“Shaman’s Drum Magazine” Article on John of God by Josie RavenWing

(originally published in November of 2001, this article has been printed here almost exactly in the original, except for the number of groups Josie has take to the Casa, which was updated in July of 2015).

Dawn dances through the gardens of the Casa de Dom Inacio, a healing center located in a small town in the interior of Brazil.  A golden blanket of mist hangs over the lush green valley and hills, while the sounds of parrots, roosters, horses, and the children blend in a harmonious morning song.  Today, as on many other days in this town, the Spirit world will touch the human world for the purposes of healing and renewal of faith.  By evening, a luminous blanket of spiritual power will cover the town, more golden in its quality of divine love than the sun-touched mist at dawn.  I know this because I have witnessed it again and again.

My Personal Journey

My first spiritual journey to Brazil took place in 1998.  I went with the goal of spending time with the famous Brazilian trance medium healer “Joao de Deus” (John of God), known by some as the “miracle man.”  This journey was a logical next step on my path of spiritual training, which has been ongoing for several decades.

Thirty years ago, I began working with a dance shaman, venturing daily into a world rich with healing energies.  Later, while broadening my skills as a dance therapist with a master’s degree in psychology, I continued to work with shamans and other spiritual teachers and healers from many cultures.  Since 1984, Spirit has guided me to create healing dances and rites-of-passage ceremonies for individuals and groups, as well as to teach courses synthesizing various shamanic and spiritual paths.

During the past three decades, I have passed through many intensive spiritual initiations, as well as an occasional spiritual crisis.  Nonetheless, a few years before my first trip to Joao de Deus, I had begun to feel as if I was preparing to enter some new level or realm of experience, but I had no idea how it would manifest.  The waiting period was not easy, although it taught me to remain receptive to whatever Spirit might bring me next.  It was during this waiting period in December of 1997 that I first read an article about the Brazilian “miracle man” Joao de Deus.  I was intrigued by what I read.  The article described mind-boggling spiritual healings performed by this trance medium living in a small town somewhere in the interior of Brazil.  At the time, I thought the article had come my way so that I could pass it on to a friend who was seriously ill, in the hope that he might experience one of those healing miracles – if only he could get to Brazil.

Unfortunately, I was unable to track down the name of the town before my friend moved on to the spirit realm.  Some months later, however, I came across another article about Joao, and this one mentioned the name of the town but not where it was located.  After many unsuccessful attempts, my local librarian finally found a thick, dusty old book listing names of tiny towns and villages around the world not included on maps.  There I found the name of the town I was seeking – Abadiania – and a description of its location, several hours from the city of Brasilia.

Two weeks later, I was on my way to Brazil, but my journey had actually begun the moment I decided to go.  During the two weeks before getting on the airplane, I began having unusual but consistent experiences every time I thought about being at Joao’s healing center.  I would suddenly begin to feel a hum or pulse of energy that would draw me into a deep meditative state.  It wasn’t until my arrival at the Casa de Dom Inacio, Joao’s healing center, that I would actually be able to identify the source of this energy – but until then I assumed it had to be connected to Joao de Deus.

Although I didn’t know any Portuguese at the time, I was fairly fluent in Spanish, which helped me negotiate through the confusion of Brazilian airports, airport taxis, car rental, and road maps, and allowed me to find my way to the little town of Abadiania in the interior of Brazil.  As one races along the highway that passes through one third-world town after another, it would be easy to overlook Abadiania, with its typically small houses, basic supply shops, and outdoor market.  Set among endless rolling hills that resemble New Mexico during the dry season, and Hawaii – complete with tropical vegetation – the rest of the year, the town is definitely rural, with horse-drawn carts competing with cars and diesel-fueled trucks.

Upon my arrival, the locals knowingly directed me to Joao’s healing center, which is several blocks off the main highway and has no signs guiding visitors to it.  As I passed through the simple wrought-iron gates of the center, my first impression was of hundreds of people dressed in white, milling about the large parking lot.  There were several one-story buildings, each painted white with blue trim, the favored colors for the Casa de Dom Inacio.  Surrounding the buildings were some lovely gardens, with benches available here and there for visitors to enjoy the scenery or for meditation.

I was still out in the parking lot when suddenly I saw a man making his way through the crowd – which seemed to part before him.  He was around six feet tall, of average build, with slightly long black hair and fair skin.  He wore glasses, and he was dressed casually in a tan short-sleeved shirt and slacks.  I immediately recognized him from photos in the article I had read, and I realized he was headed toward me.

Joao de Deus came up to me, gently took my hand while looking into my eyes, smiled, and welcomed me to the Casa de Dom Inacio.  He then turned around and made his way back through the crowd.  I was touched by his greeting, and yet it seemed appropriate – I’d felt a strong connection to Joao and the energies of the Casa ever since making the decision to travel there.  It seemed as if we must have met on the spirit plane before my body arrived in Brazil, and he was simply confirming this in the physical realm.  Beyond my initial surprise at his personal greeting, I did not experience anything out of the ordinary about Joao’s presence at that time.  It was only later, when I observed Joao entering his healing trance state, that I realized the energy that I had been experiencing came not from him, but from the healing entities/spirits that worked through him.

As it turned out, I had arrived about half an hour before the morning healing session began.  Thankfully, within minutes of arriving in this baffling, Portuguese-speaking environment, I met someone who spoke Spanish – which I was relatively fluent in – and who guided me through the various intricacies of the Casa de Dom Inacio, because I hadn’t a clue what to do.  My orientation included practical information on the physical layout of the grounds, suggestions on how to prepare for the healing sessions, details about the operations, information on herbs and crystal baths, and much more.  I later learned that some of these things are explained briefly in Portuguese at the beginning of each session.  However, after having made a dozen trips to the Casa, I’ve learned that there is a great deal of vital information that is not covered in those orientations, and that traveling with an experienced guide, as Joao himself suggests, is invaluable for foreigners going for the first time and needing to make the most of their time there.

