Among the Healers, 6-7



Idea of Communitas


pp. 141-3 humans join the angels; angels join humans

p. 141

Shaykh Hakim describes a circle of especially focused people, a circle of trust, in which the members become so strongly aware

p. 142

of their spiritual interrelationship that … they are even humbly joining the angels”.

p. 143

[quoted from Chishti 1985, pp. 141-2] “Allah said, “If you remember Me, I will remember you.” [Qur>an 2:152] … .

a group of angels is given a special duty … to perform a patrol of the entire earth {cf. >iyob 1:7}, looking for those who are engaged in remembrance … . When such assemblies are discovered, the angels are so amazed and pleased that they call more angels to join them and, placing their wings together in embrace, they make a column that reaches up into the Heavens.”

p. 145 S.ufi curing of ailments by dikr

[quoted from Chishti 1985, p. 147] “I have seen many serious diseases driven out from those who sat among the circle of Dhikr – and those people attempted no other treatment.”

Chishti 1985 = Hakim Moinuddin Chishti : The Book of Sufi Healing. NY : Inner Traditions Internat.

p. 145 Society-of-Friends' mutual bowing

the Quakers in their heyday, each struck by the spirit on frequent occasions, with a kind of egalitarian holiness, bowing to the holiness in each other.”

{This mutual bowing is also S^into.}

p. 147 (according to Ndembu understanding) a soul-fragment of a dead person merging into a living person

What the people felt was this : that the spirit of this dead person … wanted to “come out” in another person. So people watched for it. …

{In the Qabbalah, it is said that a soul-fragment ziq ('spark') from a dead person may motivate a living person.}

The Ndembu called it “inheriting the name” or “becoming the dead person,” ku-swanika ijina.”

{Likewise inheriting name as guardian-spirit among Inuit, Eyak, etc. (AR, pp. 31-2).}

AR = Antonia Mills & Richard Slobodin (edd.) : American Rebirth : reincarnation belief among North American Indians … . U of Toronto Pr, 1994.

p. 147 the authoress's sensing the praesence of spirits of the dead

Much later I realized from … my own various experiences of the dead that the Africans were right about these intimations : one can indeed sense the ancestors around us.”

pp. 147-8 the Ndembu “ancestor-tree” is of a species which can regenerate itself from cuttings

p. 147

a section of a tree sapling planted as a shrine” : “Drumming and a keening chant broke forth; then the medicine man poured … [a libation] at the foot of the planted tree in honor of the spirits. This

p. 148

kind of tree was the ancestor tree itself, able to quicken and send out shoots when planted, even though it had been brutally cut off at both ends. Muyombu was its name, a holy thing that one might call the “tear tree” because it wept.”

p. 149 rite of supernatural defaecation

What spirit was it … that … set … going once more … the ancient healing ritual of Chihamba, a word taken from ku-hambwisha, the defecating of a baby?”

p. 150 Storm-Deity

Then the power that was afoot everywhere would … narrow … into the lightning flash, and the same power would contrive … to bring everyone together into the presence of the Grandfather. The Grandfather's own name, Storm, … must never be told to the patients.”

pp. 151-4 rattle for immolating of God in defaecation-ritual; backward-marching

p. 151

[The priestess] provided each of us candidates with a new African rattle with a carved handle. This was the special musical instrument of Chihamba.

{In the night-ritual of rattles of the Warau, the rattles emit through their apertures sparks (appearing like unto nocturnal meteors; meteors often elsewhere being regarded as faeces of the sky – “meteors were the feces of stars. Such lore existed in the stories of the Nunamiut Eskimos, the Koasati of Louisiana (formerly located in Tennessee), and numerous southern California tribes.” (“M&M”)).}

We played it that day while singing around the fire, when [the priestess] washed us with her herbal medicine”.

p. 152

The doctors … set us walking backward into the bush … for twelve hours, further and further … . …

{Marching backward may be intended to enable traveling backwards in time (in the Inuit sense of one's post-mortem life-review running backwards, from death to rebirth into another life as a baby).}

p. 153

Suddenly, at the back end of the line, deepest into the forest, … There was an obstruction. … “The hedge of mystery, chipangu … . To hide the isoli, the revelation .””

p. 154

“ “You must kill your Grandfather [Storm].” … She took the rattle by the handle and, with the butt down, struck down hard”.

