Coming out of the Shamanic Closet

So what happens when you discover you have more in your closet than just clothing?

I am talking about some serious skeletons… the literal kind. Until the age of 30, I was your typical New York City girl. I lived in Brooklyn, I worked in the fashion industry and spent my free time brunching with friends and throwing elbows at sample sales. I noticed something was “off” when I started experiencing what I would call a high level of intuition. I knew who was calling before I picked up my cell phone, I would know what people were going to say before it came out of their mouth, and I started having premonition dreams nightly and they would play out exactly as envisioned the very next day. Okay, whatever…I wrote it off.

Enter phase two of me not listening to the messages from the universe. I started seeing things. I would wake up in the middle of the night and there would be apparitions standing in my room. The first several times it happened I just kept thinking I drank too many glasses of wine at my local water hole in Williamsburg. Then a spiritual brick was hurled at me in my corner bodega at South 4th and Bedford.

I was standing in line with my favorite sandwich in hand ready to pay and I heard a booming voice say “A man will walk into the bodega to buy bananas and will be thirty-two cents short and there will be an argument over the money.” I spun around and nobody was there. I tried to rationalize the situation. I had been up all night preparing a trend presentation for my client and needed some serious beauty sleep. Five seconds later a man pushed in front of me with a handful of bananas and the whole scene played out right in front of my eyes. I went home and seriously considered checking myself into a mental hospital for further evaluation.

So where does one turn in a situation like this? Through a series of mystical twists and turns, I skeptically ended up in a psychic’s office, who kept shop in a second floor botanical emporium in the flower district. I walked up a set of rickety, shabby chic stairs and had to swat cherry blossoms and orchids out of my face to get to the unmarked door of my future destiny. I walked into his crystal laden office and our eyes locked in a moment that seemed to last an eternity. He ran over and grabbed my hands and said,

“Oh, honey you’re not crazy, you’re psychic! Sit down and let’s discuss.”

Here came the fast-moving ticker tape of thoughts running through my head. How could this man know this about me, he didn’t even know my last name? I stood eyes wide and mouth dropped open and flashed backed through all those WTF moments that had been happening since childhood. Do you remember those grade school contests where you had to guess the number of jellybeans in the jar? Well, I would guess the exact amount every time. My Mom told me once my little sister was upstairs playing tea party with her two imaginary friends named Dan and Carl. I sat in silence thinking, but I see them, what is she talking about?

So I may have been a weirdo, but at least I knew what kind of weirdo I was now. I was scared, confused, embarrassed and just plain freaked out. I didn’t understand what it meant to be an intuitive or a healer, but I was on a mission to figure it all out.

Shortly after the visit to the psychic, my first spiritual mentor entered my life. She was an energy healer who lived in the Bay Area. We had intense lessons every week for three years via phone. During one lesson she said she had an intuitive message that I was to attend Shaman school. Shaman school?! All these pictures of guys with feathered headdresses and bones in their noses kept popping up into my head. My mentor proceeded to tell me that I should attend a school called The Four Winds Society. She giggled on the phone and said perhaps you should check it out today, I believe it’s right down the street from you. During that particular phone session I happened to be in Joshua Tree for a photo-shoot, which she didn’t know about. I got off the phone and looked up the school and found out they held classes 11 miles from where I was staying. How did she know I was traveling and how did she know I was staying by the school? Another spiritual brick had been catapulted at my head. The call of the wild woman had apparently come knocking down my 4th floor walk-up door.

I did what any brazen New York girl would have done… I traded my high-heels for hiking boots and decided to get educated on all things mystical.

I traveled through the wilds of the Chilean outback, the desert back drop of Joshua Tree and the unpaved paths of Mount Shasta, Hudson Valley, Big Sur, Kauai and any other energetically charged hot spot I could get to between working on photo-shoots. I studied Peruvian Shamanism with the Four Winds Society, where I learned how to do hands on healing through the chakra system and how to connect with my spirit guides. I also learned the art of channeling in the Nordic & Celtic traditions and regularly attend sessions with a group of Mexican Curanderas where I learn about plant medicine and tinctures. In my free time you could always find me in the back woods of Chinatown in a crystal shop where I learned about gems, mediation, astrology, auras, Feng Shui and medicinal teas from a group of women I affectionately call “The Chinese Crystal Mafia”.

So now what? I had a successful 15-year career in the fashion industry as a designer, stylist, brand consultant and serial entrepreneur. So what happens when you add Shamanic Practitioner and intuitive to you repertoire? I really put myself through the mystical wringer in an effort to EMBODY my inner freak, but in the process I had manifested a whole new calling out of this adventure to reclaim my sanity.

At first, I began to incorporate my healing knowledge with everyone in my space: from backstage models to strangers in an airport. While on location at a photo-shoot or backstage at a fashion show countless glamazon girls would be standing there literally and emotionally naked in front of me, telling me their life stories and all there deepest darkest secrets. I was handing out all types of intuitive healing advice behind a dark stage curtain just like an old-school traveling gypsy with a crystal ball. It was a very gratifying experience to see the level of trust these girls could have with me to be their “secret sponge” and to be able to put my intuitive skills to the test. I would give advice after hearing what they had to say and it would always end with them saying…”How’d you know that?” or an emotional release, followed by lots of tears, hugs and smiles.

Since officially coming out of the Shamanic closet, I started a business called Style Rituals. I use my fashionista roots and spiritual know-how to realign the energetic body with the physical body. My working style is digestible, personable, non-judgmental and relatable. I want my clients to walk away having knowledge and skills of how they can incorporate what we worked on in a practical way. I may still clean out someone’s closet, but we are removing low vibrational clothing along with a hands-on healing, manifestation techniques, altar building and a discussion with their spirit guides. A typical day may consist of helping a client work on a real estate deal to helping someone through a traumatic breakup.

What I’ve been noticing lately is an insurgence of women ages 25-40 who are spiritually blasting wide opening and they have no idea what’s happening to them. I’m honored to be helping those that are going through exactly what I did. Along with seeing individual clients in New York and Los Angeles, I hold bi-monthly moon ceremonies and private workshops all over the country.

My newest ventures include being the resident Shaman for LA based Daily Bliss Yoga Retreats… Thailand in March with Peru and Morocco soon to follow! I am also launching a year long webinar series to help my clients work out the… ummm… kinks shall we say when they are seeing dead people, working with their intuitive abilities and being overrun by all the energetic stimulation that goes along with being highly sensitive. It’s so rewarding to help others remember who they really are and re-gain their sovereignty.

Storykeeper: Colleen McCann

Originally working in New York City as a fashion designer, stylist and brand consultant for clients like: Under Armour, Nordstrom’s, Calvin Klein, Betsy Johnson and L’Oreal, Colleen is well versed in how image and beauty can have an impact on the female psyche. However, through the years Colleen began to recognize that there was an alarming disconnect between women and their inner-beauty. This divide created a community of women who felt unsupported and over-all unhappy with themselves and the lives they were leading. Unwilling to accept the current state of dysphoria of her girlfriends and clients alike, Colleen set out to put her Shamanic studies to good use. In doing so Colleen has developed a unique method of blending visual positioning and energetic clarity utilizing color theory, body type, chakra systems, crystals, astrology, naturopathy, fashion design theory and Feng Shui principles. Through these modalities, she can align the energetic and visual body, creating a sense of balance, wellness and fullness.  You can find out more about Colleen at


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