My Introduction to the Work of the Casa

When I first entered the main assembly hall of Casa de Dom Inacio, I found it to be surprisingly unpretentious: it was just a large room with a small cement stage at one end, a painted cement floor, and various spiritual paintings and photographs – including a few of Joao – hanging on the walls.

The morning session began with brief orientation speeches by several Casa staff members.  Then a group of individuals who had been scheduled by Joao for spiritual operations during this session were led out of the main hall to the “spiritual surgeries” or “operating” room.  The rest of us remained in the main hall, and the Casa staff continued to talk to us.

Then, without any fanfare, the door next to the stage opened, and Joao walked out of a connecting room, leading several Brazilian “patients” and a few staff members who carried trays of surgical instruments and other medical paraphernalia.  The patients stood against the wall with their eyes closed while Joao said a few brief words to the rest of us.  Then he shifted into his mediumistic trance state and “incorporated” a healing entity.  The medium’s face took on a soft quality and his movements became slow and measured, as if he were walking in a body of water.  Without administering any physical anesthesia, he began to operate on the patients one by one.  Each operation took a few minutes, which is fairly typical, although on subsequent visits I have seen some that took longer and some that took even less time.

The first patient, and elderly man, was seated in a chair.  Then Joao, in trance, took a kitchen paring knife from one of the trays, pulled open the man’s eyelid, and began to scrape away on his eye – forcefully enough that I could see the pressure on the eye from some feet away.  Bits of tissue were periodically flicked off the end of the knife.  The medium then repeated the procedure on the man’s other eye.  Throughout the operation, the patient seemed totally relaxed and exhibited no sign of pain.  When the operation was over, the man was carried off to the recovery room, where the recipients of these operations are looked after by the Casa staff for several hours.

The next patient was a somewhat plump, middle-aged woman.   While she stood with her eyes closed, the medium Joao pulled her shirt up and the waistband of her slacks down a bit, exposing her lower abdomen.  He took a scalpel and cut a several-inch incision in her belly – which I noticed didn’t bleed.  Then the medium reached in with her bared hand and pulled out a tumor-like mass of tissue.  Finally, he took a suture needle and placed three stitches in the incision (still with no bleeding).  The woman seemed relaxed – not in pain – and she then was also taken to the recovery room.

Finally, the medium began to work on the third patient, a young man, who also remained standing.  The medium took an eight-inch hemostat and pushed it up the man’s nostril until only the round finger-holds of the instrument were showing.  Then he began vigorously twisting the handle in circles for about ten seconds.  When he pulled the hemostat out of the man’s nostril, it held a small mass of tissue.

Although I have seen this same operation – which I nicknamed the “nose job” – many times since then, it never fails to amaze me.  Knowing that the nasal cavity only goes straight inward for a few inches, I am baffled by this operation.  Under normal circumstances, pushing a hemostat so far up the nasal cavity would probably puncture the brain.  I am always astounded that patients survive this operation – especially with all of the turning and twisting of the instrument – yet I have never seen anyone sustain damage from any of Joao’s operations.  Incredibly, the physical location and manipulations of these unusual operations often seem to have nothing to do with the physical problems being operated on.  In one case, the “nose job” was used to treat a man’s hernia!

These operations were like nothing I had ever witnessed, and yet on one level, due to the powerful energy emanating throughout the Casa, it all felt strangely normal.  It was as if I had landed on another planet that was very different than Earth, yet the entire process was oddly familiar to me, as if due to some mysterious and ancient memory of it.

Once these operations were over, the medium Joao left the stage and went to another room in order to prepare to receive, diagnose, and help the hundreds of people who had come for the morning’s healing session.  We were instructed to form a line if we wanted to see the medium.  When I finally got close enough to see him, I noticed that he was rapidly writing out what I later learned were mostly herbal prescriptions (and sometimes other instructions) and handing them to the people as they filed past him.  Although on occasion the medium spoke at length to a few individuals, most interactions lasted only a few seconds.

When it was my turn, Joao “in entity,” in full trance, looked at – and into – me, told me to come back the next day  for a spiritual operation, and handed me a prescription for herbs.  I was then ushered into another room where groups of us were treated with a few minutes of a healing energy current.  Then we were led outside to the other side of the building where we could buy our herbs.

A Lesson in Transmuting Energy

Later that day, during the afternoon session, I witnessed a number of other “impossible” physical operations on the stage (while others were being operated on “invisibly” in the operating room behind the main hall), and I again experienced an unusual current of energy pulsing more and more strongly through me.  That night, I was so wired from all I’d seen and experienced that I was unable to sleep, even after most of the other people at my pousada (Brazilian-style inn) were long in bed.  I went to the dining room with a book and tried to read for a while.

The restaurant was empty except for the manager and myself, so I asked her if I could smoke a cigarette, hoping to unwind a bit.  She said it was no problem.  However, I soon realized I had left my lighter in my room.  Looking around fro some matches, I noticed a candle on a ledge just across the room from me.  I went over, lit my cigarette, and sat down again to enjoy it.

No sooner had I taken three puffs than the door to the restaurant burst open in an explosion of energy, and in walked Joao with several staff people from the Casa.  Not knowing at the time that Joao smokes occasionally, I immediately put out my cigarette, feeling rather embarrassed to be caught smoking by the famous healer.  Joao gave me an intense look, and then sat down with his people at a nearby table.

Uncertain if Joao and the staff wanted the room to themselves for a meeting, I asked the manager if I should leave.  She said it was fine to stay, so I sat there, not knowing what to do with myself.  Would it be considered rude to go over and say hello?  Should I continue reading my book?

