Shamanism

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chapters 6-9 = part II. "Shamanic States of Consciousness"

pp. 125-132 – 7. Stanley Krippner : "Dreams and Shamanism".

pp. 126-127 dreams initiating into shamanhood

p.

dreaming

126

[Eskimo dreaming] "Among the Inuit Eskimos, one is "called" by dreaming about spirits. The dreamer is then "possessed" by an animal spirit that compels him to withdraw from society and wander naked. Eventually the initiate gains control over the spirit and celebrates his victory by making a drum".

 

[California dreaming] "Dreams of deceased relatives are held to mark one’s "call" among the Wintu and Shasta tribes of California ... .

Among the Southern Valley Yokuts of California, shamanic power may come, unsought, in a dream or from a deliberate quest ... .

In California’s Dieguen[~]os and Luisan[~]os tribes, future shamans may be selected as early as nine years of age on the basis of their dreams".

127

[Zulu dreaming] After narrating her dream to a sangoma, an epileptic woman dreamer was told "that spirits had come to her in the dream, notifying her that she must follow the shamanic path. ... [Accordingly, the woman dreamer] embarked on her long apprenticeship; once she finished it, she began to see clients herself. Her epileptic seizures gradually subsided and did not recur once her training was complete."

128

[Nevada-California dreaming] "In the Washo tribe of Nevada and California, the initiate would receive his power through a dream, then would be awakened by a whistle. He would follow the whistle, and it would change to a whisper that would dictate instructions."

p. 128 finding cures by dreams

[Rhodesia dreaming] "Zambian shamans believe that they can derive their powers of diagnosis in dreams, giving accurate descriptions of the illness without examining the client".

[New York dreaming] "Among the Iroquois, ... dreams were able to provide clue to the shaman as to what could be done to restore a client’s health."

p. 129 interpreting dreams

[Venezuela dreaming] "The Taulipang shamans of the Caribbean are considered to be experts in explaining their own dreams and the dreams of others".

[Australia dreaming] "Australian aborigine shamans move into "Dreamtime" with great facility to assist the hunting activities of their societies".

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pp. 133-144 – 8. D. Scott Rogo : "Shamanism, ESP, and the Paranormal".

p. 133 praeternatural glimmers

[Sioux in North Dakota] "the ritual ... commenced with ceremonial drumming, and soon afterward, tiny lights began appearing thoughout the room. "They came floating up out of the darkness for a fraction of a second, ... and they were gone almost before eye and brain had been able to register them.""

pp. 135-136 shamanic cultures

p.

#

shamanry

135

1.

[Chile] "The newly initiated Araucanian shaman of South America is taught to pray specifically for clairvoyant ability. This ability is used to "see" into a patient’s body and to diagnose ills."

 

2.

[Venezuela] "Shamans among the Caribs of Venezuela and Central America traditionally possess the ability to know psychically the innermost secrets of their tribesmen, including knowledge about the fate of the dead."

136

4.

[Malaya] "In Malayan shamanism special initiates ... possess the power to see into the future and discover the whereabouts of lost objects."

 

5.

[Kamba of Kenya] "If a shaman "brings through" a spirit from another locale or tribe, he is expected to speak in the language or dialect of the spirit’s tribe – even if he has never learned or studied it."

pp. 137-140 miraculous feats in Siberia and in Canada

p.

miracle

137

[Chukchee of st. Lawrence islands in Behring sea] "The shaman proceeded to invoke his spirits while his followers laid a walrus skin over his shoulders ... . ... the skin ... seemed to take on a life of its own. The part draped over the shaman’s back began elevating and contorting about".

 

[Chukchee in Siberia] "the "spirit voices" ... whistle and speak during Chukchee "seances," ... and the subject of the investigation was a shaman famous for his spirit voices. ...

138

The shaman invoked the spirits, and it wasn’t long before several spirit voices broke out in the tent. ... the voices sometimes emanated from various points in the tent and not merely from the shaman’s immediate vicinity. This curious effect was also caught by the apparatus that recorded the entire demonstration. ... there existed "a very marked difference between the voice of the shaman himself, which sounded from afar, and the voices of the ‘spirits,’ which seemed to be taking directly into the funnel.""

139

[Ojibwa in Canada] "sometimes conduct "shaking tent" rituals, so named for the curious way the tents sway and contort during the invocations."

