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.