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The Skeptic Visits a Shaman

After heartbreak, writer Rebecca Green finds healing—and her spirit animal—in a place she never expected.

Heal

Photo Credit: Gary Seronik

I’m lying on a padded table, clutching two heavy stones. A didgeridoo vibrates inches from my body, sending chills through my toes. Tears flow as I try to stop caring about my smeared mascara. I have to be at work soon. I don’t want anyone to know that I visited a shaman.A month earlier, a man I loved told me he could no longer “push himself” to be attracted to me. He had warned me when we met that he usually lost interest after sex and that he had rarely slept with the same woman twice. But since his last failed relationship, he had sought enlightenment from a shaman in the Peruvian jungle, and so he promised that he was different now. Seduced by my own fragile heart’s reawakening, I believed him. We had sex once, and he never wanted to touch me again.We dragged out the relationship for a few more painful, chaste weeks, but his interest never returned. One afternoon, he announced with compassionate contempt that it was over.I called my psychiatrist, renewed my Prozac prescription—and then threw all the pills away. I didn’t want to be on antidepressants. I wanted to grieve properly. I started seeing my …

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