As a child growing up in New Mexico, Christine VanPool remembers visiting museums and state parks with her family. By all accounts, VanPool was a normal kid who loved to ask questions. Living on the edge of the Mescalero Apache reservation, VanPool developed an appreciation for the rich cultural history of her Native American friends, which led naturally to her interest in anthropology.
VanPool describes her research into shamanic practices among different groups of people. In order to develop a connection with the gods, some tribes use mind-altering drugs to slip slowly into a temporary altered state.