Someone tipped me off to this @kellymorrisyoga Twitter page the other day, but I had to check it out for myself. Apparently, it is true…. Kelly Morris is an official self-proclaimed “shaman.”
Now, I know Kelly has been throwing around the S-word for some time now, but I had no idea that she self-identified as an S-word. I mean, why isn’t this like front page news? It’s not like everyone and their mother becomes a real living shaman. And, I’m pretty sure most shamans are deemed such by their peers (and not the other way around), so this news of Kelly’s new tag is probably huge, right? Like, for real. There is an actual yoga teacher, living in NYC, who doubles as a shaman. This is fantastic frickin’ news! You actually can not make this shit up!
Nevertheless, I have got to know: How long was that shamanic apprenticeship? I mean, I’m sure Kelly didn’t just attend a few Q’ero workshops, apprentice with a Westerner, and drink a couple cups of ayahuasca, and call it a day, right? ‘Cause, like, that’d be ridiculous. And, if that were the case, she’d be the literal laughing stock of the entire yoga community, right? Like, if Kelly actually spent no real time among native shamanic peoples, had not spent any significant time (like half a lifetime) within a society that had a functioning intact shamanic culture, than we would ALL write her off publicly as a complete fraud, yes?
It’s not like this section of a public Google Groups email that was passed around in July of 2012 sounds weird or anything….
Sent: Thu, July 19, 2012 10:24:09 PM
Subject: **important news** from Kelly..
As many of you know who have kept in touch with me the CLY Program
is adding in a wonderful new component, that of shamanism
I am apprenticing with a master shaman, Liz Seidel, who will be coming
in August 11-12 to teach for a whole weekend!!! [emphasis added]
Obviously it makes total sense that an entire culture of sacred knowledge, like shamanism, could be simply “added” as a “component” to an already existing Teacher Training Program such as Morris’ Conquering Lion TT, right? That’s not, like, salad bar spirituality, is it?
Not to be all “cultural appropriation” on the scene, but is this just more plastic shamanism?
PS: I should also say that I have had many many many conversations on the matter of pale faces appropriating spiritualities not indigenous to their own culture. This is a very complex and sensitive issue. More to come.