Study of Shamanism, 6th Conference




Approach to Soul Possession


Shamanic Archetype


Catching the White Bird




Beware the Symbols


Kinship with Animals


Garhwal Shamans


Spice Island Shaman


Creatures of Fantasy


Ro^le of the Yao Shaman


Time of Power


Mask of Evil


Dying to Live



Steven H. Wong : "An Integrated Approach to Soul Possession".

p. 22 experience by Carl Jung of a haunted house

"Jung had a most peculiar experience in London in 1920. ... During the nights, he experienced various increasingly violent ghostly phenomena like knockings, evil smells, sounds of rustling and ripping. They ... culminated in the apparition ... of a solid looking half of a woman’s head lying on the pillow ... . Its one eye was wide open and staring at him. ... He ... later learned what was already known to the whole village : the house was haunted ... . ... But ... the haunting took place solely in that ... one particular room of the house (Jaffe, 1989)."

Jaffee 1989 = Aniela Jaffee (transl. by R. F. C. Hull & Murray Stein) : From the Life and Work of C. G. Jung. Einsiedeln (Switzerland) : Daimon Verlag.

pp. 25-7 shamanic healing journey by the author (S.H.W.)

p. 25

"1. As I enter into the lower world during the drumming, I see blackness. ... The smell, the stench is almost unbearable. ... A thick, sticky tar pulls at my feet as I slowly make my way into the darkness. ...

p. 26

In the meanwhile the tiger ally has come across a huge tear ... . The tear is twenty feet high and separates two distinct universes. The membrane is waving in the cosmic wind. The tiger comes closer to inspect it, when suddenly an evil black demon ... lands on the tiger’s back. ... A gigantic battle unfolds with the tiger roaring, swatting and clawing while the demon continues to suck at the neck of the tiger. ...

The ground begins to shake and two walls come out of the ground to form a wedge ... . It rises fifty feet into the air and a blue mandala window {rose window of cathedral} forms on the top of the southwestern wall. In the middle of the mandala is a translucent orb. Light begins to build in the center of the orb. The slab rises up into a table. [The female patient] is suspended a foot off the table and her heart is pulled out of her chest and suspended a few inches away. Golden light begins to permeate".

"2. Returning to the site ... I see another figure in the tar. What I uncover is a falcon with broken wings". {The tar is functioning as "bird-lime" for catching birds.}

p. 27

"3. An eagle appears ... . ... He is twice the size of the falcon and immediately begins to fight the demon".

"4. ... A beam of golden light shoots through the four hearts".

"The exorcism of the demon is complete".


C. Jess Groesbeck : "The Shamanic Archetype and Its Function".

pp. 29-30 a dream

p. 29

"I had the following dream ... .

... Suddenly, we are going to ... concert. Beautiful music is played. ...

p. 30

I saw ... an angel of light ... . ... I saw the four individuals {"multiple personalities"} making up my patient ... . ... now we went back to old England, ... where poetry and music was sung ... . ... One man then told me of two angels of light".

p. 31 an experience by Carl Jung

"I had read in Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, where he had gone to Ravenna, Italy, and had a strange experience himself. He had seen something, some frescoes, he realized they were not there. ... Later he found out that some hundred years ago the frescoes had been taken down."


Joseph M. Giovanetti : "Catching the White Bird".

p. 39 jokes

"American Indian linguist Ruth Bennett, of Humboldt State University, says that some worlds have innuendos which contain double meanings ... . Bennett also says that, for example, a lot of stories are jokes and can be taken two ways."

pp. 39-41 "Catching the White Bird" myth (of the Tolowa of northwestern California) {vide "ETCWhBM"} {instructed in a dream to feign being dead in order to attract the large (bigger than buzzards) white bird (apparently an albatross), so as to catch it}


Tolowa [quoted from Pliney Earle Goddard : Tolowa Tales and Texts ("TT&T")]

explanatory {& comparative}


"He resolved to sweat ten times. He cried all the time {artificial, hypocritical weeping to attract sympathy of spirits by tricking them into supposing that one is in some distress} and sweat[ed] himself for ten days."

p. 44 "ten days of the Nay-Dosh or World Renewal Dance".


"The man ... fell asleep and dreamed. ... A sea lion had told him, "... You watch; the white bird always comes down last. ... He makes the other [buzzards] come down first ... . ... Do not move even when the birds come down... . ... Be sure you catch the white bird. ... When you catch the bird, do not kill him. Tie something around his neck and let him fly away again."

