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Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah$
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Jonathan Garb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226282077

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226282060.001.0001

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:The Shamanic Process: Descent and Fiery Transformations

:The Shamanic Process: Descent and Fiery Transformations

Chapter:
(p.21) Two:The Shamanic Process: Descent and Fiery Transformations
Source:
Shamanic Trance in Modern Kabbalah
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226282060.003.0002

This chapter provides a definition of shamanism, and outlines the forms of movement from ordinary reality to altered reality, which are mythically described in terms of motion within imaginal geography. It also describes the shamanic transformation itself, which is often mythically imagined in terms related to fire, adopts the returning phase, and explores the ramifications of the return into social reality. The chapter then reviews the existing uses of the term “shamanism” in the study of Jewish mysticism. Soul retrieval is one of the major goals of travel into secret space. The examples that show the instances of soul retrieval in modern Jewish mysticism are reported. The nomian rite, accompanied by mystical intent, is a necessary prelude for the nocturnal anomian practice. It is interesting that descent into the underworld and fiery transformation hold some sway over the contemporary popular imagination.

Keywords:   shamanism, imaginal geography, shamanic transformation, fire, Jewish mysticism, soul retrieval, fiery transformation, descent

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