The Mother Mantra
In 2013 I was asked to become a sort of herald for the “Shaman Union”, an association of Siberian hereditary shamans who are concerned about nature and aim to the transformation of the current human being into a more evolved creature, able to be truly eco-friendly, and with that substitute the therapeutic experience, which is anesthetic, with the aesthetic experience, which is ecstasy, self-transcendence and non-duality. Illness and therapy, in our desacralized society, end up being tools for the fabrication of an endless array of needs, that in turn require the constant consumption of illusory remedies. The aesthetic experience, stemming directly from nature, allows us to rise above the categories of good and evil, health and illness, life and death. It turns illness and therapy into moments of profound reawakening and creation.
Shamanic yoga was the beginning of the greatest journey of my life, and it’s also where all my paths have come to, even that amongst Greek myths. Having been a student of James Hillman, who was father of archetypal psychology, I cannot ignore the existence of a strong Western imaginal tradition that deeply marks our culture. Ours is a Western imaginal tradition, and if we acquaint ourselves with it, we see everything much more clearly. At the end of the day, who is shaman if not a storyteller? I have been telling stories in many ways: through my books, amongst which is the Mother Mantra, that has been published in the US by Inner Traditions and which you can find here at the bookshop. This is a book that tells “stories of power”, that is, stories that carry the keys to an initiation, as well ad the healing and spiritual practices which have been transmitted in the Mother Mantra tradition – the very core of teachings of shamanic yoga.
The bridge between East and West is, in my experience, fundamental. Even before meeting Hillman, in a life that came even earlier, I have been a Buddhist. From age 19 to age 26 I lived in Sri Lanka, in a jungle hermitage, where I have learnt to meditate and where I have met my great teacher of shamanic yoga – Michael Williams. Though Michael had a very English-sounding name, he was far British. He had been adopted by three different families and had ran away from them all within a few years. When I met him he was living with an eagle.This was my first encounter with shamanic yoga, or rather, my reunion with it, for, when I met him for the first time, Michael did not say “pleasure to meet you”, but “pleasure to meet you again”.