Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean playwright, director, producer, composer, actor, mime, comic book writer, tarot reader, historian and psychotherapist. Jodorowsky, also known as a philosopher and scholar, created a form of therapy called Psychomagic.
Jodorowsky was born on February 7, 1929 in Tocopilla, in northern Chile, to a Russian Jewish family. He became interested in poetry and theater as an adolescent.
In 1953, Jodorowsky moved to Paris. There he worked with mime Marcel Marceau. Jodorowsky later came into contact with André Breton and the surrealists.
In 1962, Jodorowsky joined with Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal and French artist Roland Topor to create the Panic Movement. Inspired by Surrealism, the movement took its name from Greek god Pan. It celebrated humor and the power of the imagination, seeking to free impulses and instincts from social, moral and aesthetic restraints.
During these years, Jodorowsky divided his time between France and South America, where he became interested in psychology, mysticism and shamanism.
In the early 1970s in Mexico, Jodorowsky made two cult films with Surrealist images and strong allegorical currents. In western El Topo, a mystic gunslinger defeats a band of outlaws. The other film, The Holy Mountain, was about a journey to a realm beyond man’s ordinary point of view.
Jodorowsky also penned comic books filled with psychological subtlety. One such offering was L’incal, which Jodorowsky created with French comic artist Moebius.
In the 1980s, Jodorowsky returned to directing with Santa Sangre. It was inspired by the true story of a Mexico City man who killed 30 women. The movie had a classic narrative structure, but Jodorowsky’s style was, as always, Baroque and visionary.
In concert with his artistic interests, Jodorowsky pursued his passion for the esoteric. He created a highly personal practice called Psychomagic. Halfway between traditional psychology and mysticism, Psychomagic was designed to cure mental problems. Patients had to complete a symbolic act in order to free themselves. This therapeutic process combined elements of theater with analysis of the patient's family tree and personal history.
Jodorowsky currently lives in Paris, where he works in theater and film. He also writes novels and essays.
He periodically holds public tarot card readings and Psychomagic seminars.