Secret Training Methods of the Ancients Revealed! Impress your friends! Attract more women! Be the life of the party!
Tired of wasting time, twiddling your thumbs waiting for that Divine Shamanic Call? Super-charge your election to shamanship with these quick and sure-fire methods! Traditionally, shaman-training takes many years of boring enculturation and servitude as an apprentice, followed with even more tiresome waiting beside the village conch shell for word of your acceptance by the gods. BUT NO MORE! You, yes even YOU can become a genuine shaman by following this streamlined method!
Step 1 : Induce insanity.
Traditionally, the necessary shamanic dementia is passed down through family lines. When hereditary madness fails, it can be induced by psychoactive herbs, torturous ceremonies, and solitary fasts in the wilderness. Now, modern simplified (and yet still torturous) rapid-fire methods are available. Possibilities include setting your child’s Barney CD on infinite repeat, or watching 100 straight hours of Fran Drescher as “The Nanny.” If the insanity approach fails, a near-death experience is a classical alternative that shouldn’t be overlooked. Some South American shamanic hopefuls stand about on the mountaintops during thunderstorms, hoping to be struck by lightning as an initiatory ordeal. A modern adaptation might be heading for the golf course in a thunderstorm. It’s a win-win situation. If you’re struck by lightning, you’re well on your way to becoming a shaman. If not, you’ll get in some much needed practice and improve your golf score!
Step 2: Provoke the Gods-of-your-choice to disassemble, dismember, or otherwise destroy you.
Once you have destroyed yourself mentally and/or physically, you’ll need to be taken apart, spiritually. This step is a bit tricky, as you’ll need to enlist the help of one or more deities for this part of your journey. Traditionally, such patron spirits are inherited through a lineage, but since you won’t have one, more creative measures are needed to get their attention. One time-tested method is to approach the Gods, stick out your tongue, and shout “Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!” at them. Alternatively, you can offer to show them your Fran Drescher videos. Either method should result in a suitable spindling, mangling, and mutilation of the soul.
Step 3: Beseech the Gods-of-your-choice to put you back together in a form vaguely reminiscent of a human.
(Four limbs, no gaping wounds, and some semblance of a belief system is the ideal, though not always achieved.)
Begging is recommended. So is falling flat on your face (assuming you still have one), weeping and gnashing your teeth (assuming you still have those, too). Alternatively, you may choose to offer yourself to the Gods as an after-dinner snack or a fulltime sex-toy, or promise to devote yourself to seeking out and destroying every known copy of “Barney Sings Sinatra.”
Admittedly, none of these techniques has proven successful in every circumstance. Or, for that matter, in any circumstance. Exactly what causes the Gods to take interest in a particular shamanic hopeful remains an unknown factor. Sometimes it happens, mostly it doesn’t. Sorry. You’re on your own. Let me know how it goes. (Assuming, of course, you’ve retained the ability to speak.)
Step 4: Wait around ’til the Gods stuff you back into your body.
OK, so there is still some thumb-twiddling involved. But eventually, sometime after reassembly, the Gods should spit you out of their realm, and back into this one. Rude, I know, but that’s generally how it happens. PTUOOIEE. In rare instances, initiates have been required to give birth to themselves. Warning: the Gods believe in natural childbirth. No drugs. Lots of blinding pain. Personally I recommend the Divine Spittle method. It’s just simpler.
Step 5: Spend the rest of eternity pondering your immense stupidity.
Many initiates find any additional free time is well spent in serving the Gods responsible for their re-assembly, lest the Gods be displeased and once again rearrange their internal organs. Others occupy themselves searching for a shamanic position in society. For an modest fee, I’ll be glad to aid you in preparing a shamanic resumé suitable for presentation to tribal chiefs, cult leaders, and CEOs. However, because of the unpredictability of the market and the temperamental nature of the gods, I cannot guarantee your acceptance in a shamanic community. Most indigenous cultures hire from within their own ranks. Occasional freelance work is contracted out through head-hunters. This work is considered high risk, and should be priced accordingly.
So there you have it. The road to shamanic power lies open before you! Follow these simple guidelines, and you, too, can participate in Universal Healing through Insanity and Dismemberment!
SHAMAN GENERAL’S WARNING:
Actively seeking death or dismemberment may be detrimental to your health. Insanity has been linked to re-birth defects in certain shamanic initiates.
(Offer not valid in all states. Individual results may vary. Author not responsible for whims of the gods or the potential idiocy of seekers.)
Copyright © 2000-2002 by Tori McElroy