Election

Election – From the perspective of other-than-human persons, or spirits, who initiate or work with shamans and/or cause illness, phenomena commonly interpreted as possession or trance should really be labeled “election.” An understanding of shamans and their work may be advanced by noting that humans may not always be in charge or responsible for the choices made and actions taken by such beings. From many shamans’ perspectives, their activities may be the outworking of otherworld agency rather than human cultural practice. Bernard Saladin d’Anglure also uses the term to refer to the practice of some individuals among Siberian and Arctic peoples to choose their own gender and/or gendered relationships and performances.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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