posted on Aug, 27 2006 @ 11:47 PM
Originally posted by Byrd
All cultures, by the way, had formulas and incantations for demons and evil spirits. The artifacts from ancient Egypt are full of these charms and
incantations... likewise Sumeria/Babylon/India/China, etc. The Americas seem free of this... none of the native cultures (including Aztec/Inca/Maya)
had a demonology tradition.
In my opinion, the "lack of demonology" in the Americas is due to the fact that their cultures, coming from a heritage of shamanism, are more
focused on witchcraft as a source of human suffering than they are on demonic influence.
In both European and Native American cultures, malevolent witches used familiar spirits to inflict harm on their neighbors.
The Navajo believed that witches sent evil spirits with "corpse powder" to poison healthy families. A healer didn't counteract the evil spirits
with his own spirit-helpers (as is the case in shamanism), but banished the evil forces in a fashion analogous to the work of a Christian, Jewish or
Chinese worker would. By tying into the powers of creation, the sandpainter would dispel the evil "monsters" and force them to flee.
Likewise a Christian priest or rabbi would not defeat a witch by "counter-conjuring" spirits of his own, the way a shaman would; but would merely
command the demons to be gone, through the authority of his office.
In a sense, shamans in most cultures are "independent operators." Whereas organized religions have specific offices, and clergy are expected to
dispel evil by the power of their office, rather than a demonic "counter-strike" against the witch.
In that sense, Navajo beliefs show elements of BOTH systems, shaman as well as exorcist.
But then, both elements are seen in practically ALL belief systems, from the catholic clergy to tibetan monks. The variation is probably due to how
the source of evil is imagined, and the type of ceremony required to mitigate it.