Study of Shamanism, 5th Conference




Exploration into Peruvian Shamanism


Healing Journey of the Huichol


The Shaman’s Song"


The Shaman of Samiland


Teachings ... within the Kahuna Tradition


Garhwal Shamanism in Himalayan India


The Use of Dreams by Tribal Shamans


The Shaman’s Power


Magic, Shamanism, and Medicine



pp. 100-3 Thomas L. Pinkston : "An Exploration into Peruvian Shamanism".

pp. 101-2 modern ritual pilgrimage, at Cuzco

p. 101

"We did our first purification ritual above Cuzco where four underground rivers come to the surface. ...

p. 102

Each person was taken into the Cave of Darkness ... .

Afterwards, s/he was led through a passageway in the cliffs to a guardian.

If they passed this test, they would enter the Cave of Light for a second initiation."

pp. 102-3 at Machu Picchu

p. 102

"a number of initiation ceremonies at Machu Picchu, including one at the Death Stone. It is shaped like a boat. At nigh time, each of us would lie down upon it. ... the rest of us chanted in a circle around it ... . I was behind the boat drumming. You lie flat on your back and call in the jaguar to take you to your death. ...

We also did a sun ceremony. The shaman would catch and tie the sun to the top of this Sun Stone ... . Each of us took his or her turn, kneeling on this smooth rock ... .

This is the Pachu Mama Stone, the Earth Mother Stone. We prepared flower offerings and then each of us would individually come up and

p. 103

make an offering, first facing and then with our back pressed against this massive slab of stone. To the right, the men were chanting, to the left the women were singing".


pp. 103-12 Bruce Finson : "The Healing Journey of the Huichol".

pp. 104-5 7 Huichol terminology



its meaning






shaman’s wand



votive bowl



caerimonial mat



prayer arrow

p. 106 Huichol deities

"Grandfather Fire, Tatewari, ... is the god of life and health, and he is the curing and prophesying shaman. ... His bird is the royal eagle."

"Mother of Waters, Nawake ... is also known as Grandmother Growth."

"Another of the gods, Kauyumari or Elder Brother, ... is known as the half-bad. His body is handsome on one side but deformed on the other."

p. 107 use of ritual implements

"Prayer arrows (ulu) ... send to the gods to carry messages of thanksgiving and supplication quickly and accurately. ...

And for many kinds of prayer there are further decorations, often in the form of small symbolic attachments, neirikas, the tiny straw mats painted or woven with images of the object of the prayer."

"When the mara>akame uses his muweiri, he points the tuft upward, toward the gods. ... The feathers transmit the grace, life-force, kupuri, from the gods to who[m]ever or whatever is in need of divine help. The tufts and feathers are taken from the bird belonging to the particular god being invoked or the god to whom the mara>akame is dedicated perhaps."

"In the god houses, the statues of the gods stand on disks (tepali) made out of volcanic rock covered or carved with their emblems."

pp. 108-9 Staircase to the Gods

p. 108

"In Wirikuta, the ascent up "the Mountain where the Sun was born" (Reunar), is again seen in terms of five stages. The entire

p. 109

mountain is seen as a giant ... spiritual staircase. On the five plateaus or levels are the five blue altars. ...

A small-scale symbol of this ascent is the carved stone called the Staircase to the Gods, with its five stone steps."

p. 109 pilgrimage by the deities

"in the most traditional form of the pilgrimage, each person becomes one of the gods and the pilgrims’ faces are painted accordingly. At the going away ceremony [was] chanted the story of the first pilgrimage to Wirikuta, made by the gods themselves."

pp. 109-12 stages of the pilgrimage

p. 109

"we each took off one shoe ... . ... .

p. 110

... at the outskirts of Zacatecas, we came to the Cloud Gate, for the second ceremony ... the prayer to open the dangerous Clouds Gates to the Sacred Land. Holding the gates open with the power of his muweiri {cf. the rod of Mo^s^eh, opening the Yam Sup}, he let us all pass into the Sacred Land. The final portion of the ceremony was the blindfolding of the primeros or first-time pilgrims. It is dangerous for a primero ... to look upon the sacred hills of Wirikuta before being cleansed or blessed with the waters from the Springs of the Mother, Matineiri.


