Saturday, November 10, 2012


Last year, hairdresser Hesti (not her real name) went to see Ki Gedhe Solo, a dukun, or spiritual healer, practicing in Solo, Central Java Province. She wanted help solving a problem at work. The 18-year-old was having a hard time dealing with her clients, mostly women.

“Some were very fussy and not nice to me,” Hesti said. “I sought help from Ki Gedhe so those clients would treat me better.”

Ki Gedhe implanted a susuk , or magical charm, underneath Hesti’s skin on her forehead and chin. In Malay cultures, a susuk inserted in soft body tissue is believed to possess magical power that can bring the bearer benefits, usually related to work matters, business dealings or romance.

After receiving her susuk, Hesti says, the attitude of those “fussy women” toward her changed. “I had a lot more clients in the salon.”

Although about 90 percent of Indonesians are Muslim, many still believe in witchcraft and mix a strong dose of animism and mysticism with their formal religious beliefs. Many of them turn to dukun and their charms.

The most common susuk are gold needles about eight millimeters long. The thin needles are said to have pengasihan, or the power to make the bearer loved.

“But the love given doesn’t necessarily involve anything sexual,” Ki Gedhe said. “It can be the kind of love between a mother and her child, or an uncle and his nephew or niece.”

But blessed with a different prayer, he said, a susuk needle can give the bearer pemikat, or a magical power of sexual attraction.

“I have two boyfriends now,” said Hesti, who also asked the dukun to bless her susuk with pemikat. “They don’t know about each other or the fact that I have two susuks implanted.”

Other forms of susuk include expensive tiger’s whiskers, diamonds, white pearls and white gold. The wings of an insect named samber lilin — dried and shaped into tiny needles — are also used. They are all believed to have their own magical powers after being blessed by a dukun.

Ki Gedhe’s clients come from all types of social and economic classes.

“From junior high school students to TV presenters,” he said. “Mostly they are Indonesian, but I also have had a few foreign clients, although they only wanted to know about their futures.”

Before a patient has a susuk implanted, Ki Gedhe said, their mind should be clear and they must be completely relaxed. “There should be nothing in their mind but a ‘contact’ between me and my patient.”

A susuk is implanted “under the skin and above the muscle.” Ki Gedhe said the charm usually starts to work in about three days. There is no physical change in the user, he added, but the wearer’s aura becomes much brighter.

Ten years ago Mudji (not his real name) went to Ki Gedhe wanting better luck at work. He was working as a co-driver in a company and wanted to improve his life.

“I had a susuk implanted in my lips,” the 38-year old said. “After that people started to listen to what I said, including my boss.”

He was later promoted to a sales position in the company.

Sometime, though, susuks do not work as expected. A male customer who longed for a girlfriend complained to Ki Gedhe when the susuk he purchased failed to work.

“When this happens I ask my patient to return and evaluate with me what might have gone wrong,” Ki Gedhe said. “It turned out that he was being passive — he just waited for a girl to come to him.”

A susuk, Ki Gedhe said, cannot work alone but needs help from the person using it.

“Just like when you go hunting. You have the gun and you see that there’s a bird. You won’t get it unless you aim your gun and shoot,” he said.

To help the charm, the wearer has to follow the directions given by the dukun. A person with a susuk implanted should also improve themselves both physically and mentally, Ki Gedhe said. This includes their personalities, the way they think and their appearance.

“They should be more patient with others, smile more often and be more sociable,” he said. “When they are angry or sad, it’s the angry or sad aura that surrounds them [and this can weaken the aura from the susuk.]”

Ki Gedhe’s patient Hesty still breaks this rule sometimes.

“Everytime I feel upset or angry or sad, I’m so ugly,” she said. “But when I feel happy, I look even more attractive.”

This may seem like sound advice for anyone, even if they don’t believe in witchcraft, let alone have a charm implanted in their body, but “there is a difference,” Ki Gedhe said. “A susuk speeds up the process of reaching your goals.”

Ayu (not her real name), another believer who happens to be Hesti’s employer, believes having a susuk inserted has helped her a lot, both as an entrepreneur and a wife. Four years ago, the 36-year-old mother of two went to Ki Gedhe because her marriage had started to feel “bland,” she said.

Ki Gedhe inserted white-gold needles in four areas on Ayu’s face — two by each eyebrow, one in her forehead and one in her chin.

“It was to increase my self confidence and make me look attractive,” she said.

She believes the charms worked.

“I have more customers coming to my hair salon,” she said. “What is more important, my husband is more passionate, and we have become more intimate.”

Ayu now plans to have Ki Gedhe implant more charms.

“I don’t know, I just believe in the [magical] power,” she said. “Maybe I’m addicted to it.” 

source jakartaglobe

cybershamanskarmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (


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