Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing

Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing


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One of the pioneers in the areas of energy healing and shamanism recounts twelve stories of miraculous healings; twelve stories in which, through the use of shamanic energetic techniques, people experience extraordinary physical and emotional healings.

Meet a dancer who could barely walk until a series of sessions with Villoldo, a business woman who is freed from headaches and discovers the benefits of an integrated interior life, and a young woman who confronts her past and recovers from crippling depression. Each of these stories is rooted in Villoldo's experience as a healer, a traditional mental health professional, and a devotee of indigenous wisdom and lore from around the world.

Villoldo has devoted 25 years of study to the healing practices of the Amazon and Andean shamans. By learning the ancient Shaman wisdoms from Villoldo, you can heal disease, eliminate emotional suffering, and even grow new bodies that age and heal differently. The stories in this book are amazing and inspiring.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571747372
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., is a psychologist, medical anthropologist, and prolific author who has studied the healing practices of the Amazon and Inka shamans for more than 25 years. Dr. Villoldo directs The Four Winds Society, where he trains individuals in the US and Europe in the practice of energy medicine and soul retrieval. In 2011 Villoldo produced the documentary Amazonia: Healing with Sacred Plants that focuses on the sacred plants of the Peru's Amazon region, including the use of ayahuasca. He is the author of several books including Shaman, Healer, Sage.

Anne E. O'Neill began her shamanic work with Alberto Villoldo in 2001. She is a graduate of his Light Body School of Energy Medicine and has had numerous private sessions with the shaman, giving her invaluable experience to write the stories contained in this book. Anne holds a Masters degree from the University of LaVerne and has worked as a teacher and administrator. Always drawn to writing, she has also worked as a scriptwriter in Hollywood and has published a novel, Benedictus, based on her experience as a nun. She writes from her home on the Oregon coast.

Read an Excerpt

A Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing

By Alberto Villoldo, Anne O'Neill

Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Alberto Villoldo, PhD
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61283-349-1


Extracting Intrusive Energies

We bring toxic energies with us from our childhood trauma, and even from former lifetimes. These energies are stale and dark and taint the luminous energy field, settling into the chakras in dark pools, and informing and affecting the mind and body. They contain memories of painful events and hurtful people we have not been able to heal. Eventually, these toxic energies can manifest as disease. In Sharon's case, they had settled in her hip joints, which looked dark and lifeless in medical X-rays, and also when I tracked her with my shaman's vision. She had to be careful not to break her hip, and she was crippled and barely able to walk.

Often, it can seem that stark pain is directing the course of our lives when all the while it is nothing less than the pull of destiny.


According to psychology, there are thoughts and beliefs that are not truly, fully ours. Many of these we inherit from our parents and from our culture. Yet, psychology is based on the assumption that all the energies we have inside us are ours — but shamans know differently.

The extraction process allows the shaman to remove toxic energies from an individual's LEF so that physical healing can take place. Once the thick, dark pools of stagnant energy are extricated, the body knows how to repair itself. In fact, one of the tenets of shamanic medicine is that by extracting energies that do not belong in the body, illness goes away.

It's very difficult to discover these stale, dark energies unless you've developed the shaman's way of seeing. I learned to peer into the world of Spirit during my training with the Amazon shamans. Over years of practice, my inner vision opened, and now I see more clearly in this numinous world than I do in the world of concrete and steel. At first, it bothered me to see the spirits of people who had passed away, or the shards of glass sticking out of Sharon's sides that made her body look as if she had been thrown through a plate-glass window. But I've learned to control this ability as if I were merely taking off or putting on a pair of glasses, which is important. After all, a person can get tired of seeing ghosts, even if they are sometimes more interesting and animated than the living.


The mirror reflects someone out of the past. I sit there, studying the face that stares back at me. She's quite lovely, really — rather regal with long wavy brown hair. I pass my fingers through it, enjoying its silky feel, the lustrous waves.

