GROWING up on the east side of the Berlin Wall in a Catholic/atheist household, Katarina Heuser always felt like the ‘black sheep’ of her family due to her deep connection with spirituality.

“It was only when the Berlin Wall was broken when I was nine years-old that I was able to explore that interest, because I was able to connect with my aunt Dagmar, who lived in West Germany.

“She was my guide, and she nurtured my interest in spiritual topics,” she said.

As an adult, Katarina, who now lives in Stocksfield, followed her spiritual calling around the world.

In 2010, whilst living in Sweden, Katarina went to train directly with shamans indigenous to Peru called Donna Maria, Don Alejandro and Don Mariano, who called themselves Paqos.

“They had a prophecy, which said that when the ice caps melted on the High Andes, it was time for them to share their wisdom with the rest of the world, and that was what brought them to Sweden,” said Katarina.

“They taught us various ancient healing and energy clearing techniques, but what I really took away from the experience was how I wanted to be more like them.

“Shamans believe in the equal distribution of knowledge. Whoever learns one lesson has a duty to pass it on to everyone else. This belief is nothing like our Western culture in which everybody is in competition with each other.”

In 2011, Katarina was invited by the Paqos back to their native Peru to continue her training in the Andes, stopping at the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, and various places along Peru’s Andean highlands, also known as the Sacred Valley.

There she spent four weeks with the shamans, and learned how to conduct sacred ceremonies, and how to communicate with the ancestors.

With a new sense of direction Katarina, who has degrees in both psychology and cultural studies, began her career as a life coach, a business which she now runs from her home in Stocksfield.

“My coaching is rooted in practical guidance,” she said. “I help people search for their passions and through their emotions, and therefore what will fulfil them in a spiritual sense, but I focus on putting practical plans and treatments in place to improve their life.”

She also hosts a wide range of regular wellbeing workshops, including a ‘crystal course’ at Dilston Physic Garden, in which she teaches people about crystal healing and energy.

Most recently she has begun to start her own line of ‘vibrational essences’.

She said each essence contained a unique ‘energy signature’, which aimed to promote a certain feeling, such as inspiration, general wellbeing or self-belief, and which were administered with a drop on the wrists or tongue.