I was researching Celtic healing practices the other day. It’s funny how folks blame Western culture for edging out all others, when Western culture was its own first victim.
We’ve lost a lot of wisdom from these times.
From what has survived, we see a few things – like how they healed their sick. They used a pretty common combination – the sort you see all over the ancient world:
Medicine, derived from local plants.
And rituals to activate the healing power of the mind – what today we’d call a placebo.
But druidic rituals weren’t pure placebo. If, in your mind, you’re picturing a crusty old dude saying “touch this ‘magic’ rock and, by the power of your own naïve expectations, you will be cured…!”
Well, that’s not doing them justice.
The actual rituals were far more interesting.
A common belief among the Celts is everything comes at a price. To save something, you must sacrifice something. So, to heal a broken arm, you’d create an equivalent – something that would appease the gods as much as your flesh. Then you sacrifice that as an offering.
Some of you are confused by that. “That, uh, sounds like a placebo to me…”
Whereas the hypnotists among you?
“Dissociation – healing by parts. That’s a clever use of unconscious symbolism.”
I don’t know the ins and outs of these rituals. Besides, I’m sure they varied between villages and centuries. But I’d bet my big toe that these rituals were hypnotic in everything but name.
After all, only the hypnotic rituals would be effective enough to survive the test of time. A placebo alone doesn’t stand a chance against hypnosis plus medicine.
Their approach to healing isn’t the only thing Ancient Celts have in common with, oh, almost every ancient people on the planet.
There’s also the matter of the Otherworld.
The elusive home of the gods and magic, full of health, joy, beauty and the abundance of nature.
Every culture has some version of this – a powerful world of magic, almost-but-not-quite at your fingertips, waiting for you to access it.
And you can access it by going down.
Deep into caves or cairns, or under the ocean.
When you get there, you can retrieve great powers to bring back to the surface world.
To Joseph Campbell fans, this ticks all the boxes of the monomyth.
To hypnotists, though?
It’s yet another unambiguous metaphor for your unconscious. When we talk about you going deeper, this is – on some level – what we mean.
So many cultures describe the same sort of surreal land, which you access the same way. Either there’s literally an Otherworld… or the Otherworld is our minds.
Hypnosis is so fundamental to human nature, I’m not surprised to see it in every page of our story.
Want to experience the inner Otherworld of yours?
This, right here, is the most thorough guide to that powerful place you’ll ever need: