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999 shaman

Even the so-called highly scientific suggestion therapy employs the wares of the medicine-man and the exorcising shaman. And why not? The public is not much more advanced either and continues to expect miraculous cures from the doctor. And indeed, we must rate those doctors wise worldly-wise in every sense—who know how to surround themselves with the aura of a medicine-man. They have not only the biggest practices but also get the best results.  This is because, apart from the neuroses, countless physical illnesses are tainted and complicated with psychic material to an unsuspected degree. The medical exorcist betrays by his whole demeanour his full appreciation of that psychic component when he gives the patient the opportunity of fixing his faith firmly on the mysterious personality of the doctor. In this way he wins the sick man’s mind, which from then on helps him to restore his body to health. The cure works best when the doctor himself believes in his own formulae, otherwise he may be overcome by scientific doubt and so lose the proper convincing tone. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 578


Since all mythical figures correspond to inner psychic experience and originally sprang from them, it is not surprising to find certain phenomena in the field of parapsychology which remind us of the trickster …. His universality is co-extensive, so to speak, with that of shamanism, to which the whole phenomenology of spiritualism belongs. There is something of the trickster in the character of the shaman and medicine-man, for he, too, often plays malicious jokes on people, only to fall victim in his turn to the vengeance of those whom he has injured. For this reason, his profession sometimes puts him in peril for his life. Besides that, the shamanistic techniques in themselves often cause the medicine-man a good deal of discomfort, if not actual pain. At all events, the “making of a medicine-man” involves, in many parts of the world, so much agony of body and soul that permanent psychic injuries may result. His “approximation to the savior” is an obvious consequence of this, in confirmation of the mythological truth that the wounded is the agent of healing, and

that the sufferer takes away suffering. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 457.


What is performed concretely on the sacrificial animal, and what the shaman believes to be actually happening to himself, appears, on a higher level, in the vision of Zosimos, as a psychic process in which a product of the unconscious, an homunculus, is cut up and transformed. By all the rules of dream interpretation, this is an aspect of the observing subject himself; that is to say, Zosimos sees himself as an homunculus, or rather the unconscious represents

him as such, as an incomplete, stunted, dwarfish creature … and thus signifies the “hylical” man. Such a one is dark, and sunk in materiality. He is essentially unconscious and therefore in need of transformation and enlightenment. For this purpose his body must be taken apart and dissolved into its constituents, a process known in alchemy as divisio, separatio and solutio, and in later treatises as discrimination and self-knowledge. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 272


The numinous experience of the individuation process is, on the archaic level, the prerogative of shamans and medicine men; later, of the physician, prophet, and priest; and finally, at the civilized stage, of philosophy and religion …. The shaman’s experience of sickness, torture, death, and regeneration implies, at a higher level, the idea of being made whole through sacrifice, of being changed by transubstantiation and exalted into a pneumatic man in a word, of apotheosis. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 448.


Like all archetypal symbols, the symbol of the tree has undergone a development of meaning in the course of the centuries. It is far removed from the original meaning of the shamanistic tree, even though certain basic features prove to be unalterable. The psychoid form underlying any archetypal image retains its character at all stages of development, though empirically it is capable of endless variations. The outward form of the tree may change in the course of time, but the richness and vitality of a symbol are expressed more in its change of meaning. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 350


In shamanism, much importance is attached to crystals, which play the part of ministering spirits. They come from the crystal throne of the supreme being or from the vault of the sky. They show what is going on in the world and what is happening to the souls of the sick, and they also give man the power to fly ~Carl Jung, CW 13 Para 132


The tree (or wonderful plant) also has its habitat on the mountains. Since the imagery of the Book of Enoch was often taken as a model, it should be mentioned that there the tree in the Western Land stood on a mountain. In the “Practica Mariae Prophetissae” the wonderful plant is described as “growing on hills.” The Arabic treatise of Ostanes in the “Kitâb el Focul” says: “It is a tree that grows on the tops of mountains.” The relation of tree to mountain is not accidental but is due to the original and widespread identity between them: both are used by the shaman for the purpose of his heavenly journey. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 407


Our material is, however, fully in accord with the widespread, primitive shamanistic conceptions of the tree and the heavenly bride, who is a typical anima projection. She is the ayami (familiar, protective spirit) of the shaman ancestors. Her face is half black, half red. Sometimes she appears in the form of a winged tiger. Spitteler also likens the “Lady Soul” to a tiger. The tree represents the life of the shaman’s heavenly bride and has a maternal significance. Among the Yakuts a tree with eight branches is the birthplace of the first man. He is suckled by a woman the top part of whose body grows out of the trunk. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 460


The inverted tree plays a great role among the East Siberian shamans. Kagarow has published a photograph of one such tree, named Nakassä, from a specimen in the Leningrad Museum. The roots signify hairs, and on the trunk, near the roots, a face has been carved, showing that the tree represents a man. Presumably this is the shaman himself, or his greater personality. The shaman climbs the magic tree in order to find his true self in the upper world. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 462


