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From the ground floor of the COVID-19 pandemic:

I’m sitting here in my suburban house in the Austin, Texas area, my third day home in self-selected isolation. I am one who is in the higher risk category for deadly complications from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which is a potential symptom of an aggressive COVID-19 infection. …

Someone in my larger spiritual circle who doesn’t really know me well recently judged my “health issues” (aka CANCER) as “illusion”, and the conclusion then drawn was that I am not as spiritual or as enlightened as him. It’s certainly not the first time I have experienced this kind of attack. Basically, if I am truly a spiritual person, or even more precisely, if I am a shaman, I wouldn’t have become ill in the first place.

Many people don’t fundamentally understand shamanic initiation or the purpose of affliction and suffering.

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Kathe Kollwitz: Tod and Frau (Death and the Woman)

But, as usual when I am ‘attacked’ I come back to center and introspect to discern what is me and what is not, what is true and what is projection- to find my power once again. This negative interaction made me really think about my walk with the Madre Muerta and where that puts me. The conclusion I came to is that I AM SHAMAN. Even with my process of my dis-ease AND healing I have walked a middle road, an in-between road. This is the hallmark of the shaman: to bridge the worlds, to reconcile the opposites. …

Perhaps it is my rebellious spirit warrior nature that questions everything. I don’t know if this is an asset or a detriment, but I do know that it often puts me out of the status quo of whatever circle I find myself in. I tend to think this questioning of authority, of the prescribed beliefs within our culture, is an emerging trend, motivated by deeper impulses to evolve, preserve human kind, and make the world a better place to be. The shamanic impulse is a big part of this emergence, and as we tear down structures and systems that are no longer working for us, we must find a way to build new ones. The temptation for some is to be suspicious and even critical of those things that challenge the 'way things are’, and as the shamanic impulse becomes stronger and more apparent in modern cultures, it’s not surprising that resistance and misunderstandings arise. Even within the shamanic community itself I have encountered a lack of understanding and an oppressive spirit that seems to want to tamp down the shamanic impulse. …


Aimee K. Shaw

I AM shamanista, spirit warrior, stage IV cancer survivor, autism mom, writer/poet- here to live out loud & play with the power of words.

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