Dreamtime & Inner Space, 15-18

pp. 182-183 deliberate limiting, by practitioners, of their own practice in shamanship


deliberate limiting


[Siberian village of Pitrahti (reference :- Dio`szegi 1968, p. 59)] "he ... did practice shamanism, but only if at least twelve or fifteen spirits were after him."


[statement by Papago woman (quoted from Underhill 1946, p. 266) :] "Already the divining crystals were growing in me, but the shaman sucked them out. Then he made a hole in a giant cactus and hut them inside." {"Goddess upon the barrel cactus, ... Itzpapalotl" (SG, p. 192). -- "She followed him there ... into a thorny barrel cactus." (ILK, p. 61)}


[statement by Yamana woman about her encounter with a spirit (quoted from Gusinde 1931, vol 2, p. 139sq) :] "through the forest ... in the rotting trunk I saw a tiny Ao`na-xe`ola, waving to me in a friendly manner. ... I had a dream, and again the Ao`na-xe`ola stood before me. It smiled in a very friendly manner and showered me with all kinds of presents ... . It even left me a special song."

Underhill 1946 = Ruth Underhill : Papago Indian Religion. NY: Columbia University Press, 1946.

SG = Brian Swann : Smoothing the Ground: essays on native American oral literature. U of CA Pr, 1983. http://books.google.com/books?id=ks8ObLoYs34C&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=Itzpapalotl+%22barrel+cactus%22&source=bl&ots=26f0y-S4y8&sig=63NDpgvNSpNg7ivkeJWPiURT93o&hl=en&ei=wP62TPbLEMGclgeB17W9DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CDAQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Itzpapalotl%20%22barrel%20cactus%22&f=false

ILK = Miguel León Portilla : In the Language of Kings: an anthology of Mesoamerican literature. Norton & Co., 2001. http://books.google.com/books?id=_BjTK82pdYEC&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=Itzpapalotl+%22barrel+cactus%22&source=bl&ots=HAtsga-0Vf&sig=mKWOvWd0WBqqCOVpZoQhtYUHPJA&hl=en&ei=LP-2TIeRJYaglAeDsvm_DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCgQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=Itzpapalotl%20%22barrel%20cactus%22&f=false

pp. 188-190 possibilities for losing practitioners’ abilities


possibilities for loss


[statement by a Gitksan shaman (quoted from Rasmussen 1908, p. 305sq) :] "I ... revive one of my old charms – the Sun or the Moon (hlorhs). ... I was sure that I had ... my powers as a Swanassu {cf. /SWANSea/ of the Cymry?} (shaman)."


[statement by a piac^e (shamaness) of the Waxiro (quoted from Watson-Franke 1975, p. 204) :] "the spirits will only accept tobacco as nourishment."


[reference :- Curtis 1915, p. 80sq] "The Kwakiutl shaman ..., after receiving his call to shamanism, was to stay away from his wife for four months."


[reference :- Kelly 1936, p. 130] "If a shaman of the Chemehueve is unfortunate enough to forget a "dream," he is chased with a firebrand or suspended over a fire lit under him."


[how a medicine man in northwestern Arnhem Land acquired his helping-spirits (reference :-Warner 1937, p. 205sq)] "at a water hole. As he bend down to drink, his later protectors two boys and a girl (all three of them water spirits) – dragged him down into the deep, but then brought him back up to the surface ... . ... They in the meantime had turned into opossums. After he caught them he healed them by blowing this breath on them. Back in his camp, the three spirits ...


sat on his shoulders, and granted him the gift of healing. ... But the spirits imposed several taboos ... . He was not allowed to each dog meat, sleep close by the fire, or let his body by touched by salt water."


[reference :- Park 1930, p. 24sq] A "Patvioso medicine man ... (Pyramid Lake, Nevada) ... inherited the Power of the Otter when an otter appeared to him in a dream and told him ... he was to spread the otter skin on the earth in front of him. The otter taught him a special song for each ceremony."