{"[Tlingit] Natsilane awoke the next morning to the sound of his name." ("BOC")} {"Natsihlane fell asleep and was awakened by a big gull. He heard it say that


Then he made himself into a sea lion by placing a skin over himself. ... He was instructed to do that in his dream. First, the buzzards flew down. ... When the buzzards had ... pecked ..., the large bird flew down toward him and the buzzards flew away. ... The bird was covered with all kinds of money {i.e., dentalia shells}. ... When he started to peck the man’s eyes, he reached out and caught him. ... Finally, the bird ... said, "... Keep on going up the mountain, I will leave money there for you. ... You must swim always so that the money will like you. You must go about in the frost. ...

the sea lion chief wished to see him and that he had been sent to fetch him. ... Natsihlane climbed on the back of a sea lion that swam until it reached a great rock beside the cliff. The rock opened, and the Tlingit hunter found himself inside a great house in which the sea lions were assembled." ("WhM")} {The sea lions "dwelt in a house of abalone shell." (ETW, p. 51) [abalone instead of dentalia!]}


Give the old woman {This is the dreamer’s mother (p. 39).} some money too. ... After a while she will have money and it will spread everywhere over the world." Really the house was full of money."

p. 44 "the doorway of a house in the old ways was round, and this represents the womb of the mother."

"ETCWhBM" = Joseph M. Giovannetti : "An Examination of the Tolowa "Catching the White Bird" Myth". AMERICAN INDIAN QUARTERLY, Vol. 13, No. 4, Special Issue: The California Indians (Autumn, 1989), pp. 511-527"

"TT&T" =

"BOC" = "Blackfish (Orca) Cycle"

"WhM" = "Whale Mythology"

ETW = Michael J. Caduto : Earth Tales from around the World. Fulcrum Publ, Golden (CO), 1997.

pp. 46, 49 high country

p. 46 Hupa

p. 49 Tolowa

p. 51 Hupa

"the pipe is one of the three weapons the Creator has given the Athabaskan Hupa to battle darkness in the world. The other two weapons are the spiritual use of the high country and the dance pit for dance rituals (Korb, 1986)."

"The "high country" is where the "mountain spirits" or seen-chu-nay live. ... The wogey or "mountain spirits" (as the Tolowa refer to them) occupied the Tolowa territory before the arrival of man."

"Takimildin Kixunai (... "mountain spirits" ...) ... made spiritu[a]l regalia". (according to Goddard 1904:229-31)

Korb 1986 = V. Korb : Again a Whole Person I have Become. Arcata (CA) : Shenandoah Films. [film]

Goddard 1904 = P E. Goddard : "Hupa Texts". U OF CA PUBLICATIONS IN AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY, 1:89-368.

p. 47 snag (dead tree)

"the World Renewal Dance has a song with the lyrics, "Spruce snag on Howenquet Mountain." ... .

{[Tlingit] Natsihlane "carved eight big fish from spruce branches." ("WhM")} {"The spruce-wood creature will be Porpoise." (ETW, p. 53)}

... the snag could have been a travelers’s wayside shrine for stopping to pray, much as

{The Maya "Cross" (depicted on cippus at "Temple of the Cross", Palenque) is apparently a snag; forasmuch as it is in contrast with the living tree depicted as the "Foliated Cross" at the other temple there.} {The Bon of Bod likewise deem snags sacred.}

snags are used by the Chilula Athabaskan or "Redwood Creek" Indians to the southeast of Tolowa territory ... . The Chilula have myths about the Creator stopping at similar shrines to rest and pray before he left the world (Lake, 1982)."

{[Tlingit] "Natsihlane then cut eight more fish from the red cedar" ("WhM"). (compare "red cedar" with "Redwood".)}

Lake 1982 = R. G. Lake : "A discussion of Native American ... services with a focus on northwestern California". WHITE CLOUD, 2:4:23-31.

p. 54 mollifying the spirits of caerimonial regalia

"Tolowa keepers of dance regalia have retained their understanding of the sanctity of the regalia and of the respect they command. These sacred objects are not to be left in trunks, etc., for excessive lengths of time (lest they {the regalia’s spirit-guardians} become sad). They are to be taken out periodically and talked to. Nothing is more reprehensible to most traditional Tolowa than the knowledge that these sacred, living objects are trapped in museums such as the Smithsonian Institution or the California State Museum."


Larissa Vilenskaya : "Symbolism of Fire, Firewalking and Individual Belief Systems".

p. 108 the geographical distribution of fire-walking

"The rite of firewalking has been performed in modern times in Japan, China, Southern and Central India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Trinidad, the Society Islands, Fiji, the Straits Settlements, Mauritius, Hawaii, New Zealand, and other places (e.g., Hopkins, 1913 ...:31)."

Hopkins 1913 = E. W. Hopkins : Firewalking". In :- ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, vol. 6.

p. 113 an instance of endurance of fire in Haiti

"the mastery of fire, the buler zin, kanzo" : "two men thrust their hands into the flames. They held them there deliberately, ... to prove to us that this was real. ... It seemed like an eternity before they drew away from the crackling fire, only to ... put their feet into the flames. ... (Bach, 1952:87)."