140

[Copper Eskimo, in the Northwest territories of Canada] "Their shamans divine the future and seek out clairvoyant information by way of dreams."

pp. 142-143 tests administered to apprentice shamans

p.

test

142

[Tungus of Siberia] "the initiate must appear before a more experienced shaman, who calls forth a par-

143

ticular spirit ... . The initiate must relate the biography of the spirit and also name the other shamans through whom it has manifested."

 

[Korekore of Rhodesia] "Their apprentice shamans are required to bring through a specific spirit ..., and must be able to recite correctly his life story and tell where his shrine is located. The shaman must then pick out the staff, concealed within a bundle of similar ones, which the spirit’s last shaman had used."

 

[Manchu] "are required to walk over burning coals before being accepted as genuine seers and healers".

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pp. 145-157 – 9. Jim Swan : "Rolling Thunder at Work". [contemporary Cherokee]

p. 146 shaman’s dreams

"he saw a huge golden door open before him. Slowly the shining golden portal swung open and through the door came Quetzalcoatl, the half-man, half-feathered-serpent mythic hero of the Aztecs. Quetzalcoatl danced through the door and merged into [the shaman’s] body in a blaze of golden light. [The shaman] woke up ... . For the next three days anyone he touched received a strong electric shock like touching an electric circuit."

"an encounter with the devil."

p. 151 shaman’s costume

"He ... wears brightly colored homemade shirts, ... a striking blue and gold one. ... on his head was a dark blue turban-like hat with several eagle feathers hanging down from it at odd angles. In front above his forehead was a silver seven-pointed star pin with a large turquoise stone set in the middle. On his cheeks were symbols painted ...; a circle on each cheek for the Grandfather Sun and the Grandmother Moon, and on the forehead a symbol ... the "Cherook Tree of Life," consisting of a central axis trunk with several uplifting branches on either side. He was wearing a black vest with an elaborate floral beadwork pattern ... [and also had] a full badger skin hanging from his waist. The skin had been fashioned into a medicine bag, and from the mouth of the badger protruded several eagle feathers."

pp. 151-154 healing caerimony conducted, on a woman-patient, by shaman

p. 151

"he looked skyward, ... raising his hands upward for several moments. ...

p. 152

He began to dance in the circle, slowly at first, arms outstretched like wings. ... Gradually his pace quickened until it became frenzied ... . Then he abruptly stopped and let out a loud "whoop," startling everyone. ... Taking out a wand of eagle feathers and a buffalo-tail wisk {[Skt.] camara}, as well as some crystals and other objects, he arranged them into a simple altar. ...

[The shaman] picked up his buffalo-tail wisk and began walking around the woman, making sweeping gestures through the air and over her body, as if her were cleaning the aura of the woman. He made several circles around her, put down the wisk, and then picked up his eagle feather wand. Again he circled her, brushing the area above and round her with graceful strokes. ... Raising the wand to each of the four directions,

p. 153

then directing it back downward toward her body, he seemed to call on the powers of the four directions to help. ... he put down the eagle feathers and stood in prayer, raising his right hand upward to the world above. He then brought his left hand up to his mouth and spat into it. Suddenly he let out an ear-piercing "whoop!" and slapped both hands together. He stood for a minute staring at his hands as we continued to chant to the beat of the drum. Then he knelt beside the woman. ... In a few minutes he ... rose to his feet, and repeated the procedure ... . This time as he stood looking into his hands, I seemed to see a purple glow form around his head and hands, like the kind of radiant light portrayed around hly people in religious paintings. Again he knelt down ... his hands laying ... on her naked back.

[The shaman] soon stood again and looked down at the woman ..., and he dropped down beside her on all fours. ... he’d become a badger, like his medicine bag; his movements closely mimicked those of a badger searching for a mouse. Crawling beside her, he was sniffing her excitedly. Then suddenly he began to whine, and the whine became a growl. He ... began to suck on her lower back, making growling sounds. ...

p. 154

[The shaman] rose to his feet and circled the woman, waving his buffalo-tail wisk over and around her body."

 

[After this caerimony,] "six people independently came up to me and said they had seen a purple glow of energy around [the shaman]’s head and hands while he was working."

 

The woman-patient "said that while she was lying on the ground, she fell into a deep trance, seeming to leave her body and finding that she could look down on herself. She said she watched herself change into an Indian princess, who then got up and "went on the warpath.""

