Shamanism -- critical concepts, 20

p. 63 huntersí shaman

"... an antelope shaman, a man who in aboriginal times

was entrusted with the task of "singing" antelope to sleep

during the annual Washo antelope drives."

p. 63 dream of the moon

"he would go to sleep ... and dream of a bear

who came and stood in the lean-to opening

and stared at him.

When he looked at the bear, it would vanish, and then

[the dreamer] would fly up into the sky toward the moon.

This dream recurred frequently over a fairly long period."

p. 67 a dream concerning the dead

"I had a dream. I saw a buck in the west.

It was a horned buck. It looked east.

"... the buck was the "boss of the rain." ...

The Washo believed that

the souls of the recently dead travel south

{which is also the belief in India} but that, soon after,

the souls of those who have done evil turn east."

p. 70 method for curing

"... he paid for the health of the patient

by scattering grey and yellow seeds

mixed with pieces of abalone

around the body of the patient;

the seeds symbolized food,

and the shells symbolized money. ...

Arising, he walked around blowing his whistle,

attempting to attract the disease object or germ

from the body of the patient ... whence

it might be repulsed or captured by the whistle."

p. 73 the tenets of traditional Washo religion

"a spirit world populated by the departed souls

of all animate beings ...

The age of a person in the spirit world

was that at which he had died.

The souls of evil persons were segregated

in one section of the spirit world, but

they underwent no particular punishments ..."

pp. 73-74 shamanic theory of spirit-energy




"the substance and composition of the spirit world

is very similar to ... pulses of energy.

These are everlasting and everpresent,

and all objects in the natural world

are also composed partially of them.

... therefore, spirit and mind are the same,

both being composed of ... "ethereal waves."


When an individual dreams,

his "mind-power" travels to the spirit world,

remaining connected to his material body

by a thin lifeline of energy.

If this thin line of energy breaks,

the individualís "mind-power" is unable to return

to its material shell, and death results.


... when a person dies his departing spirit or "ego"

remains temporarily encased in a weak body shell,

the "astral body," but within one month

the "astral body" falls away and

the "pure" ego or spirit returns to the spirit world."

p. 74 the 3 planes of existence

"The spirit world itself has three planes Ė

the first a "coarse" level, the second a finer level,

and the third was the finest or purest level.

Normally, when a person dreams,

his spirit or mind-power travels to the first level.

Passage into the second level, either in dreams or in death,

is impossible unless the individual has been

pure in mind and heart ...

The third level is the domain of "God," "creator,"

and "omnipotent life."

{cf. the Manda< designation of the Supreme Deity as "Life".}

p. 75 magpies & shamanic rattlesnake-power

Dream of "sitting at the eastern end of a valley hiding from a whirlwind.

Seeing it was coming straight toward him,

he was frightened and hid in the willows.

The whirlwind stopped in front of him, and

a magpie flew out and lit on a nearby willow."

"rattlesnake power, the power to sorcerize, ...

to handle rattlesnakes without personal harm ..."

p. 76 butterfly-spirit causing heart-flutter

"with an apparent history of heart trouble, ...

found a butterfly in the manís chest and removed it."

Andrei A. Znamenski : Shamanism. RoutledgeCurzon, London, 2004. 3 Vols.

Vol. II, pp. 62-84 = 20. Don Handelman : "The development of a Washo shaman".