His book was published in 1985, which was not
yet the highlight of Joska Soos' life as a shaman and an artist. As the
interest in spiritual subjects in general, and shamanism as well, was
increasing, he started giving lectures and workshops. He made sound
recordings of shamanic singing with ritual sound objects, one of them
related to the seven levels of consciousness, and another to the seven
I met Joska in 1989 when he was 68. He had moved from
Brussels to Merksem in Antwerp, with his new girlfriend Monique Franken,
the year before. He had mastered air brush painting, which was much more
expressive than the drawings he had been making before. His garage was
packed with them. His living room was on the second floor, where besides
the paintings, the whole room was packed with Tibetan ritual objects and
statues that he had bought from the Tibetan monks in London. These were
all old objects, which would now be considered antiques. He showed me
copper statues that had the paper spell still sealed inside the bottom
of the statues (antique dealers take this out to sell these separately).
He had two to three foot long wooden phurba's (ritual daggers) hanging
on the wall. He showed me a human skull plate, covered at one side
silver and adorned. These are used to put on one's head to feel the
spiritual vibration of the lama it came from. There was a three-foot
wide double dorje made from red copper, that was so heavy that you could
not lift by yourself. It came from a Tibetan temple. On the third floor,
where he had his little shamanization room, he had a rack full of ritual
objects. Large drums with a long handle were hanging on the opposite
wall. In the back a huge mala was hanging on a hook, I estimate that the
beads were on a eight-foot-long cord. The beads themselves were about
two inches long, and had been carved into skulls. The beads themselves
were carved from the bones of deceased lamas. In another room he had a
lot of singing bowls, pre-1959 (when the Chinese invaded Tibet). They
too were old. I bought several of them, and had them later dowsed for
their content and age. Three of them dated from the 1800's.
carpet in front of the door of his shamanization room had images of
skulls on it, how fitting to welcome a visitor!
Visiting Joska Soos
at his place was always like going into wonderland. When I left the
house through the front door, it was as if I was stepping from another
dimension back into the everyday world.
He always listened carefully
to my questions, and gave me a lot of insight. Whenever I called him on
the telephone, or when I was at his place, he was always singing with
guttural sounds. He also explained me how to do this, and how to sing a
mantra without words.
Joska Soos in his shamanizing room.