Suddenly, Joao got up from his table, went across the room to the candle, raised his hands over it, and began to pray out loud.  I sat there almost writhing in mortification, certain that I had just made a major spiritual faux pas, for the ledge where the candle rested was, in fact, a small altar and I’d just lit my cigarette from a sacred candle.  And yet, when I had lit my cigarette from the candle there minutes earlier, I had seen no little statues of saints on the ledge where now there were several!

Joao ended his prayers, turned around, and stared at me with another intense gaze.  As he stared, he lowered his hand over the candle until the flame was burning against his palm.  Then with the fingers of the same hand, he grabbed onto the candle and lifted it up.  The flame – cupped in the hollow made by his palm and fingers – continued burning against his palm.  He began to speak directly to me in Portuguese, which somehow I found myself understanding in the moment.  My miraculous comprehension was fortunate, as Joao speaks no English.  Mostly he talked about the power of transformation and transmutation of energies.

His speech continued for about three minutes.  As I sat there dumbfounded, watching the candle burn against his hand, I saw the candlelight within his hand begin to slowly expand until it became a large, white, glowing sphere, about twelve inches in diameter, surrounding the outside of his hand.  Finally, Joao finished speaking, put the candle down, and motioned me over.  I walked up to him, and he showed me his palm.  It was completely unblemished from the flame.  All I could see was a faint wavy line from the candle smoke.

Then Joao turned abruptly and went into one of the back rooms to do a healing on someone who was staying at the pousada.  It wasn’t until the following week that someone explained to me that, from the moment Joao finished his prayers by the candle, he was probably in a state of trance and spiritual incorporation of an entity in preparation for the healing.

When Joao finished the healing session and returned to the dining room, he came up to my table and said that I should come back for the next week’s sessions at the Casa, and that I should stand close to the stage so that I would have a good view of his surgeries.  I agreed to do so, and he left.

I sat at my table, stunned, for some time.  Closing my eyes, I slipped into meditation.  Almost immediately, a voice began to speak to me, telling me I’d been shown the gift of transmutation of energy, and that for as long as I chose to continue to smoke tobacco, I could stop worrying that it would do me any harm.  Moreover, I intuitively understood this mysterious gift was at the root of the miraculous healing work that happens at the Casa – where tumors can disappear, incisions can appear spontaneously, and depression can be transformed into joy and peace.  I was shown that, although the transmutation of energy is difficult to explain rationally, it is real and intrinsically natural to all of creation.  In fact, each of us constantly uses this gift to transmute energy through bodily functions such as digestion and breathing.  Spiritual healers somehow have the ability to tap into this gift and even transmit it to others.

After receiving my lesson in energy transmutation, I finally went to my room and lay down to sleep.  I immediately entered a lucid dreaming state in which Joao came and spoke to me about many things for about an hour.  After this conversation, I slipped into deeper sleep.  Thus ended my first of many days of miracles in Brazil.

The Making of a Medium

Joao de Deus was a young teenager when he began to heal people.  Born into a poor family that rarely had enough to eat, he had exhibited some psychic and clairvoyant talents as a young boy.  One day in his early teens, more than forty years ago, the young Joao went to a river to bathe, and the spirit of a radiant woman – who later turned into a ball of light – told him to go to a nearby Spiritist center (associated with the teachings of Allan Kardec).  Following her instructions, Joao found the center, walked up the stairs, and knocked on the door – and that was the last thing he remembered until he came to, three hours later, with a circle of people standing over him.  He immediately apologized and tried to reassure them that he must have fainted from hunger and that he would be fine.  They told him, “No, you don’t understand.   You have been healing people for the last few hours.”

Having no recall of what had happened, Joao thought they might be teasing him, but they invited him to stay, have a good meal and stay there the night.  The next day, several hundred people gathered at the center, and the director told them that, once again, the spirit of King Solomon was going to heal people as he had done the day before – through the medium Joao.  The young man still had no idea what the director was talking about, but as they began to pray, he slipped once more into a faint, this time aware as he was doing so, left his body, and entered a warm light.  Upon returning to his body several hours later, he was informed that miraculous healings had happened through him once again.

The young Joao spent an extended stay at the Spiritist center, where the members explained to him about mediumship – including trance mediumship of incorporation of spirits – various kinds of non-corporal spirits, and other aspects of Kardec’s teachings, helping him to understand and integrate his spontaneous “initiation” as a trance medium healer.  As far as I know, this is the only kind of “training” that he received.

Because Joao’s gift had been transmitted directly by Spirit, he was given the spiritual name Joao de Deus – John of God.  Since that time, despite persecution from some clergymen, the medical establishment, and others who feel threatened by his work, and despite several beatings, imprisonments and ongoing threats to shut down the Casa, Joao has been used by Spirit to heal millions of people from such diverse maladies as cancer, AIDS, asthma, paralysis, psychological problems, and more.

The spirit – or “entity” – of King Solomon continues to occasionally use Joao’s body as a medium of healing, but so do more than thirty other primary healing entities, in addition to the many thousands of entities who work through the Casa environment but who do not incorporate in Joao’s body.  These entities are the spirits of departed spiritual masters as well as doctors, dentists, herbalists, chiropractors, and other healers from many cultures who have chosen to help the human population from the spirit realm.  The entities say they do not cure the problems – they heal the source of the problems, which is often spiritual and/or psychological.  Nevertheless, cancers disappear, people with crushed spines begin to move their legs again, and people haunted by mental demons find peace of mind.

To this day, Joao claims to have no recall of what happens when he is incorporated by these various entities.  In his normal state of awareness, Joao has no knowledge of medicine – in fact, he had only a few years of elementary school education – and he has to watch the videos filmed daily of his work as a medium if he wants to find out what he has done while in trance.

On those days that he enters the main hall and stands on the small stage, Joao always begins the sessions by announcing that he has never healed anyone in his life – that it is God who does all the healings.  He then offers a brief prayer to the Creator, asking that God’s will be done through him.  Then, as everyone in the audience says the Lord’s Prayer out loud, he closes his eyes briefly.  When they open, it is no longer Joao looking out of them but “the Entity,” – one of the many healing entities that has incorporated in the medium.

