CALLING YOUR INNER WITCHBOSS: TALKING TO STYLIST/SHAMAN COLLEEN MCCANN
By: Emily Thomas
Before she was communicating with spirits, Colleen McCann was immersed in NYC’s buzzing fashion industry working as a stylist, designer and brand consultant. When it was time to leave showrooms for shaman school, McCann’s journey led her to studying with Q’ero in Peru and to become certified with the Four Winds Society and Asui Reiki. Since then, she’s found a unique way to bring together two very different worlds of entrepreneurship and spirituality. Her company, Style Rituals, helps clients who need anything from a closet cleansing to intuitive business coaching.
We caught up with Colleen while she was between back-to-back client meetings (and planning a full moon Despacho Ceremony) to talk about spiritual hygiene, what 2017 has in store and how energetic healing should creep into our lives.
SANCTUARY: As an energy practitioner, mindfulness is worked into so much of what you do. What did your background in the fashion industry teach you about how to incorporate that into your work?
MCCANN: The first thing I learned about mindfulness was on a very basic, person-to-person level of how you treat people, how you talk to people and how you relate to people. Working in fashion, I’d see girls naked for a living, every day, all day. They’d be standing there, naked, telling me their deepest darkest secrets—which now I understand is because I had the healer vibe going on. Situations like that would come up constantly. And the way I respond is always from a non-judgemental place, polite and compassionate in my interactions.
SANCTUARY: You describe your clients as a “modern day goddess on the go.” I’ve noticed more and more people who are opening up to alternative spirituality, from all walks of life. Why do you think it’s resonating so much in all spheres at this particular time?
MCCANN: I’ll start on the cosmic level– we always start with there because of how that manifests emotionally, physically and mentally. Energetically, 2016 is the year of ending and 2017 is the year of beginning. That’s a part of numerology, and numerology pops up in all kinds of places. Everybody from psychics to Feng Shui practitioners use it. 2016 is a “number nine year” and in Feng Shui, number nine is a year of endings– of putting things to bed. 2017 is a year of beginnings. People are switching jobs out of the blue, having babies, getting married, getting divorced, making big changes with little warning. It was just coming like a freight train. And when we hit December 31st, we felt like, “Alright, let’s shut this shit down.” As a number one year, 2017 has to do with beginnings: birth, creativity, starting fresh, new ideas.
We’re also in the age of Aquarius, and that’s about being open. New ideas, creativity, new ways of being, all of this comes into play. With the political situation that’s going on, people are gathering, protesting and saying, “Fuck this. This isn’t going to work for us.” I think we’re seeing more and more people rising up. We don’t have all of the answers quite yet, but we know that what has existed for the last several hundred years isn’t working anymore.
SANCTUARY: Most people see rituals and that sort of magic element as a personal spiritual process, usually designed for self-awareness and growth but a lot of your services seem oriented towards professional success. Was that something that you saw missing from the spiritual sphere?
MCCANN: I spent fifteen years as an entrepreneur in one of the most competitive industries and cities in the world. The best place to get your master’s degree in business is by living in New York and working for yourself.
Starting with my own community, I wanted to lead with the ability to talk to the average person about what bringing spirituality into your life looks like, and how to do it in a practical way. I understand what healers and shamans are talking about because I’m in that world, but not everybody has that context.
In the healing community, we all want to do good for the world, but we’re also in a human body right now. We need to pay our rent, eat and provide to our children. I want to see more healers with with business cards and websites that people can read, using PayPal, those kind of things. Getting the right karmic exchanges for their services.
SANCTUARY: Why did you decide to start offering your particular services? A-Game Alignment, for example, combines crystal healing with business coaching.
MCCANN: I want my clients mentally, physically, emotionally and energetically (or spiritually) healthy. You may come to me for business advice, but let’s also talk about how you can personally be in the right mindset to get there. If you own a business, it’s part of you. For services like the A-Game Alignment, we’re going to talk about you, your business and your energy. I don’t think that any of us should live as separate entities.
SANCTUARY: And your approach is very personable.
MCCANN: I’ve gotten some flack for my sassiness….comparing crystals to Xanax or black skinny jeans. My approach is this: the healing process is important, serious and deep. If I come to you with humor and in a language you understand, it means I can get my point across so that you can heal. That’s the only reason I’m here, on behalf of the spirit and to be a conduit for spirit’s messages. I add the fashion element wherever I can because that’s where I come from. As they say, “do what you know.” Every woman, on some level, relates to fashion because every woman wants to walk out the door looking good. I can energetically make you look good and clean your closet at the same time, then that’s awesome.
SANCTUARY: How can we use healing to realize our professional goals? What couple of things that stand out to you the most that people don’t do enough in their own routines?
MCCANN: From working with so many busy clients, type A’s, powerful women, taking time every day for self-care is just so important. You can double-dip here— turn your phone off on Sunday and take a sea salt bath to take the bad juju off you. If you’re on the train every morning, put on a meditation app while you sit there.
It’s just like working out. You start to see that you’re having great results, then your body craves it and wants more. The first week is hard…you’re like, “I barely have time for this,” but if you stay vigilant, a month later it’s, “I have to go run or I’m going to knock somebody out.” It’s that kind of thing. Let it creep into your life a little bit..put it into creep mode!
SANCTUARY: What does being a healer and shaman mean to you in 2017?
MCCANN: Speaking for myself, and not on behalf of the healing community, I’m here to help reawaken all the female healers– to help them. Women, in general, who want to heal and be more balanced. I am here to be the conduit on behalf of the spirit to help them do that.
When I introduce myself to people and tell them what I do, one thing I hear a lot is, “Oh, you don’t look like a shaman!” So I’m also here to help rebrand spirituality by making it digestible, fun and accessible. I’m here to promote spiritual hygiene. If everybody took care of their spiritual hygiene on a basic level, the world would be so much lighter. It makes me a happier person…and if I can share that with the people in my community, then I’m getting to do something I love.
Images courtesy of Colleen McCann.