{A Maori god was killed by falling when defaecating over the edge of heaven. Most likely this Maori myth of the origin of the dawn's hue is intended as an explanation of bleeding haemerrhoids. (Indeed, bleeding haemerrhoids are caused by an extreme enthousiasm of religious piety.)}

{“stars … caused the blood-red slime … . … Paracelsian theories … argued that … faeces of the stars … caused the aurora color of dawn” (MOEL, p. 121).}

M&M” = “Meteors and Meteorites Native American Folklore

MOEL = Holger Berg : Military Occupation Under the Eyes of the Lord: Studies in Erfurt … . Vanderhoek & Ruprecht, Go:ttingen, 2010.

pp. 150, 154“[Promised Land] flowing with milk and honey”

p. 150

The old beeman”.

{Aristaios was taught how “to … build beehives”

p. 154

the women milked their naked breasts before him”.

and “to curdle milk” (GM 82.d).}

p. 155 woodland-path

It is a fact that I have never been so happy before or since. We had come down the woodland path, njila. In Chindembu, chinjila means holiness. We were innocent and free.”

pp. 155-6 cassava “thought-bundle”

p. 155

In the middle of each bundle was a live cutting from a cassava plant, a stick that would actually sprout. The whole was called, literally, a “thought bundle,” kantonga. They planted one of the bundles in the ground before [the priestess]'s hut door … .

p. 156

They made a similar shrine in front of our own hut door, for us. … In a couple of weeks the thought bundles were alive with … big hand-shaped fronds projected from the top of the cassava cuttings. They had taken root. Moreover, their healing power was beginning to take effect.”

p. 157 cooked beans

The Grandfather … loved tenderly cooked red beans.”

{Some varieties of beans cause farting (and even intestinal pain) if not prae-soaked, and the soak-water discarded [much as Kalmas.a-pada discarded his curse-water].}

p. 157 Grandfather Storm besought humans to slay himself

The healing process was turning back onto itself, and the Grandfather, to our surprise, was … telling us to kill him[self]. We … did it.”

{This is perhaps exemplified in the Gospel according to Ioudas Iskariotes, wherein Iesous Khristos is demanding to be slain by Hagios Ioudas Iskariotes.}

p. 158 the authoress's and her spouse's escape from conventional Christianity, by their gradual religious conversion to true faith in African animism

[She and her spouse (Victor Turner) came to] “know the Africans were right and did heal … in African animism … . … as the scene in Africa rose for us more and more, in ritual after ritual, I realized … that I had escaped

the old cruel hypocrisies that had gotten into Christianity”.

{Mainline Christianity is the most hypocrisy-infested “religion” in the history of the world.}

p. 159 spirit-sociality

We exist in a vast exchange of spirit personality – often glimpsed, sometimes seen clearly in the acts of spirit sociality. The social itself can become a matter of intuitions passed between people …, sometimes providing the power of collective healing and of acting in visionary harmony.”



Patterns of Healing


p. 161 spiritual experiences by the authoress

Once I made a shaman journey. I found myself on a high cloud speaking with a monk. … he showed me a large TV set on a wall. In the TV was a picture of animal internal organs … . … four months later …, I witnessed with my own eyes the actual internal organs of a seal. They were what I had seen on the TV. The same.”

What I had seen in both instances was a purposeful visitation of a discernable form, connected with some mysterious consciousness intent on communicating something to me, and claiming importance in my life.”

