ABSTRACT

The article, based on the author’s doctoral research on the life and work of contemporary folk healers with shamanistic knowledge in North East Scotland, explores one key issue when it comes to healing traditions: What kind of healing do these individuals offer? In 1986, anthropologist James Dow, expanding on Daniel Moerman’s idea that all spiritual healers are in fact symbolic healers, suggested that these folk specialists use human communication, ritual, and culture-specific symbols as tools to heal others. Drawing from the author’s ethnographic fieldwork alongside one such spiritual healer, the article examines the healer’s symbolic healing approaches through the example of a spontaneous magic ritual he conducted in autumn 2015 in Greece. The article’s goal is to ethnographically demonstrate how the healer’s practices fit into Dow’s “symbolic healing” scheme as an integral component for the efficiency of his healing practices.

You do not currently have access to this content.