I've been working with Dr. Villoldo now for about one year. At the time of our first session, my hair was short, a lighter shade, and certainly not wavy. "Straight as a stick," as my mother would say. What does this mean? The image in the mirror has become a haunting presence out of an unknown past. Now ... am I becoming the past? Or is the past intruding on my present? The mind of an analyst never stops. I should know better. In my practice as a psychotherapist, I deal with that sort of thing — the impotent dissection of the soul. Alberto does agree with me that this recurring image may have a deeper meaning, hinging on something beyond imagination. But what do I make of the fact now that I am becoming that image? This is a new development. Well, I'm seeing the shaman tomorrow.

So much has happened to me. And I'm not that old to be this crippled. Shall we say forty-something? I had such dreams when I was younger.

I peer more deeply into the mirror, past the lovely woman with the wavy hair to the young, vulnerable child. She, too, had waves, now that I think about it — at least for performances. Mother saw to that.

It's dance class, 1984. My ballet slippers are so tight! But that's the way they have to be, I'm told. My feet hurt so bad sometimes that it's hard to walk. It hurts when I do those fast spins on my toes across the stage. Everyone tells me how lovely I am, how beautiful I look in my tutu — just like a princess, so sweet! Mother says I have a "presence" on stage, whatever that means. It must be good because she smiles when she tells me that. I'm only a child, but my dreams are big, much bigger than dancing. I want to fly! I want to catch the wind and float with the clouds.

It wasn't long before the image of a princess went out the window along with the ballet slippers. No more pain! Classical ballet had become a bondage, one I would not wish on any child. Still, gnawing deep inside me was the desire for artistic expression in some flowing form. It did not become clear to me until my seventeenth year when I discovered modern dance, dance that honored bare feet — and bared souls. It offered the freedom to move from within. It offered true creativity, free from anyone else's ideas and instructions.

I refocus my gaze, my attention back on the reflection in the mirror. I banish the child and strain to see the seventeen-year-old who had the freedom to be an artist. The eyes grow more intense; the mouth, more determined.

Seventeen. It was then that comments had changed and words like hypnotic and powerful were used to describe me. I had moved beyond lovely, sweet.

Ah! So what describes me now? I turn away from the mirror, not wanting to see. Just a few years after seventeen, the pain became my life. My youthful, promising fantasies were soon extinguished by dire dictums of medicine. Scoliosis was only part of the problem. Avascular necrosis of both hips was diagnosed. My arterial blood flow was failing to give life. Death to the femoral head of both hips, it said in my medical records. Yes, death. No longer did I have that supple, fluid body or the heart of one who could snatch the clouds. That special part of me got packed away in a darkened closet along with the flowing gowns of dance — a place no light could reach. I had lost forever the instrument of my artistic expression as a dancer. But the yearnings were still there to move through space, free of the pulls of this earth.

That sensation of being drawn to the earth grew stronger with time, anchoring me to a cold, harsh ground: pain. There were numerous surgeries, including bone grafts and consequent complications. Other joints began to trouble me as well. And there was more ...

I grip my abdomen in pain, remembering. That woman with the lustrous hair who haunts me had been stabbed in the abdomen. I can't explain how I know this ... I just know. Am I feeling her pain? In his shamanic way, Alberto now has seen what happened to her. It's not my imagination. It's a relief to know that, anyway.

I'll tell you what I feel like now when I can't walk, can't stand straight: anything but a person of grace. I feel like an awkward puppet on a string with jerky, stabbing movements. There I go again ... stabbing. When there's been so much trauma in my life, I have to ask, Is this pain psychological, Alberto? He assures me it's not, that I have done my psychological work. I must hear that or I don't think I could bear all this. It feels as if panes of glass are bisecting my torso. That's what I really want to present to Alberto tomorrow. It's hard for me to say this to anyone as I realize how strange it sounds. I've learned to compensate for this dissection, but as a result my body is constricted and contorted. What this body has become ...

The realization transcends my flesh and pierces my spirit.


I've seen Sharon for three sessions now. When she first came to my office, she could hardly walk, but there has been progress. I think her job as a therapist is exacerbating her condition because Sharon is very sensitive and prone to picking up toxic energies from her clients. These energies settle in her luminous energy field like pieces of a puzzle. She must learn, as I did years ago, to protect herself from their noxious influence. Physician, heal thyself.

