I.S.Sh.R., 6th Conference = Shamanism in the Interdisciplinary Context







Jeremy Narby

Shamanism and Science



Diana Riboli

Extrasensory Trances and Trances of Movement



Merete Demant Jakobsen

In Search of a Shamanic Experience



Tamara Ingels

A Shaman as Artist



Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer

Shamanic Movements in Siberia



Tatyana Bulgakova

The Tale as a Road



Eva Jane N. Friedman

Woman Shamans in Ho:vsgo:l Province



Atsushi Hatakeyama & Takefusa Sasamori




Bai Gengsheng

Religion Practiced by Naxi



Peter Knecht

Fieldwork among Shamans in China



Jojo M. Fung

The ‘Subversive Memory’ of Shamanism



Carol Laderman

Tradition and Change in Malay Shamanism



1. (pp. 14-20) Jeremy Narby : "Shamanism and Science"

pp. 14, 16, 20 deities in entheogens speak with human consumers of them


divine encountres


As^aninka "said that ... the ayahuasqueros or tabaqueros or shamans take ayahuasca or eat tobacco {in order to} concentrate and speak in their visions with the animate essences or mothers or spirits common in all life forms, which are sources of information. They said that nature was intelligent and spoke with people in visions and dreams."


"not just Ashaninca, but Matsingenka, Huitoto, Ocaina, and so on ... all gave roughly the same answer : knowledge about plants comes from the ayahuasqueros or tabaqueros who take their plant mixtures and in their visions speak with the essences that are common to all life forms."


"shamans speak with an entity they call "the mother of tobacco" ... . ... And during the session he [an ayahuasquero] invoked this entity with the melody that corresponds to her and ... indeed spoke with an entity that identified herself as the mother of tobacco."

p. 15 author’s personal encounter with such a deity

"this ayahuasquero ... administered the bitter brew and began singing ... melodies ... . Suddenly I found myself surrounded by enormous fluorescent serpents about 15 yards, one yard high, ... talking to me in a kind of language through my forehead ... . ... I found myself vomiting colours and then seeing in the dark, and then I flew out of my body and found myself miles above the planet. ... Then the shaman shifted his melody and I found myself back inside my body and then saw hundreds of thousands of images, like ... the veins of a green leaf flashing back and forth ... . This went on for two or three hours."

pp. 16-7, 19 supernatural twisted ladder connecting earth with heaven


deities of DNA


"shamans associate the essences or spirits with a form ... shaped like a twisted ladder or two vines wrapped around


each other or a spiral staircase. Scientists use these exact words to describe the shape of DNA and this shape explains its function."


An experience by a woman geneticist : "In one of her ayahuasca sessions she visualized herself as a transcription protein flying above a DNA molecule, and she saw that the CpG islands all had the same fundamental structure and their function was to serve as landing pads for transcription proteins."

{If biochemical DNA be involved, it may be that the physical DNA pattern is projected from supraphysical planes of existence, by deities; with the mythic twisted ladder, cf. perhaps the helical ladder within a bell-tower, so that perhaps bell-deities (Tantrik) may be involved, inhabiting the bell-tinkling world known to Radha-Soami.}


5. (pp. 120-30) Diana Riboli : "Extrasensory Trances and Trances of Movement" [C^epan tribe in Nepal]

pp. 123-4 myth of the twain rainbow-goddesses




The goddess "Chattrak saw the reflection of the beautiful goddess Indreni [Indran.i], the rainbow goddess, in the waters of the river and, believing this to be her own mirror image, began ... boasting of her beauty and throwing the receptacle for water to one side ... . The goddess Indreni realized Chattrak’s mistake and burst out laughing and ever since


that moment Chattrak became her slave and followed her wherever she went. For this reason it is often possible to see two rainbows in the sky after the rain, the smaller and less attractive of which {namely, the upper one (having upside-down colors) of the double rainbow} is ... Chattrak."

pp. 126-7 shamanic curing (by a shamaness) of a patient afflicted with epilepsy by the rainbow-goddesses





"Three pieces of material were placed on the ground, one white, one red and one black.

