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February 01, 2017

Coyote Medicine: Gaslighting The Truth

Tags: gaslighting, fake news, Truth

In a world filled with personal and political agendas, the concept that there is an undeniable, absolute truth, has lost its moorings. Instead, we have hints of the truth, spun in one direction, or the other, all with the intention of swaying an audience. Then we have fake news, meant to deliberately mislead, and finally, we have gaslighting. 

Gaslighting is perhaps the most sinister of these deceptions. It is a means of consciously manipulating the truth, in hopes of instilling doubt. Rather than challenging us to question the source of our information, however, as fake news does, it aims at making us question our own perceptions, memory, and sanity. The term comes from a 1938 stage play, and 1944 film, called Gas Light. In the story, a husband dims the gas lights in the attic while secretively searching for something. His wife notices the flickering, and brings it to his attention. He insists her perceptions are faulty, and even suggests she is insane.

Similarly, the ground beneath our feet is shifting, daily. At no time in US history has there ever been more dispute about what the truth is, and is not. Truth used to be the cornerstone of our personal integrity, the currency of our word, the backbone of our handshakes. To be sure, most truths are somewhat subjective, as any two people will report an accident differently, but there are still indisputable facts. Every good journalist struggles to see past personal filters and biases, to report these facts neutrally. What we see today, however, is a flood of fake news about accidents that didn’t happen, making us question the ones that did. And then there is the gaslighting, which calls into question the reliability of our fact-gathering institutions.

Creating doubt is a way of cracking the foundation of our social structure. In Native American traditions this is called Coyote Medicine. By creating a house of mirrors, where truth is overlooked as more lies, and lies are mistaken for truth, the trickster undermines our trust in authority. Everything, and every one, becomes suspect. The Q’ero Indians’ have prophesied a time like this, when the world is turned upside down. They call it a Pachakuti.

The good news is, we are are all wired to be our own authorities. One side of our brain, the left, is designed to take in information, sort through it, and build upon it through logic, as a serial processor. It takes a fact and says, if this… then that, creating a whole train of thought. We spend most of our early education developing strong left brains, The right side, however, is what we call a parallel processor. Whole chunks of insight land here, completely formed, in a kind of “knowing.” It is the home of insight, creativity and intuition. Many of us feel this in our bodies.

Our minds may bend and sway with deceptive logic, but our intuition does not. All shamans know this. Knowing the limits of the left brain, that it can only assume, derive and imply, they use their intuition to track down the energy of an event. Everything that is said, and done, leaves a trail of energetic footprints behind it. Trackers hone in, and follow these trails. For many of us, our own intuitions get clouded by our egos. We mistake the voices of our fears for our intuition. Deep down inside, however, we all feel truth in our guts. Our bodies do not lie.

Instead of trying to make sense of all the illusions out there, our work is better spent addressing our own fears. We must find the clarity it takes to anchor in, like lighthouses in a storm, and trust our guts. Yes, the lights are flickering! Trust in your own authority. Beep beep!


Christina Allen’s work as an Intuitive, Healer, Teacher and Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center, combines a strong science background (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, and profound Shamanic Healing based on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). Learn more about making private appointments, and upcoming classes, at or (512) 391-9829.

© Austin All Natural, February 2017

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