Experiencing burnout after a decade as a corporate architect, Athena Monet—the Seaside Shaman—moved to the “quaint little town” of Lewes to teach yoga—then rediscovered her natural gift of connecting to the spirit world. Now she leads individual and group spirit therapy sessions (in person or virtually) for people dealing with chronic pain. Along the way, she’s been a guest instructor at national workshops and trained with internationally recognized biomedical intuitives, or alternative practitioners, Dr. Brian Weiss and Sandra Ingerman.
With every new client, I explain that a shaman is someone working with the spirit world for the greater good and on their behalf. I put them in touch with spirit helpers to heal pain and trauma, guiding them using a variety of tools, even pointing clients to a medical specialist. I call it spirit therapy; it mirrors talk therapy in a way.
It’s not unlike a therapy session, only I share insight from a spirit team. I might include journaling or work with crystals to unblock energetic pathways in the body or lead a guided journey using hypnotic regression. My vehicle for a journey is sound: drums, bells or flute. I’m aware of what the client is feeling, so I guide them through their feelings.
During a shamanic journey, the client is lying on a massage table and I lead them into progressive relaxation. They turn off their mind and settle into a relaxed state. It’s intuitively guided and varies from person to person. I make notes. I ask them to report to me, and when they share, they can see we saw the same thing—that it’s real. I ask “How does this apply to you?” There is a lesson in every journey, and it’s useful for trauma release and the end phases of addiction recovery.
As a child, I had visions, intuition, nightmares and imaginary friends, and a high level of empathy that made adults uncomfortable. I was fascinated with the psychic Sylvia Brown. I was creative and artistic, and I drew fairies. But it wore off.
I went to college and got a degree in architecture, with just a few credits shy of a minor in anthropology. I worked in [that field] for 10 years in Washington, D.C., but read tarot cards for fun. I was let go from a job, did yoga teacher training and told my husband at the time, “Let’s move to the beach.” My mother was very sick with cancer and my marriage was failing. My mother died, and then I got really sick. No doctor in the state could diagnose me. I decided to see a shaman, Terri Pippin, The Medicine Woman, and she said to me, ‘What are you sad about?’ and I said, ‘My mom.’ She asked if I knew if my mom was clairvoyant and told me I was clairsentient—able to feel other people’s feelings—and that I should be using this gift.
AM: I was a skeptic; I’m always a skeptic. But I got the message that this is my path. I did shaman training with The Medicine Woman and never questioned it. I opened up my studio, Lanikai Wellness, where I am now. Most people come to me by referrals from a trusted source. I always welcome skepticism. Most people don’t voice it, but I feel it. It’s really a desire to protect themselves and others.
The future is like the weather—there’s always a sense of change. We are now creating the future in live time. This moment the beginning of a new time, a new creation. We can create our own future. I think we will manifest those intentions very quickly in the year to come.