What's Your Spirit Animal?

There is a revered type of shaman the Andean people refer to as a Yatiri. Legend goes that initiates will be struck by lightning — and survive — if shamanism is their true calling.

I read about the Yatiri in a book once, and was extremely impressed. 

Years later, having dove headlong into the shamanic path, I stood on a hilltop in Peru smoking ceremonial tobacco. Ominous black clouds blew in from the West. Sheets of rain began pouring from the skies. Suddenly the air felt thick, and electric. My hair stood on end. 

It was in this moment when my delusions of becoming a shaman suddenly evaporated. I scurried down from the hill like a startled mouse. A single crack of lightning ripped through the air just above me. 

The Andeans have another word, Panata. It means: one who has been mistakenly struck. I didn’t want to be that guy.

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