I have been using the extraction process to clear Sharon's field of these intrusive energies, and the illumination process to bathe in pure light her chakras, the funnel-shaped energy vortexes lined up along her spine. Sharon's energy system and her chakras have become clogged with heavy energy that is like noxious sludge. She speaks of a long process of "losing her health," which matches with what I am seeing. An acupuncturist would say that her meridians are blocked and unable to flush away the stale chi, or life force.

I remember how fascinated I was when I first realized that the ancient systems of medicine from China had many similarities to the energy medicine systems in the Americas. I perceive the acupuncture meridians as rivers of golden light flowing an inch or so above the body, next to the skin. Yet Sharon's were grayish black, and barely moving. Her entire energy system was sluggish and stuck, unable to eliminate toxins or circulate life-giving chi.

The process I'm using is effective, but it takes time. You clear one layer of sludge from the chakras and another reveals itself. It's like peeling an onion. Eventually, you get to the core. Sharon is gauging her success by how quickly she regains her ability to walk pain-free. But true healing is much deeper than skin and bone, or even muscles and ligaments. It happens in the LEF, which must be brought back to an optimal state of health. Otherwise, even if physical symptoms disappear, illness will return. Sometimes, clients improve quickly after a few sessions with me, but I tell them to hang in there, as the symptoms may be disappearing but they are not healed yet. Only when their LEF is restored do I tell them they are well. I suspect that in Sharon's case, healing will be a long process. I've come to see over the years that every client heals at a different pace and with a different rhythm, with sudden breakthroughs and frustrating plateaus.

Yesterday, I "saw" the shards of glass dissecting Sharon's torso. It sounds outrageous, but even as Sharon was describing them, I could perceive large, angular pieces bisecting her. I have developed the skill of seeing using non-ordinary perception. It's essential to shamanic work. It's not a gift, really, as I had no natural talent for this. I was fortunate to have shaman teachers who trained me to "see" the invisible world. Non-ordinary perception is a skill we all can develop with training and patience. It's a skill I teach our students at the Light Body Energy Medicine School. But this work isn't for those looking for the fastest way to earn their shaman badge. It involves experiences that are humbling, unsettling, and even terrifying, as you first have to be willing to "see" all the hidden and terrifying aspects of yourself, what Carl Jung referred to as the "shadow" that we tend to project and see in others only.

"Sit back, Sharon. Relax. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Slowly. Deeply." I breathe with her. Sharon has been through this before. She knows what to do to enter the state I call One Spirit, in which she is experiencing stillness and her LEF is open to healing. I shake my rattle to help her reach this quiet state, and the effect is hypnotic. The steady rhythm is helpful to me as well. I, too, have to relax and surrender to that other form of seeing that appears when I let the ordinary world fade into the background.

In our session today we are going to do a destiny retrieval to track the luminous threads that extend outward from her LEF and into the past and future. Like a hunter narrowing my focus to see far into the distance, I follow the threads to see where they lead. Each is connected to a possible future, some terrible, some beautiful. Some very probable, others less so. I want to find the thread that leads to vibrant health and strengthen it. In this way, I can affirm this possible future into her LEF and make it a more probable destiny. It will act like a magnet, drawing her toward the healthy state she's capable of reaching, despite the odds against it. It's a kind of time tracking, selecting a healed destiny rather than leaving the outcome to chance and fate. I know I have to find this healed future before I can intervene in the present. It's not complicated, really. I do this every time I write a book. I track forward into my future and find the finished book, and this informs my writing every chapter.

But it's different when I am tracking for a client's destiny. As a shaman, I understand that I can change anything in my client — change disease for health, or death for life — as long as I am willing to take on the karma. So I tread very lightly. I must persuade the spirits involved that my patient deserves to live or heal, that she has gifts that she will share with others, and that I will help her learn the lessons she needs to master in order to heal. The lessons are what matter. A shaman calls these lessons the "medicine" that will both heal his clients and deepen their wisdom.

