The human condition: Shaman on you

Lillian Pizzichini meets Heather Campbell, trained by Cherokee, employed by Gossard
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Indy Lifestyle Online
MOST multi-national corporations neglect their inner goddess, which just doesn't make good business sense. According to Heather "Moon Owl" Campbell, a shamanic guidance consultant based in Surbiton, we must feminise the corporate world. "By unleashing the feminine spirit into the workplace, harmony will prevail," she says, because, "organisations must be fit for the soul." Heather earned her shamanic stripes on a seven- year training course in California (where else?) studying with Chief Harley Swiftdeer of the Deer Tribe Medicine Society. Not exactly Native Americans - "indigenous tribes are reluctant to share their knowledge with white people" - the Deer Tribe is based in Los Angeles, and although Chief Harley is half Cherokee, the other half is Irish. Heather's discipleship culminated in a naming ceremony for the fledgling Medicine Men and Women: "No one knew what names he would give us. We were all quite nervous. There are a lot of egos in the spirit world, no one wants to be called Worm. I was round and fluffy, but I really wanted to be a bird, so Moon Owl was perfect." She made it to 4th/5th Gateway Roadwoman and Sacred Pipe Carrier, and came back to Surbiton to spread the word.

Heather is an endearingly down-to-earth Shaman who can boast Gossard, Shell and Hasbro as her clients. But getting these companies to admit her influence is difficult ("they're embarrassed"). She, however, is prepared to spill the beans. For pounds 1,000 a day she puts her corporate clients in touch with their inner goddess by replacing their boardroom rituals with her own. Gossard realised they were being too aggressive - Eva Herzigova's pert perfections were attracting men and terrifying women. Heather decided they needed a more receptive creative energy to "find the soul of their product". (In the past, she's helped Saatchi & Saatchi locate the spirit of Oil of Ulay, and toy manufacturer Hasbro find the soul in Sindy.) Her first task at Gossard was ridding the office of male vibes by burning sage and eagle feathers. (The female staff were deemed by Heather to have too much macho energy.) Then she asked the group to dance barefoot "around their bones" to feel the earth's energy throbbing beneath their feet while she played five shamanic rhythms on a tape recorder.

Next up was a Medicine Walk on Clapham Common, where they were instructed to read the signs of nature (discarded bus tickets mean you're on a journey; a dead branch signifies that you're facing an obstacle). "I get them to ask trees questions, and then observe what's going on around them. If they're sitting on a patch of nettles, that is the answer." Heather also suggests new ways of dressing: "When men wear ties, they're symbolically decapitating themselves." Her mission is to put the head back in touch with the heart. And, at Gossard, it worked: all those feathers and bus tickets led to the campaign featuring Sophie Anderton lying in a field with the catchline: "Who said a woman can't get pleasure from something soft?"

Heather will also perform ceremonies for individuals, and charges a minimum fee of pounds 200. And as her previous incarnation was as a stage manager and theatre director, you can guarantee she will put on a good show. So ring Moon Owl now, she's available for "weddings, funerals, divorces, christenings and rites of passage". What, no barmitzvahs?

Contact Heather Campbell on 0181 399 8156

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