Then, ... we stopped at what I knew must be the Springs of the Mother. ... We ran ... and flew over the rocks ... . When the ceremony at the springs began, it was time to remove the blindfolds, and we primeros could gaze for the first time on the ... sacred land of Wirikuta in the distance. ... The conclusion of the ceremony was for each of us to jump across the springs to the other side, like leaping ... into a new land. ...

p. 111

In this fourth ceremony, ... I ... gaze ... away across the valley to the hills where El Tremolino was dancing toward us in the whirlwind ... . ...


Late, in the afternoon, morrals filled with the "footprints of Kauyumari," we converged ... . ... Soon Tatewari was lit and ... we partook of the fifth ceremony."

p. 112

"In the morning, we left Wirikuta quickly, for it is dangerous to linger in the holy land after meeting with the gods."


pp. 198-207 James A. Swan : "The Shaman’s Song".

pp. 199, 202-4 spirit-world; shamanic songs

p. 199

In the Kalevala, "Vainamoinen, born of the Mother of Water, is an eternal sage and singer."

p. 202

Sioux : "The power of such healing, Rolling Thunder feels, arises from creating a situation where spiritual energies could be channeled from the spirit world with clarity and purpose. The chants we were using, he said, were sacred songs from the spirit world."

p. 203

"According to shamanic lore around the world, songs like these can and do originate from spiritual beings which live in the next world, but which have connections to this world.

Animals, shamans say, communicate on both, on a psychic level through telepathy, and on a spiritual level with their spiritual guides. Many hunting rituals involve dancing and singing,

p. 204

and these dances and songs come from the next world, so when the ceremonies are done correctly, shamans talk to the same spirit guides as the animals. When such songs and dances are performed correctly, ... animals will often seemingly come forth to hunters so they may be killed ... .

Shamanic songs also originate from spiritual beings in the earth ... . Norwegian folklore refers to elves as "Hudrafolk" and their music as "Hudraslaat", which is always in a minor key and often mournful."

pp. 205-6 personal experiences of author with divinely-inspired songs

p. 205

"all of the sudden, a new voiced popped through me as I was chanting. It seemed to be singing me and sounded like ... rich vibrato. I was told that I was being inspired by the "loon spirit," which sounded a little like my voice."

pp. 205-6

"periodically condors would appear in my dreams, giving me instructions about the song."


pp. 224-37 Gloria Feman Orenstein : "My Studies with ... the Shaman of Samiland".

pp. 228-9 spiritual experiences by authoress

p. 228

"He informed me that I had a spirit guide ..., and that I would dream of who[m] it was. He also ... told me that my spirit resided there ... . ... Indeed, several nights later I did dream of my

p. 229

spirit guide. ... But when I told the dream ..., she rushed me over ... and ... he was wearing ..., just as I had dreamed. ... "Yes, he is your spirit guide ... to help you ...," the Great Shaman told me proudly. My ordinary Western description of reality was now really being dismantled."

p. 231 a Sami sacred site

"The site was an enormous black rock with many reindeer antler offerings placed in ... every visible crevice. ... when we approached the site, we walked around three times counterclockwise. ... . ... permission to take a reindeer horn from the site. ... Thus, I placed the bone under my pillow and one night I awoke to voices calling me. ... The voices called me again ... . ... I like I was attached to a very distant star. The voices were spectral, ghostly."

p. 232 apparent projection of subtle-body by a shaman

"it was the Great Shaman ... . His eyes were extremely strange. ... He was making gestures to me like a bear ... . ... . .. it was ... "woytna," his spirit."

p. 236 knowledge that spirits exist

"However, once you have heard the voices of the ancestral spirits call you by name, you know that they exist, that they see you, watch you, and want to communicate with you. ... I now know that all is alive, all life is sacred, and the invisible is also part of the living world."


pp. 237-46 Charlotte Berney : "Teachings ... within the Kahuna Tradition".

p. 238 psychopomp

"Hawaiian name "Ka>onohiokala" means "the seeing eye of the sun." It refers to a god who conducted the souls of dead chiefs to the next world (Kent, 1986:176)."

Kent 1986 = Harold Winfield Kent : Treasury of Hawaiian Words. Honolulu, 1986.

p. 240 >aumakua

"the <aumakua were the spirits of ancestors who had become gods ... (... see Yardley, 1982).

Yardley 1982 = Laura Kealoha Yardley : The Congruence of the Huna Code. Huna Research.

p. 241 other types of spirits

"Both the <uahane and

the <unihipili were types of spirits,

the former being an animating force which could return as a ghost and

the latter being a spirit of the recent dead (Pukui, 1972:193-196)."

