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Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls I Raising the Dead: Medicine Women and Soul Retrieval, III
Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls II
by VELEDA on MARCH 28, 2013 · NO COMMENTS
RECENT POSTS Goddesses of the Kalasha Raising the Dead: Medicine Women and Soul Retrieval, IV Woman Shaman: the Ancients Raising the Dead: Medicine Women and Soul Retrieval, III Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls II
by Max Dashu Ilmatar In the 15th Rune of the Kalevala (Finnish folk tradition) a valiant witchmother brings her son back to life. She is not named, but other clues in the tradition identify her as Ilmatar. She notices baleful omens –the hairbrush of her absent son Lemminkäinen’s is exuding blood . Knowing something is [...]
by Max Dashu Ilmatar In the 15 th Rune of the Kalevala (Finnish folk tradition) a valiant witch-mother brings her son back to life. She is not named, but other clues in the tradition identify her as Ilmatar. She notices baleful omens –the hairbrush of her absent son Lemminkäinen’s is exuding blood . Knowing something is amiss, she rushes north to Pohyola, the northern land of the dead, where her son had traveled on a rash quest, against her advice. She travels in a shamanic manner: On her arm she throws her long-robes, Fleetly flies upon her journey; With her might she hastens northward, Mountains tremble from her footsteps, Valleys rise and heights are lowered, Highlands soon become as lowlands, All the hills and valleys leveled.
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sourcememory. whose daughter Lemminkäinen had come to court. Like the hare. Finally the sun answers her. For her son she weeps and trembles. Like the wolf she bounds through fenlands. along the sea-coast. being preoccupied with their own concerns. like the hedgehog. and rakes the waters looking for her son’s body. “Then the mother. the pathways. well reflecting. flesh to flesh” that is found across northern Europe. mistress of the dead. To the sea-point. Spake these words in bitter weeping: ‘From these fragments. painted by the Finnish artist Gallen-Kallella Ilmatar interrogates Louhi. through the marshes. then his parts of his body—dismembered by animals—and continues until she has found them all. but all answer that they don’t know.Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls II Louhi spins on a hillside. through forest thickets. She takes it to the river Tuoni. asking him to forge a special rake she can use to plumb the waters.net/veleda/?p=638[08/11/2013 23:36:50] . Like the wild-boar. She finds his clothing. Like the bear. with my magic. It resonates with the chant of “bone to bone. and she goes to find him. and the golden moon. I will bring to life my hero’. Ilmatar http://www. The mother goes to a smith. Again she travels in a shamanic manner: Now the mother seeks her lost one. to discover what became of her son. Like the wild-duck swims the waters…” She questions the forest.” Now the poem evokes a very old healing incantation. Three times she asks before she gets a straight answer. saying that Lemminkäinen disappeared into the whirlpool of the river Tuoni. including in a rare 10 th century pagan incantation in Old German—the Merseberg Charm. calling on the sun for strength.
With thy slender. Through the channels of the long-bones. using charms of spinning. Gallen-Kallela has painted small bronze medicine objects that she has thrust into the pebbled shore. http://www. In the wounds that still are open.sourcememory. thou art needed. sewing. And unite with skill the sinews. and rowing to call up the desired transformation: Skilful spinner of the vessels. O maiden. Set the vessels in their places. to reunify the severed parts.Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls II Shapes her son from all the fragments Shapes anew her Lemminkainen Flesh to flesh with skill she places Gives the bones their proper stations Binds one member to the other Joins the ends of severed vessels Counts the threads of all the venules Knits the parts in apposition… Then the healer invokes Suonetar. goddess of the veins. At the end join well the venules. to come “from the belt of heaven”: Row throughout these veins. Take thou now a slender needle. Set in frame of molten silver. In the members that are injured. Firmly knit the veins together. Join the smallest of the veinlets. Row through all these lifeless members.net/veleda/?p=638[08/11/2013 23:36:50] . Come thou hither. silver spindle. Then the healer invokes a maiden in a copper boat. The shaman-mother performs a ceremony to bring her child back to life. Bring the instruments for mending. Silken thread within its eyelet. floating in the ether. Lay the heart in right position. Make the pulses beat together. With thy spinning-wheel of copper. Row through every form of tissue.
sourcememory. in the next installment. finds it full of healing virtue. and attempts to dissuade men from battle. We will see this theme repeated in the Manchu epic Nishan Shaman .” The Kalevala contains several of these female commentaries on the recklessness of male heroes. she is a goddess—another avatar of the creation goddess Luonnetar—who is represented as a living woman. she is able to resurrect the dead. the harms of war. Where the drops of magic honey. As in the tradition of Pa Sini Jobu. Also like Auset. The Kalevala: The Epic Poem of Finland . rent by beasts. So she dispatches the bee to the seventh heaven.net/veleda/?p=638[08/11/2013 23:36:50] . She sends the bee again to fetch a stronger honey. Sew with care the wounds together. She asks Lemminkäinen how he came to this pass.com/neu/kveng/kvrune15.Raising the Dead: Medicine Women Who Revive and Retrieve Souls II Ply the silver needle gently. Online: http://www. too). These accounts highlight the revivifying power of the female shaman.” with which to anoint and restore Lemminkäinen. Still the inert body cannot speak. even in the direst of circumstances. 1888 Rune XV. but to no avail. She anoints her son’s body and this time succeeds in fully restoring him to life. and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. and tasting the honey. and before long is reproaching his foolhardiness: “O thou son of little insight/ Senseless hero. and like her. Lemminkäinen’s body is represented as hopelessly beyond repair: dead for days. across the seven oceans to a magic island (a staple of Russian healing charms. fool-magician/ Thou didst boast betimes thy magic / To enchant the wise enchanters/ On the dismal shores of Lapland. For good measure. Ilmatar gathers up the parts of her loved one. Now the medicine woman asks. “Where may I procure the balsam. http://www. uses charms—words of power—to restore him. Ilmatar calls on the heavenly god Ukko to mend the wounds. She succeeds in restoring the integrity of her son’s body—but he is still lifeless.htm © 2013 Max Dashu Share this article Veleda PAGES THE LATEST MORE © 2010 Veleda About Goddesses of the Kalasha One of the last peoples of western Asia to retain their aboriginal […] Thanks for dropping by! Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments.sacredtexts. She sends a bee to gather honey from sacred forests. Like Isis. The Kalevala translations used here are from John Martin Crawford.
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