My rolodex, once filled with the names and contact information for CEOs, executives, very wealthy individuals and philanthropists, movers and shakers, influencers, and other supposedly very important people, is now painted carefully and colorfully with the names and contact information for intuitives, energy healers, Reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, psychic channels, life coaches, and the like. I meditate at a Buddhist Monastery, I attended service at the Spiritual Living Center, I go to talks at the Self-Realization Fellowship and Unity Church. I talk about things like Energy Medicine and Karma and animal totems. And I put on nice clothes and conservative earrings everyday and I go to work after I drive my daughter to a private school. Funny the way my life has turned out.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this fact as I prepared to see a Shaman, which I did last night.
I made my sister go with me because like me, she’s a seeker and embraces these non-traditional forms of spiritual guidance. And because unlike me, she’s not even a little afraid of them.
I am. I’m a little afraid of them because I don’t want just anyone going and messing with my energy.
But off we went, to see a Shaman. In Stone Mountain, Georgia. He has a strong southern drawl, heavily trained in Peruvian Shamanistic traditions and influences. He’s probably in his late 60s and sports a long white ponytail, jeans and a t-shirt. His home is hidden behind an overgrowth of bushes and weeds. There’s old furniture cast aside on the front porch, which is also covered in cobwebs.
I’m a little freaked out, but too exhausted by my own life and my own mind to argue with myself anymore about being afraid. The truth is I’m not afraid in that moment. All that’s left in me is some instinctive level of self-protection, and that’s okay. I’ll keep that.
He greets us both with a big hug, he remembers the story I told him over the phone when we talked, the story of how we were orphaned, the story of what’s happened since then, that life seems never to give us a break, the kind of breaks we really need by now, the kind that mean just a long moment of comfort or peace, of knowing that you can handle most, if not all, of what comes your way, that life might include health and prosperity instead of constant suffering and sickness and loss and reminders of loss.
He calls me by my name and pronounces it correctly. And he calls my sister by hers. This amazes me because so few people, especially ones that we’ve just met, can do this.
He takes us to his healing room, the smell of burning incense or something I can’t quite place is strong and the room is filled with animal skins, spears and swords, a carefully arranged Mesa, or altar, filled with rocks and statues and crystals and animal skulls and more spears. I’m wondering what he’s going to do with those spears.
He invites us to look around and ask if we have any questions. What I want to ask is what do you do with all those spears and swords and where the hell did all these skulls come from. Instead I politely ask about the objects on the Mesa, about what the healing session I’m there to experience will entail, imagining that he will come at me like a crazy man with one of those damn spears, but then I remember that’s part of the reason I have my sister there. She will either stop him or at least bear witness to my untimely demise.
I tell him I have some anxiety, that I’m feeling very protective of my energy right now, that I’m feeling especially vulnerable what with being an orphan and my recent gut wrenching break-up and abandonment issues and all. I think about Greg and wish so much that I could tell him about all of this. He would like it here. He would have a million questions. He’d want to rearrange his altar at home to include some of these influences. I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to tell him about Sam, the Shaman in Stone Mountain. For the first time in many weeks, maybe months, I feel a sense of peace and love when I’m thinking about Greg, and my desire to tell him about all of this.
Sam suggests that we break the healing session up into a few different visits so that I can gauge my own comfort level. This sounds pretty good to me. I only like a half dose of any kind of medicine I’m taking, including the energetic kind.
I sit in a chair in front of the Mesa and he asks me to notice a few items that call out to me. I do this without knowing, of course, what my selections will mean, and then we review them together. The items I’ve selected:
a beautiful ornate conch shell that’s had intricate designs carved into it
a statue of a woman, looks like a Peruvian Goddess, I noticed her when we first walked in
a beautiful crystal with a pointed tip that reminds me of something from my childhood
a pendant that I think has a seahorse on it, but turns out it’s a mermaid
another statue of a woman with a full belly and breasts, she’s painted in blues and greens
and another statue, that has its back to me, but for some reason is calling to me so I include it
And so here’s what they all mean. Here’s my diagnosis. I am in a time where I will reach my full potential. The women, all of them represent the manifestation of one’s full potential. The crystal represents a bright star (opposite the crystal I chose was a selection of dark stars, but I liked the shiny beautiful crystal bright star. Yay.) The mermaid, a Goddess of the water, she communes with dolphins and whales, and the evolution of mankind. One of the feminine statues says she will take great care of you but don’t go messing with her. The shell with the ornate carvings represents full balance in all things. I am coming into a time of great balance. True dat.
I feel a great sense of relief about this diagnosis, both because I’d actually gotten essentially the same diagnosis from an intuitive I’d met with just the day before and also because it’s opposite from the diagnosis I might have given myself which would sound something more like I’m all fucked up and sad and lost. But that’s a different story I will tell at a different time.
He had me stand while he held a huge condor feather, he took three bottles of liquid, blew into each one, sipped out of them, and then spit the liquid all over me.
No for real. That’s what he did.
I really wished he had warned me he was going to do this before he did it. But hell by this point I didn’t much care, except I did wonder for a minute if it was poison liquid or if it was going to make me hallucinate or something. It didn’t and it smelled interesting. Then he took the feather and swatted away the negative energy, even stopping for a moment to suck out some remaining dark stuff from my 3rd chakra. My eyes were closed and it was a good thing because I’m not sure how I would have reacted if I’d seen him leaning into my solar plexus and inhaling so hard to suck out the bad stuff. He’d in part been casting off any witchcraft or evil spirits that might have been put on us, considering all that we’ve been through and infusing me with more contact with the spirit world. I’m good with that. Thank you, Sam.
Then my sister went through the same process. He gave us each a small carved amulet to take with us so we could carry the good spirits with us and so that he could continue to send healing to us.
He called us by name. He hugged us goodbye. We would return soon for the next part of the healing session.
We both feel very relaxed and peaceful.
We’re not sure which roads to take on the drive home so my sister turns on the GPS which is directing us in a way that doesn’t seem right to me. My sense of direction wants to take us in the opposite direction than the GPS is pointing us but I decide to go with the GPS and see what happens. My internal compass is broken right now and I know it. I’m having to rely on other kinds of machinery to lead me where I need to go. I’m having to rely on messages I’m getting from other places, not from my own mind, to remind me where I’m heading. And so the GPS leads us straight to the road home.
Which, as it turns out, is exactly the opposite of the place I’d been heading.