JOURNEY TO THE ISLAND OF THE SUN by Alberto Villoldo

JOURNEY TO THE ISLAND OF THE SUN

The Return to the Lost City of Gold
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Psychologist Villoldo and playwright Jendresen (The Four Winds, 1990) reteam to describe Villoldo's latest shamanistic adventure in Peru. In January 1988, Villoldo finds himself sitting with friends around a fire in an ancient canyon in Arizona, telling a made-up story about Father Sun and Mother Earth. Later that night, he dreams of climbing the steep trail to Machu Picchu, pursued by someone unknown. Soon after, he flies to Peru, compelled to enact the ascent he saw in his dream, hoping by following his deepest instincts to reconnect with Antonio, the shaman-professor who--as detailed in The Four Winds--taught him the secrets of the medicine wheel, or ``the journey of the Four Winds.'' The journey ``begins in the South where one goes to confront and shed the past,'' and it continues in the West, a direction inhabited by fear and death and previously mastered by Villoldo, thanks to a legendary drug called yagÇ. Now, as his solo walk to Machu Picchu begins, he contemplates the spiritual journey to the North, symbolizing the wisdom of the ancestors, the secrets of the Inca shamans. On the trail, eerily true to his dream, he encounters a young Indian who tells the same story Villoldo made up that night in the Arizona canyon and who says that he is headed for Vilcabamba, the legendary ``Sacred Plain'' that served the Incas as a refuge from the Spanish. At Machu Picchu, Villoldo experiences profound visions, and, soon after, he encounters the aged Antonio, whom he accompanies to the ``Island of the Sun,'' a sacred spot in Bolivia that shamans believe to be the cradle of humanity. Here, watching Antonio, Villoldo learns a profound lesson about the journey to the East-- the journey to the sun, the journey home. An absorbing if far-fetched story of spiritual adventure, likely to interest the same Castaneda-oriented readership as Taisha Abelar's The Sorcerers' Crossing (reviewed above).

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-06-250895-4
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1992