Biography:Alberto Villoldo

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Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., is a Cuban-born psychologist, medical anthropologist and author, writing primarily in the field of neo-shamanism.

Academic background

Villoldo graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in Inter-American Studies, followed by a master's degree in psychology in 1972,[1] and a doctoral degree in psychology at the Humanistic Psychology Institute, now known as Saybrook University.[2] His thesis advisor was Dr. Stanley Krippner,[1] with whom he later co-authored Healing States: A Journey Into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism. While on the faculty of San Francisco State University, Villoldo founded and directed the Biological Self Regulation Laboratory at San Francisco State University,[2] where he investigated the effects of energy healing on blood and brain chemistry.


Villoldo cites a number of key mentors, who he says shared their Shamanic knowledge with him through his years in Peru and the Amazon.[3] Controversy surrounds Villoldo's brand of participatory engagement as contrasted with the less participatory anthropological approach.[4]

Writing and Film

Villoldo's published works include Dance of the Four Winds, and Shaman, Healer, Sage. He has coauthored a number of books with Erik Jendresen.

In 2011 Villoldo produced a documentary Amazonia: Healing With Sacred Plants which focuses on the sacred plants of the Peru's Amazon region, including the use of ayahuasca.[5]


  • Healing States: A Journey Into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism (paperback, with Stanley Krippner); ISBN:978-0-671-63202-1
  • Dance of the Four Winds: Secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel (paperback, with Erik Jendresen); ISBN:978-0-89281-514-2
  • Island of the Sun: Mastering the Inca Medicine Wheel (paperback, with Erik Jendresen) ISBN:978-0-89281-520-3
  • Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas (hardcover); ISBN:978-0-609-60544-8
  • Mending The Past & Healing The Future With Soul Retrieval (paperback); ISBN:978-1-4019-0626-9
  • Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman (hardcover); ISBN:978-1-4019-1047-1
  • The Four Insights: Wisdom, Power, and Grace of the Earthkeepers (paperback); ISBN:978-1-4019-1046-4
  • Courageous Dreaming: How Shamans Dream the World into Being (hardcover); ISBN:978-1-4019-1756-2
  • Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (hardcover) (with David Perlmutter); ISBN:978-1-4019-2817-9

Appearances and interviews

Alberto Villoldo appears in several documentaries, including:

  • Shaman Healer Sage (2013), the story of Alberto Villoldo starring himself. Produced and directed by Miguel Heded Abraham.
  • 2012: The Odyssey (2006), a documentary directed by Sharron Rose, Villoldo is featured along José Argüelles, John Major Jenkins, and others.
  • Timewave 2013 (2008), a Sharron Rose film. Villoldo appears together with Gregg Braden, John Major Jenkins, and Daniel Pinchbeck.
  • 2012: Science Or Superstition (2009). Villoldo speaks along Daniel Pinchbeck, Anthony Aveni, John Major Jenkins, and others.
  • Infinity:The Ultimate Trip.. Journey Beyond Death (2009). Villoldo appears along with Brian Weiss, Gregg Braden, and others.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Villoldo, Jendresen: Island of the Sun, 1994
  2. 2.0 2.1 Villoldo, Jendresen: Dance of the Four Winds, 1995
  3. Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas (hardcover); ISBN:978-0-609-60544-8
  4. Shamans/Neo-Shamans: Ecstasies, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans. By Robert. J. Wallis. London: Routledge, 2003, pg 199. ISBN:0-415-30202-1 also Donald Joralemon:The Selling of the Shaman and the Problem of Informant Legitimacy, in Shamanism: Critical Concepts in Sociology edited by Adrei Znamenski,: Routledge, 2004 ISBN:0-415-31192-6
  5. Studio: True Mind, November 2011

External links

Villoldo's websites