On another occasion I saw in a waking dream the face of my In~upiat shaman friend …, alive, on a bone mask. … Then I saw [the same In~upiat shaman friend] himself, by coincidence, a few minutes later, and he was also laughing. … I would term that laughing mask … spirit manifestation”.

pp. 161-2 the depth whereat spiritual healing can happen; healing-powers are earnestly desired

p. 161

Healing is felt to be central at the depth of human consciousness …; and healing can happen just there, where the consciousness latches onto the conscious spirits and power that dwell around and through a person.”

p. 162

of all religious acts, healing is the most earnestly desired – and that desire has led humanity to explore the fruitful paths to [spiritual] healing. Those paths open before the hopeful healers … when a new healer is first wandering bewildered.”

p. 162 healers' paths in the universe

The healers took the paths offered and came through to that most strange other world, the other state of consciousness. … When people experience this kind of power, they have the sense that it exists all the time, that it is part and parcel of the whole universe.”

p. 162 mystic winds; bodily occult energy-lines; aura

So powers of mystical participation, the creative winds, are working through humankind, and humans perceive their trail, sense the connections like threads that easily leap the gaps between souls. …

Even the stalking lines of ch[>]i, awakened in the body by needles and growing out from point to point along a limb, show the location of major threads of power … . The lines can be felt.

Furthermore, we have … an … aura around the body that can be felt,

extending to about four inches out .

{This is the “perispirit”.}

It is echoed … by a further … [aura extending to] about six feet out … . This whole … field is permeable to other people's auras”.

p. 163 spiritual healing through the collective consciousness; collective spirituality in music-participation

The psyche, the field, then, spreads and connects in a vast unconscious that can well be actually conscious. Through this glossamer-thin and almost imperceptible medium, healing can pass”.

American students become awakened to the mysteries … at the moment when their band music reaches the zone – and then they know … spiritual communion.”

pp. 164-6 spiritual healing experiences ought to be publicized, similarly as is this book

p. 164

Victor Turner spoke of the limen, the threshold, the doorway, telling of a sense of deep difference between the mundane world and a sacred … change-over. … Some anthropologists have gone through it. Many more stories like this exist, and this book will elicit many as-yet-untold stories from the readers.”

p. 165

I remember my friend Irimoto … in the main street of Sapporo … telling me … about his dad who came back to him after he had died … . He went on to write a wonderful book about the spirituality of the Russian far east. …

I have found that this can be done through the understanding of healing … . And it can be done by the telling of a story, as the Dene Tha of northern Alberta [Goulet 1994] …, the H[.]asidim, and many other peoples have said. … But the stories are … particular :

general forms have their vitality in particulars, and every particular is a human being. And that human being is spirit” – to slightly paraphrase William Blake in Jerusalem.”

[p. 171, n. 7:5 : “But General Forms have their vitality in Particulars : and every Particular is a Man, a Divine Member of the Divine” (Blake [1804] 1970, p. 249, plate 91, ll. 29-30).}

This book ... has been giving credit to healing experiences as true, centering on accounts in the context of a variety of religions or sects of religions … . … I have been taking special note of all bodily responses, cold chills, shivering, shaking, and falling down, regarding these phenomena as biological salutes to the divine and signs of oneness and grace, and of highest value

p. 166

as acts of religion; I have been particularly marking the experience of great heat, or a sudden clearing of the eyes [“clearing” in the sense of '[psychic] clairvoyance' (as on p. 45 supra)], or the sensing of music as sacred, therapeutic, and effective in breaking the barriers into the spiritual world.”

Goulet 1994 = Jean-Guy Goulet : “Way of Knowing : … experiences among the Dene Tha”. J OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 50, no. 2:113-39.

Blake 1970 = William Blake : “Jerusalem”. In :- David Erdman (ed.) : The Poetry and Prose of William Blake. Garden City (NY) : Doubleday. pp. 143-256.


Edith Turner : Among the Healers : stories of spiritual and ritual healing around the world. Praeger Publ (an imprint of Greenwood Publ Grp), Westport (CT), 2006.