The following is excerpted from Manual of Psychomagic: The Practice of Shamanic Psychotherapy, published by Inner Traditions.
Acts to Heal Communities, Countries, and the World
If psychomagic acts can heal the individual, it is possible and necessary to create acts that heal whole communities. This is difficult work because, to achieve this, one must reach different mentalities, many times antagonistic, and accept them willingly. Social psychomagic should remain apolitical, in no way sacrilegious or destructive. The acts need only to be beautiful in order to heal and expand consciousness. This sociopsychomagic activity should be supported by the governmental authorities. So until governments realize that the political-economical solutions, the colonialism, the revolutions, and the wars are not sufficient means to solve the self-destructive chaos into which humanity plunges more and more, it will have to be generous individuals, aware that a spiritual mutation is necessary, who organize collective acts to guide people to places of peace, harmony, and joy-filled living.
A group of Chilean women asked me for an act so their souls could rest, distraught as they were over their relatives who had disappeared by force during the reign (1970–1980) of Augusto Pinochet (1915–2006). The members of this society did not have a corpse to grieve over or a grave at which to leave flowers. I recommended:
▶ Go to a desert (if not possible, go to a wasteland) and dig holes as deep as possible. At the bottom of each hole, put in a cage, each with a dove that clutches in its claw a small piece of rolled-up parchment paper on which is written the word freedom. Kneel down together around the holes and cry as much as possible for the disappeared. Some relatives go to the bottoms of the holes and open the cages to let the doves escape. Refill the pits by putting quartz crystal rocks in the cages.
The Night of Tlatelolco
The director general of the Centro Cultural Universitario de Tlatelolco (CCUT) asked me for a cleansing act for the killings of a hundred students, which was committed by the military in the plaza of this residential neighborhood in Mexico City in 1968. The memory of these murders haunted the inhabitants of this cluster of tall buildings. I sent the following proposal:
▶ A hundred sets of mariachis surround this poisoned plaza and play, in unison, the song “La Llorona.” (La Llorona [the weeping woman] is a poor woman who killed her children. Turned into a wandering ghost, she laments them.) During this musical overture, several men dressed in black and wearing skull masks on their faces spread, over the whole surface of the plaza, a tapestry filled with tiny, red plastic balls. This tapestry symbolizes splattered blood.
Upon transforming the plaza into a big rectangular arena, an orchestra plays (live, if possible, otherwise recorded) a sublime symphony of Mexican music. Together with this symphony, large groups of male and female students from ages seven to nine sweep up the plastic balls with brooms, beginning at one side of the plaza and ending at the other side, where there will be a large transparent, plastic bag in the form of a human being with its arms opened like a cross. Other children fill this form with the tiny balls until it has turned into an enormous red man lying in the plaza. At least two thousand, or as many as are needed, white balloons filled with helium are tied to the red man until it is lifted and carried to the sky. Then five hundred women enter wearing long white skirts, their torsos naked, and carrying babies, also naked, in their arms. They sit in the now cleaned plaza nursing their babies. Three military helicopters arrive and spray a shower of white bookmarks with poems printed on them: pre-Columbian poems and poems by Mexican poets of different time periods that exalt life. When this white rain has ceased, the helicopters leave, and a plane arrives to write in the sky with smoke the word hope, as the neighbors hang green flags in all the windows of the buildings. (The director told me there were not enough funds to organize such an act.)
A Harbor for Bolivia
It is regrettable that Bolivia does not have a door to the ocean. In a private interview with President Michele Bachelet (president of Chile, 2006–2010),
▶ I proposed that Chile give a harbor to Bolivia without asking anything from it in exchange. With this selfless act, Chile could be a great example to all countries in the world, teaching them how to collaborate instead of compete.
Female Popes in Rome
▶ Because the ecclesiastic authority is invested in a solitary man (representing God the Father, excluding Goddess the Mother), I recommend, in order to protest as pacifists, that a thousand or more women, dressed as female popes, show up to receive blessings from the pope when he makes a public appearance at the Vatican.
