I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure exactly what a shaman is
, going into this. I thought vaguely of Hollywood stereotypes, of dancing around fires and of ayahuasca retreats
. I knew one person who’d seen a shaman before; she told me she spent an hour crying as he muttered words over her body, believing this to have been a transformative spiritual experience. I was worried about cultural appropriation
and aware that what I was entering into is a religious doctrine for many people, though it’s a kind of spirituality that is worlds away from my Roman Catholic upbringing. When I texted my dad to ask for my grandma’s maiden name because "my shaman needs to know", I could see him typing, typing, typing, typing before he gave up and simply replied with the info.