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The Heart of the Shaman: Stories & Practices of the Luminous Warrior By Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.

THE SHAMANS OF the Andes know and serve a sacred dream, one that guides planets across the heavens and our human destiny here on earth. These wisdom keepers believe that each of us is given a fragment of the sacred dream to hold and express in our own way. When we forget that we carry an essential and necessary part of the sacred dream, we begin to spiral into disarray, our personal dreams become nightmares, and our lives collapse into chaos.

In his new book, The Heart of the Shaman: Stories & Practices of the Luminous Warrior, medical anthropologist, shaman, and bestselling author Dr. Alberto Villoldo describes how we can get back in touch with the sacred dream, focus on what is real—and important—in our world, and become fully aware of the possibilities available to us for a better future.

“Many people have replaced the sacred dream with a dream of fame, fortune, power, and Facebook likes,” writes Villoldo. “Meanwhile we are facing global crises—from climate change to species extinction, war, famine, and disease—all of which are calling us to dream a new dream for ourselves and the world.

To discover our sacred dream, Villoldo says we must first recognize that some of our most cherished daydreams are actually delusions. Security, permanence, and love that is unconditional are fallacies, and the sooner we accept that life is ever changing, that our mortality is a given, and that no one can liberate us from a life of fear and insecurity except ourselves, the sooner the chaos in our life turns to order, and beauty prevails.

Discovering the sacred dream requires courage, and it won’t come knocking at our door. It entails leaving the familiar to embark on a quest, refusing to compromise our integrity, and never allowing ourselves to be seduced by the “easy path.” It calls on us to fight the lie that our daydream is adequate and will continue to keep us comfortable.

“This,” notes Villoldo, “is why it is called the way of the luminous warrior.”

When we find our sacred dream—our mission in life and place in the cosmos—the creative power of the Universe becomes available to us to generate beauty in the world, and to heal ourselves and others. We become a luminous warrior. Instead of battling to defeat people or situations, we battle our own tendency to forget the sacred dream and get lost in a daydream doomed to become a nightmare in time.

We find that whatever the challenge, spiritual resources are available, allowing us to find our courage and step forth into our destiny, allied with Spirit in the work of dreaming a new world into being.

“You dare to speak the inconvenient truths, uphold universal values that honor all life, and perform daily acts of courage. These practices are essential in a time when dreaming happens only when  we sleep, where cowardice is honorable, where hindsight seems wise, and where spirituality is spineless,” Villoldo writes.


The Heart of the Shaman takes readers on an enriching, soulful experience, through stories, dreams, and ancient rites and ceremonies. Villoldo shares time-honored wisdom to explain how to find our sacred dream, embark on a journey of transformation and healing, and discover the light within and around us.

The founder of the Four Winds Society and Light Body School, Villoldo has trained thousands of energy medicine practitioners and health coaches, and written 17 books, including Shaman, Healer, Sage and the Top-Ten Wall Street Journal bestseller, One Spirit Medicine. The Heart of the Shaman: Stories & Practices of the Luminous Warrior is published by Hay House. www.theheartoftheshaman.com

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