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chapters 10-13 = part III. "Shamanic Traditions"

pp. 161-180 – 10. Larry G. Peters : "Taman Shamanism of Nepal".

pp. 162-163 shamanship

p. 162

"Tamang bombo maintain that they magically fly, ascending and descending to heavens and underworld where they encounter god "face to face." It is believed that the vision at the

p. 163

time of the calling in an unripe or crude vision (ta rang ga), while those voluntarily induced by initiated shamans are called clear visions (ta top che). There are specific Tamang initiation ceremonies designed to transform crude visions into clear ones."

pp. 163-164 spontaneous spirit-possession

p. 163

"the Tamang shaman has a spontaneous vocation in which he is inflicted {afflicted} by spirits that possess him and drive him into solitude, demanding that he become a shaman. This unsolicited altered state of consciousness is called crazy possession (Ihakhoiba [sic : involving the term for ‘god’ (p. 176, n. 7) /lha/ = [>arabic] /loh/; and spelled /lha khoiba/ in "TI&PTSh";] mayba). In this mental state, the neophyte shakes convulsively, indicating that he is possessed but not knowing why or by what. ... Eventually, he may run naked into the forest and live with the animals for several days. While the calling is involuntary and spontaneous, it is also ... "quasi-hereditary" in that transmission of shamanic powers occurs within a lineage but not to a predetermined individual."

"According to the Tamang, the power (Ne. shakti) of

p. 164

the dead bombo searches for a "religious person," one who can carry on his duties. The possessing spirit eventually become the young shaman’s main tutelary spirit (Ne. mukhiya guru)."

"TI&PTSh" = Larry G. Peters : "Trance, Initiation, and Psychotherapy in Tamang Shamanism". AMERICAN ETHNOLOGIST, Vol. 9 (1982), pp. 21-46

pp. 164-165 initiatory calling to shamanhood

p. 164

[autobiographical account] "When I was 13, I became possessed. ... I began to shake violently and was .. trembling. ... I ran off into the forest, naked, for three days. My ... spirits all wore pointed hats and were only three feet tall. They taught me magical formula [Ne. mantra] and gave me shakti. They fed me earthworms and I had to eat them or die. Still, each time I reached for the worms, one of the spirits’ wives (who are monstrous) whipped my hands. She carried a golden sword ... . By my [main spirit] ... told me the correct way to take the food was with the back of my hands. When I did this, I was not whipped. Finally, all the people in the village came looking for me. When they caught up with me, I stopped shivering and woke up. ...

This time, I took my father’s [also a shaman] magical dagger {phur-bu} and went to where the three rivers cross {Triven.i} [a cemetery]. ... In the cemetery, I saw many evil spirits, some with long crooked fangs, others with no heads and with eyes in the middle of their chest, still others carrying decaying corpses. They attached me and, before I knew it, they were all over he devouring my body. {This is the gCod rite, mentioned on p. 246.} I drew my father’s magical dagger ..., but it fell to the ground and

p. 165

struck a rock. This created a spark of light and everything changed. Suddenly it was daylight and the demons {Pis`aca-s?} were gone."

 

"his maternal uncle, a very powerful shaman, ... taught [the apprentice] numerous ritual methods and mantra and how to enter trances voluntarily. But [the apprentice’s main spirit], which had initially possessed him and made him mad, became [his] chief tutelary spirit. Whenever [he] errs in his ritual undertakings, forgetting a mantra or performing something incorrectly, his [tutelary spirit] comes to him in his sleep and slaps his hands."

{The initial identification of the possessing spirit as a human "ancestor" (p. 168) may not have been made on the basis of the appearance of the spirit, nor on anything which it said by it; this identification may simply be something enforced by the ruling classes (brahmin-s, ks.atriya-s, vais`ya-s) in order to downgrade (from true deity-status) the significance of the possessing-spirits, in order to maintain ideological (and thus social) control by the ruling classes. /Pitamaha/, the term for ‘grandfather’, would signify the deity ‘Brahma’ to a devotee anyway, however.}

pp. 168-169 initiatory grades

p.

grade

details

168

1st

"The calling ... possession is unsolicited. ... the initiate’s condition during this stage is described as "crazy possession.""