On a number of occasions, I have watched Joao closely during the actual incorporation process at the beginning of a session.  Sometimes, there is simply a subtle shift as the entity comes into his body.  Sometimes, he takes some deep breaths, folds his hands over his solar plexus while bending slightly at the waist, and then straightens up as the entity enters.  On occasion, the incorporation is more dramatic, and Joao makes sweeping gestures with his arms and shudders and/or hisses slightly as the entity incorporates.  His voice then exhibits subtle changes, ranging from soft, gentle tones to loud, forceful expressions, depending on the entity incorporated.

Some entities will identify themselves out loud by name, using Joao’s body to speak through; others will not give their names at all.  Nevertheless, most of the Casa staff can identify the entities because they have grown familiar with their personalities, facial expressions, ways of moving or characteristic gestures, and with their unique energies.  Joao occasionally incorporates the patron saint of the Casa de Dom Inacio – St. Ignatius of Loyola – although I have only seen this rarely, including once for a very short time on the anniversary of St. Ignatius’ birthday.  When on very rare occasions in recent years, Joao incorporates King Solomon, people recognize him through his regal pose as he radiates the most powerful energy of all the entities.

I have learned to identify some of the entities that “show up” most frequently, including Dr. Augusto, who has become my own personal “caseworker,” or spirit doctor.  A former Brazilian doctor, Dr. Augusto is very businesslike and he seldom wastes time.  He moves quickly, precisely, and forcefully when working.  When he communicates, he is usually quite blunt and brusque, although he can be gentle on occasion.  I have also learned to identify another regular entity, who refers to himself as Jose (zhow-zay).  Often, I can feel his energy even before I see him, and generally has the effect of totally melting me with his warm, compassionate and loving presence.  During the sessions when Jose incorporates, many are moved to tears.

New entities join Joao’s falange – or band of entities – from time to time.  During my stay in November 2000, a new spirit incorporated, identifying himself as Francisco Xavier, and he performed a number of physical operations during his first few days there.  Someone later informed me that Xavier, when alive, had been a close friend and follower of Dom Inacio in the Jesuit order.

It is almost impossible to fathom what Joao’s life as a medium must be like, as he is literally “not there” almost half the time.  He dedicates three days a week to his healing work at the Casa, seeing anywhere from three hundred to occasionally several times that many people per day.  Sometimes on his “free” weekends, he travels to other parts of the country, often seeing an average of five to twenty thousand people during that time!.  Then he returns to the Casa just in time to begin the next three days of healing there.

The Casa’s Healing Environment

Joao established the Casa de Dom Inacio over twenty years ago, on the advice of the entities and of the famous Brazilian medium Chico Xavier.  The reasons for his choice of location for the healing center became clear the first day that I spent there.  The land is highly energized from the massive outcropping of crystals below the surface – a true “power spot.”  The local waters are very pure, and it is often recommended, as part of treatments, that people drink bottles of the blessed “agua fluidificada” that is spiritually energized by the entities and sold at the Casa.

There is a sacred cachoeira – or waterfall – on the grounds of the Casa.  Sometimes, an entity will recommend patients go to the cachoeira for healing; at other times, people request the entity’s permission to go there for healing and purification, and to enjoy the large iridescent blue butterflies, the birds, and the lush vegetation that make the place an idyllic haven.  Many of the Casa entities apparently like to work through the waterfall’s cleansing energies, and numerous people experience profound emotional releases, as well as a sense of the divine and of personal empowerment there.

During my first trip to the Casa, most of the people who came to Joao were poor Brazilians who were unable to afford regular medical care.  But sometimes there are also upper echelon military and political figures, actors, and other famous luminaries present.  Whether one is rich or poor, there is no charge for any of the healing sessions.  And in more recent years, there are increasing numbers of foreigners from all walks of life attending sessions at the Casa.

As noted before, most people who attend the regular sessions at the Casa are prescribed herbal remedies as they file past the Entity (Joao incorporated by one of the healing spirits).  These remedies – available at a nominal cost – are made primarily of passiflora, or passion flower, which is a very mild nervous system calmant.  However, the deeper power of the remedies comes from the spiritual healing energy infused in them by the entities, and in the way the entities attune each person’s batch of herbs to that person’s specific needs.  The herbs provide links through which the entities can continue to work on people after they return home – whether home be in Brazil or elsewhere in the world.  Many people in the groups I have taken to the Casa over the years have reported that they continued to feel the healing energy of the entities quite strongly until they finished the last of their herbal remedies, after which the strength of their connection to the entities seemed to diminish.

I have also gotten remedies for friends who were not able to come to the Casa, and they, too, have experienced various healings through the herbs.  One woman who had had problems with diabetes and high blood pressure was able to get off her medications within a few days of beginning the remedies.  There are countless stories of the long-distance healings performed by the Casa entities through the herbs.

However, for those attending sessions at the Casa, all participants are requested to continue taking any medications prescribed by their doctors until they and their doctors agree that such medications are no longer necessary or can be cut back.  This policy helps medium Joao avoid further legal problems, and the entities also say that they can help make the medications more effective until they are no longer needed.

The Invisible Operations

In addition to the prescriptions of herbal remedies, some people are told to have “invisible” spiritual operations.  In these operations, most of the work is done invisibly by the entities in the Casa’s “operating room” – a simple room with chairs and a few cots for those who might need them.  Those who are told to have invisible operations gather at the appointed time in the operating room.  There may be anywhere from ten to a hundred or more people scheduled for operations at the same time.  Joao comes in at the beginning of the session, says a brief prayer, and calls upon the healing entities to come and work on everyone.  The patients are asked to close their eyes, pray for themselves, and focus on whatever needs healing.