Minutes pass. When I find the future healed state I am searching for, both Sharon and I let out an involuntary sigh and take a deep breath. It's happened. I'm not quite sure how it happens, I just know that it does — and it did in that moment. For just as a shaman is able to track into his client's past to do a soul retrieval, he is able to track into the future to retrieve a desired destiny.

Next, I scan Sharon's energy field, focusing on the area surrounding her torso. It appears quite clearly to me: the crystallized, glass-like fragments that slice through the center of her body. I see the sharp edges that jut outward on either side of her LEF.

I begin the extraction process as a surgeon of energy — no scalpel needed. Extraction is essentially a practice of intention: You use the fingers to reach into the etheric realm and remove from the light body any energies that have hardened and crystallized, nearly becoming solid. Without disturbing the quiet state we are both in, I rise out of my chair and pull Sharon to her feet. I work quickly with my hands to move the shards, which are cold and sharp. It takes careful manipulation to grip and twist the shards this way and that in an effort to remove them from her energy field, taking the utmost care. At last, I am able to pull them out intact, leaving no shards behind. I drop the glass to the ground, where it shatters into slivers that dissolve into the earth. As soon as energies such as these are not bound to the body, they dissipate and are reabsorbed into the environment, like water seeping into the soil.

As I work on Sharon, a question pops into my mind, one I've asked myself a thousand times: Is this real, or am I making this up? And really, does it matter? I try not to let the dialogue get in my way. It used to upset me when such questions crept into my awareness. I would wonder what I was doing, and whether I was truly helping people. Who am I to be doing this work, anyway? I had an ordinary upper-middle-class childhood in Cuba until the revolution came and we fled to our vacation home in Miami. These events changed my life dramatically. I wasn't even ten when the revolution began, but its impression on my own LEF was powerful and would eventually lead me to my own healing and to doing the work I do.

Shamanic work is a far more mysterious pursuit than any I might have aspired to in my youth. The logical mind wants to know the inner workings, to feel a sense of control and predictability, but it isn't my mind that is in charge when I do this work. I can't "figure out" what to do to heal someone, yet every day I witness healing happening.

And I don't work alone; I work with many spirits that assist me, and of course with Spirit, who works in mysterious ways but whose healing powers are infinite. I work with people by assisting them in healing themselves, but I also acknowledge the influence and will of Spirit with the sincere prayer "Thy will be done."

Much as I used to feel annoyed by the question of whether what I'm doing is "real," now I'm grateful when it does arise, as it keeps me honest and makes me take a second, cautious look at the work I am doing with my clients. My Western mind may not be fully confident that what I'm doing is "real," but I try not to allow my own doubt to get in the way of being of service.

When I have finished the extraction, I gently guide Sharon back into her chair. She is shaken by the experience and seems a bit out of balance. This is not unusual, and I know I have to help her regain her steadiness before she leaves. She had adapted to living with these pieces of glass cutting into her torso, and now she must adapt to their absence. It's an adjustment, but her new task will be much easier than coping with the invasive slivers.

"Take as much time as you need, Sharon," I say. Actually, I also need a few moments myself, and I focus on my breath, bringing myself back to ordinary awareness. The transition to regular consciousness is slow, and I need some time before I can access the logical part of my brain and discuss what happened.


Excerpted from A Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing by Alberto Villoldo, Anne O'Neill. Copyright © 2015 Alberto Villoldo, PhD. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Shaman's Journey,
Chapter 1: Extracting Intrusive Energies,
Chapter 2: Turning Fate into Destiny,
Chapter 3: Healing Our Fight-or-Flight Response and Transforming Depression,
Chapter 4: The Journey Beyond Death,
Chapter 5: Healing the Heart in the World Beyond,
Chapter 6: Illumination–Clearing Imprints in the Field,
Chapter 7: Soul Retrieval and the Bands of Power,
Chapter 8: Soul Retrieval–Finding the Lost Soul,
Chapter 9: Life After Life,
Chapter 10: Healing the Mother Wound,
Chapter 11: Healing the Death Within Us,
Chapter 12: Allies from the Spirit World,
Chapter 13: The Shaman's Story,
Chapter 14: Stepping Out of Time (A Supernatural Love Story),

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