I saw the shaman on Friday. I’m not ready to refer to him as my shaman. I don’t think I’ll ever be/kind of hope I never am. Is talking about your shaman better or worse than talking about your therapist?
It was a pretty low-key meeting. I told him I felt better after the last session, and it’s true. I feel lighter, more positive and confident. It could be psychosomatic, but I’m still confused about what happened and not totally ready to believe it, so you think that would work against me. I’ve also already done a lot of trippy, alternative things over the years, but nothing else had such an immediate, positive effect as this brother-spirit-removal. It wasn’t even the first time I’ve had evil entities removed from my aura. It wasn’t even the second! But it was the first time it “worked.” The German woman who performed those cleansings years ago seemed perfectly competent, but she must have been asleep at the wheel if she managed to miss my dead brother. The German wasn’t a total wash, though. She looked at a picture of my intensely possessive boyfriend and told me he was cursed, which was totally believable and illuminating.
The shaman and I spent most of our time talking about my creative projects and how I’m going to have the life that I want. In retrospect, this session was a little more life-coachy than shamanistic. (That’s just a guess—I’ve never seen a life coach. Even I draw the line somewhere.) I tried to pry some information out of him. I wasn’t sure what was next in terms of my brother’s spirit—was he gone forever? Did I have to worry about him coming back? The shaman didn’t answer my questions; he just nodded and looked at me. I didn’t pay enough attention when it happened, but now that I’m thinking about it I’m annoyed. I mean, I need to know this stuff, right?
Later on in the conversation he asked me if I ever had an imaginary friend. I can’t remember why—maybe we were talking about creativity and magic? I told him I did when I was four or five years old. And her name was … Ringabell.
There is no explanation for that name. No one in my family knew where it came from, not even me. The generally accepted theory was that I got it from Anita Ward’s 1979 disco classic “You Can Ring My Bell,” but who knows? I was two when that song came out, and it was probably on the radio a lot over the next few years, but how did I get a name out of that hook?
I don’t remember much about Ringabell. I don’t know what she looked like, though I wonder if that can really be true. I have a very vivid imagination. I do remember I hated brushing my teeth when I was little, so my parents always wanted smell my breath after I got myself ready for bed to make sure I’d actually done it. I made them smell Ringabell’s breath too. There were a few times when my parents found me crying and I told them I was sad because someone in Ringabell’s family died. It was usually an uncle or brother, possibly the same ones again and again.
So that’s Ringabell. I don’t know what happened to her, but I do know she’s coming back. At least, I am going to try to bring her back.
The shaman told me that every night for the next two weeks, I need to sit in front of a candle and talk to Ringabell and ask for her guidance. I did this for the last two nights and… it went well? Last night I was a little tipsy by the time I got around to it, so even though I was trying really hard to focus my mind was wandering all over the place. Also, my short-term memory is totally shot (annoying), so there may have been more insight than I’m remembering. Speaking of not remembering anything, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am actually supposed to be writing down whatever happens in these moments, but I might be making that up. I will do that tonight, unless I forget to remember to do it. (Update: Not only did I forget to write it down, I forgot to even talk to her until I was reading in bed, so I talked to her from there, without a candle.)
Over the next two weeks I’m also supposed to take a bath filled with rose petals every Tuesday and Friday. I must boil the petals for three minutes before adding them to the bath. This is supposed to bring love into my life (or encourage me to love?), which seems weird, since I have a lot of love in my life, but I’m going with it even though it seems a leetle tragic and cheesy, and even though I hate roses because they are the flowers of amateurs. Maybe this is all to get me to love myself, but if I loved myself, I wouldn’t buy me roses. That said, I did the whole thing on Friday and, despite feeling ridiculous, taking a rose-filled bath is quite nice and now I understand why it happens in bad movies.
So that’s what’s going on in these parts, shaman-wise. Next time I see him we’re going to do a soul retrieval (I’ve also done that before, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him). He thinks that my soul isn’t completely connected, and I think I’m willing to see what happens.