Transformations in the Field, II


4. Deborah Bird Rose : "Ethics of Attention". [Yarralin in Northern Territory of Australia]

p. 90 addressing the dead

"she called out to her ancestors. She told them who we were and what we were doing, and she told them to help us. ... Her brother ... explained it in this way : "At night, camping out, we talk and those [dead] people listen. ... When we’re walking, we’re together. ... Even if you’re far away in a different country, you still call out ..., and they can help you for {in a} dangerous place. And for tucker [‘food’] they can help you".

pp. 95-96 double soul

p. 95

"As I discuss in Dingo Makes Us Human (Rose 2000), Vic River people talked about the components of the human person in ways that suggested at least two animating spirits ... .

p. 96

One of them keeps returning from life to life, so that death becomes an interval leading into transformation into new life. ...

Another "spirit" returns to the country to become a nurturing presence. {This is known as the "psychic shell" by the Theosophical Society.} These are ... the dead countrymen who continue to live in the country and to whom people appeal when they go hunting."

Rose 2000 = Deborah Rose : Dingo Makes Us Human : life and land in an Australian aboriginal culture. Cambridge U Pr, 2000 [1992].


6. Deirdre Meintel : "Experiencing Spiritualism". [Spiritual Church of Healing, Montreal]

pp. 141-143 clairvoyance

p. 141

"We are supposed to go into the aura of the person ... and see something they need."

p. 142

"Spiritualist writers often mention "thought forms," visible manifestations of others’ thoughts that effect the person to whom clairvoyance is given."

p. 143

"Indeed, many people who do not consider themselves clairvoyant have dreamt of people or places before physically seeing them for the first time. ... many have had the experience of suddenly thinking of a person from their past for the first time in years, only to cross paths with the individual shortly thereafter."

pp. 146-147 spiritual hearer’s energy as sensed by others

p. 146

"I feel my hands buzzing. ... the first medium to speak ... goes straight to me. ["]I must tell you, ... your hands were surrounded by blue light.["]"

p. 147

"some people have healing energy that feels cool, ... one person who used to do healing in the church gave off energy that was icy cold."

pp. 147-148 gifts imparted to humans by spirit-guides : healing-energy & clairsentience

p. 147

"From the Spiritualist point of view, healing energy has its origin not in the human body, but elsewhere. Like clairvoyance, it is a divine gift whose positive development is aided by spirit guides."

p. 148

compraehensive clairsentience : "Sometimes he receives odors; for example, the smell of bread baking, tastes, or sounds, images, or visions. ...

I see, hear, feel, all at the same time ... from my guides, from the [spirits of] relatives all around. ... I can describe your spirit guides without seeing them. I can see them with my third eye, and I can tell you what you’re feeling."

p. 157, n. 17 "Margaret Mead ... believed that she had two spirit guides (Howard, 1984)."

Howard 1984 = Jane Howard : Margaret Mead, a life. Simon & Schuster, 1984.


7. Edmund Searles : "Prophecy, Sorcery, and Reincarnation".

pp. 164-165 exemplars of religious devotion




"Frank Cushing ... was initiated into the sacred order of the Zuni Bow Priesthood in


1881 (Green 1979). This event ... inspired him to become an ardent defender of Zuni ... religion.


S. B., a Winnebago whose autobiography was translated by Paul Radin (1963), remembers his conversion as being rather immediate and intense. After ingesting peyote, he was deeply moved by the overwhelming presence of Earthmaker (God)."


"More recently, Paul Stoller (2004) ... clarified his understanding of Songhay sorcery ... and his quest to be a sorcerer’s apprentice."


"The Canadian anthropologist Roderick Wilson describes how his faith ... broadened his appreciation of modern shamanic practices (Wilson 1994, 207)."

Green 1979 = Jesse Green (ed.) : Selected Writings of Frank Hamilton Cushing. Lincoln : U of NE Pr, 1979.

Radin 1963 = Paul Radin : The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian.