Pukui 1972 = Mary Kawena Pukui = : Look to the Source. Honolulu.

p. 243 >awa

"The kahuna used ... <awa root (Piper methysticum) ... . The pounded root was mixed with water, and ... could result in red eyes and scaly skin. These symptoms were often identified with the spiritual kahuna."

p. 243 dreams

"Names of the newborn and the location of objects such as helpful stones often are revealed in dreams."


pp. 247-58 Alok Saklani : "Garhwal Shamanism in Himalayan India".

p. 250 spirit-possession

"Expected possessions occur during

gadiyalas and

mandans, which are held

with the accompaniment of cymbals and

drums, respectively.

Gadiyalas are organized for the appeasement of spirits and generally conducted within the house.

Mandans are usually conducted to appease ... deities and are held in the village square.

Anybody from the audience may begin to shake while the cymbals or drums are being played. Anybody may commence to dance as if in frenzy.

During a gadiyala, a spirit may speak through the medium".

"an ojha (of the Dom caste) may play the drum or cymbal to bring about a possession".

pp. 250-1 spirit-mediumship

p. 250

"Bakias are the mediums of deities who speak ... . ... vakya ...

p. 251

signified speech, therefore the name bakia ... derived from it."


"A bakia any be male or female and may hail from any caste. ...

Once the deity has decided on a particular person, generally during his or her adulthood, he or she can do little to avoid it ... . The possessed begins to show the typical symptoms and is taken to a bakia for treatment. An expert bakia may recognize the possession by a deity and inform the family. ... Ultimately, however, the wishes of the deity must be followed ... . At his point, the family of the medium may request the deity (communicating through the possessed) to give proof of its genuineness. Certain events, predicted by the deity, may become true and may be considered to be proof. It is also said that occasionally the deity may sprout rice grains held by the medium in his or her palm within minutes or seconds to demonstrate its stren[g]th." [p. 256, n. 2 "Preliminary tests ... for determining psychokinetic ability in Garhwal shamans showed that shamans succeeded in influencing plant growth".]

p. 252 consultations with a bakia

"Shamanic sessions are generally held on Tuesdays and Saturdays. ... A session may continue throughout the day. ...

A bakia does not usually charge any fee for consultation and healing. ... . ... indeed, ... the economic level of bakias is generally at par with that of an average village family, if not below."

p. 252 trance during consultations

"Usually, within fifteen minutes, the possession by a deity (who may be the manifestation of a god or goddess) occurs. At this point, the medium shrieks loudly a few times, shakes rhythmically and breathes heavily or virtually gasps for air. When the possession begins, the bakia feels as if a very strong current of air is entering the head. ... . Certainly, there is a marked change in the bakias during trance. Their voice and rhythm change. Their eyes take on a glassy look. Their character becomes dominating and their body begins to shiver."

p. 253 divination during consultations

"It is believed among bakias that the family deity (kuldevta) of each person accompanies the rice grains and helps the bakia locate the devotee’s problems and their causes. {May not the rice-spirit also accompany each person for similar reasons?} ...

The bakia is supposed to divine the source of the rice ... as well as the person ... who has given it to the devotee. The direction from where the devotee has come ... and his/her cause of visit is also disclosed by the bakia".

pp. 253-4 addressing the deity; telepathic contect

p. 253

Once the bakia enters trance, the devotee addresses him/her as ma, devi (mother, goddess) or devta, baba (god, father) ... .

p. 254

"A good rapport between two persons is also conducive for establishing teleathic contact (Woolman, 1977)."

Woolman 1977 = B. B. Woolman : Handbook of Parapsychology. NY : Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.

p. 254 possible causes of misery








evil eye






dead family member


planetary condition



devta naraz

deity’s anger

p. 255 distinctions between bakia & other religious practitioners of northern India


byakra, gunni, bhagat

"are ... chosen by deities"

"begin to practice after training"

"is possessed by the same deity every time" {this is, e.g., a West African trait}

"may be possessed by different deities on other days." {this is, e.g., a Vietnamese trait}


pp. 294-310 Stanley Kripner : "The Use of Dreams by Tribal Shamans".

p. 295 etymologies of /s^aman/

"two alternative etymologies are

the Tungus word saman, meaning "practitioner of austerities"

and the Sanskrit word saman {/saman/} or "song.""

p. 297 future shamans are selected for dreams during childhood {"selected" would here mean ‘suggested as possibilities’}

"Among California’s Diegueno and Luisano tribes, future shamans can be selected in childhood on the basis of their dreams (Almstadt, 1977:9-10).

