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Voodoo In My Blood: A Healer’s Journey from Surgeon to Shaman

TIM, Making Money, Book Review Interview with Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, MD, Author of the Award Winning memoir
Voodoo In My Blood: A Healer’s Journey from Surgeon to ShamanBorn and raised in Haiti from a family with shamanic roots, educated in Haiti, Mexico, Jamaica, and the US, Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat is a medical intuitive, a board-certified gynecologist, seminar leader, and award-winning author. Dr. Carolle had a successful holistic private practice as a board-certified Ob-Gyn in San Diego from 1982 until 2005.

Her success as a doctor working within the traditional medical model became increasingly problematic as she intuitively could see the source of her patients’ problems as often being due to emotions, rather than physical causes. Since 2005 she has been offering at the Dr. Carolle’s Wellness and Retreat Center of San Diego “Life Decisions with Clarity” intuitive consultations for those who are at a major fork in the road on their life journey, intuitive medical consultations, expert second opinion by phone or in person, as well as “One-on-one Private and Group Retreats” to help suffering women understand their health needs, symptoms, and options for pro-active holistic treatment and lifestyle adjustment.

Were you concerned that the title of your book would be a “turn off” to readers?
Somewhat! My publisher wanted it and I felt that it would be an opportunity to educate people about a religion, a culture, if they were open-minded enough to buy the book.

What’s the biggest myth you want to address about the word “voodoo”?
To most people, the word “Voodoo” conjures up images of black magic rituals, dolls bristling with pins, sacrificed chickens (or people), and zombies rising from the grave. But none of these are Voodoo; they are the imaginative products of movies and novels or deliberate misrepresentations by other religions. In reality, Voodoo is built around ancient practices brought to Haiti (“Land of Mountains”) by West African slaves beginning in 1501. Called variously Vodoun, Vodou, Vaudou, or Voodoo–all variations of a word meaning “spirit”—Voodoo emphasizes the honoring of nature and the importance of ancestors.

Are you still a practicing physician?
I was the first female ob-gyn in my area when I came to San Diego in 1982 after finishing my residency training in Wisconsin – and the first black female ob-gyn in private practice in San Diego County and remained the only one for 14 years. With my background and intuitive gifts I struggled to practice Western medicine and eventually quit Obstetrics in 1992, then gynecology in 1999 and private practice all together in 2005 – I wanted to spend all the time I felt I needed with a patient. I built a beautiful retreat where I spent time one-on-one with women; either for a few hours a day, a weekend or a week. I continue to do office gynecology for free in community clinics throughout San Diego. I have gone full circle because now as a shaman, I need a few minutes to KNOW what is wrong with my patients and teach them what to do to heal themselves. I am putting together the Integrative Health Institute of San Diego that will be open in April where I will be back in private practice as a gynecologist – my practice will be limited to consults and second opinions – no surgery.

Do you have a practice in Haiti or do any kind of work there?
I don’t have a practice but have been back since 1999 to offer free medical care. But health is not only about physical care, true care encompasses the mental, the physical and the spiritual. We have a small hospital in La Vallée de Jacmel Haiti that I support. But what I am proud of are the community programs that have been done through our Angel for Haiti Project, including scholarships, community gardens, art and music programs, etc. and most of all, the annual celebration of the International Children Day of Peace – now in its tenth year; a day where underserved children have the opportunity to have a day comparable with a day in the US in Disneyland. To learn more go to:

Will your book be offered in other languages………..French or Spanish?
Believing that it is a story that will inspire people anywhere in the world, it is the hope of my publisher to sell the international rights to be published in as many languages as possible. The book has been presented in September at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany as well as in New York. We are patiently waiting.

Why a personal memoir?  Why was it important to tell your story?
I am an award-winning author of many self-help books in Spanish, French, and English. In 1985 there were two books in the New York Times Bestseller list: I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú; and Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa.. I always felt that I had a life story that if told would inspire others. People that I met always wanted to know about my background and would suggest that I write my life story. These books inspired me; I started writing my memoir in 1987; it took 25 years to finish it.

Are you the first person in your family to attend college or any formalized education?
After my father and mother divorced, I was raised by a paternal family member – on the paternal side they were highly educated and included judges, pharmacists, principals of schools, etc. On my maternal side of the family no one has ever been educated past elementary school. They were indigenous healers including my grandfather the Voodoo Priest and shaman who brought me back to life when Western doctors could not. I grew up being ashamed of them and kept them a secret.

How has the media/press response been to your book?  Is it available for purchase online and/or via Nook or Kindle?
The book has been very well received by readers and the media alike. It was a finalist for Best Memoir at the USA News Award Best Books for 2012; I have done both radio and TV interviews regarding the book.

Any additional books in the works?
Definitely; they include:

. Is It My Hormones – Or Is It Something Else: How to find out what’s REALLY causing my physical, mental, and emotional symptoms—and what to do about it
. I Neglected My Vagina: Things I Wished I Knew about Painful Sex, Masturbation & Sex Toys
. Moving Beyond Sexual Trauma: A Victim No More!

Q.  In closing, do you have anything you’d like to share with our readers about yourself and/or from reading your memoirs:

Circumstances and many life challenges have given me the opportunity to go far beyond what was expected of me. I was encouraged to dare to dream big and blessed to be able to envision for myself things I had never even seen. I was gifted with an optimistic outlook. I have been able to formulate goals, seize the opportunities that came to me, and watch my goals manifest by taking life head on and overcoming the obstacles on my path because I saw them as opportunities.

I’ve had the pleasure of living in many countries, speaking many languages and having dear friends from all walks of life. I was able to get an excellent education from top-notch institutions around the world that others only dream of. I’ve had the blessing of becoming a doctor, a surgeon, and in 1982 started a private practice in San Diego as the first black woman OB-GYN in Southern California.

To whom much is given, much is expected. I also never forgot where I came from. I now use my rare combination of skills in community clinics in San Diego and in my beloved Haiti.

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