Suwuk, as it is called amongst Javanese communities, is a unique therapeutic treatment using certain spells and readings blown or sprayed with water onto both ears or the top of the head of children/people who are suffering odd anxiety and nervous attacks. Suwuk is also called teguh patimbulan (firm uprooting), as when a child is sick parents may say “Come let’s go root out that pain by the elder ya?…” Suwuk or teguh patimbulan is not only used to treat physical pain, but also can be used if a child displays a strange behavior or acts mischievous (for example seldom obedient). It is believed that after a suwuk treatment the soul of a child will than tend to act accordingly by experiencing a change in behavior.
In practice this suwuk is applied by blowing a spell over the head yet other methods exist by which water is sprayed or even spit is used. Clean water, spit or water mixed with flowers function as a medium for the shaman to transfer the spell or mantra onto the soul of the child.
The casting of a suwuk utilizes mostly very ancient Javanese spells (japa mantra) which sometimes may seem awkward to an outside observer. Commonly the mantra will mention the male or female genitals of the child, which might be interpreted in a funny or shockingly pornographic way. Yet the reason for the shaman (dukun) to mention the genitals is because of a traditional Javanese belief linked to the origin of the human birth. Mantras which mention the genitals are considered ampuh (powerful spells) since the birth is related to the root cause of a human’s later development in life, a state of near-complete mental purity and innocence. A sort of early untainted format of the person’s mind in other words. The energy at the genital level (related to Mooladhara in the 7 Chakras theory) can be coerced by the shamanic healer to be re-formatted to that initial stage of the mind. The belief further goes on that by thus proceeding and mentioning the genitals, many diseases or psychological disturbances may in that way easily be overcome and healing will ensue. A whole list of mantras exist where the mentioning of genitals occur in combination with specifically targeted directives, which are then recited above the head of the suffering person, accompanied by a blowing carrying inner power or by spraying a medium of purifying water over the crown of the head and around the ears.
As an example of such a typical Javanese mantra, the following charm is used to pacify babies or children who have difficulties to sleep (insomnia):
“NIYATINGSUN MACA KIDUNG, SING GEDHE TUNGGU BAL, SING KAWUK THENGUK-THENGUK, SING AMBA TADHAH AMIN, INGSUN ANA SATENGAHING LAWANG DENGAL PLANANGAN, SIRA AJA WURUK SUDI GAWE JABANG BAYINE (….Say the name of the patient), SIRA SUMINGKIRA PANGGONANMU ANA ING ARA-ARA AMBA, PAKANANMU GRAGAH RAYUNG, YEN ORAN SUMINGKIR TAK ATURAKE RATU GUSTIKU “.
“My intention is to read this sacred verse. Its power is filling the Universe, returning Peace amongst the little creations, and its spaciousness as in a house of faith. I’m located in the middle of the gate by the Penis. Activated through the hairs of this child … (say the name of the child). Leave now for the vast grassy plains which is your home and where you find your sugarcane food in ample amounts. If you do not go I will order your Lord the Creator to chase you. ”
After reading this spell out loud, blow onto the crown of the head and ears as many as 3 times. This blowing should be made with a strong suggestion of evacuating negative energies from the body of the patient.