Warner 1937 = W. Lloyd Warner : A Black Civilization.

pp. 195-200 familiarity of shamans with grottos / caves


grotto / cave


"a Nepalese Sunuwar shaman and a direct descendant of Gamdar, known as the first puimbo (shaman), met some small elflike beings in the jungle ... . They led him to a grotto and taught him various mantras. ... [He] was taught formulae that would allow him to attract helping spirits and ward off and immobilize evil spirits." [reference :- Fournier 1976, p. 103]


"Among the North American [northwestern Arizona] Walapai, the initiate ... must also go to a cave. There he ..., during the night, tries to establish contact with the spirits in his dreams". [reference :- Kroeber 1935, p. 188sq]


"A medicine man of the Australian Unambal may dream that his soul ... travels down into the bowels of the earth where, in a brightly lit cave, it comes upon a pair of copulating Ungud snakes ... . The mating of the snakes produces embryonic spores, Ungud parts (Jallalas), many of which enter into the medicine man and thereby enrich and strengthen his soul. ... the medicine man acquires medicine crystals in this cave, from which shine the colors of the rainbow (because the Ungud is ... the rainbow). These crystals (alumburru) enter the body of the medicine man through his navel, his penis, or the dell above his clavicles. He then experiences radiant light within himself. ... As his power grows, the luminosity within him increases, he learns to recognize hidden diseases and ultimately can live forever in the Dreamtime (Lalai)". [reference :- Lommel 1952, p. 41sq]


"a medicine man (mulla-mullung) of the Australian Kurnai tribe, also acquired his powers through dreaming. He had the same dream three times. He flew through the air, in the company of his father and several medicine men, to a steep rock face in which there was a cleft. He father blindfolded him and led him through the cleft in the rock face into the inside of the mountain. He found himself in a place filled with light as


bright as day. Several men were assembled there and he was shown many shining objects. His father taught him how to make these shining objects disappear into one’s leg and extract them again to point them at people". [reference :- Howitt 1887, p. 408]

Fournier 1976 = Alain Fournier : "Puimbo and the Ngiami". In :- John T. Hitchcock & Rex L. Jones (ed.s) : Spirit Possession in the Nepal Himalayas. Warminster.

Kroeber 1935 = A. L. Kroeber : Walapai Ethnography. MEMOIRS OF THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, No. 42.

Howitt 1887 = Alfred W. Howitt : "On Australian Medicine Men or Doctors and Wizards of Some Australian Tribes". JOURNAL OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND, No. 16. pp. 23-59.

pp. 197-200 North American Indian legends about shamans




["Gilodzau(a Skeen River subtribe of theTsimsyan)" legend of Qamkawl ‘Only-One’ (reference :- Barbeau 1958, p. 76sq)] "there was a pit from which people heard strange noises and sometimes crying and singing. ... The two men fastened the rope around his body and lowered him down. ... He went right down ... the deep pit ... . ... A door opened from which a very bright man emerged. ... the visitor followed the shining man, who led him into a large house ..., and the boards came out as if alive and spread out ... . ... Then a live drum ran out and began to beat itself with one of the beaters. {Self-activating implements are typically Bon.} ...


One their return to the village, ... the man who had been lowered all the way down into the pit ... acquired greater power than any other halaait. ... Then he went down to his canoe, and without any effort the canoe drove away up to the pit where he had first acquired his halaait powers, and he vanished. ... He had gone to the abode of the great halaait over which he is now chief and gives out powers to other halaaits."


[Flathead tale (reference :- Turney-High 1937, pp. 35sq)] "On the summit of the mountain he found a great hole. Looking over its brink, he could see Little People preparing for a dance. He descended the pit ... . ... They danced all night ... . ... He took the dwarf down to his lodge ... . ...


After four years, he carried the dwarf up the hill ... . Upon reaching the summit, ... the dwarf said, "I have been your guest. From now on, when you are in trouble or need anything, think hard about me. I will come to your aid ... .""

Turney-High 1937 = H. H. Turney-High : The Flathead Indian of Montana. MEMOIRS OF THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, No. 48.

p. 202 luminous eyen of deities or of subtle bodies

"Baiami, the Creator god of the Australian Wiradjeri, enters the circle of shamanic apprentices as a human being and sends forth beams of light from his eyes."

[reference :- Ksenofontov 1955, p. 124sq] "The soul of the Siberian shaman ... flew ... . The eyes of the shaman escorting him glowed like fire throughout their journey".

p. 203 internal illuminations of Eskimo shamans

In northern Alaska, the shamanic "teacher cuts a large breathing hole through the ice. At this hole his pupil is attacked by swarms of worms which totally devour him. He becomes luminous within and this inner light then attracts the spirits." [reference :- Rasmussen 1952, p. 130]

"Among the Copper Eskimos the spirits of the air – themselves luminous shadows – behold the shaman as a shining body. They feel drawn to him, want to live with him and give him their own strength, sight and knowledge. They enter his body through the navel and then settle in his chest. The Eskimos say that ... ordinary people ... are dark inside and do not attract the attention of the spirits. [reference :- Rasmussen 1932, vol. 9, p. 28]

