Shaman Myths Busted | Meghan Gilroy

Shaman Myths Busted


1. Shamans are scary

Okay, so this one’s true. Very true. But some of us are not scary at all. We shop at Target. We forget to pay the bills or remember our brother’s birthday. We stress out over how we will meet a deadline while checking in on our aging parents and getting our kids to their 16 different afterschool activities. Yet underneath it all, we remember that we are human. We all get scared. Sometimes we lose it (and become scary ourselves), but try to do our best in the craziness of life. We all have the power to choose to live in love or fear. Day by day. Baby steps.

2. Shamans live in exotic places like the Andes, on the high plains of Mongolia, or at least on top of a mountain in Colorado – in a yurt or a teepee no less.

Some of us do, yes. Here’s a shout-out to all our Shaman Girl sisters in Boulder. But others, like me, live in a quaint Victorian house in, yep, suburbia. No matter where we end up living, it’s how we live that counts. What’s important to you? What makes your life meaningful? What makes you happy?

3. Shamans run around in an alternate realm of woo-woo devoid of everyday reality.

Um-hum. But I also know shamans who are biz execs at major corporations, stay at home moms, and board certified medical doctors. You can be a Shaman Girl and have a “normal” life too – well, almost normal.

4. Shamans battle the dark forces of evil.

I half-consciously believed this one for years. Yet we can also be healers and light workers and soccer moms who don’t open worm holes into alternative universes or attract sinister entities. No thank you. Each of us has our own way, our own gift, of how we interact with the world, how we connect to our awesome inner goddess-ness. It’s our mission to find it and share it. You have a spark of light, creativity, a knowing within you. Be courageous enough to share it. Even if it looks like telling the demanding (evil-ish) teacher at your kid’s school you can’t possibly host another event or stepping up to try on a new role at work in spite of the (sinister) co-worker that wishes you’d fail.

5. Shamans look, dress – and smell – funny.

Long messy hair, feathers as a fashion statement, and smelling of patchouli oil. Am I right? Fortunately hippie glam is in, but plenty of us eschew prancing around in feathers. Most of us do wear shoes. Shaman Guy has a whole closet full to prove it. Except Shaman Boy – who thankfully is not representative of us shaman folk, we do bathe. My apologies for those who cover up with patchouli oil.  We are working to convince the remaining few of us who never leave home without a medicine bag, that it should at least be accessorized stylishly to our outfits.

6. Shamans need help navigating through the every day world.

Shamans must always have a spirit animal on call in case they need a little energetic back up. After rambling incoherently, uhI mean communing with the spirit world, they must have a translator report the message. Well, I’m hoping that after reading Shaman Girl, I’ve helped dispelled these myths. I haven’t called on my spirit animal in days.