A number of people talk about "banco ayahuasqueros" as if they are something more than regular people. In my experience, especially of late, I've realized what a "banco" is. It is someone who has outlived his/her teachers, but whose teachers are still available to help in an emergency, when the curer asks for it. I recently wrote this to someone who was very taken with the word and concept of "Banco curandero". I did not write it as a way to elevate me, but simply as a way to explain what it is. This is what I wrote:
Monday, August 06, 2012
A banco is a curandero who had deceased teachers who are still available to him or her. In my world, Julio llerena, Pablo, the Matses curaka, Moises Torres Vienna, Bertha Grove, the Southern Ute medicine woman and her brother. a Southern Ute Peyote Roadman, sit on the bench next to me when I pray--and I am not a curandero. Still, they are my banco.I think it's important to understand that many, many curanderos are banco curanderos. It merely means that you've outlived your teachers and they continue to help you while also being in the next world. They sit on your bench, and like any good athletic team knows, you need a good bench to win. Cause everyone knows people need all the help they can get to effect cures, healings and the setting of things right in this world.
What having a banco means is that you've got help when you need it. That's all. And that's a good thing. That's a wonderful thing.