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Manual of Psychomagic

The Practice of Shamanic Psychotherapy

Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A workbook for using symbolic acts to heal the unconscious mind

• Provides several hundred successful psychomagic solutions for a wide range of specific psychological, sexual, emotional, and physical problems, from stuttering, eczema, and fears to repressed rage and hereditary illnesses

• Details how practitioners can develop unique psychomagic solutions for their patients

• Explains how psychomagic bypasses the rational mind to work directly with the unconscious for quicker and more enduring change

Traditional psychotherapy seeks to unburden the unconscious mind purely through talk and discussion. Psychomagic recognizes that it is difficult to reach the unconscious with rational thought. We should instead speak directly to the unconscious in its own language, that of dreams, poetry, and symbolic acts. By interacting on this deeper level, we can initiate quicker and more enduring change to resolve repressed childhood trauma, express buried emotions, and overcome deep-seated intimacy issues. Through the lens of psychomagic, illness can be seen as the physical dream of the unconscious, revealing unresolved issues, some passed from generation to generation.

In this workbook of psychomagical spells, legendary filmmaker and creator of psychomagic Alejandro Jodorowsky provides several hundred successful psychomagic solutions for a wide range of psychological, sexual, emotional, and physical problems from stuttering, eczema, and fear of failure to repressed rage, hereditary illnesses, and domineering parents. Each solution takes the same elements associated with a negative emotional charge and recasts them into a series of theatrical symbolic actions that enable one to pay the psychological debts hindering their lives. Explaining the shamanic techniques at the foundation of psychomagic, the author offers methods for aspiring practitioners to develop solutions for their own unique patients.

Jodorowsky explains how the surreal acts of psychomagic are intended to break apart the dysfunctional persona with whom the patient identifies in order to connect with a deeper, more authentic self. As he says in the book, “Health only finds itself in the authentic. There is no beauty without authenticity.”


Chapter One
Psychomagic Tips to Heal Your Life

Authenticity, Health, and the Influence of the Family Terrain

In my long activity as a Tarologist, each time I analyzed the consultants’ problems I always ended up discovering that the roots of the problem were found in the family terrain. Childhood influences one’s entire life: if there is no balance, the “trio” (mother-father-son/daughter) will create in the individual a destiny sown with multiple failures, depressions, and illnesses. This is why the first tips or pieces of advice in this manual introduce the reader to the basic aspects of his or her genealogy tree then stroll through a wide range of psychological, sexual, emotional, material problems and end with a description of a birth massage (a ceremony intended to give information about the balanced family to which every human being has the right to be born).

All illness is accompanied by spiritual suffering. The tips that follow do not, in any way, intend to replace medical treatment. They only propose solutions for the psychological distress that no pill or surgery can calm.

12. Mothers Who Criticize by Telephone

There are mothers who, living separated from their daughters, often call them by telephone. Suffering from perfectionism, they develop an egotistical spirit. They feel themselves right about everything, projecting onto their daughters the defects that they cannot accept in themselves. Each time these mothers communicate with their daughters, the mothers cannot stop criticizing them. If an absent father is added to this, and the child can only count on maternal love, every harsh word wounds the child in a most intimate way. In this case, I recommend:

Make a heart out of red cork to put next to the telephone. (The consultant must prohibit the mother from calling the cell phone.) Each time the consultant receives one of the mother’s verbal assaults, the consultant must stick a dart into the cork. When the heart is full, the consultant should count the darts without removing them and buy an equal number of chocolates wrapped in metallic red paper. If there are fifty darts, there will be fifty chocolates. Circle the heart pinned with darts with chocolates and send in a gift box together with a pink card on which will be written, “For you, dear Mother, because I love you, I forgive you for the pain your criticism has caused me.”