{These are colors of the 3 gun.a-s.}


Lines forming ... anthropomorphic figure were traced out on the black material with ... coloured powders and a circle in red powder was then drawn around the design. ... after she had been sounding the drum for a few minutes and then passes it over to her husband, [the shamaness] then began to dance. This was the beginning of her journey; she had left her body on earth and her soul had begun the dangerous journey toward the Underworld. ...


When ... it was obvious she was still in a state of trance : she ran off into the night, into the forest.

{similar to sleepwalking?}


No one could follow her and we could only hear her shouts, which alternated between sobs and wild voices, a sure indication of the magic in course."

{cf. mythic battles by Durga (and by similar goddesses) against (male) devils}


[explanation :] "the pande [shamaness], in order to retrieve the soul of the patient, must go to one of the ends of the rainbow and shake it violently to convince Indreni to order Chattrak to release the soul. But, according to the pande, the rainbow is so hot that the heat given off from fire pales into insignificance by comparison. This unbearable heat make the pande lose their senses."

{cf. a belief among the Tzotzil in Zinacantan : "he may transform himself into a rainbow and stand over an enemy's fruit trees. The rainbow's heat first kills the leaves at the top of the tree." (FM, p. 107)} {In the physical world, "a circumhorizontal arc" "looks like a rainbow that's been set on fire, but this phenomenon is as cold as ice." (R"R") But, are cold and heat interchanged in other planes(than the physical) of existence?}


[why the powder-lines design is destroyed at the conclusion of the curing caerimony :] "destruction of the image of the supernatural being corresponds to the closing of the door which allows the being in question to come to the earth and prevent it from finding its way back again."

{similarly to the Bodish, and the Navaho, destruction of a colored-sand diagram}

FM = SMITHSONIAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO ANTHROPOLOGY, No. 35. Dennis E. Breedlove & Robert M. Laughlin : The Flowering of Man.Washington (D.C.), 1993. http://www.sil.si.edu/SmithsonianContributions/Anthropology/text/SCtA-0035.1.txt

R"R" = http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/060619-rainbow-fire.html


6. (pp. 131-41) Merete Demant Jakobsen : "In Search of a Shamanic Experience"

pp. 135-6 tupilak of the Greenland Eskimo




[quoted from "GT", p. 73 :] "the tupilaks earlier known in West and East Greenland were magically created beasts, composed and animated by a person skilled in sorcery who might be a shaman".


"The tupilak is sent off by its creator ... perhaps looking like a seal, but with the limbs of other animals, such as a dog’s paw, or wings, and thereby revealing its origin; ... it is only the shaman who can see it during a seance ... . ... They originally were made up from the bones of different animals where each bone represented the whole animal and thereby the tupilak might shift its shape to


different animals. {The tupilaq (tupilak) hath been likened ("HR" 1.1.1) to the animated statue of the divine woman Galatea, which was carven "out of ivory".} The material was moss, seaweed". {cf. Maori use of seaweed in magic}


[quoted from "GT", p. 5 :] "The various bones are placed in position in correct correlation to each other, using thumb and forefinger only. ... The joints are put together by means of spirit-blowing. When all the joints are as they should be, when the flesh and skin have been added, animation begins".

"GT" = Robert Petersen : "The Greenland Tupilak". FOLK : DANSK ETNOGRAFISK TIDSSKRIFT 6:2 (1964).

"HR" = Wesley L. Stone : "The History of Robotics". Chapter 1 of :- Thomas R. Kurfess (ed.) : Robotics and Automation Handbook. CRC Pr, 2005. http://books.google.com/books?id=stIWUpWvI94C&pg=SA1-PA1&lpg=SA1-PA1&dq=tupilak+golem&source=bl&ots=sjve9dylt_&sig=UONP3QLE0VqBDa3FjLH8oaV7rZk&hl=en&ei=-GXYTIbNKIL6lweouIT9CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CCwQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=tupilak%20golem&f=false


