Sunrise ceremony with Elder John Rice,
Bear Clan, Deina Bomberry from the Eagle
Clan, Ilse del Sol, Bolivia.
Don Mariano's sacred pouch, Pisac, Peru.
Eagle on the way to Colca Canyon, Peru.
As one of the oldest forms of medicine, Shamanic healing has been used as ‘traditional’ medicine around the world. It uses sound, sacred plants, sacred movement and other methods to access information to facilitate healing and balancing of the body.
Spirit Rock Shamanic Healing's founder, Olivia Olkowski is a powerful shamanic healer, a Peruvian Pachakuti Mesa holder (Shaman). She is initiated as a lineage holder of Mayan traditional medicine, a Curendera.
Olivia transforms people’s lives, releasing their emotional and physical dis-ease through using hands-on-healing, channeled and traditional shamanic healing practices. The shamanic healer utilizes traditional techniques to bring back harmony to a person's energetic fields, retrieve information, and achieve healings.
Olivia works within multiple dimensions, simultaneously, holding “space & time” to balance and remove inappropriate energies from the physical body and surrounding energetic bodies, allowing healing to take place. As a shaman healer, Olivia mends the energetic fragments to your soul and your physical body, to regain strength and balance to your full being.
Before she became a shaman, Olivia Olkowski worked
in advertising. Unfulfilled after 20 years in the business, Olkowski
decided to pursue a three-year master's course in feng shui at the New York Open Center. It was there that she discovered what she refers to as her abilities.
"I started seeing and feeling things and saying, 'What's all this
about?'" Olkowski recalls. "Did I plan this as a kid? No! But I loved
trees. I loved mudpies! And when I started down the [spiritual] path,
the rocks would talk to me."
Olkowski has become precisely the kind of "crystal lady" she watched
from a distance when she was young. "I'd see these ladies wearing purple
and think, Oh, they're crystal ladies. And now here I am, in my 50s, wearing purple and crystals."
it's this self-awareness that makes Olkowski such an attractive shaman
for women seeking love, guidance, and what Olkowski refers to as "heart
healing." Despite being freshly engaged to a man I couldn't have
manifested if I tried, I decided to attend Olkowski's seminar on
"visioning a mate" on the eve of Valentine's Day. Walking to the New
York Open Center, I passed rows of dimly-lit restaurants filled with
conspicuously done-up duos—from the outside it's oddly hard to discern
between couples in the midst of romantic ecstasy and those in the middle
of glaring fights—and I wondered about the kind of person who would
choose to spend this particular Friday night in a new age bookstore,
hoping to manifest a mate.
out, that kind of person is the hot kind of person. After purchasing a
ginger tea and some gross-looking (but delicious) vegan macaroons from
the bookstore cafe, I headed upstairs to a room filled with beautiful
people. These were not the desperate, ill-dressed, middle-aged women I'd
ashamedly expected to find. These were, by and large, put-together,
game-face women ready to manifest the fuck out of their future
mates—plus a bespectacled, middle-aged dude in the back row. I took the
open seat next to him and turned my attention to Olkowski, who had drawn
some sort of diagram on the whiteboard of a human body with lots of
terrifying lines pulsing out of it. These lines were meant to represent
the residue of our upbringing, the ways in which being brought up, say,
Catholic and repressed may have "junked up our energy field."
about a woman who's afraid of dogs. She's walking down the sidewalk and
there's a dog on the other side of the street. What's going to happen?"
Olkowski paused, but we just stared at her. "The dog is going to smell
the fear! The dog is going to walk over to her. That's what we mean when
we talk about vibrations and frequencies." Right,I thought, wondering what frequency I had given off when I attracted that unhinged theater director two summers ago.
asked how many of us were in relationships. A third of the women in the
room raised their hands. "I have to tell you," Olkowski said solemnly,
"Once you start down the spiritual path, you might lose spouses. You
might lose parents. I've seen feng shui lead to divorce!"
