About Tsunki

Life and Path

My name is Francesco “Tsunki” de Giorgio and I am a recognized Uwishín – Shuar Shaman and healer.


The call of the Spirits arrived when I was very young, with a strong inclination towards poetry and the gift of predicting the future. At that time, I couldn’t see the link between these two things; only after many years did my Spirit helpers show me that shamans are poets, and poets are very often shamans.

I decided to stop predicting the future when I was about 15 years old, as I foresaw the sudden death of a family friend. In my vision, he was to die between July and September, five years later. In fact, 5 years later, in mid-September, my uncle Mirko – as I used to call him – died from a heart attack.

I had a classical education and am quite proficient in Latin, ancient Greek, and Hebrew. I was trying to learn ancient languages because they bring you closer to ancestral civilizations and their relationship – now completely lost to us – with the world and the invisible.

Ancient people had an understanding of what Spirits are that might seem childish to us, but they also had a more tangible relationship with them. Maybe now we understand everything in a more mature way, but we can only have an illusory and evanescent relationship with Spirits.

At the university I studied theoretical physics. I was trying, I believe, to understand what lies beyond apparent reality.

For about 20 years, from my teenage years on, I studied the I Ching and the Eastern (Chinese and Mongolian) worldview, such as the theory of the 5 elements and the Chinese astrology of the 4 pillars, unknown in Europe but very popular in Asia – also among shamans.
Francesco Tsunki de Giorgio SCIAMANO SCIAMANESIMO

I was terribly unhappy, though, and constantly hit by bad luck, the cause of which has become clear to me only in recent times. I was a brilliant student, but severe depressions forced me to interrupt my studies many times, and I eventually dropped out of university.

During the same years, I also worked as a screenwriter, rediscovering my gift for poetry and my passion for myths and storytelling. I was never successful, though, nor was I able to make a living from it. I thought that a God or a Spirit wanted to force me into doing something that I didn’t know and that I didn’t want to do.

By then, I was just looking for some peace of mind, and I tried to find it in prayer, in deep meditation, and in Zen. On the contrary, I had some terrifying visions, and a series of personal, sentimental, and material misfortunes befell me within a few months.

Therefore, I approached the Native American Medicine Wheel. I had read that the Wheel creates a protection to prevent contact with negative Spirits or Spirits that we are not able to manage during visions or meditations. I felt that this was a very good Way, as it was bringing me closer to the Spirits of Nature, and only in Nature could I always find some peace of mind.

During a vision in the Wheel, I met an American Indian. He was a sacred man and told me to call him “Grandfather”. Some time later, I discovered in a book that Indians give the title of “Grandfather” to sacred men and medicine men, as we call “Fathers” our Christian priests.

The Grandfather took me to a Tree in the woods. The Spirit of that Tree, though only 100 years old, overwhelmed me with its wisdom.

For many days, he kept me at his feet and taught me the first secrets of shamanism, of travels to other worlds, and of the geography of the universe.

When I returned from the woods, I contracted a mysterious disease, mostly affecting the left half of my body, with pains, altered sensitivity, nerve inflammation, clouded vision, and other symptoms. Physicians and neurologists weren’t able to find the cause – they identified an opportunistic infection (cytomegalovirus), which usually appears on existing inflammation, but this didn’t explain all the symptoms I had.



sciamano sciamanesimo Tsunki sciamani tamburo dello sciamano animale di potere

The Spirits kept me sick for a little more than a year. At the end, in a vision, the Grandfather told me that he was in Italy and that we would meet. It actually happened a couple of weeks later.

He was an old Lakota (Sioux) medicine-man. I recognized him and he recognized me, because he had seen me in a dream and knew he should become my master.

For two years, I was only allowed to watch him practicing. As is common with native Indians, he wouldn’t even explain what he was doing. The spirits, however, were instructing me.  At the end of the second year, I healed an ill animal for the first time using a very simple technique. The Grandfather, though, didn’t want any publicity – not even indirect – among Westerners; also because of this, he told me that I should continue my apprenticeship as a medicine-man elsewhere.


Despite my deep disappointment, I accepted his words and traveled to the Amazon rainforest, where I encountered local shamanism and the powerful Spirits of the Jungle. Over there, where material Reality and the Other Reality blend together (one of the very few places in the world), I had (and still have, when I go back there) my strongest contacts with true Power. There I started to receive the first teachings and Powers from the Spirits of the Plants.

I stayed in the Amazon for a long time and when I returned to the North Dakota, to the Rosebud Reservation, the Grandfather had already departed for the great Plains of the Sky. He was, I believe, more than 100 years old. 

When I finally went back to Italy, I was a shaman, even if my apprenticeship in Amazonian shamanism wasn’t complete. I long searched for a place in Nature where Spirits would accept me and become my allies. I found it in South Tyrol, in northern Italy, where I then lived for about 10 years. At that time, I followed nearly all the workshops of the Foundation for shamanic Studies, the organization founded by Michael Harner, whose book “The Way of the shaman” had impressed me before starting my apprenticeship with the Grandfather.

After several other stays in the Amazon rainforest, in 2001, I “officially” became a Shuar (Jivaro) shaman, receiving the tséntsaks directly from my master, a very powerful shaman who was more than ninety years old, had five wives (three still alive), about fifty children, and 150 grandchildren. 

His name was Vicente Júa, but everybody simply called him "el Abuelo" (the Grandfather, again…)

At the time, he lived in the region of Pastaza, but afterwards, due to health reasons, he moved near Macas (Ecuador).

Tséntsaks are Powers that are not purely spiritual, but have a material counterpart and live in the body of the shaman, especially in the stomach. Since they are partly materialized, they must be regularly nourished with natém (ayahuasca) or green tobacco water. These Powers protect the shaman from any type of danger and can be used to heal as well as to attack enemies. Any Uwishín (Shuar shaman) has hundreds of different tséntsaks, each with different properties – some are used for protection, others have power over certain parts of the body or specific diseases, or can alter events or modify physical reality.

In the Shuar tradition, tséntsaks are directly, physically received from another shaman. Because they have been transferred from shaman to shaman since the dawn of time, they have become extremely powerful and can manipulate reality unlike anything else in the world. 

The encounter with the Shuar tséntsak was truly my most unsettling encounter with Power in my life.

For many years, I have been a curandero – a Shuar healer. Already during my meditations, a powerful being told me that he would give me “healing hands”. This vision disturbed me a lot, because I never felt any inclination to heal, I didn’t like the idea, and I didn’t want to do it. For a long time, on the contrary, I did almost nothing else but heal. I was trained in this by the Spirit of the Tree and by the Grandfather.

sciamano sciamanesimo Tsunki sciamani tamburo dello sciamano

However, for many years now, I have dedicated myself to teaching, as the Spirits have called me to do so. There is an urgency to give Power back to the Spirits, to help them become real again in this Reality. It is necessary to have shamanic communities and drum circles that know the Spirits and nourish them. My allies want me to do something to resurrect shamanic communities in the modern world. 

This is what I have tried to do in recent years.

I have been teaching Shuar shamanism, but given the complexity of the Western way of living and the different kind of nature in Europe compared to the Jungle at the equator, I had to integrate it with elements of other traditions. In fact, shamanism has always adapted to the environment. 

I then attempted to create a form of shamanism for the Westerners of tomorrow, synthesizing or sometimes just juxtaposing various cultures, without distilling a ‘core shamanism’ as Michael Harner does, which is purely technical – devoid of religion and sacredness. This is an American model – America is immersed in the myth of technology, which is not always a good medicine.


Kakáram ajastá
(‘Animo y fuerza’, traditional Shuar greeting)


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