8. (pp. 149-67) Tamara Ingels : "A Shaman as Artist" [contemporary Hungarian shaman – the autobiographical descriptions are translated from :- R. Hartzema : Joska Soos. Amsterdam : Karnak, 1985. (in Dutch)]

p. 150 autobiographical account of internal music sensed by shaman

"When people come to me with their problems, then I start singing about their problems and through the sounds I reach a special state of mind that can be situated between being awake and falling asleep. It is a kind of hypnotic condition, a controlled trance, which the old shaman taught us. ... Then sounds rise within my being and I come in contact with the person and get {occult} image of him."

pp. 151-2 autobiographical account of travel by shaman in the world of illumination as the result of a near-death experience


transcendent travel


"I travelled in white light. ... I went through it, as if it were some kind of smoke. I also felt myself as fume and I got impressions of powers, as if I was going through electro-magnetic fields. ... I experienced myself as timeless, spaceless, a kind of all-encompassing consciousness."


"I made a real cosmic journey, into the micro- and macrocosmos at the same time; I travelled to the starry sky and experienced what matter is. ... I experienced the structure of the material universe".

pp. 155-6 autobiographical account of dreams which occurred while sleeping on a female’s grave in a cemetery




"Every now and then I woke up and I had remarkable dream visions of a heavy thunderstorm. {cf. Xuar (of Ecuador) initiatory shamanic false-awakening dream of lightning-storm} The clouds in my dream were


like two fighting bulls that produced thunder and lightning {the Xuar lightning-storm dream hath in it a pair of contending animals (2 leopards or 2 anacondas – JPSW, p. 138)}, like it is being told in the old Hungarian folk tales. ...

Then I fell asleep again and I had a series of white dreams ... . Now I dreamt that I was completely enclosed by glass, crystal or ice, and I became more and more silent inside myself. ... The ice broke into pieces and I saw the white dimensions that attracted me very much. I was loosing myself in the whirlpool of infinite white dimensions that faded into different patterns and came towards me from all sides. They moved towards a light that was even brighter and more white, as a pit in which all dimensions disappeared ... . So, I remained at the side of the whirlpool of light and I did not proceed." {Is this the "whirlpool of vast energy and sound" generating "dreamless sleep" (DR, p. 477)?}

JPSW = Michael J. Harner : The Jívaro, people of the sacred waterfalls. Natural History Pr, 1972. http://books.google.com/books?id=APziu1G7TtoC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=

DR = Anthony Shafton : Dream Reader : Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Dreams. Albany : State University of New York Press, 1995. http://books.google.com/books?id=90Vh8wUThAgC&pg=PA477&lpg=PA477&dq=

p. 160 autobiographical account of vision of colored dots

"dots appear, microscopically small ... . The dots had all kinds of colours, blue, green, yellow and red ... . ... Suddenly I remembered what [my shaman-instructor] once told me : ‘Just look at the vibrating ... holes, the coloured holes’."

pp. 154, 165 autobiographical explication of signs painted into shaman’s drum




[signs painted into shaman’s drum] "The signs at the bottom represent the primeval consciousness :

bottom right represents the primal atom and

bottom left represents the primal water creature. ...

The wavy lines, on either side of the vertical axis of the drum, show the flow of energy in it."



its location in drum

is symbol of __



{right side?}

"the north and the air"




"the east and the dawn"



left side

"the west and the night"




"the sun ... and intelligence"


"He also drew magic signs on a sick animal, especially on cows and horses, on the ill spot. Sometimes, he would draw ... with cows on the udder, when the animal did not produce enough milk." {Were these "magic signs" so-called "Hungarian Runes"?}


12. (pp. 196-214) Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer : "Shamanic Movements in Siberia" [Sah^a (Yakut) tribe]

p. 204 functions of a shamaness

"She has spirit-helpers, especially birds, who reveal who will visit her. She also trouble-shoots through dreams and through perceptions at dawn. ... Each person when born is linked in spirit to a tree and an animal, often a bird, living in that person’s homeland."

p. 205 autobiographical account of flying by the same shamaness

"When I raise myself, I stand straight and go where I am needed. What is travelling is my energy. ... Across destroyed earth, I can fly as wind or fog. Over more calm rivers and lakes, I reacquire my own self. I can go anywhere, whether Viliuisk, Japan, America. ... my body is at home, but my energy is moving like smoke ... to where it is needed."

p. 205 cure of a female patient by suction and blowing by the same shamaness

"She took out a long, thin bone, I think from the leg of a stork, and began to suck and blow all over her face. ... . ... she sucked it all out, at each spot, systematically all over her face. This is bokhsuruiuu, the sucking cure. ... [The shamaness] then ... took her own spit and rubbed it all over the beautiful girl’s face, saying spit is medicinal."