Bach 1952 = Marcus Bach : Strange Altars. Indianapolis : Bobbs-Merrill Co.

p. 113 an instance of firewalking in the Sandwich I.s

"firewalked on hot lava" : "When Brigham was invited join the kahunas in walking on lava, he was advised to take off his boots and shoes. "The goddess Pele hadn’t agreed to keep boots from burning," he was told. Brigham refused ... . After the kahunas had recited long incantations and Brigham had walked and run over the unbearably hot lava, he found the soles of his boots and socks burnt to a crisp, but his feet were completely unharmed ([Long] 1948 ...:21-37)."

Long 1948 = Max Freedom Long : The Secret Science behind Miracles.

pp. 113-4 Sandwich Islander priestly training for firewalking

p. 113

"Kenn who became a kahuna ... desc[r]ibes the training that a kahuna had to go through in order to become a "firewalking chief" and protect others who follow him over hot stones or lava."

p. 114

"He had to learn the invocations, the proper methods of caring for, or empowering the deities. ... Some of his practices were based on the Polynesian theory that through constant invocations, using the same words and tone of voice, eventually the deities become accustomed (hoomau) to the calls, and will respond readily, willingly, and promptly. ...

Furthermore, it was the belief of the kahunas that as the ivocations were handed down, the later kahunas became more and more powerful, This was because they have ... all ... acquired mana (power) in great amounts, which is, in turn passed down the line[age] (1949)."

Kenn 1949 = Charles W. Kenn (Arii-Peu Tama-Iti) : Firewalking from the Inside. Los Angeles : Franklin Thomas.

p. 129 psychokinesis

"Nina Kulagina from Leningrad ... could move objects without touching them. ... These apparent psychokinetic (PK) abilities of Kulagina ... were tested at the Moscow University, the Physical Institute, and the Research Institute of radio Engineering and Electronics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (... Vilenskaya, 1981 ...)."

Vilenskaya 1981 = Larissa Vilenskaya : "Psycho-physical effects by N. Kulagina remote influence on surrounding objects". PARAPSYCHOLOGY IN THE USSR, vol III. San Francisco " Washington Research Center. pp. 12-25.


Felicitas D. Goodman : "Beware the Symbols".

p. 223 shamanistic experiences via yoga postures

"Participants in my workshops, where we use religious trance postures ... (Goodman, 1986), most certainly experience a direct contact with the other reality and it does not take place via the agency of symbols. In trance, and without ever having been told what to expect, they enter the Underworld

by taking backward summersaults, or

by being sucked down into a whirlpool,

they slip down, or float below on a magic carpet.

Once there, they wander or fly about in that magical world, admire its vast plains, its towering mountains, its many suns,

they watch strange dancers and meet animal spirits whose abode it is.

Some even reach the gateway to the realm of the Spirits of the Dead ... .

Or to cite another example, after performing the posture of the Bear spirit, some participants come back telling about having been ripped open, their eyes having been gouged out, their brain rearranged".

Goodman 1986 = Felicitas D. Goodman : "Body Posture and the Religious Altered State of Consciousness". J OF HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY, 26:81-118.


James A. Swan : "Kinship with the Animals : Hunting and Fishing in a Shamanic Context".

p. 227 series of dreams about animals

"while working with Mad Bear Anderson, Sun Bear, and several other shamans as an events producer, I began to have a series of very vivid dream and vision experiences ... .

In one very vivid vision experience, I was eaten by a sperm whale.

Then, ... later, I was devoured by a giant raccoon, while all the animals of the forest watched. ...

The culminating experiences ... came in two extremely vivid dreams involving snow geese. In one, not long after I had finished producing the First Medicine Wheel Gathering ..., .... I was looking eastward across the lake at the white-capped waves and the dark gray clouds of an early snowstorm ... . Then, from out of the clouds, came ... snow geese ... . ... As they were about to land, they transformed into short, dark-haired ... Eskimos. ... I shared this dream with Rolling Thunder, who told me to investigate the Saami or Lapps. ... I ... found that the Swans of Scotland, my direct lineage, were descendants of the "Sweyns" of northern Scandinavia, ... short, black-haired".

p. 228 dreams about animals as teachers

"Then, over the years, I began to have dreams where animals and fish would come to me as teachers. They often came with a song or chant ... . ... Also, in the dreams, the animals coming to me would merge with my body, seemingly filling up vacant parts which had been devoured by the giant raccoon. ... The following is a list of some of these associations.


upper abdomen, solar plexus


legs ...


... intestines


brain ...




genitals ...


anus ...

sandhill crane



mouth ...


third eye ...


shoulders and arms



Each of these animals came with a simple statement or song.

