The guardian of Takanakapsaluk
Type of Spiritual Experience
Sedna (Inuktitut: ᓴᓐᓇ, Sanna) is the goddess of the sea and marine animals in Inuit mythology, also known as the Mother of the Sea or Mistress of the Sea. Sedna is also known as Arnakuagsak or Arnaqquassaaq (Greenland) and Sassuma Arnaa ("Mother of the Deep", West Greenland) and Nerrivik ("Table", northern Greenland) or Nuliajuk (District of Keewatin, Northwest Territories, Canada).
She is sometimes known by other names by different Inuit groups such as Arnapkapfaaluk ("Big Bad Woman") of the Copper Inuit from the Coronation Gulf area and Takánakapsâluk or Takannaaluk (Igloolik). The story of Sedna, which is a creation myth, describes how she came to rule over Adlivun, the Inuit underworld.
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
Reaching the bottom of the ocean, the shaman finds himself facing three great stones in constant motion barring his road; he must pass between them at the risk of being crushed. This is another image of the ‘strait gate’ that forbids access to the plane of higher being to anyone but the initiate, that is, one who can act like a spirit.
Successfully passing this obstacle, the shaman follows a path and comes to a sort of bay; on a hill stands Takanakapsaluk’s house, made of stone and with a narrow entrance. The shaman hears sea beasts blowing and panting, but does not see them. A dog with bared teeth defends the entrance; the dog is dangerous to anyone who is afraid of it, but the shaman passes over it, and it understands that he is a very powerful magician.
All these obstacles oppose the ordinary shaman, but the really powerful shamans reach the bottom of the sea and the presence of Takanakapsaluk directly, by diving beneath their tent or snow hut, as if slipping through a tube