A P Elkin - Aboriginal men of high degree - Pointing and projecting magical substances
Type of Spiritual Experience
This describes an initiation process
A description of the experience
From Aboriginal Men of High degree - A P Elkin
The only other region for which any worthwhile information is available is far western Queensland. There, doctors are made by nature spirits who were probably ghosts to begin with, or by a water snake. The method seems to amount to a killing of the aspirant by "pointing" and projecting magical substances in his body. These are later removed.
The individual has sought this experience by fasting and seclusion, and it seems certain that medicine men play a part in the trance experience. Indeed, if the trance does not come, the Maitakudi aspirant can be made by doctors of the Goa tribe. They kill him throw him into a waterhole for four days, and then take him out and dry him in a ring of fires, so making him all right.
In other words, he passes through a prescribed ritual, in which a water snake figures. The killing is apparently effected by pointing. We can be sure that only part of the making has been revealed.
The source of the experienceAustralian aboriginal
Concepts, symbols and science items
SymbolsPierced with swords
Activities and commonsteps
Overwhelming fear and terror