Dreamtime & Inner Space, 10-11

p. 115 functions of helping-spirits

"Helping spirits give advice. They may tell the mountaineer which route of ascent he should choose or where there are dangerous overhangs. In a critical situation they may navigate a ship through a storm, ... or they may converse with the lone pilot in the cockpit of his aircraft to prevent him from falling asleep".

p. 116, 119 spirits encountered by Eskimo shamans




[statement by Polar Eskimo shaman (quoted from Rasmussen 1908, p. 147sq) :] "I wanted to ... go up to the hills ... . Up there I see two spirits, ... two great hill spirits, ... tall as a tent. They sang drum songs, ... the two great hill spirits. ...

I lie there a little, lie and hear again the song of the hill spirits ... . ...

The third time I heard the song of the hill spirits, ... that time it was in my house. ...

When I saw the hill spirits again, a great dog was running after them ...; it, too, became my helping spirit."


[adventure of Greenland Eskimo shaman (Christiansen 1953, p. 34) :] "a bear – he knew it was a spirit in disguise ... seized him by the neck, and dragged him into the water. He ..., on awakening {false-awakening in dream?}, found himself back on the shore with another spirit, a dwarf. After that he started on his homeward journey, completely naked {dream of being naked?}, but on the way his skins came flying toward him one by one. ... there appeared a seal which was friendly and promised to help him. By similar rites he then enlisted other helping spirits, some in animal shape, others like human beings. One human helping spirit, which he met out at sea in a kayak, invited him to visit his home on a tiny island ... . There he stayed for a while, noting that his host spoke a language of his own. In this way he became an Anga`koq".

Rasmussen 1908 = Knud Rasmussen (ed. by G. Herring) : The People of the Polar North. London.

Christiansen 1953 = Reidar Th. Christiansen : "Ecstasy and Arctic Religion". STUDIA SEPTENTRIONALIA, No. 4. pp. 19-92.

pp. 119-122 various modes of acquisition of a helping-spirit, amongst Amerindians




"The medicine men apprentices of the Patagonian Yamana are made to rub their cheeks for days on end ... until ... seeing such spirits."


[Mexico] "One night a small gnome, no more than four feet tall and dressed in blue, appeared to him. ... Thereafter, the shining gnome appeared to him every night for a whole week and taught him the various methods of healing. ... After this week of strange appearances, ... birds in the trees talked to him. At night he saw human heads moving across the ground of the cemetery {"Indeed the earth shook. The one whose head was cut off arose" ("TRRSH" 29)} and conversing with him. He also discovered that butterflies {cf. Aztec butterfly-goddess ("TRRSH" 78)} were, in reality, the souls of future babies. [He] then began to work as a healer. ... One day, while walking in the forest, [he] encountered Avelin, a three-foot-tall dwarf with yellow hair ... . ...


[Said Avelin,] "... By the great whore {Tlazolteotl?}, man, I know everyone’s name. ... I want to present some friends of mine ... ." [The medicine man] could only make out these new visitors as if through a veil and even later remembered them only hazily. As Avelin said goodbye to him he gave him some advice, saying, "... Whenever you need a little help, don’t hesitate to call on us. ..."" [Gillin 1956, p. 132sq]


[statement by a Patvioso shaman (quoted from Park 1934, p. 99) :] "A man dreams that a deer, eagle, or bear comes after him. The animal tells him that he is to be a doctor. ... Then he dreams that way some more and gets the things the spirit told him to get (eagle feathers, wild tobacco, stone pipe, rattle made from the ear of a deer or from the deer’s dew claws). Then he learns to be a doctor. He learns his songs when the spirit comes and sings to him."


"a famous healer of the Southern Californian Chemehueve Indians, has a bat, a mouse, and a being he calls Ocean Woman as helping spirits. He displays them to others in the form of white balls ... . The Chemehueve obtain their helping spirits ... either spontaneously, or they go to a gypsum cave on Kwi’nava Mountain above the Colorado River. They sleep in the cave and beseech the spirits to make medicine men out of them. They encounter helping spirits in a dream." [reference :- Kelly 1936, p. 129]

"TRRSH" = "Twin’s Retrieve Red Star’s Head" http://hotcakencyclopedia.com/ho.TwinsRetrieveRedstarsHead.html

Gillin 1956 = John Gillin : "The Making of a Witchdoctor". PSYCHIATRY, 19, No. 2. pp. 131-6.

Kelly 1936 = Isabel T. Kelly : "Chemehuevi Shamanism". In :- Essays in Anthropology, Presented to A. L. Kroeber. Berkeley.

pp. 122-123 Siberian helping-spirits




"Among the Tungus and Yakut, the controlling spirit of a shaman enlists the helping spirits."


