Way of the Ancient Healer provides an overview of the rich tradition of Filipino healing practices, discussing their origins, world influences, and role in daily life. Enhanced with over 200 photographs and illustrations, the book combines years of historical research with detailed descriptions of the spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of these practices. Giving readers a rare look at modern-day Filipino healing rituals, the book also includes personal examples from author Virgil Mayor Apostol’s own experiences with shamanic healing and dream interpretation.
The book begins with an explanation of Apostol’s Filipino lineage and legacy as a healer. After a brief history of the Philippine archipelago, he describes the roots of traditional Filipino healing and spirituality, and discusses the Indian, Islamic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and American influences that have impacted the Filipino culture. He presents a thorough description of Filipino shamanic and spiritual practices that have developed from the concept that everything in nature contains a spirit (animism) and that living in the presence of spirits demands certain protocols and rituals for interacting with them. The book’s final chapter thoughtfully explores the spiritual tools used in Filipino healing–talismans, amulets, stones, and other natural symbols of power.
"In Way of the Ancient Healer, Virgil Mayor Apostol brilliantly blends the art and science of the sacred teachings of Filipino traditional healing to help people find their path toward health and happiness."
--Deepak Chopra, author, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul
"The recent upsurge of interest and research into the connection between the mind and body that reaches into the spiritual, a largely ignored realm for decades, shows that science acknowledges that there is much that we do not yet know. The mechanisms that link the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system have only begun to be understood, and it is perhaps this avenue that will fruitfully provide the initial understanding of the link between spirituality and health, and the secrets of these healing traditions, including Filipino healing as presented in this book."
--Edward K. Fujimoto, DrPH, former professor of the DrPH Program in Preventive Care, Loma Linda University
"This brilliant and powerful work is a must for everyone in the healing arts as well as those who would increase the depth and breadth of their humanity. It is not only the first major study of the extraordinary practices of the visionary healers of the Philippines, but offers the reader inner knowledge of human possibilities once thought to be mythic, now shown to be real."
--Jean Houston, PhD, founder of Mystery School, Ashland, Oregon, and author of A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story
"Interest in complimentary and alternative therapies is on the rise, and Virgil Mayor Apostol's Way of the Ancient Healer is a fascinating cross-cultural exploration of the nature of health, illness, and healing in the Philippine tradition that will be of special interest to those reconsidering the methodologies of traditional shamans for healing and problem-solving."
--Hank Wesselman, PhD, anthropologist and author of Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future and Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation (with Sandra Ingerman)
"A brilliant account of the ancient Filipino healing arts written by one of its authentic practitioners and teachers. Essential reading for anyone interested in indigenous health and healing."
--Bradford P. Keeney, PhD, author of Shaking Medicine: The Healing Power of Ecstatic Movement, Bushman Shaman: Awakening the Spirit through Ecstatic Dance, Shaking: The Original Path to Ecstasy and Healing, Aesthetics of Change, and The Creative Therapist: The Art of Awakening a Clinical Session