13. (pp. 215-25) Tatyana Bulgakova : "The Tale as a Road" [Nanay tribe]

p. 216 shamanic tales are true

"But shamans affirm that the tale describes real events; they are not about historical events, but about those which are happening to them right now. ... But the storytellers believe that all epic events are happening in the real (for them), invisible, spiritual world (in Nanay, dorkin) where they go in their dreams and during their {trance-}ceremonies. ... events ... take place in the material world ... for some spiritual reasons."

p. 216-7 shaman’s spirit-travel is like unto a tale : a tale can cause to shamanize


shaman’s tale as ritual


"The nearest tale to shamanic practice is the tale of the genre dzorgil ningmany, a tale about the invisible shamanic road, dzorgil. As in the epic, the base plot is the hero’s travel along this road, getting over the obstacles ... . ... One ... ceremony, which ... brings up an association with tales, is tachiochiory, the shaman’s travel along the


invisible space, looking for the panyan, the soul-shadow of the sick person. ... "When you do horichy [fn. 2 : "to cure a person ... ..., looking for his soul in the invisible world"] for a person, you go along a ningman (a tale). ... One can tell about ... : now you are a bird, now you turn into a jack {jackdaw?}! ... In the ningmans, ... there is the same village (where you come in), when you are looking for the panyan. It is like you go to fetch a panyan ... along this road." The characters of Nanay tale are ... shamanic spirits-helpers that shamans utilize in their ceremonies. "... Shaman has (spirits) dogs, mokto puimur (half a dragon), simur (serpent). ...""


"The tale, like the shamanic ritual, is a means to access spirits. That’s why while performing a tale one can shamanize. "One shaman[ess] ... was telling a tale and suddenly began to yayi (to sing in a shamanic way). It happened because her spirit-helpers came. ... in Dada, a blind shamaness was telling a tale and began to tremble. She began to sing in a shamanic way, because her sewens (spirits) came."

p. 218 road to the world of the dead

[assertion by a shamaness] "Ningman is a road to buny (the world of deceased). I have not walked up to the end of that road. Just up to the middle. ... There flows a brook as if a golden one."

pp. 219-20 winning in one’s death [as described by shamans]


victory in death


"For example, I am about to die, ... so I begin to tell a tale about my dzorgil."


A shaman "when he "is to die soon" and "has too little life ahead" suddenly begins to tell people about his dzorgil. ... He does it on purpose trying to win!" {Here, "to win" could imply to attain advantages in the world of souls of the dead, after one’s own death.}

pp. 221-4 tales as versions of shamans’ dreams; rituals as performances (in the waking-world) of dreams


tales as rituals, as divinations


"He is a shaman and he names his spirit helper as a ‘sister’. ... But it is traditional to interpret the dreams and presentiments as messages from the spirit helpers."


"Sometimes a shaman tells a tale with a purpose to cure himself ... . If he tells a tale especially (... to be cured), his panyan (soul) ... goes everywhere ... . It penetrates some bad, dangerous places ... . This way he gets [to] recover, and he tells about everything he did there as a ningman. This way he heals himself, saves himself ..." ... in dreams. After a shaman has dreamt ... and has awoken, he picks up the drum and begins ... to do ningmachiory, that is to perform a ritual. ...


The essence of such ritual is that the shaman, as he explains it, penetrates into the ‘space’ of the dream just experienced, and finds the characters just met ... . Ningmachiory is a kind of divination, or an attempt to guess the meaning of a dream. ...


The ritual ningman is performed and the sense of one’s latest dreams perceived ... . ... In telling the story, the shaman goes along the same road in the invisible world which [is] where experienced in his dreams".


