TITLE: THROUGH MY HEALING YOU WILL RETRIEVE YOUR SOUL
Sub-title: “Suffering is the result of the separation of a part of our soul. Yet, I know how to take it home again”
By Paola Giovetti
“In the shamanic realm the cause of illness and pain is represented by soul’s loss. According to this vision, every time that we suffer a trauma, a portion of our soul separates to escape from pain and continue to survive. Illness, in other words, is the result of the separation from a part of ourselves, and the cure consists in finding, capturing and reintegrating it in the awareness of the patient.” Thus, explains Franco Santoro, Bolognese living in Findhorn, a community for the development of inner potentials and the safeguard of the planet, in Scotland.
Santoro is a shaman by vocation and choice, a modern shaman who employs ancient practices that he intuitively received, combining them with astrology. His therapeutic path is called astroshamanism.
“Since I was a child”, he says “I have had non-ordinary experiences in which I felt at one with nature, trees, and things around me that would speak to me and let me feel part of them. Then in 1976, during a voyage in Scotland, as I was by the Lake of Loch Ness, not far away from Findhorn, I felt that I had already been in that land in an ancient past. I also had the premonition that I would return there for a spiritual task. I remained in Scotland just one week and I returned only in 1999, when my guides told me that I had to go there to do my work. Indeed, here I have found the best conditions and environment for this work. I have studied and worked a lot: university, spiritual and esoteric traditions, and most of all teachings received from shamans and guides of different lineages and long individual researches and experimentations.”
Santoro pauses a while, and then continues: “It is always difficult for me to explain where and how I learned what I know: shamanic formation is very different from other learning processes. The main feature of shamanic teachings is that they cannot be verbally communicated by one human being to another. They are revealed to initiates only through direct experience. The role of the teacher here consists in creating the conditions that allow the student to receive teachings directly from spirit guides, as it happened to me.”
But what is exactly a shaman? “It is a function that has always existed”, answers Santoro, “a man or woman who is able to enter into an altered state of consciousness to connect with realities that are alien to ordinary human beings and use this connection to get wisdom, ecstasy, power, or for healing purposes. The shaman has access to territories, both new and ancient, providing deep knowledge regarding the meaning of life and our place in the universe.”
Why do you also employ astrology in your practice? “It was because my guides invited me to do so” says Santoro. “Astrology represents the whole universe. It is like a geographical map able to describe all kinds of realities and states of consciousness. I employ experiential astrology, which translates the zodiac symbols in pragmatic and living experiences. In astroshamanism the astrological chart is used according to its original function, which is that of representing the geography of the soul with the aim of a direct exploration. By using these tools the shaman receives information that allows him to identify blocks and illnesses and to find healing instruments and supporting forces.”
To whom is this specific therapeutic approach addressed? “To individuals willing to identify their life purpose, taking practical actions to implement it. It is also for those who are in moments of deep confusion and inner crisis. Such times are often the symptom of a great process of transformation and reawakening: instead of fighting the symptom, against the illness, I need to try and understand what wants to emerge. My work involves creating a connection with the authentic nature, with the essence of the person, who I call spirit guide. The relationship with the spirit guide is an experience available to whoever feels the genuine desire to have it. In an astroshamanic session it is the subject himself who receives a vision or guidance meant to support his intent and release situations of block or soul loss.”
In order to achieve his task, Santoro employs shamanic dances and rituals accompanied by sounds. He uses the beat of the drum -which recalls the heart beat, the one that the child hear in his prenatal stage – and other percussions. “As a result of astroshamanic work”, Santoro concludes “people can considerably change their life: often it is not the external circumstance of life that changes, but rather the inner way of perceiving life. Thanks to the contact with the spirit guide, the person can see with clarity his situation and find energy and guidance to transform his life. In many cases there is healing from chronic problems, yet most of all people discover their authentic potential and manage to express the best in their inner and outer life.
Caption 1: HE ALSO USES THE SOUND OF DRUMS. Franco Santoro photographed during a shamanic ritual. The rhythm produced by various tambourines reproduces the heart beat.
Caption 2: To know more: who would like to know more about the techniques of Franco Santoro can read his book Introduzione all’astrosciamanesimo published by Edizioni Mediterranee. In the picture you see Santoro with the work. To contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption 3: MASTER OF ARCANE WISDOM. Still Franco Santoro during an astroshamanic dance. “What I know about this therapy” he says “was not taught me through words. I learned it directly from my spirit guides.”