Olkowski started getting into the good, sexy stuff. "How many of you
had too much fun in your 20s?" A smattering of hands went up. "There is a
thread of energy running from us to all of our past sexual partners,
even one night stands! You have to clear your mate space. You have to
put up a Vacancy sign instead of a No Vacancy sign." Is she referring to our hearts or our vaginas? I squinted at our shaman as she brought out a drum, painted with an owl.
we're going to go on a journey," she said, dimming the lights. "We're
going to find our guides, and we're going to ask them how we are blocked
up in love." I ate a macaroon so I would have something to chew on
during my first shamanic journey. The man next to me sat up straight,
his legs spread open. He seemed like a real pro.
began to bang on the drum, and damn. There I was, in a wet cave,
looking at the clouds reflected off an underground lake, stroking a
wolf's tail and eating a vegan macaroon. I should really start doing yoga again, I thought, and zoned out.
our journey, Olkowski turned up the lights and asked us to share. One
girl, a regular, raised her hand and talked rabidly about how her
"guide" had red eyes. "Have I made a deal with the devil?" she asked
frantically. Another woman shared her experience, "I didn't see
anything. I just felt totally nauseous." She looked profoundly moved,
but that may have been residual queasiness. "I felt this growing nausea
here—" she rubbed her stomach, "in my solar plexus."
"Yes," Olkowski nodded. "That's your self worth."
a ten-minute break, during which women crowded a gift table up front
covered with various rocks, we returned to our seats. It was time to get
down to business. "Let's talk about ways to attract a mate," Olkowski
said. The woman to my right adjusted her butt in her chair and pressed
the tip of her pen against her notebook, prepared for some serious
Riverside Park at 81st Street, Manhattan, 3 p.m.: Journeying
Scott Silverman for The New York Times Members of the New York Shamanic Circle gathered on the Hudson waterfront.
A drum beats methodically 20 feet from the Hudson, attracting
curious looks from joggers,
bikers and baby strollers. Seven women,
dressed mostly in earth tones, lie in a circle
around their shaman,
Olivia Olkowski, 47, who leads the journey. Ten minutes later the
ceases and a conversation begins. Discussion focuses on letting go of
facing a traumatic experience in one’s past and overcoming
The women are all part of the New York Shamanic Circle,
a nonprofit organization that
promotes healing and earth-honored
living. On the first Sunday of every month, the
group members meet
outdoors, weather permitting, to embark on their spiritual journeys.
This month’s session utilized elementals found here on the Hudson
water and sky—to achieve an altered state and access
the subconscious mind. – SCOTT SILVERMAN
It has been a year since the huge shift in my life began. The venue I
worked for closed. I started various projects that got delayed. And I
started working for my older son's school.
Since the birth of number 2 things had felt different. In the last month
of pregnancy I bought a necklace from an amazing jeweler Olivia
Olkowski. Her line is oh!olivia. I
have owned several pieces. They always called to me from the case at
the Meta Center where I had acupuncture with the amazing Pipper Armel.
Each piece I found at the right time, and when I picked them up I was
always surprised to find out that the stone corresponded exactly to the
experiences I was having at that time.
This amazing piece has an oblong Chalcedony Drusy stone and a chain of
small rubies. It is stunning. There were several important things she
told me about the stone, when I put it on - but the phrase that stuck
was "life's purpose."
In my heart I knew with this new baby, I would need to make a big shift
in my life, a big shift in my consciousness. I wore that necklace as my
contractions began and didn't take it off for months. And sure enough
during that time my path started to lead me on a new journey. I was
yearning to be with my family, but I was loyal to work and kept pushing.
My body did not agree and forced me to slow down. Then the venue
closed. Then my new projects inched along. I replaced a woman who was
going on maternity leave, she spoke constantly of the time she would
spend with her new baby and inside I cried for the time I was not
spending with my boys. it seemed everywhere I turned that sentiment
played over and over, each time striking me a bit harder and a little
lower. I needed to be with my children.
At first I had the excuse of my job and income to keep me away, but
things had slowed down. I was faced with either diving back in or making
a change. My mother visited, she gave her usual "move closer to us. My
initial reaction was "no way!" Leave my friends? My life? My network? My
opportunities? But I wanted to see my Mom more. She had health
challenges in the past and it always really hurt that they were not so
willing to come visit us in NY. It also made me so sad to see how much
she yearned to have us closer.
My husband is brilliant. His words were "money comes and goes, but you never get the time back."
So that was it. We jumped off the cliff. There were tears in my eyes
when I told my Mom our decision the next morning. I think those tears
have been forever misinterpreted. We didn't make a decision because we
had no other options. There were plenty. We made the conscious decision
to work towards strengthening our family. Those tears were for what we
would leave behind, most everything - our friends, our life. The excuse
we gave everyone was financial, and things were hard but the real truth
was that we needed to look at our family and strengthen our foundation.
Now we are here. We have learned so much. Maybe we will stay. Maybe we
will return to NY. But regardless of what may come, I know with every
inch of my being that I /we are truly moving forward with purpose.