The Choctaw Indians believe that sick children’s dreams should be observed for signs of shamanic "calling." Spirits will often seize the souls of these children in the dreams and take them to caves, offering them ... a bundle of medicinal herbs. ... this in an indication that the child has been "called" to heal (Roheim, 1952:214).

Almstadt 1977 = R. F. Almstadt : Dieguno Curing Practices" SAN DIEGO MUSEUM PAPERS, 10:9-10.

Roheim 1952 = G. Roheim : The Gates of the Dream. NY : International Universities Pr.

pp. 297-8 woman’s dreams result in her becoming a shamaness

p. 297

[Zulu] "a recurrent dream :

I was taken to a large pool of water by spiritual beings who[m] I could not see. A python came out of the water, wrapped itself around me, and pulled me into the pool. ... I found myself coming out of the pool and heard a whistle from the snake. ... I felt the wind blowing on me as I awakened."

p. 298

[at Ujung Pandang in Sulawesi] "An elderly man came to her in a dream, ... and told her to apply it to ... eyes. Upon awakening, ... she applied the coin to his eyes. ... A year later, a young man and a young woman appeared ... in another dream, asking her why she had not become a dukun. ... Within a few years, ... had become ... shamanic healer ..., ... applying her ring to the bodies of people who purportedly needed to be "exorcised" from the influence of evil spirits."

p. 299 divine songs are acquired during dreams

"The Mohave Indians believe that power and knowledge can be imported by spirits to the initiate in dreams, sometimes in the form of songs. Sometimes a dream will repeated what the embryo supposedly dreamed in the womb ... (Wallace, 1947:252-253).

The Yuma Indians believe that power animals can bestow "power songs" to dreamers. ... (Roheim, 1952:196-197)."

Wallace 1947 = A. F. C. Wallace : "The Dream in Mohave Life". J OF AMERICAN FOLK-LORE, 40:252-3.

p. 300 the 3 categories of shaman among the Cuna of the San Blas I.s off Panama`

"abisua or singer"

"inaduledi or herbalist"

"nele or diagnostician who obtains knowledge from his travels in the Lower World."

pp. 300-1 shamanic powers are acquired through dreaming

p. 300

"In the Washo tribe of Nevada and California, the initiate receives power through a dream, then is awakened by a whistle. The initiate follows the whistle which changes to a whisper that dictates instructions. ... (Rogers, 1982:22)."

p. 301

"Zambian shamans believe that they can derive powers of diagnosis in dreams, obtaining accurate information about an illness without examining the client (Frankenberg & Leeson, 1976:223-258)."


"Australian Unambal shamans believe that their bodies can acquire crystals during a dream and that the resulting "luminosity" can aid their diagnostic abilities (Lommel, 1952)."

Rogers 1982 = S. L. Rogers : The Shaman. Springfield (IL) : Charles Thomas 1982.

Frankenberg & Leeson 1976 = R. Frankenberg & J. Leeson : "The Choice of a Healer in a Lusaka Suburb". In :- J. B. Loudon (ed.) : Social Anthropology and Medicine. San Francisco : Academic Pr.

Lommel 1952 = A. Lommel : The Unambal. Hamburg.

p. 303 dreams in shamanism

"In the Brazilian Amazon, the Parintinin tribe considers dreams so important that they have devised a special grammatical form for narrating them. The dream is seen as essential to shamanism and, according to Parintinin tradition, "Everyone who dreams has a little paji, sbamanic power" (Kracke, 1979:119-172)."

"Australian aborigine shamans move into "dreamtime" with great facility to assist tribal hunting activities (Halifax, 1982:61)."

"Dieguna Indian shamans ... ingest Jimson weed to enhance their dreams; if they dream of putting their hands around the world, this is felt to signify all-embracing knowledge ... (Tofflemeier & Luomala, 1936:216-221)."

Kracke 1979 = W. Kracke : "Dreaming in Kagwahiv". PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDY OF SOCIETY, 8:119-72.

Halifax 1982 = J. Halifax : Shaman. NY : Crossroad.

