Week 16 ~ Letters to a Lost Lover ~ Peruvian Shamanism, Seriously?


“I have never, in all my life,

reacted so strongly to something I’ve read”


Hi Mark,

Welcome to summer time! Can you believe we’re into that time of year already? When I think back to this time last year, I feel almost dizzy at the amount of change that has happened. This time last year we were still writing to each-other, but we hadn’t met up. I was still in a marriage. So were you. If someone had told us what was ahead of us, I wonder if we’d have ended our correspondence then and there? I know I’m not a great one for secrecy but I often think these days that we’re better off not knowing what’s ahead of us – even the good stuff. How on earth would we make the most of the present, or pull ourselves together enough in the hard times to make it through, if we knew all of what lay ahead? Then, again, maybe from a much broader perspective – like the one that comes on a death bed – much of what we struggle with would seem insignificant and we’d see a bigger pattern weaving its way beautifully through our lives, even through the most difficult of times.

I’m heading off on a philosophical diversion there – sorry! In truth, though, I am in a rather philosophical mood at the moment. After sitting in the gap of nothing happening for what seemed like ages but which was, in fact, less than two months, a direction is opening up once more. As usual for these stepping stones that have been appearing in my life, I’ve no idea where it’s leading. All I know is that it feels very right to follow it. You’ll have to bear with me as I go back over what’s happened, small though it might seem to you, thousands of miles away in another country with a new life unfolding as well. Your punishment for cutting me off with no further word is having to endure the results of my reflection and angst! (Who am I kidding – I know you’re not reading any of these, but I still write as a way of exorcising my demons and trying to make sense of what’s happening to me).

I finally got bored a few weeks ago with having nothing new to experiment with and no new experiences happening. I’ve continued with the meditation, using the pendulum and the basic healing techniques I’ve learned, but it seems as if I’ve reached a plateau with those for the moment. Eventually, I decided to go and get the book on writing which my shaman had recommended so I wandered into the bookshop after work one evening to pick it up. As usual, I couldn’t just buy one book – I had to see what else might be interesting. As it turned out, on a shelf nearby was a copy of a shamanic book written by the man I know my shaman trained with. On a whim, I bought that book as well.

When I got home, I picked up the shamanic book. It’s a slim paperback, and very undaunting to look at – it seemed a much easier starting point than the other tome which has exercises and all kinds of other material that I’m sure I’ll wade through in the future. From the first page, it grabbed me. There was just something about it that pulled me right in. By the second chapter, as I read a description of a process called soul retrieval, I was shaking and crying so much I had to put it down. I have never, in all my life, reacted so strongly to something I’ve read. I honestly couldn’t stop shaking for half an hour or more! It was as if some instinctive response had been triggered, though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what.

I’m not sure if you’ve even heard of shamanic healing. I can’t say I know much about it myself. But I have never been so sure of something in my life as I was of wanting to learn more. I finished the book in a day, then contacted a society listed on the back to find out about training. Their training programme takes two years and is spread over a series of week-long modules, most of which take place in the US. When I looked at the website, it turned out the most recent European programme started in the UK in April, so I figured I’d have to wait perhaps a year or more until the next one started.

But talk of things coming together! It turns out they have had so much extra interest this year that they’re running a catch-up class (which is a repeat of April’s module) in six weeks time, with the second module in September. And the bank approved me a loan straight off when I applied, so I’m fully booked and flying out in two weeks time! I’m so excited and nervous, and yet I know that this is where the last few months with Cian have been leading. I’m trying hard to keep my head out of the way as every now and then I can hear it whisper in disbelief, ‘What, Peruvian shamanism? Are you serious?’

Mark, I probably won’t write again until after that first week is over, and God knows who or what I’ll be like at that stage. I’ve no doubt it’ll be transformational. I know, deep down, that I’ve been asking for a transformation for a long time. You’ve been part of the process, the catalyst that got it going. But I know it’s not over yet. My sense is that this programme will put me through the mill and spit me out a very different person.


So, for now, I’ll say I love you and hope that you’re happy in whatever you’re doing. Wish me well (and wish me luck!), if you happen to read this.

You’ll be in my heart, your memory keeping me warm, as I stray into this very new land…



(The Blog Novel of the Letters unfolds here regularly.  If you’d like to be alerted as they are published, please just ‘follow’ my blog)

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