I was lucky enough to score an extra ticket to a modern shamanism class in Los Angeles. What I knew of shamanism prior to the intro course was limited at best and while I like to be spontaneous, I also like to be prepared. I tried to research the event itself but also knew that the lower expectations that I had, the better. Luckily, there wasn’t much information on the event, so I was going rogue. My friend Julie and I talked the night before to discuss our plan of attack and the car situation so that when we walked in wearing yoga pants and leggings compared to everyone else’s Levi’s and boots, we would at least be partner pariahs. And that’s exactly what happened.
Quickly disposing of our corporate Starbucks coffee cups in fear of being judged by hemp-loving, incense-burning, damn-the-Man hippies, we walked into the Manhattan Beach Marriott. The room was markedly less Marriott than anticipated: an ambiance that consisted of a 30-chair circle and a maraca rattling, rain stick thrusting, and indigenous Amazonian drum pounding ditty awaited us.
In the car, Julie joked that it was going to be one of those, “I see your light, and I appreciate you” workshops and it seemed to be the case. For a hot second I thought I’d be a real jackass and use this as an excuse to practice my comedic repertoire on the cheap. I’d play the straight man and ask the shaman questions as if he were a World of Warcraft expert: Do you throw lightning bolts? Can you see into the world of spirits and communicate with creatures invisible to eyes of mere mortals? When did you discover this other realm? On Draenor, now shattered Outland, the orcs were shamanistic; on Azeroth, trolls and tauren were shamanistic. Though shamanism on Azeroth flourished and still continues to, shamanism on Draenor was all but extinct by the time of the great crossing of the Horde into Azeroth via the Dark Portal. Your thoughts, sir?