Archive for April 23rd, 2012

Shaman Power

on April 23, 2012 in Misc 7 Comments »

I think I told y’all some time back about a sports massage therapist I’ve been to a couple times.  See, if you’re like me and do stuff like fencing and stretching and clumsy workouts, you’re gonna throw some muscles and tendons out of whack.  So I go to Shannon Marie because she’s a phenom who excels at putting body parts back where they belong.

Anyway, on Sunday I ran into her at Cost Plus (where I get my English tea fix) and we chatted.  Turns out she just got back from Peru, where the SAMI institute she founded does humanitarian work in a couple isolated mountain villages, and where she takes American clients on hiking/shamanic journeys.

I’m not exaggerating.  This woman has studied with shamans in Peru and has enough mother earth knowledge that she gets called on by CEOs and other bigwigs (mostly in Colorado and California) to help them out with personal or unusual problems.  Like spiritually “clearing” a stretch of land that is getting redeveloped or a barn that seems to be haunted, or “encouraging” an overbearing mother-in-law to move away.

Anyway, she mentioned how she always has to watch a few of her clients on these Peruvian treks because they’re forever wanting to pick up potsherds or other man-made relics that litter the countryside.  Stones and the like are okay, she said, but anything man-made might be booby-trapped.  As in cursed.  As in don’t touch it and don’t take it with you or bad things will happen to you.  And she’s seen this happen to people plenty of times.

This is where Layla and I are so different from Shannon Marie.  If I were on a trek and saw some man-made relic (an arrowhead, an ancient figurine) OF COURSE I’d pick it up and check it out and pocket it and feel like a little kid who just found shiny marbles.  Layla is a sophisticated antiquities hunter who’s gotten her hands on some major finds, especially of the papyrus/illuminated manuscript/parchments variety.  But curses?  We don’t believe in no curses…

Well, the Irish part of me almost believes.

See, I grew up with the old country stories of curses and blessings and things that go bump in the night.  So while the scientific part of my brain would dismiss it all as “RUBBISH!” — something primeval in my genes wants me to go  ghost hunting and on other paranormal explorations.

BTW, I’m still not having any luck in the ghost hunting department.  Dang it.

Also on a visceral level, I found myself wondering what I would do if I came across a “booby-trapped” object that carried a curse of bad luck.  Leave it alone?  Pass it on to an evil person who needs a comeuppance?  Hide it so that no one would ever use or abuse it?  What would you do if you could get your hands on something that truly carried a curse?

Joe Hill’s novel Heart-Shaped Box deals with this idea on a much more deadly and scary level.

On the nonfiction side there’s Finders Keepers — A Tale of Archeological Plunder and Obsession.  Author Craig Childs writes about his travels in the Southwest and how he’s sometimes torn about taking an object he comes across or leaving it exactly where he found it, and why.  It’s a good read.