Stoller 2004 = Paul Stoller : Stranger in the Village of the Sick. Boston : Beacon, 2004.

Wilson 1994 = C. Roderick Wilson : "Seeing They See not". In :- Young & Goulet (ed.s): Being Changed by Cross-Cultural Encounters. Peterborough (ON) : Broadview, 1994.

pp. 170-171 spirits; re-enchantment [Mandinga of Guinea-Bissau]

p. 170

"we met people who were bewitched by irans (spirits that were invisible to everyone except porteiros or visionaries ...). ...


In Guinea-Bissau, I began to feel that there was more to the world than natural forces and human agency. ...

p. 171

I began to feel re-enchanted and reanimated by a world of mystic presence and spiritual agency. I began to experience the world as saturated with unseen forces, a world suffused with ... invisible beings."

pp. 174-175 beliefs in the spirit-world, by Arctic tribes

p. 174

"Dene Tha ... in northern Alberta ... believe in the reincarnation of humans, in the incarnation of spirit helpers in the form of animals, and in the power of prophet dances and visions."

p. 175

"Anthropologists who study the circulation of names and its overarching cosmology are drawn into the ... mystical aspects of the practice".

pp. 176-177 tarniq & inua [Inuit]

p. 176

"Every being, persons and animals included, possess a tarniq, or that part of the soul that gives life and health. A tarniq might be coaxed into leaving the body through sorcery ... . The loss of one’s tarniq eventuates in death, although shamans have the ability to call back one’s tarniq, or replace it with another. ... The tarniq might linger for a few days with the dead body and then either become reincarnated and/or go to the land of the dead. ...

p. 177

In addition to tarniq and inuusia, there is another mystical presence, namely the inua, or owner of an object. {cf. [<ibri^] /ba<l/ ‘owner’, often regarded as a member of a class of deities} Every object, animate and inanimate, has an inua, a spirit-being that controls the destiny of that object. A knife has an inua {cf. [Aztec] /Itztli/ ‘knife’, the name of a deity}, a person has an inua, and so on. A hunter is successful, it is thought, only when the animal’s inua is complicit. In this way, hunting itself becomes a spiritual act, an act of gift or grace on the part of the inua. Inua are sentient beings, and they study the actions of hunters and their families; they can withhold their gifts from those who are ... disrespectful. ... The language and beliefs of the inua in the cycle of life and death, luck and bad luck, are sensed within the language ... much the same way that the inua offer a sacrifice on behalf of willing and worthy followers ... . ... The Inuit subject, reincarnated with name-souls and living in the shadow of the inua, provides a striking ... register of meaning and agency. He is intimately connected with other souls through his own soul, ... through faith".

p. 178

"Because children are reincarnated, there is a tacit assumption that they are born with accumulated wisdom that is hidden but that gradually emerges as the child awakens to his reincarnated identities."

pp. 178, 180-181 visitations by the dead; an out-of-body experience; fatalism; spirituality [Inuit]

p. 178

"the choice of a name is often precipitated by visions and dreams, unusually in the form of visitations from deceased relatives."

p. 180

"She had lost all vital signs for several minutes during the birth of her daughter, and she describes having an out-of-body experience in which she was able to pass through walls. In fact, she felt that she had been without a body, merging seamlessly into the tunnel of light in front of her. When she saw her body lying on the gurney [in] the hospital room, it was ... constraining."


"She illustrated for the concept of ajurnarmat or ajurnaqtauq, meaning "it cannot be helped." ... Ajurnarmat can lead ... to feelings of tranquility and comfort."

p. 181

"I ... take seriously spirituality and faith as expressed by my informants. I analyzed ... Inuit ... beliefs in reincarnation, extraordinary visions, ... for understanding ... mystical presence".

"The various components of Inuit spirituality ..., including prophecy and reincarnation, are ... an enormous corpus of knowledge and thought about cosmology and eschatology."


Jean-Guy A. Goulet & Bruce Granville Miller : Extraordinary Anthropology : Transformations in the Field. U of NE Pr, Lincoln, 2007.