In the indigenous cultures of Central America, what western medicine terms a mental illness is understood as signaling the birth of a healer or shaman. Mental disorders are viewed as spiritual emergencies that require support from sages in the community who understand the connection we have to the spirit realm. A shaman walks the thin line of insanity and bliss. There is nothing casual about how this calling presents itself. Those who become shamans must make a sacrifice: The mind must be rewired in order to make room for the soul. This is what happened to Lori Morrison several years ago.
Upon the death of her husband of 23 years, American-born Lori found herself living alone on the edge of a volcanic crater lake in El Salvador in contact with the spirits of hundreds of Mayans trapped beneath the waters waiting to be set free by her. In the throes of a full-blown mental crisis, she went from hospital ER to locked ward, to a daring adventure in the jungles of Colombia, where a team of local brujos helped her complete her transition into the role she currently plays as a healer and spiritual counselor. It is a powerful memoir of a woman coming to recognize herself and gifts that she has previously rejected so she may fulfill her destiny.
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