I’m a cultural anthropologist and a deep coach, not an epidemiologist trying to spread medical knowledge about the corona pandemic. My words are intending to make you think outside the box and shift your perspective about our recent experience to another reality beyond the facts.

As an academic and a passionate soul explorer, I interpret the world through my unique blend of filters. As an anthropologist, my focus areas have been the research of religion and consciousness and traditional medical systems. I conducted extensive field research in Brazil about spiritual healers and their practices, and have written both my Master’s and Ph.D. thesis on this subject. As a deep coach  I synthesize coaching, healing, psychology, and spirituality. I co-create a powerful space of transformation with my clients where they come into the fullness of their Self.

These difficult times we’re experiencing now individually and collectively remind me of a well-researched universal phenomenon found in many traditional medical systems around the world. It is called the shamanic initiatory crisis  or simple shamanic illness. I’m asking myself:

Are we going through our initiatory crisis as humankind?

Let me explain it to you…


My biographic analysis showed that until a certain point of their life, the healers-to-be were all leading an ordinary life, and had a socially accepted profession. Edson was a dentist, Senhor Joãoworked at the Central Market in SãoPaulo, Irineu was a psychologist, and Dona Olga, a housewife, to name a few of them. They lived like anyone else around them a typical, simple life.

Some experienced from their childhood on a heightened sensitivity for the supernatural. Edson was sleepwalking and had premonitions all his life, but he wasn’t overthinking it. Some were interested in spirituality, some absolutely not.

What I see in today’s world is that many of us conform to the standards, disappearing into the crowd, deluded by the needs of our consumer culture. Living within the mass is quite comfortable. We’re so wrapped up by our routines that we’re not aware of the consequences of our way of life. Some are willing to seek and effect change, but many stagnate in hibernation, feeling alienated from themselves, others, and the Earth.


My study revealed that in the course of their life, most healers-to-be must master a temporary illness or a shocking existential crisis, also called a shamanic initiatory crisis. The illness usually doesn’t respond to conventional medical treatments, and it’s often through great struggle they break free from it. The crisis marks a turning point in their life.

Dona Olga, who was very resistant to spirituality, suffered from kidney inflammation and high fever for forty days. Her condition would not improve until a specific day. That day – in her desperation – she visited a traditional spiritual center, although she could almost not walk from the pain. In the center, a small group of people performed a ritual – a dance in honor of the deities – while Dona Olga fell in a trance and incorporated for the first time her spiritual entities. She let go of her resistance, surrendered to the unknown, and accepted her role as a medium and healer. Right after that experience, her illness disappeared.

The coronavirus is not only a disease of the body, but it also presents an existential crisisthat has put us on edge. Individually, collectively, globally. Deep down, many of us feel anxious, isolated, and lost. At this moment, it seems that we’re not going back to normal. Corona will change our way of life, in some ways forever.

An existential crisis refers to a period in life where a person is at a crossroad and is questioning their entire reality.

Aren’t we forced to experience that right now?

Asking ourselves the questions:

What is this all about?

What wants to happen?

What is the future holding for us?

What can we learn from this?


For the healers, the surrendering to their calling and spirituality resulted in an improvement of intuitive abilities. It provided them with deep insights into the energetic and transpersonal causes of diseases.

In retrospect, they see their own existential crisis as a milestone on the spiritual path that has had healing and transformative potential. It brought about a spiritual opening of the personality. Looking back, the healers recognize the positive aspect of all their suffering. It enabled them to awaken and expand their consciousness.

In terms of the corona pandemic, we are talking about a global crisis. Originally the Greek word crisis refers to ” a vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything,” and to a “turning point“. Maybe this experience is a milestone for us individually and collectively as humankind. It indeed can become one if we use its transformative potential, surrender to our calling and grow into the healers we’re meant to be for ourselves, others, and the Earth.

But where to start?

It all starts with us. With every single one of us. Our personal development and response to our calling will make the most significant impact in the world. To help you navigate through these uncertain times and embark on your inner journey, I have some questions for you:

When you feel overwhelmed and anxious, ask yourself: What am I missing by choosing to worry?

When you feel drained by all that is happening around you: What is up to me?

When you don’t know how to prioritize in the midst of chaos: What is most important to me?

Whenever you’re taking an action: Is this reflective of the person I want to be?

Insightful questions can be powerful tools for introspection and self-reflection. Sit with them. Take your time to reflect upon them. Come back to them again and again. And remember, no one else knows the answers better than you.

Author: Gabriella Csanádi

Banner Photo: Johannes Plenio on Unsplash