Sin-Eating: The Shaman's Version of a Confessional
It’s no secret that I wasn’t raised with any of the common organized religions, so I won’t pretend to know what traditional confession looks and sounds like. I can only use my imagination there. But what I do know is about a similar role I play in my own work as a practitioner of Shamanism. There are so many roles I play in this calling and some of them are like interesting little surprises that nothing could have prepared me for – this one is one of those for sure.
Many years ago, my higher self told me that I was a sin-eater. As usual, they didn’t give me context or definition about what this means. The messages I receive are often cryptic or vague – not making sense until sometimes years down the road. The first thing I did when I heard this term was google the crap out of it (lol). As it turns out, there is a lot of lore and “history” out there, but none of it felt true to me and to what I was doing. In fact, it wasn’t until last weekend that it really hit home for me about what this is.
So I want to start this by sharing a little story. It was a pretty badass experience and it lights me up inside to think about it.
I was in a group Ceremony and someone in the group was struggling. I won’t reveal any information about this person, but I can share that the burden of their childhood was unlike anything I have ever seen in terms of energetic weight – it was also in the top five worst childhood abuse situations I had ever heard. Out of the thousands of people I have worked with, this is saying a lot. I had worked with this person once before and they had unburdened themselves significantly with me previously. Who they were this weekend was night and day different from the first time I worked with them. This time, however, it was something specific they were harboring that was asking to be released. It was rage.
As you may or may not know, anger is one of the “seven deadly sins” according to Catholic teachings. I personally believe this list of “sins” is deadly because each of them will literally eat you alive from the inside out if you don’t release them. If I look at my job as a whole, it is indeed largely to help people unburden all of these “sins” so that they can move forward in their lives.
Anyway, during this experience, I watched this person shake with rage. They kept repeating that they felt like it was going to kill them if they held onto It any longer. One part of me agreed, but more in the long term/big picture of knowing it would kill them eventually if they kept holding onto it.
“No way” I said, “If your childhood didn’t kill you, this certainly won’t”.
And I asked this person to let me take it from them.
With the assistance of three of my close healer friends, we supported this person as they laid on the ground. My friends held this person’s hands, told them they loved them, and encouraged them to release their grip on the rage towards the people who brutally abused them throughout their childhood.
I put my hand on this person’s chest and I invited this rage into my heart. I asked it to come to me so that I could steward it forward, as it was done serving it’s purpose in this person’s life. I felt the grip release and this monster-sized energy moved through me. For just a single moment, I held all of the pain. I felt the years of brutality. I felt the agony of a child who had been betrayed by the people who were supposed to keep them safe, but instead played the role of sadists. I felt the shock and confusion at seeing other adults who looked the other way while they saw this happen. I had never felt anything like it in terms of pain and suffering. It brought me to tears. For just a single moment, I allowed it to be me in that position so that I could witness this rage fully. This was so I could witness it and express my gratitude. I witnessed it for all the people who didn’t. I witnessed it so that it could be extracted. I thanked this beast and then I brought it into my heart space. I watched it dissolve and disperse out into the universe just as quickly as it came in.
Then it was gone.
And then I threw up. ROFL.
For a few days after this experience, I felt like I had looked right into the depth of hell. I felt like I had seen darkness like I had never seen before – and it took me a