 

2nd

"the training of the disciple by the human guru who prepares him for the performance of guru puja {‘praeceptor worship’} (Ne.), in which the possessing spirit (the tutelary guru) speaks out and identifies itself through the disciple. ... the purpose of the ritual is not fulfilled until the possessing entity speaks through the disciple, identifying himself.

169

 

Guru puja is done formally to identify the possessing agent that called the neophyte, and this identification is made while the neophyte is in a possession trance. The spirit then assumes the function of mukhiya guru (internal guru) and visits the candidate in his dreams to introduce him to all the spirits over whom the dead shaman gained mastery in his lifetime. ...

So, in the second stage ... the ... neophyte is still not fully in control ... . This stage is described as being "ridden by the guru" or "having the guru upon one’s shoulders." Although possession is induced and ended with the help of the human guru, the possessed state is not suitably controlled to be used in ritualistic situations."

 

3rd

"Here the bombo initiate gains control over the gods and is therefore able to utilize his powers in the performance of ritual duties. ... The bombo can now make diagnoses and perform other types of divination. ... The bombo expresses this distinction by saying that he is now "riding the guru," indicating that ... the shaman is now master of the spirit and thus of the affliction initially caused him."

pp. 169-170 the 3 souls : "initiatory progress through the three grades corresponds to ... the three souls ..., which are ... located in the solar plexus, the heart, and the top of the head." (p. 169)

p.

soul

grade of activation

169

1st

"The bombo’s shaking is said to be brought about through the lower soul (sem chang)" [in the solar plexus].

170

 

"When an individual dies, this soul may stay on earth and cause trouble as an evil spirit." {poltergeist?}

 

2nd

"the heart soul (yidam bhla), the soul of compassion and of speech, ... is activated when the mukhiya guru speaks through the initiate while possessing him."

 

3rd

"The third soul (che wa) is described as a light located between the eyes. {cf. luminous patch of hair between eyebrows of the Buddha} It is the light of consciousness ... . When it is controlled, the shaman is said to have attained the highest power one can get ... . At this stage, the che wa soul of the bombo can embark on magical flight. The shaman is able to soul-journey to the heavens and underworlds."

{cf. the Taoist 3 "fields of cinnabar" in, respectively, belly, heart, and head}

pp. 170-171 final initiatory goal : 2 stages, marked by 2 caerimonies

p.

caerimony

170

"In order for the che wa soul to leave the body, the "heavenly doors" located atop the head at the fontanelle must be opened. At the time of death, ... the che wa can leave the bombo’s body and travel with the tutelary spirit to heaven, where the bombo’s deeds ... are evaluated in order to determine future rebirth. ... The same ritual manipulation is repeated during pho wang lung ... – allowing the bombo to soul-journey, protected and accompanied by his mukhiya guru."

 

"Gufa {gupha} is the bombo’s final initiation. ... Although gufa means "cave" in Nepali,

171

the gufa is not really a cave; rather, it is a hollow shelter made of rice straw {cf. reice-straw as source of fermentation-bacteria for production of natto in Hokkaido}, perched atop four tall stilts and normally used to store grain. {In Africa, grain-storage platforms are usually perched atop stilts, thus rendering them inaccessible to rodents.} For gufa, ... it is erected in a cemetery and decorated with hundreds of white soul flowers (narling mendo [bignoniaceae oroxylum indicum]). {The Taoist form of shamanism is largely engaged with seeking "soul-flowers" in divine worlds.} Leading up to the gufa is a nine-rung ladder, ... with each of the nine rungs representing a level of heaven. {cf. Taoist 9 heavens} Gufa initiation takes place above the ninth level and lasts seven days, during which the initiate bombo, dressed in a ritual white frock and peacock-feather headdress, continually plays the drum. ... During this time the initiate has visions of ghosts and spirits, which he masters. On the seventh day, before leaving the gufa, [the initiate] had the following vision {dream} in which he journeyed to the highest heaven and saw the supreme deity on the shamans, Ghesar Gyalpo. {/Geser/ is a Persian name, indicating a Persian provenience of Nepalese shamanism.}

 

I walked into a beautiful garden with flowers of many different colors. There was also a pond and golden glimmery trees. Next to the pond {cf. the ponds of the Pythagorean after-death realm} was a very tall building which reached up into the sky. It had a golden staircase of nine steps leading to the top. I climbed the nine steps and saw Ghesar Gyalpo at the top, sitting on his white throne which was covered with soul flowers. {Persian (Zaratustrian) symbolism conventionally assigneth particular species of flowers to deities.} He was dressed in white {cf. white vestments worn by Zaratustrian priests} and his face was all white. He had long hair {a Pas`upata custom} and a white crown. {cf. the white crown of the "Red Land" (upper T3-MRI,)} He gave me milk to drink and told me that I would attain much shakti".

