Following on from yesterday’s review of Alberto Villoldo’s The Four Insights: Wisdom, Power and Grace of the Earthkeepers, here are my thoughts on the book I followed up with.
Shaman, Healer, Sage begins in the first chapter with an extract from the Journals of the author, from his travels and training with the Inka shamans. He was apprenticed to an old Inka named Antonio Morales, who guided him and gave him the opportunity to both observe others at work – engaging in ancient healing practices – and to pursue his own personal healing.
Inka shamans practiced energy medicine for more than five thousand years, transmitting this knowledge from one generation to the next through an oral tradition.
From the practices he observed and learned, he developed his own contemporary reinterpretation, which he describes in this book, interspersed with more extracts from his journals, sharing some of the original experiences he had in the early days, when he was ignorant of what was occurring.
In the first part he talks about the belief system upon which these practices are based.
“We are luminous beings on a journey to the stars,” Don Antonio once said to me. “But you have to experience infinity to understand this.” I remember smiling when the medicine man first told me how we were star travellers who have existed since the beginning of time. Quaint folklore, I thought, the ruminations of an old man hesitant to face the certainty of his death. I believed that Don Antonio’s musings were akin to the archetypal structures of the psyche as described by Carl Jung. Antonio interpreted his myths literally, not symbolically as I did. But I didn’t challenge him then…
The mythologist Joseph Campbell used to say that reality is made up of those myths that we can’t quite see through. That’s why it’s so easy to be an anthropologist in another culture – everything is transparent to the outsider, like the emperor’s new clothes. At times I attempted to show Antonio that the emperor was naked, that he was confusing mythology for fact. That is, until I sat with him while he helped a missionary to die.”
He introduces us to the Luminous Healers, significant teachers and mentors he had during his time with the Native American shamans and puts historical references into a modern context. It is incredible that any of these beliefs and practices have survived after the destruction of the Indians by early settlers, which obliterated the spiritual traditions of most native groups. Native American shamans were reluctant to share their heritage with white people.
The Spanish conquistadors, and the missionaries who accompanied them, destroyed the healing schools in Cusco. The temples were demolished, and the churches were built on the same grounds using the original temple stones…
We imagine that the inquisition is a thing of the past, that this brutal organisation ended with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment, and this is largely true. The Inquisition shut down its offices many years ago except in one country, Peru, the land of the Inka.
He introduces the universal concept of the Luminous Energy Field, something we each possess, surrounding the physical body, informing it.
When the vital reserves of the Luminous Energy Field are depleted through illness, environmental pollutants, or stress, we suffer disease. We can ensure our health and vitality and extend our active, healthy years by replenishing this essential fuel.
Part two provides techniques for learning the shaman’s way of seeing, for creating sacred space and practices to try out for your own personal healing. Part three continues this, describing for information purposes only, how a practitioner works with others (however he cautions against using this healing with others, something that should only be performed by a master practitioner who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, apprenticed to a skilled teacher. He also shares some of the dangers, which are fascinating insights in themselves.
Some of the things I found fascinating were:
- the ‘rivers of light’, points stimulated by the healer, which Alberto discovered coincided exactly to the Chinese Acupuncture meridians.
For Maximo and other shamans in the Americas the rivers of light in the body are tributaries that flow into and draw their substances from the great luminous rivers that course along the surface of the Earth.
- That pain and emotional trauma can leave imprints in the luminous energy field, that require extraction and illumination to be freed.
- That imprints can be positive as well as negative, that they are active and cause us to gravitate towards situations in which they will be played out.
- That there are generational imprints, that the energetic process of healing them often only requires only one or two sessions compared to months or years of ‘talk therapy’.
- Intrusive energies and entities can exist in the luminous energy field.
Overall, it was an insightful read and one that definitely requires rereading, especially if the subject is new to you. I will certainly be reading it again to increase my awareness of my personal energy field, perceiving it and learning how to heal it.