Intrusion Extraction

  • 2 January 2023
  • 7 Min Read

To remove foreign energies from the sick person’s body (intrusions), the shaman can either draw them out with some stratagem or extract them directly. If he decides to act in the latter way, he must first of all locate them and pinpoint them precisely. To do this, the shaman has the client lie down on a large blanket or animal skin, which now becomes the centre of the World, the sacred space into which the powers of the universe will converge in order to work healing. He will purify himself and the patient with fumes of herbs pleasing to the spirits, such as silver sage (or cedarwood or sweetgrass or copal or others). He will also smoke all around, towards East, South, West, North, Sky, Earth and Centre, invoking the spirits of the directions to come to the rescue.
Then he begins to dance by beating the drum or shaking the rattle calling his power animals and helping spirits with ritual formulas or with a power chant. He dances to awaken all his spirits, to connect with the energy of heaven and earth, and to set in motion all the energies flowing through the sacred space and the body of the sick person, because any stagnation of energies is a block to healing – but he also dances and plays and sings around the lying sick person because this circulation of energy will put him or her in deeper connection with him or her.

Dancing is often neglected or even suppressed by the neo-shamans, perhaps because it is ridiculous to the frigid Western patient and the shamans themselves are awkward in practising it. Thus it may appear to be merely decorative. In reality, this loss of physicality in neo-shamanism results in a loss of physicality of the healing itself – which, in the case of physical illnesses, is a real diminution of the efficacy of the healing, while in general cases it is still a weakening of the power of the shamanic ritual.

If the shaman feels that healing is difficult, he will dance around the sick person with increasing impetus, stamping his feet violently on the ground, shaking the rattle or beating the drum at an increasingly swirling rhythm. He will dance faster and faster until exhausted he will drop down beside the patient. At this point an assistant to the shaman, who can also be a casual person, such as a friend of the patient, continues beating the drum at the same pace as the shaman (usually very fast), who now stops moving, covers his eyes with his arm or with a bandana while his soul heads for the mouth of the tunnel to the Lower World. When I do this, my power animal is with me from the dance, otherwise the shaman will surely meet it at the mouth or inside the tunnel.
Often a shaman, if he feels that invading intruders will not be difficult, does not dance until tired nor does he need to lie still, but beats the drum alone, continuing to dance or sitting beside the patient while his soul goes into the tunnel.
However, once in the tunnel, the shaman asks the power animal to show him the patient’s body as if it were glass. This will happen in the tunnel, without reaching the Lower World. To me, the power animal shows the patient’s body in a side cave that opens to the left on the wall of the tunnel.
The shaman then sees the patient’s body as glass and in transparency can see the intrusions, noticing their position and appearance.

A Mongolian shaman dances with his drum. Although neglected in neo-shamanism, the dance around the sick person is an effective and powerful moment of shamanic healing

When he has spotted them all (it is usually best to stop at three points in the body anyway – postponing further intrusions to a later extraction), the shaman returns up to Middle World. He stands up and picks up his rattle.

The room must be dark lit only by a candle, so that the shaman can catch a glimpse of the spirits in the half-light.
While shaking the rattle with one hand, he passes the other along the client’s body without touching it to feel for intrusions. This is a second diagnosis, because some spirits cannot be seen but can be felt (and vice versa). Thus it is possible for him to find new extraneous presences that he had not discerned in the tunnel. How one ‘hears’ intrusions depends on personal power. However, the power of water is of great help: the shaman then wets his hand with which he will make the diagnosis and passes it over the body of the sick person, making it vibrate and shaking the rattle to keep the spirits awake. The intrusion will be perceived, depending on the shaman’s power, as cold or hot, or the hand starts vibrating harder or freezes or whatever.
Once the intrusion is detected, the shaman will try to see it in the half-light with half-closed eyes.
At this point he pulls it out.
This is the most delicate moment. Because the intrusion can enter the body of the shaman making him sick.
The easiest way is to extract it with the hands. But one absolutely must not touch the intrusion whose power is poisonous. It would be like picking up a tropical spider or a cobra. The shaman then asks his power animal to merge with him. Beware: the animal must not only enter the shaman’s body, it must rather encompass it, so that the animal’s legs (or wings or whatever) are larger than the shaman’s hands and contain them. It will then be only the hands of the power animal that actually come into contact with the intruder as it is pulled out.

Once it has been pulled out, the shaman must return it to nature. This means to the powers of the elements or to plants, for which intrusions are not harmful, indeed they often integrate with them in a beneficial way, but not to animals: in animals, even wild ones, they cause disease.

This can be done in various ways: by throwing the intruder into a bowl full of water, which at the end of the ritual the shaman will pour out into nature, e.g. in the garden – the water will drag the intruder with it, dispersing it into the depths of the earth. It should not be poured in an easily trampled spot, otherwise the intruder might attach itself to some passer-by before the water has been fully absorbed. The shaman must be careful not to get wet with the contaminated water or spill it on the floor while taking it out. The bowl is then rinsed outside and left outside at least overnight.

Otherwise it can be thrown into a body of water even at a great distance from the place where the healing takes place: the shaman throws it in the direction of the lake (or river or sea) and follows it with his eyes until he sees it sink into the water. However, the way to the body of water must be completely clear: I often use this technique because I live in the mountains and there is a small lake further down. But if you have a block of flats in front of your window, you would be intruding into someone else’s home, causing him or the weakest person in his family, illness, misfortune or death. It is then important for the shaman to accompany the intruder with his gaze UNTIL he sees it sink into the water: it is in fact his intention to lead it to its destination.

Upcoming Events

May 2024