Why The Bloody hell is Shamanism part of Mental Health Week?

Hi, I’m Sarah. I used to do a bit of comedy back in the day; some of you might remember me holding up a psychic magazine (Chat, It’s Fate), and being snide about past lives.

Now I find myself, as one of the directors of Angel Comedy, pushing for Shamanism to be included as part of The Best Medicine Festival, our mental health week. What on earth happened?

Well, I did this Intro course with Dean. I wasn’t expecting much; was just interested in finding out about something I had no prior experience of. Dean started talking about different worlds, and – as a card carrying atheist – I was sceptical to say the least. And then I met my power animal, felt like I’d mainlined MDMA, and said to my boyfriend ‘shit, does that mean it’s all true then?’. He shrugged – ‘does it matter?’

Over the next few years, I started helping to build a comedy venue, training to be a therapist and having a baby – so performing took a back seat. I struggled with burn out and anxiety and throughout this period, my continued practice of Shamanism truly helped with my mental health.

A way to connect to a deeper, wiser level of myself; to my self-compassionate unconscious. A way to just ‘be’ (which, as an active thinker and do-er isn’t easy, believe me). A way to ‘be’ that’s a bit more exciting than meditation, because you get to meet Kali and David Bowie and unicorns and stuff.

As time went on, I started to realise I was experiencing this ‘spirituality’ that people kept going on about. A very grounded, practical, useful spirituality – and one that feels very much ‘mine’. Everyone’s is different, and that’s the beauty of shamanism: it’s NOT one size fits all. Dean offers you a framework and then you’re off to explore yourself and your connection to the world. And if that isn’t relevant to mental health, I don’t know what is.