Eliade says in his excellent study of shamanism: “The Eskimo shaman feels the need for these ecstatic journeys because it is above all during trance that he becomes truly himself: the mystical experience is necessary to him as a constituent of his true personality.” The ecstasy is often accompanied by a state in which the shaman is “possessed” by his familiars or guardian spirits. By means of this possession he acquires his “`mystical organs,’ which in some sort constitute his true and complete spiritual personality” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 462


This confirms the psychological inference that may be drawn from shamanistic symbolism, namely that it is a projection of the individuation process. This inference, as we have seen, is true also of alchemy, and in modern fantasies of the tree it is evident that the authors of such pictures were trying to portray an inner process of development independent of their consciousness and will. The process usually consists in the union of two pairs of opposites, a lower (water, blackness, animal, snake, etc.) with an upper (bird, light, head, etc.), and a left (feminine) with a right (masculine). The union of opposites, which plays such a great and indeed decisive role in alchemy, is of equal significance in the psychic process initiated by the confrontation with the unconscious, so the occurrence of similar or even identical symbols is not surprising. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 462


The former [natural] symbols are derived from the unconscious contents of the psyche, and they therefore represent an enormous number of variations on the basic archetypal motifs. In many cases, they can be traced back to their archaic roots, i.e., to ideas and images that we meet in the most ancient records and in primitive societies. In this respect, I should like to call the reader’s attention to such books as Mircea Eliade’s study of shamanism, where a great many illuminating examples may be found ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 578


It should be noted that music is a primitive means of putting people into a state of frenzy; one has only to think of the drumming at the dances of shamans and medicine-men, or of the flute-playing at the Dionysian orgies. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 331.


As animals have no need to be taught their instinctive activities, so man also possesses primordial psychic patterns, and repeats them spontaneously, independently of any teaching. Inasmuch as man is conscious and capable of introspection, it is quite possible that he can perceive his instinctual patterns in the form of archetypal representations. As a matter of fact, these possess the expected degrees of universality (cf., the remarkable identity of shamanistic structures). ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 152


For example, both in Siberia and Australia the candidate for shamanism “is subjected to an operation by semi-divine beings or ancestors, in which his body is dismembered and his internal organs and bones are renewed.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 204


“The primitive magician, the medicine man or shaman is not only a sick man, he is above all, a sick man who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing himself.” ~Mircea Eliade, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 204


One of the greatest hindrances to understanding is the projection of the shaman—the savior. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 359-364


You Americans don’t know your own heritage. You know nothing about the American Indian!” -fired Maud Oakes with the determination to work with the Navaho shamans whose sand paintings she had read about in an anthropological study. ~Joseph Henderson, The Stone Speaks, Page x


The Marn Indians with whom I lived in Guatemala feel that every stone contains a spirit. On the summit of one of their holy mountains the shamans and prayer-makers worship a sacred stone in the form of a bird. ~Maud Oakes, The Stone Speaks, Page 27


For me Jupiter also represented Jung, Dr. L., and all medicine men and shamans who have insight into the veiled mysteries of Life.  ~Maud Oakes, The Stone Speaks, Page 94


I remember a dream I had when I was living with the Mam Indians of Guatemala. I had been with them six months and was trying to establish a rapport with them and particularly with the shamans, the medicine men. Every night I prayed for help, and finally it came. It was night and I was in a sort of village square. On my right was a fountain with no water in it. A very old man approached me1 dressed in the Mam costume, and he said: “I want you to take the male lead in a play that I am going to present.” I said, “But how can I take the male lead when I am a woman?” He repeated What he had said. I looked down and saw I was dressed in a Mam Indian male costume, so I agreed. At that moment water began to rise upward in the fountain (source of the waters of life). ~Maud Oakes, The Stone Speaks, Page 79


As Mircea Eliade points out, the shaman himself does not heal; he mediates the healing confrontation of the patient with the divine powers.  ~Marie Louise Von Franz, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, Page 66


“The shaman,” says Eliade, “is the great specialist in the human soul; he alone ‘sees’ it, for he knows its ‘form’ and its destiny.” ~Mircea Eliade, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, Page 99


In civilized societies the priest is primarily the guardian of existing collective ritual and tradition; among primitive peoples, however, the figure of the shaman is characterized by individual experience of the world of spirits (which today we call the unconscious) and his main function is the healing of personal illnesses and disturbances in the life of the collective. ~Marie Louise Von Franz, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, Page 99


When I once remarked to Jung that his psychological insights and his attitude to the unconscious seemed to me to be in many respects the same as those of the most archaic religions for example shamanism, or the religion of the Naskapi Indians who have neither priest nor ritual but who merely follow their dreams which they believe are sent by the “immortal great man in the heart” Jung answered with a laugh: “Well, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is an honor!”  ~Marie Louise Von Franz, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, Page 13