The shamanic pupil arrives at his illumination (qaumanEq) through ... a light inside the head, within the brain, and can see through darkness, even with closed eyes, and can perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others. He can look into the future and into the secrets of others. The first time a young shaman experiences this light it is as if the house in which he sits suddenly rises; he sees far ahead of him, through mountains, as if the earth were one great plain, and his eyes can reach to the end of the earth. ... He can also discover stolen souls which are kept concealed in far, strange lands or have been taken to the land of the dead." [reference :- Rasmussen 1930, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 112]

"Every real shaman has to feel an illumination in his body, in the inside of his head or in his brain, something that gleams like fire, that gives him the power to see with closed eyes into the darkness, into the hidden things or into the future or into the secrets of another man." [quoted from Rasmussen 1927]

Rasmussen 1952 = Knud Rasmussen : The Alaska Eskimos. REPORT OF THE FIFTH THULE EXPEDITION, Vol. X, Pt. 3. Copenhagen.

p. 204 praeternatural light nigh

[Eskimo legend (reference :- Rasmussen 1908)] "a bright light hovered over the Eskimo shaman Kritdlarssuark as he led his companions on a train of dog sleighs in search of a distant people."

[Zun~i (quoted from Bunzel 1929-30, p. 481sq)] "there was a little light coming through the window, although there was a bright light in the room. While I was dead {asleep} I dreamed I was going toward the West. ... I saw all these dead people and saw that they were still living the way we do."

Bunzel 1929-30 = Ruth Leah Bunzel : "Introduction to Zuñi Ceremonialism". 47th ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY. pp. 467-544.

pp. 204-205 luminous soul or inner light of South American Indian shamans


luminous soul


The Desana consider "the soul of a shaman (Paye`) ... as flame that comes out of the "little web" {aitheric net?} and emits a light, according to the degree of power. ...


The power of a Paye` comes directly from the sun. {solar soul} ... Without this inner illumination, the Paye` would never be able to perceive the inner essence of another medicine man." [reference :- Reichel-Dolmatoff 1975, p. 77]


"The medicine man of the Patagonian Selk>nam must also develop an inner light to be able to read the thoughts of his fellow tribesmen, but this light can only be perceived by other medicine men."

Reichel-Dolmatoff 1975 = Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff : The Shaman and the Jaguar. Philadelphia.

pp. 206-207 [praeternatural] balls of fire




"On the island of Dobu [one of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, to the east of New Guinea], sorceresses fly through the air with trails of fire behind them ... . [reference :- Fortune 1932, p. 295]


The shamans of the Alaska Eskimos may metamorphose into a ball of fire and fly through space ... ." [reference :- Rasmussen 1952, p. 131]


[Lapp] "two of these shamans ... will sit opposite each other and chant until they turn into light. Then they meet in the sky as blazing lights". [reference ?]


"The Australian Wiradjeri believe that ... sorcerers race across the country in the form of ... a flying fire ... about fifteen meters across." [reference :- Berndt 1946-8, p. 45sq]


[Keta of the Ewe (in Togo)] "He ... saw a great ball of fire hovering on the horizon and rising in the sky in a sort of rocking motion. The ball of fire was [caused by] medicine men (ju-ju people)." [reference :- Neal 1966; Schenk 1980]


[Hawai>i] "Akulele, "flying spirits" or "flying gods." These Akualele race horizontally across the sky, close to the roofs of houses. ... The Akualele are of different sizes, ... and can give off sparks. These balls of fire are produced by black magic (Ho[>]omanamana). It is said that they appear for years at places where owners of Unihipili used to live. Unihipili are the bones of dead relatives or friends, reanimated by prayers and sacrifices and afterwards used for healing purposes, but also to practice black magic." [reference :- Kelsey 1980; cited in Rodman 1979, p. 93]

Fortune 1932 = Reo F. Fortune : Sorcerers of Dobu. London.

Berndt 1946-8 = R. N. Berndt : "Wuradjeri and ‘Clever Men’." OCEANIA, No.s 17 & 18.

Neal 1966 = James H. Neal : Ju-ju in My Life. London.

Schenk 1980 = Amelie Scheck : "Ju-ju, to:dlicher Zauber in Afrika". ESOTERA 31, No. 8. pp. 713-21.

Kelsey 1980 = Theodore Kelsey : "The Flying ‘Gods’ of Hawaii". FULL MOON, vol. 1, no.s 3 & 4.

Rodman 1979 = Julian S. Rodman : The Kahuna Sorcerers of Hawaii. Hicksville (NY).

p. 208 tongues of fire

"In the traditional sweat lodges, American Indian initiates may see blue, red orange, or green tongues of fire, all according to the state of mind of those present at the ceremony."

{"There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." (Acts of the Apostles 2:3)}

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