I’d say yeah that.
DO: Can you explain more about what that means and what exactly the ritual entails?
SD: So you’ll need an egg, sometimes multiple but I’ll explain that later, a cup with water, salt, a toilet, and rubbing alcohol. So first off, you need the egg to be warm so some people leave their eggs out but I think that’s mad gross so, I just hold mine in my hand until it feels room temperature or at least until it isn’t cold. Then you pour rubbing alcohol over it. I think this is to clean it, but honestly I don’t know why we do this, I just know it’s important. Then, you rub the egg all over your body, even under your feet. I think this part depends from person to person because I’ve heard some people do different things. You either say like “I remove all negative energy from my body” or you say positive affirmations. I think either works. Then once you do this around your whole body. You fill the cup with water and break the egg open in the water. Then you read the results.
DO: What do you mean by results?
SD: Whatever you see in the water/egg mixture thing means something. If you see spikes that means that you gossip a lot or others gossip about you a lot and this is blocking your blessings. If the egg looks cloudy or dull this means that you have certain physical blocks. So this can mean lots of headaches, hard time focusing,always tired, body pain, stuff like that. If there’s strings going from the yolk to the surface then this means that there’s certain people in your life that you need to cut ties with and these strings represent these ties. And bubbles are “the bad energy” (did air quotes) leaving your body and spirit. So you want lots of bubbles. Bubbles means it’s working. I think there’s more but I don’t really know them off the top of my head.
DO: You mentioned that there is sometimes a need for multiple eggs, when would these other eggs come in?
SD: So if your results are bad, meaning there’s a lot of anything other than bubbles, then there could still be bad energy trapped in you. So my dad usually says that you should do egg cleanses until there’s only bubbles in your cup.
DO: And do you put these in the same cup? Or another way to ask that I guess is are there multiple eggs in one cup?
SD: Oh, no! Once you do one reading you dispose of the egg and stuff and then do another one.
DO: And how do you do this?
SD: You throw it in the toilet. Well first, you sprinkle salt into the cup and the salt traps the bad energy into the cup and ensures that it won’t come back for a while. And never EVER look into the cup from the top down view. When doing the readings make sure that you’re only looking through the side of the cup. If you look at the cup from top down then you’re inviting back in the negative energy that you just took out, so it would defeat the purpose. Then just flush it down the toilet and you’re good.
DO: Do you feel as if these cleansings work for you? Have you had success with them? What about your family?
SD: It’s actually pretty funny I guess, because my family is super religious and that’s an important part of our culture. But I think that egg cleansing are technically witchcraft. But I love doing them when I feel something is off and my family does too. I genuinely do feel better after I do it.
This ritual can be looked at from numerous different perspectives. Technically it can be seen as a medical type of folklore, but not for your physical body but instead for your spirit. It also ties into a discussion about religion and religious lore. The informant’s family practices Catholicism, but this ritual is considered to be black magic by many. This ritual shows just how personal folklore can be since this family holds some practices from Catholicism and some from witchcraft. Although they may deny the validity of other witchcraft rituals, they fully believe in the one they perform.