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Mircea Eliade - Kahuna ascent of the spirit on death

Identifier

010966

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

For the Maori of New Zealand the ascent of souls is long and difficult, for there are as many as ten heavens, and the gods dwell in the last.  The priest employs several means to accomplish it; he sings, thus magically escorting the soul; at the same time, by a particular ritual, he tries to separate the soul from the body and send it upward.  When the dead man is a chief, the priest and his assistants fasten feathers to the end of sticks and, as they chant, gradually raise their sticks into the air.  We may note that, here again, only the privileged go up to the sky; the rest of mankind depart across the ocean or to a subterranean realm

The source of the experience

Kahuna

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities