>From: Alexis <[log in to unmask]>
>I am not sure that conception by ingestion could be considered as
>reincarnation or transmigration.
I think you're confusing concepts. Conception can occur in many ways.
Transmigration or reincarnation--whatever is going on in the Irish tales--is
not *necessarily* linked to conception by ingestion. It's just that the
conceptions of extraordinary people--whether saints or heros--tend to be
>As far as I know, esoterism (in a strict sense of something being reserved
>only for a small part of initiated people) is not part of any Christian
It's a question of degree. By definition, priests are set aside through
ordination and granted the power to perform transformatory acts that cannot
be performed by anone else. Mystical theology--including Christian mystical
theology--assumes that experiences and subsequent knowledge are granted to
some but not all. So while mainstream Christianity may not be gnostic, it is
not without initiatory experiences and spiritual elite.
>But an allegoric or mystic way of understanding the episode could
>be that whatever transformation affects you, the soul is always one and the
>same. I don't think that the way Carey is interpreting this poem is the way
>in which it was written. By the way, we have many stories about travelling
>souls, but I am not sure that they can be interpreted as tales of
>transmigration, or shamanic practices...
If you want to talk about how stories should be seen in terms of encounters
with the Otherworld, fine, but I see no reason to start calling these
stories "shamanic." Not every figure who interacts with the Otherworld is a
shaman. Shamanism is a total complex characteristic of some cultures and not
of others. Please see the essay by Alice B. Kehoe, "Eliade and Hultkrantz:
the European primitivism tradition" (The American Indian Quarterly,
Summer-Fall 1996 v20 n3-4 pp. 377-93). Unless you can offer proof that the
Celtic-speaking people in general and the Irish in particular acquired some
of their religious and ceremonial culture from Finno-Ugric, Altaic, or
Siberian peoples or the shamanic peoples of North and South America, and
that the Irish tales reflect experiences that took place within the context
of ceremonies and beliefs consistent with those of shamanic cultures, then I
think that your use of that term in reference to medieval Irish tales is
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