In one dream, a small bee-fly harmonized with me while I learned to sing a very high note."

p. 231 dreams by non-humans

"In the words of the Kashaya Pomo shaman ...,

I want the human people of the Earth to learn that all the other people of the Earth dream. The rocks dream, the rivers dream, the flowers dream. All the animals and insects dream. Their dreams are as precious and beautiful as our dreams. Their dreams are as deserving of respect as our dreams. May all the dreams of the universe be one (in Grimaldi, 1989:14)."

Grimaldi 1989 = Susan Grimaldi : "Ceremony for Valdez". NEWSLETTER FOR THE FOUNDATION FOR SHAMANIC STUDIES (Summer 1989).

p. 232 traditional shamanic interaction with biotic deities

"Shamanic interaction with nature involves shamans entering ... through dreams or trance, making spirit journeys to another world were they interact with two primary kinds of forces,

1. the guardian spirit or spirit keeper of a particular {species of} animal or plant, such as the Eskimo’s "Old Woman at the Bottom of the Sea" who presides over the spirits of sea mammals or the "Mother of the Geese," the "Ruler of the Elk," etc.; or

2. a spiritual divinity who presides over a whole ecosystem of plants and animals, such as the "Tapio" (Grandfather of the Forest) of the Saami of Scandinavia."


Alok Saklani : "Garhwal Shamans and Their Bhagats".

pp. 238-40 spirit-possession

p. 238

"Those possessed by a devta (god) wear a kara (silver bracelet) ..., ... whether they are male or female. Before entering trance, ... bakias mutter verses from the Hindu scriptures ... . ... While invoking the deity, ... the bakias generally mark their forehead with roli (auspicious red powder used in rituals). The

p. 239

invocations usually lasts ten to fifteen minutes ... .

Although all bakias shiver at the onset of trance, [some] of them shake and shriek as well. [Some] of the bakias ... will occasionally make whistling sounds. ... . ... during a consultation, one of them talks with a lisp, and ... others occasionally converse in rhymed verse".

p. 240

"During onset of trance, most bakias shake, shiver, shriek, and breathe heavily."

p. 239 social status

"anyone who receives a call will become a bakia, irrespective or his/her social status. ... . ... low-caste villagers ... may be consulted by high-caste individuals after they have become bakias."

p. 240 a peculiar female bakia

"she often eats uncooked rice grains ... on entering trance. She may also unpredictably send visitors away because their household god refuses to communicate with her. [p. 249, n. 3 "the household deity of a person accompanies the rice grains and ... the deity helps ... divining their problems as well as the causes thereof."] Besides, her lisp, so obvious during trance, is missing when she is in a normal waking state."

p. 241 instrument of healing : raw rice-grain

"their healing is brought about by "energised grains" and/or a ritual which ... may involve ... a possession dance (gadiyala or mandan).

Sometimes, especially when an individual is troubled by a spirit, a bakia may throw a handful of rice grains from his/her plate in the direction of the individual ... {in order to feed and thus mollify that spirit}.

Rice grains may also be thrown toward a woman who is not conceiving. {Rice grains are thrown at weddings elsewhere in the world, in order to assist the bride to conceive.} In this case, the woman is asked to open her mouth to swallow grains."

pp. 243-5 gadiyala

p. 243

"Generally, every family has one member called pashua who is adept in becoming possessed by a deity. [p. 249, n. 5 "A person who is possessed by a deity is viewed as his/her vehicle ..., hence animal or pashua." {Pas`upata sect}] ... In order to invoke a deity and facilitate possession a jagar (invocation) is sung by a dhami or ohji {read /ojhi/} (religious specialist) while beating on a thal (brass plate). ... however, in the case of the appearance of an "outside" spirit, the possessed pashua coaxes it to descend, identify itself, and make known its wishes. Often a hot iron or tongs may be used to persuade the spirit to descend and the family member who has been sick subsequently becomes possessed. ...

When a dhami begins his jagar, the beats are slow but as the jagar progresses they become faster. Once the possession has set in ..., the beats may again slow down.

More than one deity may be invoked during a gadiyala, however, the jagar has to be sung separately for each deity. Occasionally, some other deities may also descend during a gadiyala, however, they have to belong to the family of the one being invoked."

pp. 243-4

[p. 243] If the gadiyala be held/performed for __

[pp. 243-4] then the thal is__

[pp. 243, 244] and is played by beating with __


"a spirit"

[p. 243] put on the ground

[p. 243] two sticks


"a deity"

[pp. 243-4] "held vertically in one hand, resting on a patha (small measuring basket)"

[p. 244] a stick held in the other hand.

p. 244

If the gadiyala be held/performed for __

a possessed medium __

a gadiyala is concluded with __


"a spirit"

"may initially wail loudly at the outset of a spirit possession and begin to dance later"

"a distribution of sweet bread"


"a deity"

"begins to dance straightway"

"an animal sacrifice"


[for a man’s becoming possessed by a goddess, that man must wear (in India just as elsewhere in the world) women’s clothing :] "The family pashua, a ... man, wore a white ghagra (loose garb, worn from the waist downwards by women, also considered to be the dress of a goddess) ... . ...