Persons asking for physical healing are asked to each put his or her right hand over the area in need of healing and to meditate on it.  Those with more than one ailment – physical, psychological or spiritual – are told to put their right hand over their heart and focus on all the areas needing healing.  While people sit there with their eyes closed, the many healing entities of the Casa begin to work on them.

Helpers at the Casa have told me that the entities often operate on anywhere from three to nine areas in a person during each invisible operation.  These healings may include the removal of negative spiritual energies, as well as the treatment of other spiritual, psychological or physical problems.  Sometimes, the entities operate on problem areas as yet beyond the person’s conscious awareness that could cause serious trouble in the future if not resolved at that time.

Some people who have the gift of “seeing” say they can actually see various entities enter the room and conduct operations.  Others merely sense their presence.  Some people (myself included) have felt invisible hands moving through the interior of their bodies during their spiritual operations.  Others simply feel a sense of peace or an unparalleled purity of love flowing through them.  Still others may experience emotional releases during and following their sessions.

At the end of the operations, Joao tells everyone in the room, “Through God’s power, you have been operated on.”  Then the patients go back to their homes or hotels for a required 24-hour rest and recovery period before they are allowed to return to the Casa for further healing and meditation.  This rule is for the patients’ protection.  When the entities operate on someone, they open that person’s auric field, making him or her extremely vulnerable to picking up negative energies immediately after the operation.  The 24-hour recovery rule protects patients from accidentally picking up new sicknesses from the many other patients arriving at the Casa each day.

Miraculous Healings

Miraculous healings are almost commonplace at the Casa.  There is a story of an American man who had been blind since birth who underwent a series of invisible operations.  For the first six visits, he noticed no results, but he continued to return of faith and on the advice of the entities.  During his sixth trip, he was told by the entities that, this time, he would be completely healed.  Within several days of returning home from his sixth invisible operation, he began to see.

A Brazilian man I interviewed told me his spine had been crushed by a tractor a couple of years earlier.  The accident had left him with no feeling from the waist down, and his doctors had warned him that he would never recover.  After about a year without recovery, he went to the Casa for the first time and had an invisible operation.  He decided to stay and receive weekly treatments in the “current room,” as well as more invisible operations.  When I met him, he had been there for about a year.  As a result of the work of the entities, he already had regained full sensation from the waist down, was able to move his legs, and he had begun to walk a bit.

At first, the stories sound almost too good to be true.  However, I witnessed an American man – whom I later interviewed – receive a miraculous healing following an invisible operation.  Due to a spinal problem, his ability to walk without a cane had deteriorated over the prior ten years, and due to increasing weakness in his right arm, he had lost his ability to write.  Within minutes of leaving the operating room after his invisible surgery, he threw away his cane, and, with a radiant look upon his face, began walking and running vigorously about, to the delighted applause of all who were present.  That night, he was able to write for the first time in years.

It might be tempting to dismiss such cases as psychosomatic in nature, but I have personally witnessed numerous invisible operations that have resulted in scientifically verifiable healings.  A woman in one of my tour groups came to the Casa to request healing for serious environmental allergies and resultant weakness.  She already had several children, and she wanted more, but she had undergone a tubal ligation some years earlier, afraid to risk another pregnancy due to her illness.  When she went through the “first-timers’” line the first day, she was told by the entity to have an invisible operation.

Shortly before her operation, she “heard” the entities tell her that she needed to have her tubal ligation reversed, and that doing so would increase the flow of life force energy and help with her overall healing.  After she returned to her hotel to rest following her invisible operation, she began to feel a great deal of tenderness over the area of her fallopian tubes.  That night, she experienced considerable discomfort, remarkably similar to when she had her tubes tied.  She sensed something had happened.  The next day, after her 24-hour rest period was up, she returned to the Casa and asked Joao “in entity” if the entities had untied her tubes during her surgery.  She was told yes.

By the time she returned to the United States, her overall energy level had greatly improved (and almost a year later, her environmental allergies seem to be a thing of the past).  The next time she went to see her regular doctor, she requested an X-ray to see if her tubes had been untied, and it confirmed that indeed they had!  Several months later, she became pregnant but miscarried.  On her next trip to the Casa, the medium told her that her healing wasn’t yet complete, but that after several more sessions, she could carry a baby to full term.

It is difficult to fathom how these invisible operations work – since no physical hands touch the patients’ bodies.  It is sometimes tempting for us Westerners to explain away these healings as spontaneous remissions, or as extraordinary examples of the placebo effect.  Nonetheless, the healings are quite real, and I have interviewed many people who say their healing miracles have been confirmed by medical doctors.

I interviewed a Brazilian man who, prior to coming to the Casa, had been told he had a serious heart problem and the he needed triple bypass surgery.  Because this man already knew of Joao’s work, he told his doctor that he wanted to hold off on the surgery until he went to see a Joao de Deus.  Against his doctor’s advice, he went to the Casa, where he received an invisible operation.  Within a few days, he was feeling a great deal better.  Upon returning home, he went to see his doctor and told him that he no longer needed surgery.  His doctor asked him to at least have an X-ray, to make sure he was okay.  When the doctor got the results of the X-ray, he told his patient, “You have already had heart surgery!  In fact, you had two operations on your heart, and I can see the stitches in both places.”  Documented healings such as this demonstrate the incredible power of the Casa entities in clinical terms that even medical doctors can’t refute.

Some people whom I have interviewed after invisible operations say they didn’t feel much during the operation itself, but that during subsequent days, they noticed unusual things such as tenderness in the area operated on, a need to sleep most of the day as well as at night, and various emotional ups and downs.  Others say they felt the invisible hands of the entities working inside their bodies during surgery – and sometimes off and on over the next few days to a week or more after their surgery.