14. (pp. 226-36) Eva Jane N. Friedman : "Woman Shamans in Ho:vsgo:l Province" [northern Mongolia]

pp. 228-9 activities & accoutrements of a shamaness of the Hotgoid tribe in southwestern Ho:vsgo:l


shamanic accoutrements


"She would go into an altered state and her spirits, whom she encountered in this state, helped her to know which disease a person had and how to treat that illness. Her drum was made from wild deerskin with a horse head and two opposing dragons, protectors of the sky spirit, painted on it. The drum had a metal arrow, bells and eight birds hanging on either side. Her shaman clothes had 88 snakes with their heads on her shoulders and 88 strips of cloth. Little metal cones hung on the arms, back and front of the outfit. Her headdress was replete with three sets of five-inch tall owl feathers and an attached fringe of black twisted cotton thread. She also had chain mail and a mirror on her chest and chain mail on her back together with a bow and arrow inserted in a little belt, weaponry against evil spirits. ...


Nevertheless, ... over her altar ... she has 13 ongons hanging (dwelling for her helper spirits to stay)."

p. 229 spirits of mountains

"The ... point of entry into the Darhad valley more directly from the south ..., was marked by the 13 obos of the spirits of the 13 mountains surrounding and protecting the area. ... At the edge of the road was number 13, huge, forbidding, looming over all comers. [A shamaness] had instructed us to make an offering to this obo ... . She gave us a special artish (herbal preparation) consisting of 9 components ... with which to make an offering for our protection."

pp. 230-1 accoutrements & activities of a shamaness in Darhad valley in northern Ho:vsgo:l


shamanic accoutrements & activities


"He could levitate and turn around in the ger. The flying shamans protected nine regions. ... [An udagan (shamaness)’s] drum is of female wild antelope and her baton made of male wild sheep tail. Her shaman robe is lined with male antelope fur, with a patch of wild cat fur on the back of her outfit, as well as various metal objects. Such metal pendants are protective of the shaman[ess] when she is vulnerable in her altered state of consciousness and may represent spirit helpers {i.e., may encourage the spirit-helpers to protect her then}, power animals, and spiritual weapons against evil forces. Her boots are of wild antelope and her headdress has eagle feathers with a face embroidered on the front band".


"the shamans here were mainly ud[a]gans (women) whereas in the nearby somon (district) of Renchinlhumbe there were mostly zaarins [male shamans]."


[The shamaness] "does what spirits tell her to do. She mainly has sacrilized los (water nature spirits) ... . ... After she had this contact with her spirits, she was able to read the fortunes of the group gathered in her house ... . She sanctified her blue hadag (ceremonial silk scarf) and offered it to her spirits, ... each time before undertaking a healing or divination."

pp. 233-4 accoutrements & activities of a shamaness of the Tsaatan (Duh^a) tribe ["A larger group of Tsaatan people lives in Tuva ... . ... The Tsaatan language is not Mongolian but a Turkic language, somewhat like Uiyghur" (p. 232).]


shamanic accoutrements & activities


[A shamaness’s] "robe was made of reindeer skin, fur side inside, and covered with metal bells, snakes and embroidered cloth bands, signifying parts of the body, the spine and its muscles, leg muscles, and ribs. Eagle feathers were on the shoulders, and metal protective plagues {sic : read "plates"}, as well as protective metal arrows and knife blades on the robe. Her ... drum ... was two and a half feet in diameter, decorated with ribbons and covered with the skin of a wild white antelope. ...

In preparation for shamanizing, her boots made of white antelope skin were warmed by the fire in her stove, as was her drum made alive by the heat. She shamanized for three hours from 9 p.m. to midnight, drumming herself into an altered state of consciousness, singing and chanting, going on a shamanic journey. ... At times she varied the beat of her drum, slowing down when she met spirits in the other world. She has ... spirits who help her. They are a kind of animal or local river or mountain. Her ancestral spirits have turned into a bear or snake or


bird and appear to her in these forms. She meets her spirits, one by one, "in the middle," meaning that they meet somewhere between her world and their upper world. Her spirits give her information, but only in her tent at night when she shamanizes. Prior to shamanizing, people ask her their questions and while shamanizing she receives the answers, having gotten information from her spirits."

pp. 234-5 how a vision & spirits induced a young man to become a shaman


a calling to become a shaman


"he saw a white object with legs moving just above the field, saying "I am, I am, it’s me." {cf. >ehyeh >s^er >ehyeh "I Am That I Am" (S^emo^t 3:14)} ... Since that time he has had unusual behaviors, rubbing his face, ... often not speaking at all. He family noticed that he only said "No, no, no" continuously and they understood this as that he had been called to be a shaman and


was refusing shamanship. ... . ... the following year, ... He had some further training as a shaman and was beginning to shamanize."