It took the pashua about ten minutes to enter into trance which was characterized by fierce shaking, shivering, and shrieking. ... he soon walked on all fours like a four-footed animal and began to shake in a rhythmic manner. As the shivering became more intense, he stood up and, with both arms raised up into the air. he started to dance jerkily.

Simultaneously, hepashua carried on a brief bakhaan during which the deity is supposed to describe (through her medium) her origin, connections, manner of dealing with good and bad people, etc.

For some time, he also held a dhupara (shallow metal container with a handle in which grease is lit to greet a deity) in one

p. 245

hand, while picking rice grains from a plate and distributing handsful of them among those present. The rice grains are considered to be blessed by the goddess and are taken home by the people.


Meanwhile, ... Three men became possessed by Pandava and Hanuman deities ... .

Towards the end, the pashua ... [held] his hands clasped over his head. The priest ... placed some rice grains in the hands of a small girl, asking her to throw the grains over the pashua’s hands which only then were freed."

p. 245 mandan





by either "a deity or a spirit"

"only by a deity"




specific deities

Kali, Gauri-ja, etc.

[p. 246 Nara-simha, Naga-raja, etc.]


Thomas Pinkston : "Amazonian Shamanism : the Ayahuasca Experience".

p. 252 talking plants

"In my first experience with ayahuasca, plants of the jungle did appear before me and spoke, just as the shamans report. The problem was that I did not understand their language! ... It takes a period of time to learn the language of the plants. {Or rather, it requireth a period of time for the plant-spirits to familiarize themselves with the person visiting them, in order to cater the visitor’s knowledge of language.} Most shamans were introducved to the plants through their own illness ... . ... Then the spirit of the plant opened up to them and began to relate to them as a teacher."


Bruce Carpenter & Stanley Krippner : "Spice Island Shaman". [Toraja of Sulawesi]

p. 256 the religion & nation

"The old religion is known as Aluk Todolo or the "Ritual of the Ancestor." ... . ... the Torajan name for their nation ... literally translates as "Land where the Religion and Culture are as Round as the Sun and Moon" (Sandarupa, 1984:5)."

Sandarupa 1984 = S. Sandarupa : Life and Death of the Toraja people. Ujung Padang : Tiga Taurus.

p. 256 the mythic coming of humans

"According to the creation myths, humans descended from the Pleiades in vessels resembling traditional houses the Torajans still construct."

p. 257 the dead & the necropolis for corpses

"The elaborate funeral rituals ... involved the sacrifice of ... water buffaloes and pigs, as it was believed that these animals carried souls to Puya, the Land of the Dead. ...

Entire villages for the dead, and for their funeral effigy figures or tau tau, have been created, serving as cemeteries. Known as Tongkonan Tang Merambu or villages without smoke {"without smoke" would signify ‘without torment’, for "smoke" would imply ‘torment’ : "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 14:11).}, they are usually located in limestone cliffs and caves to the west of villages ... . ... . ... the erong were earlier giant communal coffins which were later abandoned".

pp. 258-61 modes of curing

p. 258

"a healer who used flutes to lure illness out of the body."

p. 259

acupressure by means of a kris ("sword") : "She continued pressing the sword into various body points including those on the client’s neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, thighs, lower legs, and the soles of her feet. An acupressure practitioner once told ... that these areas were acupuncture points of Chinese medicine. ... . ... this rather mean sword, pushed into such tender spots with such apparent force, never once broke the skin."

p. 260

treatment against numbness : "ginger ... to ... eat ... twice daily."


treatment against arthritis : "Red pepper was placed on the woman’s fingers. The hand slowly opened, something it had not done ... . ... .

... again talking to the spirits. She said she has learned all the local dialects so that she can converse with all spirits despite their different ethnic backgrounds."

p. 261

against "severe pain in the ribs" {cf. rib of >adam?} : "She began talking with the spirit in the Makassan dialect ... .

... she has identified forty-one different types ..., each of which requires a different type of treatment."

p. 262

"in a "trance" for several weeks" : "The girl screamed that the onion felt "like a knife" when it touched her body."

pp. 263-4 how she had become a shamaness

p. 263

"Before her first menstruation she had been contacted by a paib. [p. 270, n. 1 "paib was ... a guardian angle or spirit guide."] ... She was successful ... until her first child was born and she again was contacted by a paib. Entities began to appear in her dreams and also during daydreams, as well as inner voices, premonitions, and visions. ...