"the Yukat {variant spelling of /Yakut/ ("YM")} shamaness Ku:o:ge`je`r [asserted] : "... my ... devils come up to me, their claws and fangs dripping with blood ... ." ... she traveled to visit the spirit of the earth and thereby succeeded in making her dog-spirits wear muzzles, whereupon their wildness subsided." [Findeisen 1960, p. 197]

"YM" = "Yukat Manual" http://www.language-archives.org/item/oai:refdb.wals.info:473

Findeisen 1960 = Hans Findeisen : "Das Schamanentum als spiritische Religion". ETHNOS, 25, No. 3-4. pp. 192-213.

pp. 130-133 marriages of shamans and of shamanesses with spirits, in India




[Saora shamaness in Borai] "She ... married him ... and even gave birth to a spirit child by him which cried whenever she tried to breastfeed it. ...


[statement by the same shamaness in Borai (quoted from Elwin 1955, p. 153) :] "Again and again he came to me in dreams, and I always refused. Then one night he took me up in a whirlwind and carried me away to a very high tree where he made me sit on a fragile branch. There he began to sing and as he sang he swung me to and fro. ... I hastily agree to marry him. Then we sat for a time swinging and singing together. The following night, my tutelary came and ... other gods came with him and they said, "We are all very pleased with you; now celebrate your marriage with a feast.""


[reference :- Elwin 1955, p. 138] "a shaman from the Indian town of Sogeda, ... described how he came to have several spirit wives. He had inherited two helping spirits from his mother and married


them. Later, two more spirit women wanted to marry him. the two helping spirits he had inherited from his mother beast him with branches from a thorn bush until he agreed to enter into another double wedding. ... He also had a child by one of his spirit wives. Occasionally all his wives would meet and fly with him to the Underworld."


[shamaness from Indian town of Sondan (reference :- Elwin 1955, p. 149)] "Her parents then gave way, the spirit moved into the house, and their daughter was married to him. Soon the young woman gave birth to a child by him in the spirit world {viz., in the dream-world}, and he would bring it to her at night for her to breastfeed it."


"a shaman from the Indian town of Patili, was forced into a multiple marriage to several spirit wives. His father also was a shaman whose helping spirit turned himself into a wild boar to force him into marriage. ...


[statement by the same shaman from Patili (quoted from Elwin 1955, p. 139) :] "I said no, but she caught hold of me and took me to the Under World where she shut me up in a stone house ..., and then she took me to the top of a high date palm and shook it until ... I promised to marry her after all. Her name was Sirpanti. ... At once I arranged for the wedding, ... and in no time I was well again and began my work as a shaman."

Elwin 1955 = Verrier Elwin : The Religion of an Indian Tribe. Oxford.

pp. 135-137 marriages of shamans and of shamanesses with spirits, in Burma [reference :- Spiro, 1967]




"a male shaman in Mandalay, was ... loved by his Nat ... . She announced her love by appearing to him in a dream... . Because of the long delay between her declaration of love and his eventual marriage to her she ... killed his wife ... . To protect himself from further harm he married the Nat. ...


The shamaness ... first encountered her Nat ... when he appeared to her in a dream. ... . ... she divorced her husband at the insistence of her Nat. ... Finally, apprehensive lest she go mad, she married him. Since then her symptoms disappeared ... . ... she stayed away from other men since her marriage to the Nat. ...


... a female Nat fell in love with him. She appeared to him in his dreams as a beautiful woman and asked him to have sexual intercourse with her. Although he had taken a human wife ..., he divorced her at the bidding of his Nat spouse. As soon as he had transferred his affection to her he discovered that she had another husband, a Nat, who interfered with the new couple’s attempt to have sexual


relations although he had consented to their marriage, which suffered greatly as a result.


[A shamaness] was possessed by her Nat husband ... when, at a Nat festival, she fell into a trance while dancing. She agreed to marry this Nat but remained married to her human husband as well ... .


Several Nats appeared to [a shamaness] in a dream. Five or six years later, she was possessed by one of them. ... Prior to becoming possessed she had been married ..., but her Nat spouse, jealous of her human husband, forbade her to resume sexual relations with him. {>as^meday fell in love with "the daughter of Raguel, and for that reason prevented her from having a husband." (according to T.obit 3:8 & 6:14 – "A--BT") >asmeday "gave a book" (Zohar "Lev." pp. 19a, 43a – "A—LS"); just as in Roma "booksellers traded" (LD, s.v. "Argiletum") at the Argiletum, whereat was a monument to (OCD, s.v. "Janus") to the god Janus, who was two-faced, just as "Ashmedai brought forth from the earth a two-headed man" (Men. 37a -- "A—LS").} Her human husband had to become a servant of the Nat, doing his ... bidding. She ... has sexual relations in her sleep with her Nat husband."

Spiro, 1967 = Melford E. Spiro : Burmese Supernaturalism. Englewood Ciffs (NJ).

"A—BT" = http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=2019&letter=A#6085

"A—LS" = http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=2019&letter=A#6093

LD = Lewis & Short : A Latin Dictionary.

OCD = Hammond & Scullard : Oxford Classical Dictionary.

pp. 136-137 the nature of Burmese marriage to a Nat





"The central function of the marriage ceremony consists of "guiding the butterfly soul of the bride into sleep." The shamaness moves a mirror to and fro in front of the bride’s face, at the same time pressing another mirror against her back.

