Did something come up? Why you should never just cancel your shamanic healing session
In this fast-paced city of ours (hello Toronto), sometimes 24 hours in a day is simply not enough. I get it: Things get busy, things pop up, sometimes you’re legitimately tired and want to cancel your shamanic healing session…
But cancelling on your shamanic practitioner is not like cancelling on your massage therapist or your chiropractor (not that you should do that either). It’s different, and here’s why:
When I agree to see a client, after the 30-minute call, the first thing I do is journey. I ask the spirits “Are you willing to help this person, will this person be helped, am I the right practitioner to help them, will they be safe, will I be safe?”
Time: 1 hour
If the spirits say “go ahead,” then I do another journey to ask how to prepare for your visit. I may be told to say certain prayers or leave certain offerings. There may be a new spirit who comes out of the wood work and requires a level of ‘getting to know you’ before I will actually work with them on your healing.
I do what I’m asked: I leave the offerings, I pray, I refrain from alcohol, I chant, I walk in the forest, I gather cedar or certain medicines, I buy tobacco, I feast the spirits -or my instruments – or your deceased mother or what have you (it’s different for every client). I put your name on my alter, and day by day, before you come, the power grows. We are all getting ready for you.
Time: 1 hour to days
The closer we get to your shamanic healing session, the more the spirits talk to me about you. They may say “share with her this teaching, read her this poem but in Gaelic, make me this last-minute offering,” and I do all of it, because that’s my gift, and the reason I have that gift is to help you.
Time: Usually a few hours in total dispersed a little each day, the week before you come
The day before you come, I make sure the space is clean because that’s just professional and it clears my mind to work in a clean space, and honestly, I want you to focus on your healing, not be preoccupied with dust bunnies.
Time: 1 hour
The day of your shamanic healing session, I physically prepare and spiritually sanctify the space. I make my spirit offerings. I pray and call the spirits. We bless my tools. I do my power animal dance to welcome them and strengthen the connection. I journey one last time to seek guidance on exactly how things will unfold. I prepare the dog so he is out of sight and hearing when you arrive. Now and again, I sit down and have a cup of tea.
Time: 2 hours, plus tea time
Once you arrive, the appointment is usually anywhere from an hour to two hours, and I won’t see more than two clients in a day.
This is why, when I get a last-minute cancellation, for a reason other than something truly unpreventable, my initial reaction is…well…not happy.
I have had clients say “I will pay your fee,” and that’s certainly appreciated, but it doesn’t address the underlying feeling that all this effort (by both me and the spirits) was not honoured.
You see, healing work is not transactional. It’s not like a massage therapist or chiropractor who will charge you nonetheless, but can likely fill that slot in their day. We don’t work like that, and when you randomly cancel on us, it’s a big deal; not because that slot now isn’t filled, but because of all the effort that went into your visit beforehand. I couldn’t fill that slot if I wanted to.
Time: (To go from angry to sad to ‘there is a lesson here for me’) Slowly getting better!
While things will always come up, and that’s understandable, my hope is that, now that you know what goes into a preparing for your healing session, you will be empowered to respect the work, and to develop a solid working relationship with your practitioner and his or her healer spirits.