“As we have just seen, similar psychopathic phenomena are found almost throughout the world.
That such maladies nearly always appear in relation to the vocation of medicine woman is not at all surprising. Like the sick woman, the religious woman is projected onto a vital plane that shows her the fundamental data of human existence, that is, solitude, danger, hostility of the surrounding world. But the primitive magician, the medicine woman, or the shaman is not only the sick woman; she is, above all, a sick woman who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing herself. Often when the shaman’s or medicine woman’s vocation is revealed through an illness or an epileptoid attack, the initiation of the candidate is equivalent to a cure.”
“But the future shaman is cured in the end, with the help of the same spirits that will later become her tutelaries and helpers.”
Mircea Eliade ‘Shamanism’ pp. 27-28
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