Bromide is said to be present in the volcanic basin of Lake Chapala and reportedly is emitted into the air above the lake. A bromide is a compound of bromine with another element, including some used as sedatives. The figurative term “bromide” derives from the historical use of such bromide salts in medicine as mild tranquilizers and sedatives. Potassium bromide was used to treat everything from epilepsy to sleeplessness. Focus on Mexico reports that “…Lake Chapala has been studied by the Japanese and found to have both high magnetic levels and high levels of bromide. High magnetic levels are found to be curative in nature… and bromide aids in sleep and is a natural mood enhancer.”
Then there’s the original Emitter, the one called La Vieja Machis by the Coca people who inhabited the shores before the Spaniards came. She’s the Fish Goddess Crone who calls the four winds and rules the weather and communes with the moon. She received countless offerings of tiny bowls from the Coca fishers and farmers, offerings still surfacing. The Huicholes, who call themselves the Wixárika People, one of the last living Pre-Hispanic cultures in Latin America, consider her waters a sacred site today. In my dreams I have seen her. She rises from these waters, a dark and powerful Madonna, wild white hair like a jeweled net nestled with rainbow fishes. Who’s to say, maybe it is She who makes the shores of this largest freshwater lake in Mexico so peaceful, maybe the elixer is the aromatic bromide of Her divinity.