International Journal of Transpersonal Studies


In 2003, the four of us spent several weeks in Calabria, Italy. We interviewed local people about folk

healing remedies, attended a Feast Day honoring St. Cosma and St. Damian, and paid two visits

to the Shrine of Madonna dello Scoglio, where we interviewed its founder, Fratel Cosimo. In this

essay, we have provided our impressions of Calabria and the ways in which its native people have

developed indigenous practices and beliefs around medicine and healing. Although it is one of the

poorest areas in Italy, Calabria is one of the richest in its folk traditions and alternative modes of

healing. Combining personal experiences and theoretical knowledge, this paper aims at illuminating

how these practices, though indigenous and primal, still continue to serve a meaningful and powerful

purpose for the inhabitants of Calabria.

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