13. Mourning an Abortion

However much an abortion is justified, it leaves painful marks on the woman’s soul. To the organic wound, the shock of the operation is added, which has been suffered without the presence of the man who is responsible for the fertilization. An abortion, in our masculine society, which generally aids the male in eluding responsibility, basically involves the woman and her fetus. Many times, in the deep recesses, the woman hauls around an abysmal sadness for this child who she will never see grow up. In order to perform bereavement so that the consultant feels relief, I recommend this act:

Concentrating deeply, the consultant should choose a small fruit (to represent the fetus). Remove all clothing and then place the fruit atop the stomach and wrap a flesh-colored bandage around the body four times--holding it in the place where the abortion was suffered--ask a good friend or lover to, little by little, cut the bandage with a scalpel and remove the fruit. During this metaphysical operation, the consultant will let her grief and rage surface in the form of complaints, cries, or insults. Then put the fruit in a pretty box that the consultant herself has decorated.

Accompanied by her associate, the consultant, with a black pebble (a mortuary symbol of accumulated pain) in her mouth, will go to a nice spot to bury this symbolic casket. Digging in the earth with her hands, helped by a man--a collaboration she did not have in the past--she spits the black pebble into the hole. The man, who will have put a red candy in his mouth, kisses the consultant and slides the candy onto her tongue (the symbol of rebirth of life). They put a plant on the little grave and, if it is possible, they make love together. If this companion is only a good friend, they go to a café for something nice to eat.

16. Separated Parents

So that a child’s character can grow in a balanced way requires having lived with parents who understand the child intellectually: that is to say that the parents do not express contradictory concepts of life in front of the child; that the parents are united emotionally--they treat one another with respect, care, and admiration; that the parents desire one another sexually, and they express satisfaction in this regard; and that they do not make the child a participant in the financial anxieties, making sure that they will always be able to give the child what he needs without anything essential missing.

The children of parents who do not love them, who argue constantly, who divorce, or who turn the children over to the care of an aunt or the grandparents, feel that their personalities are divided, without a united goal. Even if they live at a good economic level, they live devoid of protection, without the ability to believe they are loved by their partners. For this kind of consultant, I advise:

Tattoo a sun on the sole of the right foot (symbol of the cosmic father) and a moon on the sole of the left foot (symbol of the cosmic mother). That way, each time the consultant walks, he feels parental support.

Another way to have the experience of the mother-father unity is to walk with headphones listening through the left ear to a song sung by a woman and through the right, a song sung by a man.

About The Author

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a playwright, filmmaker, composer, mime, psychotherapist, and author of many books on spirituality and tarot, and over thirty comic books and graphic novels. He has directed several films, including The Rainbow Thief and the cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. He lives in France. In 2019, Alejandro Jodorowsky was cited as one of the "100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in the World" according to Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (January 30, 2015)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781620551615

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Raves and Reviews

“Psychomagic is the purest art form and a plea against suffering. Alejandro Jodorowsky is a demiurge and an interpreter of our stories, always exploring further the understanding of both the beauty and complexity revealed by humankind.”

– Diana Widmaier-Picass o, art historian

“This is great . . . like a cookbook of very useful recipes that can help us to understand our life and the universe we live in.”

– Marina Abramovi´c, performance artist

“Jodorowsky is a brilliant, wise, gentle, and cunning wizard with tremendous depth of imagination and crystalline insight into the human condition.”

– Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head

“Alejandro Jodorowsky seamlessly and effortlessly weaves together the worlds of art, the confined social structure, and things we can only touch with an open heart and mind.”

– Erykah Badu, artist and alchemist

“His films El Topo and The Holy Mountain were trippy, perverse,and blasphemous.”

– Wall Street Journal

“The best movie director ever!”

– Marilyn Manson, musician, actor, and multimedia artist

“An autobiographical work by an octogenarian, The Dance of Reality begs to be read as a culminating work. . . .”

– Los Angeles Times

“The Dance of Reality [film is] a trippy but big-hearted reimagining of the young Alejandro’s unhappy childhood in a Chilean town. . . .”

– New York Times Magazine

“Rather than clarifying the meaning of his imagery, [The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky] only inspires readers to enjoy its ‘mystery’ . . . a worthy read, filled with growing pains and crises that end in artistic triumph and achievement of wisdom and compassion.”

– Scene4 Magazine

“Wildly creative and boldly cinematic. The unifying factor is a bizarre sense of whimsy. . . For the armchair student of human psychology, imagining Jodorowsky’s vibrant, visceral, and entirely unapologetic paths to the unconscious should be an absolutely delightful exercise.”

– Publishers Weekly, February 2015

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