15. (pp. 237-44) Atsushi Hatakeyama & Takefusa Sasamori : "Kamusu Ritual" [Irabu islands, Miyako archipelago (of Ryukyu)]

p. 242 legend pertaining to Nus^i shrine and to Kamusu

"The day the South Wind started to blow, Tamamega ... went to draw water from the sea. Using the water, she intended to make tofu (bean curd). She was in such a hurry that she forgot to put soot on her face. She was then lost. ... Her parents hung onto her sleeve, but she tore off her sleeve and became the guardian god[dess] of the island."

pp. 238, 241, 243 priestesses on the Irabu islands




[Kamusu festival] "It is believed that the god, To, ... returns taking a ship sent by the South wind. When the god To returns, forty women called Yukiuma act as sailors. These women are named Yos-no-Funako-no-Oba (... "40 women sailors")."


[Kamusu rite] "The priestesses hold two branches of Ryoukyuu Aoki (a type of laurel tree) one in the right hand and one in the left ... .{cf. "a priestess in a prophetic trance induced by the chewing of laurel-leaves" (GM 46.2).} The priestesses stand upright and make a circle, dancing in a counterclockwise direction. {some European "witches .. danced ‘widdershins’, i.e. against the sun, the opposite to deosil, i.e. with the sun. They were practitioners of ‘love magic’ in which philters would be used to ensnare would-be partners" (RR&W 5). Specifically, the Volta "Peasant dance of the Alpine region ... was danced widdershins" (RG, p. 246).} The dances and music are designed to create the intense trance-like state in the women."


There were "forty-three priestesses" in Kamiya.

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

RR&W = Andrew Collins : The Roots and Reality of Magic and Witchcraft. http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/events/pagandayer2.htm#nature

RG = Elliot Rose : A Razor for a Goat: a discussion of certain problems in the history of history of witchcraft and diabolism. U of Toronto Pr, 1989. http://books.google.com/books?id=rOcsea5TJm4C&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=%22danced+widdershins%22&source=bl&ots=blZoN0bQig&sig=cV-Qp31t7txsQDaO1cT5Tbn-J08&hl=en&ei=XYbdTO7GGIbGlQeB5omdDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=%22danced%20widdershins%22&f=false


17. (pp. 250-5) Bai Gengsheng : "Religion Practiced by Naxi" {B. G. is also author of a book [in Chinese] :- "Researches on the Dongba mythology" http://www.ethnic-china.com/Naxi/naximythologybook.htm}

p. 250 Na-xi tribe’s migration

"During the 4th century B.C., they migrated to ... southwest Sichuan. In the transition era between Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, the main body of Naxi people, except that portion of the population that remained in the basin of the Dadu River, had migrated eastward {sic : read "westward"} and eventually settled down in the areas of present northwest Yun’nan Province".

pp. 250-1, 253 Na-xi shamanry




"In the Naxi language there is a word sani which means shaman".


"Among the Naxi people, the sani practitioners are mostly female".

"The sani among the Naxi people are known for the magic abilities such as

climbing a mountain of swords or

plunging into a sea of flames, or

holding a burning ploughshare {a fiery ploughshare is mentioned (as having fallen from the sky and as too hot to be held by Skuthes) by Herodotos} {"Crossing the world in the form of the plough, the world, asleep, shrinks down to ... a grain of pepper." (FCE, p. 107) [Intended to explain the heat of the hot ploughhare by the pungency of black-pepper seeds?]} in the mouth, or

getting something from [a] boiling oil pot."


"Both female and male sani not only give clients some services such as exorcising evil spirits, fortune-telling and medical treatments, but are also skilled in religious art performances".