[She] recalled a powerful dream. An elderly man appeared and told her that it was her fate (nasib) to become a dukun (traditional healer). ... [Her] description of the elderly man resembled Pulang Matua, the "Old Lord" or "Lord with Gray Hairs" who is the supreme god of Aluk Todolo. Pulang Matua created humankind {at the Pleiades?} on a bellows using as raw material gold gathered from the "Region of the Setting Sun." {The conventional association Chinese directional association of gold (or the element "metal") is with the west.} ... Among the creations of Pulang Matua were six pande {Skt. /pandita/?} (craftspeople) including the guardian of medicine, Indoq Belo Tumbang, and five priests."

p. 264

Afterwards, "she had what she now calls "a dream-like vision." A young man and a young woman appeared, asking her why she had not followed her call to heal. ... The young couple gave ... a ring".

p. 264 modus operandi

She is "able to recognize sorcery by looking at a client’s ... energy field. When she recognizes ... psychic imbalance, or lack of vital energy, [she] attempts to correct the problem through the intervention of her own psychic power, known in Indonesia as kebatinan. She transfers her own vital energy to a client through her hands".

p. 265 infectious bacteria as evil spirits

"bacteria and viruses were the culprits. As the practitioner was not familiar with these terms, ... When I said they were invisible blob-like entities that can enter the body through air, water, and food, ... wreaking havoc, he ... said, "These, my son, are evil spirits.""

p. 268 how cureress is inspired to cure

"She often receives messages in her dreams and sometimes "sees afar" while awake (... a type of clairvoyant diagnosis ...)."

p. 269 spirit-contacts in the United States are similar

"an estimated four per cent of the American population ...

receive guidance in their dreams,

talk to dead relatives,

"see" or "hear" entities invisible to their peers ... .

It is likely that many, if not most, shamans (both past and present) fall into this ... category".


Carla Corradi Musi : "Creatures of Fantasy in ... Western European Animism".

pp. 272-3 deities foreboding death

p. 272

"for the Celts green was the symbol of death (Briggs, 1985:132-133). "The fairy woman" or banshee also wore a green dress. She was one of the Irish spirits of death and was known as in the Socttish Highlands as Bean-Nigh (The Washerwoman) or Little-Washer-By-The-Ford, due to the fact that she washed the clothes of those who were about to die (Briggs, 1985:10-11, 14-15)."

p. 273

"In Great Britain, phantom dogs, such as The Seven Whistlers or The Gabriel Hounds (Briggs, 1985:121, 239), described by the inhabitants of Nortbumberland as dogs with human heads which could prophesy death by flying above a house (Balfour-Thomas, 1967:17), preserve ... the souls during flight.

Briggs 1985 = K. Briggs (transl. by C. Casorati & Iovane) : Fate, gnomi, folletti e altri esseri fatati. Roma : Lucarini.

Balfour-Thomas 1967 = M. C. Balfour & N. W. Thomas : Examples of Printed Folklore concerning Northumberland. FOLKLORE SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS, 3. Nendeln.


Shi Kan : "The Role of the Yao Shaman in Jinxiu, China".

p. 279 Yao sub-tribes

"Yao divided into five branches, namely

Chashan (La Qia),

Hualan (Qiong Lie),

Ao (Bien Men),

Pan (Mian), and

Shanzi (Men)."

p. 279 shamanic initiation

"The Yao rite of initiation consists of ... :

jumping from the Cloud Platform ...,

touching boiling oil,

climbing a sword ladder ...,

descent to the Netherworld, and


p. 279 a firewalk

"the master shaman chanted incantations, dipped his hand into the pan with boiling oil, and walked across the "fire road." ... Women did this as a purification rite to get rid of the haunting spirits of family members who had died in accidents".

p. 280 Yao deities

"The worldview of the Yao comprises ... four hundred deities ..., including ... the native deities

Liu Lan, Su Lingong, Tao Gong and Su Liu".

p. 281 terms for ‘shaman’ (literally "meaning "spirit caller" or "spirit questioner."")



Jinxiu, Guangxi


Liannan, Guangdong


Jinping, Yunnan


p. 282 healing processes in cases of ailments having spiritual aitiologies

cause of ailment

curative agent

"wandering ancestor spirit from the underworld"

"offerings of meat and wine"

"wild spirit"

"charms are made and incantations are chanted"

"hungry spirit"

"both offerings and charms"

"Bridge-building rituals are often held to call back lost souls of the sick.

In all cases, shamans ring bells, beat drums, and perform ritual dances to call their spirits from above for help."

pp. 282-3 rites : to induce praegnancy; and to assist souls of the dead

p. 282

"worshipped by the Yao (especially the Chashan or La Qia branches), the Flower Goddess is in charge of pregnancy and childhood. For families with infertile wives, shamans are invited to pray to the Flower Goddess. At the end of the

p. 283

ritual, the shamans snatch away the paper flower (symbol of child bearing) and run into the house of the host family."