Tofflemeier & Luomala 1936 = "Dreams and Dream Interpretation of the Diegeno Indians of Southern California". PSYCHOANALYTIC QUARTERLY, 5:216-221.

pp. 304-5 soul-retrieval by shamans

p. 304

"Northwest Coast Indians of North America carve "soul catchers" out of bone ... . Malay shamans make images of dough and roll them slightly over the client’s body to bring back the soul (Rogers, 1982:41, 109)."


"Among the Kiwai of Papua New Guinea, ... If the soul does escape during sleep, the shaman turns into a bird and

p. 305

attempts to bring it back ... (Roheim, 1952:154).


Mota shamans in the banks Islands often are called upon to treat soul theft by ghosts. They make a potion ..., drink it before falling asleep; and, in their dreams, leave their body to attempt to retrieve the lost soul. ... (Roheim, 1952:254-255)."

p. 305 "Siberian Yakut shamans climb a "Tree of Life" to the Upper World during their dreams; perched on top of the tree is a two-headed eagle, lord of all birds. But the tree top is guarded by the souls of unborn infants who must be pacified (Roheim, 1952:162)."


pp. 334-44 William E. Lyon :The Shaman’s Power : a North American Indian Perspective".

p. 338 untouchable power

[Navaho] "A person who has been subjected a ceremony potentially possesses a great many powers to keep him safe. ... Meanwhile, he is dangerous to others who have not been so treated. They must not come near him [n]or touch dishes from which he eats; what is invaluable to him may harm those too weak to endure the newly acquired power" (Reichard, 1983:113)."

[Sioux] "during ... vision quests, ... how huge or immense the power is. Sacred places that contain great powers are also to be avoided by the unprepared."

Reichard 1983 = Gladys A. Reichard : Navaho Religion. Tucson : U of AZ Pr.

p. 338 transparency of purification

"Among the Northwest Coast tribes, ... Individuals attempted to purify themselves to the point that they were "transparent." A spirit that saw a "transparent" person would be willing to take up abode in such a body. ... among the Haida ..., when ... the human smell was gone, the spirits were free to come and warn them of approaching dangers" (McKechnie, 1972:14)"

McKechnie 1972 = R. E. McKechnie : Strong Medicine. Vancouver (BC) : J. Douglas.

p. 339 shaman as intermediary

"Most often shamans will tell you that they have no power, that the power belongs to the spirits. They only act as intermediaries, acquiring the power directly from the spirits."

p. 340 spirits which come in the dark

"Spirits prefer to come in the dark ... . For example, among the Lakota, spirits most often appear in the form of small flashes of light much like fireflies."

p. 340 necessity of belief

"It’s important that these kinds of healings are not attended by people with wrong ideas. ... You want people who are ... trusting. You don’t fool around with spiritual things (Modesto and Mount, 1980:47)."

"Non-Indians may attend, but ... they must not be disbelievers. ... Any skepticism will be sufficient cause for the ceremony to fail (Grobsmith, 1981:77)."

Modesto & Mount 1980 = Ruby Modesto & Guy Mount : Not for Innocent Ears. Arcata (CA) : Sweetlight Bks.

Grobsmith 1981 = Elizabeth S. Grobsmith : Lakota of the Rosebud. NY : Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

p. 341 prayerful relationship

"A relationship which we define as prayerful exists between humans and spirits. ... Spirits are uniquely capable of helping people, but their requirements must be met before they will lend themselves to the task. As the last resort, people must sing songs the spirit like[s] to hear. Then, upon hearing the songs, the spirit brings his own uniquely sufficient skill to bear on the task. ... ([Bahr] 1974:230)."

Bahr 1974 = Donald M. Bahr et al. : Piman Shamanism and Staying Sickness. Tucson : U of AZ Pr.


pp. 357-67 Lewis E. Mehl : "Magic, Shamanism, and Medicine".

pp. 365-7 mythic she-witches inhibit a woman’s conceiving children

"The Ixkareya were two she-witches." (p. 365) In order to detect where those 2 she-witches had hidden the salmon, Coyote made red salmon-decoys out of alder-bark (p. 365); and then saw the she-witches go behind a waterfall (p. 366) to check the pool there for its hidden salmon. By hearing this story, a female patient was able to cure herself of infertility (p. 367) {salmon = impounded souls awaiting incarnation?} [p. 367 the myth is Maidu, in :- Jane Louise Curry : Back in the Beforetime : Tales of the California Indians. Macmillan, 1987.]


PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE STUDY OF SHAMANISM held at San Rafael (CA) in 1988. Independent Scholars of Asia, 1989.