I can personally testify to the power of the invisible operations at the Casa.  During one session, I experienced the removal of a large cyst that had been on my chest for several years prior, along with the lifting of some heavy spiritual and psychological energies that had troubled me for a long time.  The cyst was there when I went to the operating room.  Like everyone else, I simply sat on one of the benches, closed my eyes, and began to focus on the various things I wanted healing for.  At one point, I felt a wave of heat and intensely pure love begin to surge through me that caused me to weep for the rest of the operating session. The next day, I noticed the cyst was gone, leaving no mark or scar, and it has never returned in the seven years since that day.

Occasionally, people at the Casa report that visible incisions have appeared spontaneously – without their being touched – both during “formal” invisible operations and spontaneously at other times.  In one such case, a man was eating medicinal soup after a healing session when he suddenly felt some wetness on his chest.  Looking down, he noticed there was a small amount of blood staining his T-shirt. When he lifted up his shirt, he saw – to his amazement – a several-inch-long incision on his chest where the entities has apparently just done a spontaneous invisible operation.  I’ve heard of a number of such paranormal occurrences at the Casa, including scar lines showing up after invisible surgeries.

I’ve also experienced a spontaneous invisible surgery.  During one stay in Brazil, I had an invisible surgery at the Casa for some back problems.  Several days later, I slipped on some wet stones and re-injured my spine, to my dismay.  That night, while in bed, I woke from a dream in which the entities were operating on my back.  As I awoke, I felt a high level of discomfort in my back, and I began to worry that I was in serious trouble.  I lay there praying for help, and after about half an hour, the discomfort suddenly vanished.  I then realized that the entities in my dream had, in fact, been giving me an unscheduled invisible operation, and had finished it after I woke up.  The operation resulted in immediate improvement from my back injury.

Witnessing “Visible” Operations

Of those who come to the Casa de Dom Inacio for healing, a few elect to have “visible” operations.  Although some visible operations are done on the spur of the moment at the Entity’s suggestion, most recipients of these operations have been told by the Entity to have a spiritual operation at a particular time, and when that session arrives, they request a visible rather than invisible operation.

Over the cumulative years (seven as of the year 2005) that I have stayed at the Casa, I have witnessed hundreds of visible operations.  Ironically, these visible operations are only slightly easier for the Western mind to grasp than the invisible ones.  Typically, the patient is brought onto the small stage in the main room with hundreds of people watching.  The entities somehow anesthetize the patient spiritually: no physical anesthetic is given, nor is the patient taken through any kind of hypnosis or trance induction.  The entities also somehow use their high healing vibrations to spiritually sterilize the primitive surgical instruments.  These instruments receive no other sterilization, and yet there has never been a reported case of sepsis as a result of these surgeries in over forty years.

Once the patient is on the little stage and Joao has incorporated, the Entity begins to operate – usually while the patient remains standing.  As I mentioned, during my first day at the Casa, I personally watched Joao scrape eyes with a simple kitchen knife, somehow removing cataracts and treating other eye problems.  The patients are awake, and yet they generally feel little or no pain during these surgeries.  I have also watched Joao in entity cutting one- to four-inch incisions on the abdomens, backs, breasts and limbs of patients, without them reflecting any pain.  In fact, they often seem to be in a state of deep relaxation, or even in a state of trance.  Interestingly, some incisions do not bleed at all, while others may shed a very small amount of blood.

Demonstrations Science Can’t Explain

One day when I was at the Casa watching these surgeries from a distance, I said to myself, “I wish just once I could be right on stage and observe these operations really close up.”  Within several minutes, Joao “in entity” asked if there was anyone in the audience who knew how to sew.  My hand shot in the air, and he beckoned me on stage.  He had already cut an incision in a middle-aged Brazilian woman’s belly but he seemed to be having trouble sewing her up.  Strangely, a large, heavy-duty surgical needle already had broken in the process.  He told me to try stitching her up myself, and showed me how to place one hand around the incision while holding the needle with the other hand.

As I touched the woman’s skin, I immediately noted that it did not feel like normal skin – it was cool and had a rubbery consistency.  I later concluded that the entities must somehow be able to pull the blood circulation away from the area of the incision to alleviate the bleeding, and that this accounted for the coolness.  In the meantime, I tried to insert the needle through the skin around the incision in order to suture her, but I could not penetrate the skin.  I pushed the needle so hard that it started to bow.  Afraid that I’d break yet another needle, I stopped pressing, said a little prayer, and tried again several times – to no avail.

Finally, the Entity took the needle back and asked for another volunteer.  An Italian surgeon, who undoubtedly had performed his share of sutures in the past, volunteered, but he had no more success than I had.  As the minimal bleeding had stopped long ago, the Entity finally told his assistants to seat the woman – who was conscious throughout, answering questions posed by the medium, and generally alert – in one of the chairs kept on stage for people being operated on, and then to carry the chair with the woman in it to the recovery room, without stitches.

Carrying the patient to the recovery room in this way is standard procedure after these physical operations, although more recently the chairs have been modernized to include wheels on the bottom so that they can be rolled.  The recovery room is a large room with a number of beds where patients can lie down for as long as they need to following operations.  Several Casa staff members – often with both spiritual and nursing training – are always present to make sure incisions are bandaged when needed, to talk with people going through emotional turbulence, and to keep an eagle eye on everyone there.

After the woman had been taken to the recovery room, I proceeded to one of the two “current rooms.”  The latter are large meditation and healing rooms where patients can sit for hours during each session, while volunteer mediums help “hold the space.’  The entities pour a powerful current of healing energy into those sitting there, and these forces are supplemented by the natural energy surging up from the earth in this power spot, as well as by those people sitting “in current.”

As I meditated, sitting on one of the many benches provided for us, I silently asked the entities why no one had been able to stitch the woman up.  I received an immediate response in the form of a voice telling me that there was no need for stitches – the entities had stopped the bleeding and were already healing the incision.