Rally for Peace
▶ On a main street in a city in the United States, organize a protest in which only the mothers of the white and black races participate. Open an exchange of babies. The white women carry black babies in their arms, and the black women carry white babies in their arms, and, if necessary, the women nurse the babies they carry. The women organize themselves in two long, parallel lines. A line of black and white men walk between the two lines of women; the men carry posters that simply read “Peace”: some written in black letters on a white background, others written in white letters on a black background.
Protest against Hunger
▶ In any commercial center in any developed country, organize a silent protest whose participants are exclusively very fat men and woman who each carry a photograph of an extremely malnourished child.
▶ On each side of the long walls that separate Mexico and the United States or Israel and Palestine, very good artists from around the whole world paint large doors of all styles to give passage freely to wide open spaces and beautiful landscapes, skies, cities.
The herd instinct makes it essential for the individual to be recognized and integrated into society. It takes longer for an isolated sick person to heal than it does for someone who receives affection from a collective. Among the 613 commandments of the Hebrew religion, the most important is to go visit the ill. People of goodwill should meet together to bring about collective healing. In December of 2007, I put into practice a social psychomagic act at the Teatro Caupolicán in Santiago, Chile. I asked the six thousand people who attended, sitting in a circle surrounding the rectangular stage, to concentrate only on thinking of curing someone. I made a forty-year-old woman stop in the middle of the stage. For twenty years she had difficulty talking due to a surgery and thyroid cancer. Her voice was like a high-pitched wire, barely comprehendible. It was enough to say, “We are all healers,” because all six thousand people extended their hands toward the woman sending her the energy they wished to be healing. The woman, crying with emotion, received this emotional impact. For a few minutes, she was the center of the world: she was surrounded by a human mass, wishing healing for her. We knew her family had forced her to marry a man she did not love. The cancer began with the birth of her daughter—now a twenty-year-old woman—who never heard her mother’s normal voice. Within a few minutes, the woman felt something open in her throat. Months later, her voice had recovered as well as a happiness to be alive. She began to take voice lessons. Her relationship with her daughter got notably better.
For collective healing, I recommend:
▶ Gather together a group of as many individuals as possible and, seated in a circle, guide the palms of their hands toward the sick person, wishing him or her to be healed. Each session can be to give beneficial treatment to as many sick people as needed, and five to eight minutes is sufficient for the patient to receive the energy of this amorous attention, like a precious gift that the collective lavishes on the patient. While the “healers” send their “waves,” the men should murmur the syllable a and the women the syllable mour (amour, the French word for love).
The Olympic Games are organized like a war: each nation intends to master the others, and the winners feel proud and superior while the losers are sad and humiliated. I pray for the day when a government understands that the Olympic Games should focus on the goal of triumph for the human race and not a triumph for a nation. If an athlete, for example, beats a record, and he or she becomes the fastest runner in history, this is not an exploit that should be celebrated only in the runner’s birth country but on the whole planet. Athletes don’t need to have a nationality.
▶ In a conscious country, I propose to create an Anti–Olympics Games, in which human beings from all corners of the planet come together with the intention of awarding triumphs to the whole of humanity. In these games, there are no flags or regional uniforms or national hymns. The prizes, simple crowns of laurel leaves, will be given to the athletes by boys and girls of all races, without identification with a nation.
▶ Through the Internet, the majority of inhabitants on the planet should agree to paint (from the main street of the capital of a randomly chosen country), with permanent purple paint, a seven-inch-wide line. This line—added to in length by people of goodwill who desire world union—should circle the world. The government of every nation should offer the paint for free. At the small stretches of water, the line may circle it; in the case of rivers, the line can go over the bridge. The line, in a symbolic way, painted on three-foot-long pieces of wood, can cross the oceans and be continued on the other side.
Teaser image by Playing Futures: Applied, courtesy of Creative Commons license.