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Modalities of intersubjectivity in neo-shamanic ritual healing


The focus of the current ethnographic study is a neo- shamanic healing ritual, practiced by contemporary Euro- Americans in the west coast of the United States, called soul retrieval. Moving away from symbolic, interpretive or representational approaches to the study of ritual healing, this study offers an experientially specific account of neo-shamanic healing process that is grounded in embodiment. The ritual healing practice of soul retrieval is formulated here as a process of self-transformation and self-objectification, which is facilitated vis-à-vis a series of relationships that are created throughout the healing ritual and extend beyond it. The effort made in this paper is bifocal, in the sense that it attempts to elaborate on embodiment as a paradigm for anthropology by drawing on a particular ethnographic instance, while at the same time contribute to the anthropological literature on ritual healing and therapeutic process from an analytical perspective grounded in embodiment

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