When I left the current room, I found one of Joao’s assistants who had been on stage during the operation, and I questioned her about the lack of stitches in the earlier operation.  She responded in the exact same words as the voice of the entity – in my head – had in the current room, but she also added that the entities had wanted to prove to the Italian surgeon that there were things going on at the Casa that medical science could not explain.  Since that time, I’ve seen the entities put on more than one unusual demonstration for medical doctors.

Ron, an American doctor who came to the Casa several times with my groups, was sometimes invited by the medium to witness physical and spiritual operations up close.  During one visit, Joao in entity invited him to palpate the abdomen of a woman who was being treated for colon cancer.  The Entity instructed Ron to feel for a crescent moon-shaped tumor, which he found.  Then after doing some invisible energy work on her, the entity had Ron palpate again for the tumor, but it was gone.

Another doctor – a woman – was given a similar opportunity to examine a man after a visible operation on his hernia, and she found no evidence of the hernia.  In that case, after on incision was made with a scalpel, a second incision appeared spontaneously below the first, and then disappeared shortly after the surgery was complete.

I must clarify that the term visible surgery is, in some ways, a misnomer.  I say this because, although anyone watching can see the Entity doing various physical things such as I have described, most of what is really going on is being done invisibly.  For example, when the man with the hernia was being operated on, we saw the entity make an incision with a scalpel, stick his fingers into the incision, and do some kind of manipulation for a few seconds.  However, the shallow incision did not even penetrate the musculature of the patient, so whatever was being done by the entity deep n the body was not obsersable to our eyes.   Nonetheless, the hernia disappeared.

On one of my recent trips to Brazil, I watched Joao in entity perform a visible surgery to remove a massive lipoma tumor from an English woman’s back.  The incision he made was quite small, and over a period of about twenty minutes, he used a small forceps to pull out the tumor, piece by piece.  Joao in entity told the audience that if the woman had gone to a regular doctor for the surgery, she would have ended up a paraplegic because of the way the tumor had been wrapped around her spine.  The woman herself reported afterwards that she could feel the initial incision being made, but she felt no pain as the tumor was pulled out of her back.

An American emergency room doctor, who also had witnessed the entire operation, later told me that it had been done with great skill and that she couldn’t imagine a regular surgeon being able to do any better – or maybe even as well.  A week later, I spoke to the English woman, and I could see that the small incision was healing nicely and it would probably leave little if any scar.  I had an opportunity to speak with the woman again on her next visit to Brazil, and she testified that not only had she felt wonderful since her last visit, but that her third eye had been opening more a result of the ongoing work of the entities.

Operations for Spiritual Enlightenment

During one stay at the Casa, I also saw Joao in entity perform an unusual physical operation primarily for spiritual purposes.  The American man being operated on had been heavily involved in shamanic practices for much of his adult life, but he had become disillusioned by various kinds of power games he had witnessed over the years.  After withdrawing from shamanic group activities, he had experienced a prolonged period of low energy and developed a cynical outlook on the current spiritual “scene.”

During the man’s second visit to the Casa, Joao in entity decided to begin doing some major spiritual work with him.  During several sessions in the main hall, the Entity pushed a several-inch-long steel pin into a point on the back of the man’s hand until the pin caused the skin on the palm of his hand to bulge.  The American experienced no pain but did feel an intense heat radiating from his hand throughout his body.  The Entity announced he was working on a kind of chakra point that would increase the man’s overall spiritual energy.

After the second such session, the Entity told the American to stand up and “soft focus” his eyes.  The man was encouraged to look out at the audience and try to “see” anyone who had a yellowish aura – which apparently indicated a need for healing.  Although feeling a bit self-conscious, the American finally selected a Brazilian man, who was called up on stage.  The Entity instructed the American to put his hands on the Brazilian, which he did, moving them over an area of the man’s lower back.  The American’s body then began to vibrate – strongly and visibly.  After some minutes of this, the medium told him to remove his hands from the Brazilian man’s back.  The Entity then asked the Brazilian if he had been having health problems. The Brazilian reported that he had been in a car accident several days earlier and had been experiencing lower back pain, but the pain had diminished significantly once the American had begun working on him.  Both men left the stage smiling.

I interviewed the American later that evening about his experience, which was quite overwhelming for him due to the intensity of the heat and energy flowing through him, both during the operation and while he transmitted energy to the Brazilian.  The whole experience was quickly restoring him to faith in the world of spirits and spiritual work.

No matter how dramatic the operations are, they are really only a small part of what goes on at the Casa.  In fact, sooner or later, most visitors come to the realization that – without negating the obvious benefits of alleviating physical suffering – the ultimate goal of the entities is to strengthen our faith in the spiritual world.

For this reason, a truly vital part of the Casa’s treatment program involves sitting in one of the current rooms for several hours of meditation, prayer and healing each day in the morning and afternoon sessions.  The current rooms are so named because of the palpable current of healing energy that flows through them.    This energy current is primarily sustained, as I mentioned earlier, by the entities and by a number of volunteer mediums.  While sitting in the current rooms in meditation and prayer, people are opened to the healing benefits of the current and the entities.

Many people who have spent time in the current rooms have had visions of Jesus and of the various entities that work through Joao.  Others have received information on how to best progress on their life paths, or have received major psychological healing and emotional releases.  And again, some people have experienced invisible surgeries and other kinds of physical healing work while sitting in the current rooms.

Sometimes, the energies of the current are preventative.  On one occasion, Joao in entity told an American woman that if she didn’t spend hours each day in the current during her stay, she would develop osteoporosis within three years.  Others have been told that extended periods in the current rooms would prevent future heart problems.  I myself was told recently by the medium that if I hadn’t started coming for treatment at the Casa when I did, the increasing impact of past injuries to my spine would have left me unable to walk.

Enlisting Volunteer Mediums

The spiritual energy and power generated in the current rooms is of great assistance to the medium Joao, allowing him to do his work hour after hour as people file by for diagnosis and healing.  From time to time, Joao in entity will ask persons who come seeking healing to sit as mediums in the current room.  Joao reportedly can “see” the person’s energy configuration and gifts, and knows who is spiritually suited to work as a medium in the current room.