FCE = Stephen C. Headley : From Cosmogony to Exorcism in A Javanese Genesis. Oxford U Pr, 2000.


18. (pp. 256-63) Peter Knecht : "Fieldwork among Shamans in China"

pp. 258-9 symptoms indicating that a person will become a shaman




"The first (serious) symptom of their having been chosen was an illness doctors ... diagnosed as some form of mental disorder. In several cases the person afflicted could not sleep for days. At some point the person decided to consult a shaman who then announced that the illness could be cured only if the person accepted to become a shaman. ...


An Evenki woman, who had been diagnosed as being mentally disturbed ..., finally consulted a powerful Mongol shaman about the cause of her illness. With his help ... she is now on the way to become a powerful shaman[ess] ... . ... . ... she is taught by her divine mentor all the rites, dances, and texts she uses, and even how to tailor her ceremonial dress."


"And, finally, an Evenki male shaman told us that ... he felt strange in his whole body, and noticed that he had obtained the power to walk on the river and spit fire."

pp. 261-2 Manc^u communication with spirits by a shamaness


information from spirits


[Manc^u] "One woman shaman told us that us that she can always hear the spirits talking ... among themselves, and that she herself can converse with them at any time because they are always close by."


[Manc^u] "one of the shamans ... said emphatically that divination by a shaman is radically different from the divination performed by {non-shamanic [distinct from the shamanic fortune-tellers of p. 253]} fortune-tellers because the shaman requests information from a spirit, and then relates that spirit’s answer to the client.

A basically similar procedure is applied in healing ... . The shaman consults with the spirit asking for pertinent information. In more elaborate cases, .. the shaman causes the spirit plaguing the sick to transfer to a stick held by the patient, and have it announce it requests. At the same time the shaman also becomes possessed by a spirit that challenges the spirit that is causing the sickness to disclose the reasons for causing the sickness, and to announce its requests or conditions for leaving the patient. Finally, the shaman learns from the spirits the appropriate manner by which


to treat an illness. In other words, the shaman has the spirits disclose their intentions or reasons, and once he knows them, he announces them to his client, and follows the spirit’s instructions in order to heal the patient."

p. 263 Japanese praeponderance of spirit-possession over soul-flight

Contrast "East Asian (or Siberian) shamanism" often involving " "soul flight" or "visit to the otherworld"" with the circumstance that : ""In Japan there are reports, recent as well as historical, of visits to the otherworld, but they are rare. The majority of mystic experiences with spirits involves possession in a variety of degrees of intensity. ... . Japanese scholars ... prefer indigenous terms such as fuzoku (mediumship) or fujo/fusha (female/male medium) and niiko (divine[ly] inspired person)".

{It would require greater expertise to accomplish soul-flight in dreams, than to attain being possessed by a spirit while awake. Soul-flight is accomplished through a shaman’s mastery over spirits, a feat more difficult to be achieved than a medium’s becoming controlled by the spirits in spirit-possession. Japanese (like African) spirituality (emphasizing becoming possessed, often by wild-beast spirits), is more rudimentary than Siberia (or South American Indian) spirituality (involving mastery over intelligent spirit-guides).}


19. (pp. 264-71) Jojo M. Fung : "The ‘Subversive Memory’ of Shamanism"

pp. 266-7 encountres with spirits




"The spirit-worlds consist of "extra-human beings" (EHBs). In the Temuan villages (the name of a group of indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia), these EHBs are called orang bumian and/or orang halus. They are invisible to human eyes. ... they readily come to the rescue of villagers who lost their way in the deep forest while hunting. ...

Murut [of southwestern Sabah in Borneo] ...


described ... that EHBs are


transparent, whitish in appearance, and totally illuminated in the night when it is full moon.

