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Developing the Gifts of the Shaman Seer

Interview with Alberto Villoldo

By Randy Peyser


Alberto Villoldo is a medical anthropologist who has spent a large part of his life studying the healing practices and ancient wisdom traditions of indigenous cultures while living among these cultures in South America, Africa and Asia. He has translated ancient healing practices that have evolved over 50,000 years into contemporary models of healing that we can use in our world today.

Alberto is the founder of The Four Winds Society, an energy medicine training program, where Western shamans and healers hold the consciousness of oneness and bring it to others to help families, individuals, and our planet to heal.

In addition to leading expeditions to the Andes, Alberto teaches a light body training, which includes the art of soul retrieval, clearing imprints from the luminous energy field, and tracking for future destinies for ourselves and for the planet. For upcoming expeditions and trainings, visit: www.TheFourWinds.com


Randy Peyser: What cultures are you working with now?

Alberto Villoldo: There are very few indigenous cultures left intact. Most have been westernized by western religion or through western commercialism. I have spent time in the Andes in South America, both with indigenous cultures that live at very high altitudes  — 14,000-16,000 feet, as well as with Amazon societies who have had very little contact with the West.

Randy: I’m fascinated by the ability to transcend time that many people of these cultures possess.

Alberto: Indigenous cultures I’ve studied, and the shamans I’ve worked with, have a different notion of time. For us, time is linear. We’re always the product of something that occurred earlier — from an early childhood trauma, from our first broken heart, or our genetics. For us, time flies like an arrow.

In shamanic societies, time turns like a wheel, so you are not only the product of your past, but you can also be influenced by your destiny or your future. The future can reach back, like a giant hand, and bring you to a future state of health, for example, that may not be permissible by your genetics or by your diagnosis.

Time turns like a wheel and the cycles of time repeat themselves. The Mayan calendar is a repeating cycle of time. If you understand the cycles of time, you are able to place yourself in history in an innovative way.

The main operating principle in this kind of time is synchronicity, whereas, the main operating principle in linear time is causality — cause and effect; we’re always the victim of an earlier cause. When you operate within circular time, you can rely on serendipity, on synchronicity, and on chance events.

According to the mythologies of indigenous cultures, the universe is benign, the universe responds to you, and if you are in the right relationship with it, it will conspire on your behalf. It will assist you; you don’t have to be swimming against the current all the time and battling the forces of nature.

Randy: Is there a possibility that, by traveling the timeline, shamans can influence or create a new destiny for someone who is going through a difficult illness like cancer?

Alberto: Absolutely. You can break out of the timeline that has been preordained for you by your genetics, your psychology, or your karma — as long as you learn the lessons. Once you’ve learned the lessons, you can step into a new destiny line where you have vibrant health. It also is helpful if you can do healing practices and re-inform your body newly.

For example, one man who had picked up a rare parasite was told he needed a new liver, a new heart, and a new brain. He had a very rough year — what you might call the equivalent of chemo — but today, he has a healed liver and heart, and a fully-functioning brain. He did the Shamanic healing practices, including not only the interventions, but also including selecting a destiny in which he had a healed future ahead of him.

You can break out of a pre-ordained destiny. But to do so, you have to have an experience of the Divine, of infinity. Infinity is defined as the experience of no time, of stepping outside of time, of becoming free of time because time is haunted by death. It ends, it runs out. An experience of infinity is what we refer to in the West as an experience of the Divine, or being touched by God in a profound way — that your sense of mission in life changes completely.

You will find this across the board — from the Americas to Asia to Africa — the notion that once you identify a future healed state, and install it in your timeline, this future healed state can reach back like a giant hand and pull you forward towards it.

Randy: I see the potential for this practice to help so many people.

Alberto: Our belief structures around time keep us locked into the past. If you look at the structure of our language, you see that we hold the past in front of us and we hold the future invisibly behind us, inaccessible to us. We talk about “the week after next” or “the day before last” — we put the past before us. It’s so subtle, we don’t even notice it. So, the year after next, the day after tomorrow — “aft” is the rear; it’s behind us.

The traditional societies hold time, the future, ahead, so that you can glimpse future possibilities. You can have prophets who are able to track the timeline of a culture. They are able to select future states that are most desirable for an individual, family or village. But the requirement is that you learn the lessons keeping you bound to a painful moment in history.

Randy: That requires a willingness to look inside.

