Legendary Showman Turns Shaman

Jodorowsky giving a speech on spirituality. Photo: Ana Bolívar (www.anabolivar.com)

Jodorowsky giving a speech on spirituality. Photo: Ana Bolívar (www.anabolivar.com)

Psychomagic is the newest book by the legendary surrealist filmmaker, comics author, Tarot expert and therapist, Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy is the brand new English translation of Jodorowsky’s poetic-action therapy techniques. The book  first appeared in Spanish in 2008.  It’s published by Inner Traditions and was released on June 18, 2010.

The book is separated into 3 sections, keeping Jodorowsky’s wide-ranging ramblings carefully collected.  Writer Gilles Farcet interacts with the author in the book’s first chapters which are written in a Q&A format.

An introductory essay by Farcet makes it clear that their “interview” consisted of his enduring an expansive, multi-layered monologue from Jodorowsky which was only later recast in the Q&A structure. The “knowing teacher vs. baffled student” feel of this section is absolutely delightful, and the disarming approach allows the deeper implications of Jodorowsky’s ideas to take the reader by surprise. In the second section, the author is matched more evenly with another interviewer – Javie Esteban. The pair interact as peers with Esteban teasing and tugging Jodorowsky into more-deeply-illuminating his ideas and techniques. This interview format was surprising at first, but the conversational progression, covering many complex artistic, magical and therapeutic ideas, never gets confusing or frustrating. One feels privileged to join in on such a lively, engaging discussion.

Read more here…


Joe Nolan was born under a bad sign on June 13th in Detroit, Michigan in the last Metal Year of the Dog. Polymath, provocateur, inter-media artist, his tell-tale signs have turned up in music, visual art, journalism, poetry, fiction, video and film. A double Gemini, his interests range from the pharmacology of phenomenology to fly fishing; from mysticism to mixed martial arts; from chaos science to chaos magick. Joe Nolan's Insomnia blog republishes to some of the most read counter-culture sites on the web and the Coincidence Control Network podcast which he hosts has been downloaded more than half-a-million times.He is recording his fourth CD in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives to the east of the Cumberland river on a little wooded lot dubbed Bohemian Walnut Grove.

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7 Comments on "Legendary Showman Turns Shaman"

  1. Joe Nolan | Aug 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm |

    Hey guys, thanks for re-posting. I hope everyone enjoys this one. Jodorowsky is one of my heroes and I was shocked when I found out this was going to be released in English.

  2. dumbsaint | Aug 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm |

    I still want to see his take on Dune (w/ Mick Jagger)

  3. Joe Nolan | Aug 24, 2010 at 9:10 pm |

    I would love to have seen his Dune. I actually like Lynch's and the SF Channel versions. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I think Jodo could've nailed both the look and the spiritual content of the story more completely than either of them. We may never know. If you watch the YouTube video at the end of the review (45 minutes?) AJ makes a tantalizing reference to an El Topo sequel which would also be great to see.

  4. “knowing teacher vs. baffled student” = “bullshit artist vs. gullible fool”

    For example, consider the work of “psychologist” Jacques Lacan, which is 100% bullshit gibberish but has, improbably, become widespread in American literature departments as a means of analyzing fiction.

    Jarodowsky, at least, can make a semi-interesting movie, with boobies.

    But he's still a bullshit artist.

  5. Joe Nolan | Aug 25, 2010 at 10:58 am |

    Also, a lot of the book deals w dreams, lucid dreaming and dream interpretation. Jodo mentions a book that seems to be the first Western volume to deal directly with techniques for controlling dreams. I haven't been able to track it down in an accessible form yet. A friend of mine has assembled a pretty amazing esoteric/avant garde literary library and I've been able to get him searching too. We'll get some kind of update – if not a download link – up here soon.

  6. Gemmarama | Aug 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm |

    lacan didn’t talk any more crap than freud…

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