{cf. "moon trap cut" (FCE, p. 118) as the name of one of the 30 7-days when the list of them is recited backwardsly}


The shaman ... explained that when fireflies came around in the night or

{cf. "firefly called fairy Wasara" (FCE, p. 117)}


when a certain bird called out in the day or night

{cf. omens from calls of omen-birds in Borneo}


these EHBs are in the vicinity. ... I witnessed this particular shaman conversing with them, because he is the only one who can "see" them and relate to them ... . More than that, this shaman is said to become invisible himself". {I have not only seen another person (woman, L.E.) become wholly and partially invisible (invisible in the sense of transparent with a blur visible when the scenery behind her was viewed), but have become partially (my arm) invisible (when touched on it by a horizontal-black-&-white-rings-structured ghost-woman, resembling in apperance my praevious wife, the one who used to hear spirits’ voices and converse with them) myself.}


22. (pp. 297-305) Carol Laderman : "Tradition and Change in Malay Shamanism"

pp. 297-8 se’ance by a shaman, curing a female patient




The shaman "felt her pulse {a Chinese technique} ... and found it fast in her throat, a sign of spirit attack.


He asked for a ... boiled egg, part of the usual offering for his familiar spirits {boiled eggs being the usual offering to spirit in Indo-China and Indonesia}, but no one had prepared them. ...

Every time [the shaman] shook his head rapidly when changing persona, a serious moment for all who understand its meaning ... . ...

After taking on the persona of one of the body’s internal protective forces,

he assumed the role of the Ancient Healer who divines causes and prognoses. The divination pointed to earth spirits as culprits. ...

The next to appear was the genie of the crossroads who agreed to help for a price. If the patient recovered the genie must be paid.

The next five personas were familiar spirits of [the shaman] who sang and danced and made jokes {possessing-spirits making jokes during a se’ance is characteristic of spirit-possessed red-wigged Taoist shaman-practitioners} that the audience clearly enjoyed.

Next was the Yellow Genie, who admitted he was torturing the woman but agreed to stop.

He was followed by another familiar spirit, who said it was "heavy indeed", as he looked at the flame of a candle. ...

The next spirit to appear was Sir Oil who said that he had been asked to kill the patient. Sir Oil is notorious for being able to take on human form to rape ... . {With the lubricity of oil, cf. the slipperiness of the path praepared for the heroine Apemosune by the god Hermes : "she turned to flee, but he had spread slippery hides on the one path of escape, so that she fell flat on her face and he succeeded in ravishing her." (GM 93.b)} He held up his fingers and toes to show how much {in Vietnam, a spirit-possessed shamaness will hold up her fingers to indicate the ordinal number of the spirit wherewith she is possessed} he demanded to leave the patient.

At the close of the seance, [the shaman] recited a spell and massaged the patient" on the afflicted part of her body.

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

pp. 299-300 curing of the same shaman (by another shaman) of aberrations caused by irregularities in the responses by the female patient’s family (in the se’ance aforecited)




"A divination revealed that the illness was caused by earth spirits, angered when they didn’t receive the offerings promised at the ... se’ance. ... The minduk [‘partner’ (curing the first shaman)] explained that [the first shaman] was only


acting as intermediary for the patient and her family. {The earth-spirits accepted this excuse.} When the [first shaman] heard {that the earth-spirits had forgiven him}, he [was therewith instantly cured]."

p. 301 se’ance by a shamaness possessed by animal-spirits [a se’ance designated by the authoress as "different from any other I had seen" : apparently performed in the style practiced by Austro-Asiatic tribes in Malaya]

"doors were locked , and no one was allowed to enter or leave, no one in the audience was permitted to speak or walk about ... . She invoked a Dog Spirit who growled ... . [The shamaness]’s husband ... placed a white cotton cloth on the floor and sprinkled it with ... diced turmeric ... antithetic to the spirits. [She] struck herself on the shoulders with the bamboo to gather the spirit into the wand. She thrust it into the cloth, screaming. Quickly, [her husband] knotted ... it ... against the devil. He would bury it ... . [The site of the burial of the knotted cloth was] made unbearably hot by the devils buried ... . The following night [in a continuation of the se’ance] : "A Snake Spirit arrived, causing [the shamaness] to fall, writhing and hissing."


6TH CONFERENCE [2001 Chr.E.] OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR SHAMANISTIC RESEARCH = Art Leete & R. Paul Firnhaber (ed.s) : Shamanism in the Interdisciplinary Context. BrownWalker Pr, Boca Raton (FL), 2004.