Shaman Power

on April 23, 2012 in Misc

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.





7 Responses to “Shaman Power”

  1. This lady sounds like a con artist. Then again…that’s from an atheist. I don’t believe in curses, magic, heaven, hell, god, the devil, grumkins, snarks, boodles, and goblins. If she were to give me some speech on her mumbo jumbo, I’d tell her she’s mentally ill and needs to see a psychiatrist to get meds. If she threatened me with a curse, I’d poke her in the eye. I don’t have time for that crap. It belongs in fiction.

  2. Helena says:

    Michael — Seriously, she’s a sweet outdoorsy person who’d never curse anything or anyone and spends a good chunk of her time on charity. But you’re right about this stuff being in fiction — I think the kind of stories she tells, true or false, could be a great source for paranormal novels. That’s why I mentioned Joe Hill’s book (son of Stephen King).

  3. Oh that’s good then. I like sweet ladies, but I’d only raise my ire if I found something and she said “Oh if you take that you’ll be cursed!” I 100% would take it if I thought that no one would mind (legally) or if I wasn’t damaging a historical place. But I will not be scared by curses. Just don’t believe in it.

  4. Hart says:

    Oh, how interesting! I am totally like you. I’d figure ‘nature stuff’ belongs there and I shouldn’t mess with it, but man-made is just history. I’m an American mutt and the curses i can buy are more the ‘don’t mess with nature or nature will mess with you’ sort than believing people can actually curse each other. Man, though, talk about some good fiction fodder!

  5. Helena says:

    Hart — Fiction fodder indeed. Sometimes ya never know where inspirations can come from.

  6. Old Kitty says:

    Naughty Layla! Leave things alone! LOL! There be curses and what not! LOL! Oh I beleive in them – truly – especially old, ancient, before history type curses – cos they sound ever so spooky and I scare easily! LOL! Take care

  7. Helena says:

    Old Kitty — I love stuff that sounds spooky, but even I pick up old, strange objects and so does Layla. That’s why she gets in trouble.