Most of the staff people are volunteers who originally came to be healed by the entities and who chose to stay and express their gratitude through this work of charity.  As a result of their years of exposure to the healing current and the presence of the entities, many of the volunteers have themselves become mediums.  Through their selfless service, these volunteers bear living witness to the fact that the Casa is a house of healing and love.

During one of my visits to the Casa, I asked Joao in entity if the entities could help me become a more effective healer.  He nodded and told me to spend as much time as possible in the current rooms.  As of September of 2008, I’ve spent probably a thousand hours in the current rooms and have experienced visions, “paranormal” awareness and communications, mediumistic training by the entities, and a great deal of personal healing.  While sitting in the current room in states of deep trance, I began getting instructions from the entities on various spiritual healing techniques.

On one occasion during my second stay, after the day’s session had ended, I remained at the Casa, feeling as if I was waiting for something.  Suddenly, one of the women who works as Joao’s assistant came up to me and asked if I was a medium.  I hesitated, as I had not thought of myself in those terms prior to that time.  The woman then went running off, saying she needed a medium.  As I sat there, I thought, well, yes, I am a medium of energy and spirits.  I mentally chided myself for not having offered to help, and at that moment she returned, grabbed my hand, looked into my eyes, and said, “You are a medium.  Come with me!”

It turned out that a young Brazilian couple with a sick little boy (either he was autistic or he had a serious neurological problem, I wasn’t sure which) had just arrived at the Casa.  Joao had finished his session for the day and was very tired.  He had instructed his assistant to find a medium to work on the boy, and stated that he would support the session by asking the entities to help.  As I stood behind the boy, with my hands over his head, the assistant began to pray.  As she beseeched King Solomon to help, I felt a burning sensation rise up through my feet and spread throughout my body and out through my hands.  I have often felt energies moving through me in the past, but never anything of this particular quality.  The burning had an ecstatic component to it, and I could feel the power flaming and pulsing out of my hands and into the boy.

At various times during this session, I found myself placing my hands on different parts of the boy’s body.  The boy, who had been withdrawn and unresponsive before the session, suddenly grabbed one of my hands and looked up into my eyes with the most incredible love shining out of his own.  A few minutes later, the session ended and the weeping parents thanked us.  King Solomon’s energy continued to pulse through me for at least another half an hour, and it took me several hours more to return fully to my body.

The Unfolding of My Mission

During my first trip to Brazil in 1998, Joao in entity charged me with the “mission” of bringing groups of people from the U.S. – or from anywhere else – to witness and experience the healing power of the Casa de Dom Inacio.  This invitation took place on the last day of my first stay at the Casa, while I was filing past the entity.  Since I knew I was leaving the next day, I had asked the entity for clarity on what my personal mission was for the next part of my life.  He looked at and into me for several moments, and then told me my mission was to start bringing groups to the Casa.  As I was already thinking along those lines myself, I was more than happy to receive this suggestion and blessing.

During my second trip to Brazil, I took a two-week intensive Portuguese language course so that I could do at least some translating for my groups when I started bringing them.  As of June of 2015, I’ve taken 134 groups to Brazil on these healing journeys, going about every other month and spending almost half of my time in Brazil.  Every time I take the groups – and increasingly each time – I experience an incredible amount of love and grace assisting me in this challenging and rewarding process, which confirms for me that this truly is a large part of my mission at this time in my life.  I plan to continue going to Brazil a number of times a year to introduce people to the work of Joao de Deus.

Each time I visit the Casa de Dom Inacio, I am struck by the high level of loving concern that seems to develop rapidly among the community of people who live and visit there.  Strangers help each other face life-and-death struggles, emotional upheavals, and the disorientation of being in a new place and sometimes even a new culture.  In fact, I have observed that what people receive from their time at the Casa (which I now see as a high-level spiritual “hospital”) is profound spiritual healing and a deepening – or renewal – of faith in the invisible world of Spirit and in the power of the highest love.

Of course, it should not be forgotten that – although the Casa entities do not guarantee cures – many people also receive healings from physical ailments that doctors have given up on curing: blindness, cancer, AIDS, asthma, paralysis, diabetes, and more.  Joao himself takes no credit for the healings.  He humbly states, day after day, year after year: “Only God heals.”  In Joao’s case, God uses a variety of entities to help him do his work.

Having experienced the incredible power and divine love of these beings over the past few years, my faith in the reality of spirits has increased immensely.  In my prior shamanic work, I regularly honored and sometimes called upon various ancestor spirits for help in ceremonies.  However, my trips to Brazil have confirmed the willingness of spirits – ancestral and others – to work with us in ways I’d never experienced before.  Often, when I do presentations in the U.S. on Joao’s work, during the second part of the session I invite the Casa entities to be present and to work on everyone there.  Many people have seen the entities working through me and many have benefited, sometimes experiencing invisible operations during these sessions.  As should be obvious by now, my entire life has been spiritually renewed and my ceremonial and healing work has been enriched by my contact with the healing powers and mysteries I have encountered in Brazil.

Josie RavenWing, M.A., M.F.C.C., has been working in the holistic health field since the late 1960s, and  has been a shamanic practitioner for several decades.  For over twenty years, she has taught workshops in the U.S. and abroad, integrating her psychology background with various shamanic and other spiritual methods.  She is the author of The Book of Miracles: The Healing Work of Joao de Deus about John of God’s work,The Return of Spirit and A Season of Eagles .  As a singer/songwriter, she has released three music tapes.  In addition to offering her Brazil “Spiritual Healing Journeys to John of God” many times a year, Josie continues to teach occasional workshops in the U.S. upon request.

Josie may be contacted by email (jravenwing@aol.com) for information on her journeys to John of God and other aspects of her work.