Alberto: Yes. It requires developing the gifts of the shaman seer. The seer is the individual who can see possible destinies. To be able to awaken the seer within, you have to be willing to look at every single facet of yourself. Otherwise, you are going to be blinded by those parts of yourself that you are not willing to recognize. You will be projecting them onto others. This is what Carl Jung described as “the shadow.”

Randy: Can you name some of the tribes?

Alberto: The most recent society I’ve been working with is in the very tip of Chile where the shamans are all women. It’s the Machi. They have a unique relationship whereby they are unbound to time. The indigenous call them Mapuche. They were never conquered by the Spanish, or by the church or the State. So, they retain an original tradition that is founded on the feminine.

Most other indigenous societies touched by the church are now very masculine traditions, because the church is inherently a God-the-Father masculine tradition. Feminine traditions are of the earth, of the Cosmic Mother, of creation, of birth, of renewal.

They are fascinating... They have 80-year-old women drummers. They are absolutely stunning. This is practically the only society left in the Americas — other than some deep Amazon cultures — that are still predominantly feminine.

Randy: Is there a common indigenous viewpoint regarding ascension?

Alberto: Most of these nations have been affected by Christianity. Asia and South America are full of missionaries. Wherever Christianity has touched, you find the theme of ascension. It’s not an indigenous trait. Ascension implies that the Divine is above and that you ascend to it. You are descended and you are earthbound. In indigenous societies, it is the Mother, it is the earth that is heavenly. The Mother exists in the great womb of space. So, you are here already and there‘s no place else to go. It’s only your mind that turns this into heaven or hell.

Randy: There is so much talk about ascending into your light body.

Alberto: These cultures do subscribe to the awakening of the light body. The light body is the body you will occupy in between incarnations. There is not the sense of ascending to a heavenly place, but rather, embodying heaven on earth — bringing spirit into matter, instead of leaving matter behind to go to spirit.

Matter has been put down by the patriarchal traditions, whereas, the word, “matter,” comes from “mater,” the mother. Mater is the same root for the word, material. You can create heaven or hell wherever you are — whether you are outside of your body in your luminous body or in a cloud somewhere.

Randy: Can you talk about your education programs?

Alberto: I train Western shamans. In the west, we have so many different kinds of illnesses, and only two kinds of people — men and women. Until recently, women weren’t even considered, because all of the medications were always tested on men because they didn’t have periods or babies.

There are 14,000 different illness catalogued by Western medicine. In indigenous societies, there are very few kinds of illnesses and many, many kinds of people. So, there are very few illnesses that manifest differently through each person.

All of our illnesses have to do with coming out of right relationship with ourselves, with nature, with our diet. They’re corrected by coming back into right relationship. For example, for the shaman there is no difference between being killed by a jaguar and being killed by a microbe. For us in the West, being killed by a jaguar is an accident and being killed by a microbe is an illness. If you are living in the Amazon, you have to be in right relationship with jaguars and with microbes, otherwise, they’ll both be looking at you as lunch!

The healing process has to do with returning to right relationship and with learning the lessons that life presented you. When you learn those lessons, then healing is accelerated tremendously. We have a luminous body that surrounds the physical body. That’s an information field that contains imprints for health and for disease. If you can clear the imprints for disease before they manifest in the body, you don’t have to experience it physically. Then you can prevent disease instead of having to heal disease.

We train doctors, therapists, and individuals who are interested in healing themselves to clear the imprints from the luminous energy field so that the body can go about the business of healing. Our school is based in Joshua Tree in California and the Omega Institute in N.Y.

At my last training we were looking at soul retrieval, at recovering that part of ourselves that we lost from trauma. If it remains lost, it will create a healing crisis; it will manifest as disease. Soul retrieval provides an opportunity for us to recover a part of ourselves that was misplaced, usually very early in our lives or during the birth process. Or if we were born into a family that we knew was not safe, part of our soul held back and was not born with us. The process of soul retrieval allows you to recover your whole self.

Randy: Final thoughts?

Alberto: The indigenous people I’ve studied with understand that reincarnation is real. When you have a cyclical understanding of time, you keep returning. We have been together before many times, sitting around the fire with the buffalo behind us. We have been together meditating at a stone temple above the snow line, and we have chosen to be born at this time, to be part of a great transformation that is happening on the planet today. Now there is an opportunity for a new human to appear in an embodiment of consciousness of the Divine here on earth and turn this planet into heaven.

Randy Peyser edits books and helps people find literary agents and publishers, www.AuthorOneStop.com. She is also the author of The Power of Miracle Thinking, www.MiracleThinking.com