"When a person dies, his/her soul must be sent, by shamans and Taoist priests, to the other world or through the "Then Halls of Souls" (guarded by spirits) toward reincarnation. For those who have died in an accident ..., there is the danger that they may become wild evil spirits. ... When a shaman dies, ... cremation is necessary so that his soul can ascend into the Upper World. In the graveyard where the ashes are buried, one can easily recognize a shaman’s grave by a tall pole standing in front of it and a ladder lying behind it. This symbolizes the shaman’s power even in the other world. ... when a shaman dies, the offering food includes


six chickens and

{(According to Thai myth,) "the six chicks were ... reborn as a family" when "all at once, they jumped into the fiery hearth" "as Dao Luk Gai, or the Pleiades." ("DLD")} {In Borneo, The Pleiades are a "mother and six chicks" ("P")} {In the Pleiades, "Rumanians saw seven stars, a hen and six chicks." ("MSS")}


six piglings

{According to the Cherokees, the Pleiades are "disihgwa, the pigs. The Six Pigs in Heaven." (PH, p. 90)}


... . Shamans are needed to send away the soul of dead Taoists, too."

"DLD" = "Dao Luk Gai [The Chicken Stars]"

"P" = "Pleiades"

"MSS" = "Mystery Of The Seventh Sisters"

PH = Barbara Kingsolver : Pigs in Heaven. HarperPerennial, 1994.


William S. Lyon : "The Time of Power".

pp. 288-9 spirit-journey by an Anmagsalik anakok (shaman) [quoted from Holm, 1914:96-7]

p. 288

"Then the angakok (bound hand and foot) walks around the floor ..., and at last he ... flies round the house, and finally alights on the end of the drying frame under the roof. He then sets off flying once more, and finally passes clean through the roof or wall into the air;

p. 289

his drum which is ... left ..., sets up an everlasting dance on its own account. The angakok, bound as described, flies out quite naked into the cold night air, and is soon far away. ... When the air voyager returns, he relates, either that he has been up in heaven or to remote quarters of the earth or up to the sun or moon (... Holm, 1914:96-97)."

Holm 1914 = G. Holm : "Ethnological Sketch of the Angmasalik Eskimo". 1st Part of :- William Thalbitzer (ed.) : The Amassalik Eskimo. MEDDELELSER OM GRONLAN, vol. XXXIX. Copenhagen.


Royal E. Alsup : "The Mask of Evil". [Yurok of northwestern California]

pp. 302-3 Yurok religion

p. 302

"The Yurok world view is polytheistic monism. ... The world of spiritual reality, as perceived by Yurok people, is both pantheistic and panentheistic. ...

p. 303

For example, if a Yurok is sitting at the banks of the Klamath River at Kenek, the Center of the World for Yuroks, and a song comes from the river, the Yurok may internalize the song and sing it later ... . If he sees the spirit, Great Money [" "Great Money" is tsik" (p. 318, n. 1)], and receives a gift of dentalia from Great Money, this ... gift from Great Money is a noetic experience and ... Great Knowledge has been granted."

p. 307 specific Yurok deities

[quoted from Buckley, 1980:154] "[Great Money] is a huge, winged Dentalia indianorum who lives in the "spirit world." In the beforetime, [Great Money] flew about the world acting as a scout for the hero Pulekukwerek and a companion of the sun; he also swam like other dentalia. His power is enormous, great enough to swallow the sky, and if caught by human beings he brings great wealth and luck."

[quoted from Buckley, 1980:155] "Obsidian monster ... is ... a personification of ... Yurok ... obsidian blades displayed in the Deerskin Dance. {cf. blades worn by goddess on her dress, Codex Borgianus Mexicanus, p. 47} ... he originated as vagina dentata in a woman destroyed by Pulekukwerek ... in a spring upstream along the Klamath."

Buckley 1980 = Thomas Buckley : "Monsters ... in Native Northwest California". In :- Marjorie Halpin & Michael M. Ames (edd.) : Manlike Monsters on Trial. Vancouver : BC U Pr. pp. 152-71.

p. 309 effects of World-Renewal [quoted from Buckley, 1980:168]

"the Yurok "world renewal" dances ... were held in order to "balance the earth," to make it stable through correcting the uncontrolled actions of human beings which threatened to tilt the earth-disk {cf., e.g., "the world, with no one to control it, teetered off balance" (BH, p. 16).}, causing floods, tidal waves ... . ... That is, the prayers of the officiants (always pegerk) ... maintained the earth’s balance and kept the monsters under control".

