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Ex-Musician Finds Success as Shaman After Ayahuasca Retreat

Feb 22, 2018

Maybe you’ve heard of the The Steaming Pickles?  They were a group from Duluth, Minnesota in the late 2000s and early 2010s.  Their most popular songs were Come Bite My PickleYou Put the Do in Dill, and Open My Jar.

Sam Johnson formed the band in Middle School with his friends.  He was their lead singer and songwriter, played bass guitar, and sometimes joined in on the tambourine.  

He met plenty of pretty girls along the way.  He was quite cool in a nerdy smart alternative way.  Their success in the local underage teen clubs was pretty good.  So after high school the band decided to skip college and seek their fame in Los Angeles.

It wasn’t easy.  Their sound was largely viewed as just a teenage novelty act.  Going nowhere fast, the band broke up by the time the boys reached their mid-20s.  Sam started working at a local juice shop in Los Feliz.

“I’ve always loved what you might call the great spirit,” said Sam.  “But being around all that healthy juice really got me thinking differently.  And I met a lot of new people.  One invited me to a weekend long Ayahuasca retreat at a duplex in Silverlake.”

Sam was extremely inspired by the medicine.  He left his body, saw divine revelations about his life and purpose, and returned back to his body reborn.  What really struck Sam was that the shaman sang a lot of ancient medicine songs called icaros.  The shaman would shake dried leaves and shakers, and sometimes played acoustic guitar.

“I started going to more retreats,” said Sam.  “Being a former musician, I learned it all really fast.  Soon I realized that I could sing better than the shaman, who in spite of his Jesus-like beard was a white guy like me from the Midwest, and not that much older than me.”

In traditional circles, those of indigenous blood who lived in the Amazonian jungle would drink for 15 years and witness quietly, listening quietly.  Then one of true dedication might decide to help the shaman for another 15 years as apprentice.  After about 30 years could you finally become comfortable with the intricate and sometimes dangerous subtleties of the ancient energy work, be gifted the ancient medicine bundle, become a shaman yourself as elder, and then serve it to others in the ancient ways with the backing of the indigenous community.

Sam, now known as Brother Noah, bypassed all of that.  “I live in the United States of America.  Up here we have our own way, you know?  There also used to be an ancient apprentice to teaching yoga.  But now look!  We can all have the gift of teaching yoga after a 200-hour workshop.  It’s a life path that you begin now by teaching now.  The times they are a-changin.”

After a year of being shaman, Brother Noah has made up his own ancient lineage that he hopes will spread to people in California and around the world.  It begins with traditional icaros that he learned online, shifts to to contemporary music, then ends on an eclectic DJ set.

“Sometimes if spirit guides me I even play a few Steaming Pickles songs,” winked Brother Noah.  “But with a little medicine twist, you know?  Isn’t it wild how it all comes full circle?  If I only knew back then as a kid in Duluth the divine path I had been on all along.”

Also coming full circle is the quantity of pretty girls Brother Noah has now dated since becoming shaman.

“These beautiful goddess just come in with their hearts open!  I love ceremonial culture!  But it’s up to shamans like me who have mastered the ancient wisdom of time to guide it in the most sacred way.  We must not abuse this ancient gift.”

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