Jobs for Shamans
In writing Incensed, part of my inspiration was how much humor can be mined in the arena of personal transformation, which I actually do take (somewhat) seriously. Just to prove that you don’t have to make this stuff up, I recently received, from a person I’ll call “Norma”, the following email:
Subject: Are you a shaman?
I’m reaching out to you because (our website) is getting a lot of job leads for shamans, and I’m looking for another shaman who is interested in taking on more clients.
After checking out your website I think you are a great fit for (our website) and I’d love to start sending you job leads. Please fill out a few details about your skills and rates, and I’ll start forwarding you potential new clients.
If you have any questions about what (our website) can provide, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Now I think this is very interesting. Norma apparently did not even know my name (“Hey there”), and yet somehow was aware that I was, or might be a shaman. (A false assumption, as you will see below, yet intriguing.) Why would she presume so? Is Norma herself a shaman, with special shaman-recognizing powers? Could she have come across my email address in an shamanic directory somewhere, perhaps the Underworld? By “another shaman,” does she mean in addition to herself, because she has so many shaman assignments she can’t keep up with them all? Or perhaps she is more of an agent, matching shamans with those in need of one, for a percentage or a small fee.
Another fascinating point: Jobs for shamans? Really? In fact, this subject comes up in INCENSED, when Michaela returns home after having a profound inner experience (her first):
“She didn’t understand what she had gone through today at Rennie’s, but it felt significant. Rennie said her experience had elements of shamanism, which he explained as a kind of healing in native societies. Maybe she was supposed to be a shaman. Perhaps she was meant to go find a tribe somewhere that needed one, and offer her services. She wondered if they posted on Craigslist.
She didn’t know much about native tribes, but thought there were probably still some around, deep in rural Mexico, or the Amazon. But she hated being hot and sticky, and her Spanish wasn’t exactly mucho bueno. That’s if they even spoke Spanish. Some difficult, rare language, more likely, with sounds she wouldn’t be able to pronounce.
No, it would have to be American Indians. Northwest and Southwest tribes didn’t appeal to her because she felt their design elements had been overused. But there were some small, less famous tribes right here in California, judging by all the casinos. That was even better – close to civilization, in case she needed to shop for clothes or get a good meal. And if a casino tribe needed a new shaman, they could probably afford to pay her better.”
Not to toot my own horn (which, I should add, is not a magical giant Javanese snake horn, sold online for $368.72 USD, Excellent for Magickal Protection and Development, according to the website), but I did not even realize when I wrote the scene that “Jobs for shamans” was a real possibility! Perhaps Norma is right, and I have more shamanic capabilities than I realized. Maybe I should consider her offer. I mean, if it worked out, I could write my next book and still take on a few of Norma’s “potential new clients.”
So I decided to respond:
This is the second email you’ve sent me. I am surprised to hear there are job leads for shamans. Is that true? I have never said I was a shaman, but I know someone who might have those qualifications. However it is not a job that one generally advertises for, so I’m very curious.
Unfortunately, Norma did not write back. Instead, I received a reply from “Louis,” presumably Norma replacement (or perhaps Norma herself was just out performing a ritual):
Thanks for the email, and sorry about the confusion! We spend a large portion of our day hunting around online and offline for good, trustworthy service providers. We get leads from personal websites, customer recommendations, and job boards, so we may have mixed you up with someone else.
However, we do have Shamans available on our site, and they have been providing there (sic) services when needed 🙂 You can try searching for them here: (our website) “I’m looking for” [Shaman] + “Near me” [Location]
~ Louis, Customer Advocate
He also told me how to post my services, should I so wish.
I have to admire Louis, who is very polite, a trait perhaps more attributable to shamans than agents, although I’m sure it varies by individual. However I decided not to take Louis’s advice, and so I have not posted on their website. I just don’t feel ready. But if I should find I need a shaman, or maybe a job, it’s good to know Louis, and maybe even Norma, are available to help.