BH = Frank Waters : The Book of the Hopi. Viking Penguin, 1963.

p. 309 praeternatural possible interference with prayer

"a huge dragon in the sky ... tires to intercept and interfere with the prayers at the ceremonies (or at other times, with prayers of individual Yurok) so that they will not reach the Creator ... to bring the individual Yurok and the world back in balance."

p. 310 effects of particular Yurok monster-deities

"the monster archetype, Obsidian, poisoning Indian children and adults through drug ... abuse."

"Imeyur, the monster archetype of the underworld, has the power to obstruct, to tempt and to be an adversary when the Yurok individual struggles ... to do good for ... the Yurok tribe.

The monster archetype Sa Zal has the strength, when it is out of balance in an individual Yurok, to ... cause him/her to physically and sexually abuse Yurok children."

p. 315 clowns & laughter

"The clowns of the Hopi and Sioux can intuit who, at the ceremony, is suffering from hardship ... . During the ceremony, the clowns go to the people who are suffering and take the evil out of their lives."

"A Yurok man who ... seems to be a natural tribal clown, said ... "Don’t you know that laughter and farting keep the Devil away."" {According to traditionalist Christians, "laughter and farting" are what the are used by the Devil to keep God away.}

p. 316 jokery at Hupa sacred caerimony

"the Boat Dance is performed. It mythologically describes the passing from the creature side to the spiritual side. ...

{"the experiences through which the spirit-beings passed on their journey to Shadow-land" (ShO, p. 19).}

The faces of the men in the boats are painted black ... .


... the dancer in front of the first boat beats with a dance pole on the bottom of his boat. ...

{"When the water was shallow, they poled" (ShO, p. 28).}

When the boats reach the "Other Side" of the river, the dancers disembark and line up on the bank.

{"When they reach the camp, they disembark" (ShO, p. 43).}

At this point, ... the solemnity of the Boat Dance erupts into silliness. The men ... tell jokes – until the crowd of people ... are laughing at themselves and their traditions".

{The voyagers were accompanied on their voyage by "dwarfs" (ShO, p. 27) : cf. the fact that mediaeval European court-jesters were typically midgets.}

ShO = Jay Miller : Shamanic Odyssey : the Lushootseed Salish Journey to the Land of the Dead. Ballena Pr, Menlo Park (CA), 1988.

p. 316 Oglala Sioux attitude toward clowns [quoted from Beck & Walters 1977:235]

"To us a clown is somebody sacred, funny, powerful, ridiculous, holy, shameful, visionary. ... He has power. It comes from the thunder beings, not the animals or the earth."

Beck & Walters 1977 = Peggy V. Beck & Anna L. Walters : The Sacred. Tsaile (AZ) : Navaho Comm College Pr.


Nancy Shandera : "Dying to Live : ... the Death Process".

p. 365 a recurrent dream

"He once told me that the only dreams he ever remembered were recurring ones in which he flew flying saucers using crystals as guidance tools."

p. 367 soul as vaporous swirl (immediately after death)

"He passed over ... . I began to see a creme-colored, smoke-like swirl above his head. ... The smoky swirl had to be the soul in its process of leaving the body."

p. 368 a visit from a praeternatural being

"A male presence in white informed me that my father was with him and others and being taken care of. ... The being said that my father would be initiated as soon as me was healed of the effect that death had on the energy field. Then I was informed that my father would be contacting me ... . ... I then became aware of a shadowy, filmy presence. It was my father trying to put something round, like a coin, into my hand." [cf. p. 263 in a dream, "The visitor ... picked up a stone from the ground and placed it into her hand. Upon awakening, she found a coin in her bed."]

pp. 369-70 a telephone-call from the dead

p. 369

"Not long after he died, I received a phone call in the middle of the night and a voice which sounded as if coming through a long, narrow tube ... and then the line was disconnected.

p. 370

... in the morning I awoke with the starling realization that the voice was my father’s and he was using his Polish nickname for me".

p. 371 why dead souls haunt

"the ones who have prepared for death or assisted" in what has been referred to as the "middle world," "purgatory," or the "astral level of awareness." ... . ... those not prepared or guided may drift after death into the aforementioned level. In this realm, the atmosphere is sticky and heavy and is filled with energies and entities that pull and suck energy ... . These are those who "haunt" houses where they previously moved in life because they believe they still live there. ... Souls here generally do not know they are dead. ... Additionally, they tend to grab onto ... anyone who comes their way and is not aware of the necessity to protect him/herself while traveling through this realm. (An interesting description of this phenomenon can be found in Robert Monroe’s book, Journeys out of the Body.)"

pp. 371-2 soul-journeys by authoress (N.Sh.)

p. 371

"I have made shamanic journeys to the after-death worlds."

p. 372

"As I have explored higher realms, it has become more difficult for my human mind to understand ... . There, energies work in unfamiliar ways, things look different, sound is strange, the physical is diffuse and disorienting to the mind. In these higher realms, I’ve experienced nothingness, where there is light yet not light, sound but no sound."


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