{cf. the mirror which was asked "who is the fairest of them all"? in the Snow White tale}


Another shamaness attaches strings of cotton to the ankles and wrists of the bride and then places a longer cord diagonally across her shoulders.

{baldrick = "sacred thread" in India = "protective thread" in Tibet}


Finally, she pierces the bride’s hair knot with a needle



to which a string of cotton is attached. It is believed that at the bride’s soul has at this point gone to sleep and

{cf. Snow White’sleep}


will soon become the wife of the Nat, who is in love with her butterfly soul and not with her body. ... She is now known as a Nat dadaw, a Nat’s wife."

{cf. [Aztec] butterfly-goddess Itz-papalotl’s pursuit (according to Codex Chimalpopoca – "VDM", p. 190) of the hero Mimich (‘Fish’) : cf. the similarity to the tale of "ring and the fish" to the legend of >as^meday in Emeq ha-Melek," 14a-15a ("A—LS").}

"VDM" = Pat Carr & Willard Gingerich : "The Vagina Dentata Motif". In :- Brian Swann (ed.) : Smoothing the Ground. U of CA Pr, 1983. pp. 187-203. http://books.google.com/books?id=ks8ObLoYs34C&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=itzpapalotl+Mimich&source=bl&ots=26f-GZZ5tc&sig=qHKyyhEp34Mx89BVcpjcnN3DIak&hl=en&ei=7b6zTM_8HcKAlAeEyYj7CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=itzpapalotl%20Mimich&f=false

pp. 140-141 marriages of shamans and of shamanesses with spirits, in Siberia





[Goldi] "He later acquired a second Ayami, who provided him with various spirit helpers such as a rabid dog, a rabid fox, a dwarf, a headless man, and

{"Her headless man" ("TRRSH" 31)}


a heath-cock."

{Heathcock was one of the 3 heads of Tri-s`iras}


"The Shortzy ... (an Altaic tribe) have ... a primordial shaman called Kam Atis. When is wife discovered that, in addition to her, he had a celestial wife, she ... insisted that he show his mistress to her. ... Within the drum she beheld a light as bright as the sun and a warning voice ... . ...

Shortzy shamans have a celestial wife as the main protecting spirit ... .Among the Shortzy ... each shaman experiences ... a black

[p. 141 "The vocation for shamanism is signaled by the spirits ... . ... At this point the celestial wife begins to woo him. If he accepts her she comes to live in his drum."]


maiden with seven breasts or seven plaits and three eyes; at other times as

{with this 3rd eye, cf. the shared eye of the Graiai (GM 33.c).}


a shining maiden with white hair." [reference :- Shternberg 1935, p. 261sq]

{with this white hair, cf. the Graiai "with hair grey from birth" (GM 33.c).}

Shternberg 1935 = L. J. Shternberg : "Die Auserwa:hlung im sibirischen Schamanismus". ZEITSCHRIFT FU:R MISSIONKUNDE UND RELIGIONWISSENSCHAFT, No. 50. pp. 229-52, 261-74.

pp. 141-142 [reference : Madsen 1955, p. 48sq] marriage of shaman with female spirit, in the town of Tecospa, (in the southern part of the Valley of Mexico – "H&CU")




"his house was struck by lightning, and all the inhabitants were knocked unconscious. ... Over a period of about six months he continued to lose consciousness once a week. On these occasions his spirit was abducted by the enanitos, the dwarf-sized rain deities ... . They took him to the caves in which they lived. Whenever the enanitos attacked him, [he] fell to the floor ... . His limbs became rigid and his teeth began to grind. {epilepsy} ... The enanitos wanted [him] to become a healer and told him they would not allow his spirit to return to his body unless he agreed to their request. ... The enanitos presented him with a staff, three healing stones, and a spirit wife. The staff is invisible to all except [him] and the enanitos. He found the three healing stones ...; one was shaped like a cannon, the second like a doll, and the third like a duck. ...


[His] spirit wife is an enanita who lives in a cave with others of her kind. ... She and [he] have children who live with their mother in the cave. Since he became a healer, [he] has not been allowed to have sexual relations with his human wife. He tried once but immediately had an attack and fell to the floor as though he were dead. During this attack his spirit was forced to go to a cave ... by the enanitos. Since then [he] concentrates all his sexual activity on his spirit wife. ...

He and all others of his kind die twice a year. Their spirits go to the cave of the enanitos where they receive further instruction in healing. ... All the curanderos "die" at the same time and remain dead for half an hour or an hour while their spirits attend the great assembly of curanderos and enanitoes."

Madsen 1955 = William Madsen : "Shamanism in Mexico". SOUTHWESTERN JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY, No. 11. pp. 48-57.

"H&CU" = "Hot and Cold in the Universe" http://www.jstor.org/pss/537248

Holger Kalweit (transl. from the German by Werner Wu:nsche) : Dreamtime & Inner Space. Shambhala, Boston, 1988.