The Medicine Man and the Myths of Metamorphosis in the Finno-Ugric and Siberian Cultures The myths of metamorphosis among the Finno-Ugric and Siberian peoples, considered from a comparative point of view with regard to the myths of metamorphosis in ancient Western European cultures, reveal elements of affinity and characteristics of individuality. The original shamanic concept of energy (or “double” or “second soul”) in all created beings, subject, without interruption, to transformation presupposing renovatio, finds an explicit scenic demonstration in the “trance of transference” of the medicine man: his “double”, during the difficult, painful magic journey, assumes new features, activating a process of renewal which allows the shaman to reach the generative power of the cosmos and to reinforce his personal skills. In trance, he creates the foundations for the renewal of the reality in which symbols appear, relating the discomfort of the sick person, his pains and social problems with the harmonious order of the cosmos wanted by God the Creator at the dawn of the universe: with his ritual language, based on the dialectic of fragmentation and unity and aimed at integration, the shaman transforms the unbalanced condition of the patient’s illness into a balanced state of good health, which helps social relations. Quite frequently, it is the mythical metamorphoses which explain the origins of all natural beings, man included, which are fundamental for the understanding of the common initiatory characteristic of their existence. The peoples of the North, for example, express metaphorically the creative need for man’s immortality through the myth of the celestial origin of his bear-ancestor, which “fell” to earth from the Constellation of Ursa Maior. The shamanic system of beliefs in its historical development has shown an extraordinary capacity for the conservation of the metaphorical meaning of the myths of metamorphosis, associated with the idea of renovatio, which is implemented through suffering, struggle and the spirit of sacrifice in difficult times of “passage”, both in the lives of single individuals and society. Even in the literature and art of peoples who have long since abandoned the practice of shamanism, like the Hungarians or Finns, the prototype of the transformation of the mythical and magic imagination of the ancestors leaves the imprint of its importance and survives to this day, showing a topical nature which leads to reflection about the necessity for the conservation of ethical values in periods of transition like that of today. The metamorphosis of shamanic matrix can be ambivalent, and occur also in a negative sense: in this case, according to the dictates of the fathers, it is vital to activate adequate resources to counteract it and trigger a transformation which represents a renewal.

Il medicine man e i miti della metamorfosi nelle culture ugro finniche e siberiane –The Medicine Man and Myths of Metamorphosis in the Finno-Ugric and Siberian Cultures

CORRADI, CARLA
2013

Abstract

The Medicine Man and the Myths of Metamorphosis in the Finno-Ugric and Siberian Cultures The myths of metamorphosis among the Finno-Ugric and Siberian peoples, considered from a comparative point of view with regard to the myths of metamorphosis in ancient Western European cultures, reveal elements of affinity and characteristics of individuality. The original shamanic concept of energy (or “double” or “second soul”) in all created beings, subject, without interruption, to transformation presupposing renovatio, finds an explicit scenic demonstration in the “trance of transference” of the medicine man: his “double”, during the difficult, painful magic journey, assumes new features, activating a process of renewal which allows the shaman to reach the generative power of the cosmos and to reinforce his personal skills. In trance, he creates the foundations for the renewal of the reality in which symbols appear, relating the discomfort of the sick person, his pains and social problems with the harmonious order of the cosmos wanted by God the Creator at the dawn of the universe: with his ritual language, based on the dialectic of fragmentation and unity and aimed at integration, the shaman transforms the unbalanced condition of the patient’s illness into a balanced state of good health, which helps social relations. Quite frequently, it is the mythical metamorphoses which explain the origins of all natural beings, man included, which are fundamental for the understanding of the common initiatory characteristic of their existence. The peoples of the North, for example, express metaphorically the creative need for man’s immortality through the myth of the celestial origin of his bear-ancestor, which “fell” to earth from the Constellation of Ursa Maior. The shamanic system of beliefs in its historical development has shown an extraordinary capacity for the conservation of the metaphorical meaning of the myths of metamorphosis, associated with the idea of renovatio, which is implemented through suffering, struggle and the spirit of sacrifice in difficult times of “passage”, both in the lives of single individuals and society. Even in the literature and art of peoples who have long since abandoned the practice of shamanism, like the Hungarians or Finns, the prototype of the transformation of the mythical and magic imagination of the ancestors leaves the imprint of its importance and survives to this day, showing a topical nature which leads to reflection about the necessity for the conservation of ethical values in periods of transition like that of today. The metamorphosis of shamanic matrix can be ambivalent, and occur also in a negative sense: in this case, according to the dictates of the fathers, it is vital to activate adequate resources to counteract it and trigger a transformation which represents a renewal.
Sul cammino delle metamorfosi tra gli Urali e il Mediterraneo. Dal mito alle trasformazioni sociali
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Carla, Corradi Musi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/144249
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