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Bettina San Miguel
Vital statistics
Gender Female
Race Human,


Occupation Curandera/healer
Birthplace American Southwest
Date of Birth ?
Location Newford or Southwest American desert
Books appeared in Forests of the Heart

Brief description[]

Bettina San Miguel is a healer and a native of the American Southwest, part Native American, part Mexican. She feels drawn to Newford and thanks to her sister, Adelita (Adela), is able to take up residence in the exclusive artist's community of Kellygnow. However, her true home is in the desert in the south.

Early Life[]

Bettina learned the arts of the curandera or healer from a young age, as her grandmother Abuela took her and her sister Adelita into the desert to learn of the mysteries and spirits. Her magic, or brujeria, runs strong in her. She is the daughter of a seemingly ordinary mother, and a shaman father who travels the desert in hawk shape, together with peyoteros, some kind of shaman friends.

Her first foray into la época del míto or the spiritworld is by accident. She meets the colourful doglike los cadejos, volcano spirits who profess to be almost as old as Margaret, and they make a home in her.

When her beloved Abuela walks into a thunderstorm following the Trickster Dog of the gods, she is devastated, but decides to pursue the path of the curandera to the exclusion of ordinary school and studies.

Life in Newford[]

Feeling a calling she cannot explain, Bettina leaves her home in the desert near Tucson and travels north to Newford. Her sister, with her contacts in the art world, is able to find her a home in the rambling artist's colony of Kellygnow, somewhat outside Newford. Here she makes little charms for the other inhabitants, all of whom are artists or writers of one kind or another, and sits as a model for them.

"Forests of the Heart"[]

Troubled by her beliefs, the Christian clashing with the Native American and Mexican, by the disappearance or death of her grandmother and her father, as well as her turning away from everything lupine in the spirit world, she is at first very distrustful when she meets a man wearing the skin of a native spirit but the feeling of the Gentry. Eventually, her experiences and encounters leads her to find her own bosque de corazón, or "heart forest" (cf."Spirit Walk" etc) in an area in the desert near her home, and leads her to understanding and acceptance of past events, of herself, and of her bond to los cadejos, as well as more about her father and el lobo, her very own man in spirit wolf's shape.