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pp. 181-188 – 11. Yonassan Gershon : "Shamanism in the Jewish Tradition".

p. 184 dream-requaests

"medieval Jews sometimes practiced the technique of "dream requests," asking God to reveal hidden knowledge, by writing down a specific question and placing it under the pillow."

p. 184 rain-summoning

"If rain ... did not come, they would call upon Honi, who would draw a circle on the ground, seat himself in the center, and tell God that he, Honi, would not leave this circle until it rained." (mentioned in Talmud, Tractate "Taanit")

pp. 186-187 ba<l s^em (‘owner of name’) [conjurer forcing by using divine names]

p. 186

"Baalei shem were especially effective as exorcists, known for their ability to cure insanity and cast out dybbuks (souls of the dead who return to possess a living person’s body)."

p. 187

[biography of Ba<l S^em T.ob] "his spirit teacher ... revealed that he was Ahiyah the Shilonite, the teacher of Eliyah the Prophet. In addition, the Baal Shem Tob often ascended to heaven in his dreams, where he studies with the great Jewish sages of the past. ... Meyer Levin compilation, Classic Hassidic Tales, contains stories about Baal Shem Tov reading past incarnations, conjuring angels".

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pp. 189-203 – 12. Serge King : "The Way of an Adventurer". [Sandwich islands]

pp. 191-192 religious types of kahuna (‘specialist’ = [Japanese] sensei)

p. 191

"a hierarchy of priests known as kahu akua, or "those who attend the gods.""

 

"sorcery, or what is popularly termed "black magic." Those who did this were called ana-ana".

p. 192

"The true shamans of Hawaii were called kupua, or kalakupua, words which have meanings related to the possession of ... mana, inner or divine power".

pp. 192-193 the 4 types of ‘power’

p. 192

"equate mana with ... "power" ..., in the sense of "effective energy.""

p. 193

#

__ mana

energy

 

1st

physical

bio-energy

 

2nd

emotional

"inner excitement"

 

3rd

mental

"high self-confidence"

 

4th

spiritual

"deep respect for or sense of connectedness with the object of attention"

pp. 193-194 aitheric matter; geomancy

p. 193

"aka, which is something like "etheric" matter. ... The two forms most widely used by the Hawaiian shaman are those of an etheric "web" and an etheric "net."

In the web concept, the shaman sees himself as ... at the center of a three-dimensional web stretching out in all directions to every part of the universe. ... he can also send out vibrations along the web and consciously affect anything in the universe, according to the strength of his mana."

"In the net concept, the shaman sees himself as a weaver ... able to weave and cast nets in order to capture ideas and events".

p. 194

"be taught the art of kuhikuhi-pu>u-one, a form of geomancy that was taught in a special hut on the beach, and which dealt with what could best be called "earth currents.""

pp. 196, 199 in-between state; oneness with the environment

p. 199 "the special in-between state, called maka >ike in Hawaiian, from where the shaman moves his awareness."

p. 196 "The term 'shamanic states' may be better described as 'frameworks of belief', with the understanding that shifting into different frameworks allows different potentials to manifest. Each framework constitutes a set of beliefs about reality....The shaman simply acknowledges a wider range of frameworks than most people do and is able to move among them at will....In addition, the shaman has the ability known in Hawaian as maka 'ike (literally 'knowing eye') which is being aware of the frameworks themselves."" (quoted at AF)

AF = An Awareness of Frameworks. http://www.gregsegal.com/awareness.htm

African spirits

p. 200 "a boekin (spirit) called out to him from the sacred grove ... . The information he receives is effectively true in regard to physical experience and therefore the ukin (plural form) are real".

These "superhuman powers (ukin)" are worshipped by the Diola of Guinea-Bissau ("OAI").

"OAI" = http://oai.revues.org/

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Shirley Nicholson (compileress) : Shamanism : an Expanded View of Reality. Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, 1987.