Interview With Shayne Case
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
Shayne Case is a healer's healer.
A master channeler, herbalist, spiritual counselor, teacher, writer, and energy worker, Shayne holds space in a truly holistic manner.
I began going to see her about a decade ago and she has changed my life. Her readings are mind-blowing, wise, and deeply helpful. She creates healing webs of energy that move into ripples of positive change far beyond what our mind can comprehend. This is heart medicine conjured in spiral time.
She is the kind of healer that exists beyond language; I've tried to write this introduction many times and many times had to stop because my words did not do Shayne justice.
How do you describe everything, and more?
It was an extreme honor to include Shayne's writing and wisdom in the upcoming Many Moons workbook.
Hi Shayne! When did plants and flowers start calling your name? Do you have an early memory associated with your awakening into plant medicine?
Many meaningful moments flash in front of my eyes when I think of how to answer this question: there was the one time my best friend and I nibbled on a red and white polka dot mushroom. I was six. Our parents freaked out and started spelling complicated words like H-O-S-P-I-T-A-L and P-O-I-S-O-N while wildly engaged in a sort of urgent charades. I was amazed at how one small terra form possessed so much quiet power that it had moved otherwise seemingly adults into disorganized frenzy.
My mind flashes to the hours and hours spent making medicinal concoctions out of mud, creek water, aquatic roots, four petals of cleaver and nine needles of pine. My first language was taught to me by the plants. We had long and intimate conversations.
I have many memories like these, but I don’t recall a particular moment of awakening. The landscapes in which I spent my early childhood greatly informed my relationships with plants and flowers. I was born on the edge of a forest in Germany. Later, I moved to my father’s prairie homeland of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. I have very little memory of the people in these landscapes, but I do remember with exquisite detail the smell of pine sap in spring and yarrow in the dead heat of summer.
You are one of the most gifted and aligned channelers I've ever met. For other people just discovering and working with their intuition, do you have any basic advice?
When I was still in the crib, I saw a nightly parade of spirit animals and spirit people passing through my room. I was raised by a single mother who was still a teenager when she gave birth to me, her second child. Sometimes, I was afraid of these spirits so I would call out for her. She was consistent in her exhausted dismissive way of telling me that what I was seeing was just my imagination. I grew up confused about shared reality. I knew things because the spirits would tell me, but I learned to give credit to books and teachers. It has taken me the better part of four decades to undo this habit. My advice for people just discovering and working with their intuition is to first cultivate a deep trust within themselves. It’s not easy work — particularly for those of us coded by models of betrayal and distrust. For that, I keep a well worn calling card to flower essences, plant spirits, gemstones, spirit guides, and a few wise humans in my back pocket.
The work you do potentially can be very energetically draining. You spend time in other realms, with different entities, listening and being both message and messenger. Do you have any consistent go-to self care or physical care that you use to keep you both connected and grounded?
I am very practical with my self-care habits. I try to get eight hours of sleep every night; I eat food from gardens and pastures; I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs; I walk in the woods; I play Chutes and Ladders with my son and cuddle up with my dog; I say NO as much as I say YES. I move towards beauty and joy. Mostly, everything I do in my life away from work is in an effort to keep my channel clear. Living with this much intentionality and rhythm takes practice. I have days when I am out of balance. I eat pizza for breakfast and chocolate for dinner. I don’t drink water. I work myself into a dither. When this happens, I go to the holy grounds of my bathtub. A long bath has always worked for me. I also see my therapist more consistently than any other human outside of my immediate family!
It can be challenging to be sensitive and so attuned to the world. What is a message you wish little Shayne could have received?
Oh! What a good question!
Little Shayne, it is okay that you know what you know. I believe you. You do not need to prove anything to me. And, Little Shayne, there are bigger people in the world that can hold all this knowing so that you don't have to: the Alder and the Cottonwood people; the Spotted Eagle and the Mockingbird people; the Bull Trout and the Grasshopper people. Let them have it all and you just be little.
For the 2018 Vol 1 edition, you wrote about the second Blue Moon of 2018 in March. This was a very hard task — Blue Moons can be tricky energetically and symbolically. Do you have a ritual or a grounding technique that helped you tap into this future energy? Was she chatty? Did she have more to tell us?
Oh my gosh! She was so tricky! In order to write this piece I channeled a celestial star being. It was wild and unlike anything I had ever done before. Some favorite quotes: “When shit falls apart, everyone wants to take out their shit broomsticks and sweep it into order….[instead] use the full illumination of the moon and just be in it. Don’t try to be transcendental or high-minded about it. Be real. It stinks. And, I am here.”
“The world that humans create is not bad. You give yourselves a bad rap. Your humanity is so beautiful.”
A lot of the messages that I received that I did not overtly write about in the piece had to do with the moon’s energy repatterning the neuropathways in the brain so that we can experience being engaged with the noise of life without needing to control it and make sense of it. The guide gave us a 14 day homework assignment to see how much we could consciously let go of the need to organize the flotsam and jetsam of life and bequeathed us with this affirmation: I am here.
Currently, what is your favorite time of the Moonth? (Moon phase) Why?
I love the darkness of the New Moon. The essayist Richard Rodriguez writes that in tribal faiths where the desert sun is blindingly bright, shade and darkness were often considered gifts from God[dess]. In the Islamic story, Muhammad has his revelation in a cave consoled by the twilight; in Judaism, God[dess] puts Moses in the mouth of a dark cave so he will not be blinded by His [Her] brightness; in Christianity the two most holy events of Christ life occur in a cave: his birth and resurrection. Rodriguez writes, "We are people of the dark and should accept darkness as part of our faith."
I have been meandering on this path holding these delicate concepts of faith, hope, trust, and resilience. I find that embracing my dark nature has helped me to stop questing for the light. What I have in the darkness is mystery, which right now is more evocative to me than illumination.
Has anything interesting happened in your life as a result of paying attention to the different cycles of the Moon? Have you learned anything new about yourself and your patterns as a result of this?
When I was young, my father told me that he turned into a werewolf on the full moon. I believed him and had a lot a fear of being around him during this time of the lunar cycle. Consequently, I also feared the full moon. Later, I learned that my great great grandmother, Toki Amanwani, a Miniconjou Lakota, was the sole survivor of my paternal family line of the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek. She later married a man whose mother was Lakota and father was half Cheyenne and half French giving him the surname Garreau, which translates to “wolf people” or “werewolf”. The trauma from colonial genocide runs so deep in my family; I think my father felt the full power of his rage, despair, and heartbreak on the full moons. It was a kind of gateway for him.
Fortunately, I have had many more resources to build my life around honoring my ancestors and healing generational trauma. Now on the full moon, my son and I have a ritual where we tell stories from my lineage and we sing and drum until he falls asleep. I always feel Toki Amanwani by my side and hear her singing with us.
Other than the upcoming workbook, any projects or anything coming up in your life you are excited about?
I have three really beautiful and exciting projects going on right now. One is the Toki Amanwani Project which aims to conserve native medicine by making flower essences on Lakota reservation lands; distribute trauma relief flower essences to native peoples; and, to engage Lakota youth in the process of making sacred plant medicines. People can donate to this project directly on my website.
The second big project I have been working on is getting my school going. It's called Under the Eagle's Wing: A School for Emerging Healers. We are just completing our second year and I am in the process of getting applications underway for the third year. It's a mentorship/ apprenticeship program that aims to help people connect with their own roots, wisdom, and inherent knowing to allow for their natural gifts to arise.
Lastly, my biggest love project is writing a book. I have been working on this in my mind for many, many years and I am so ready to sit down and let it out!
Visit Shayne's website here, and follow her instagram here.