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The Western Psychic as Diviner: Experience and the Politics of Perception

Deeno i.J. Newman
I'nivtrsity C ollc;;'.', Lnndoii, l"K

'r Diviuation has been a ivell-studicd subject in the field of anthropology. Yet drcincrs within Wcsteni societies have been curiously ignored. Van Dijk's and Pels' {-n:)<.:)G) concept of the 'politics of perception' is discussed as a means ofunder standingzvhy this is the case. Redressing this gap. I study the practices and experiences oj an American psychic. This ethnographic material helps to move us beyond the paticnt-clicnt dialogue to address the internal processes oj the diviners t/icn/si'lvcs. The njlcxrvc exegesis ojRlizaheth. an America)! diviner, reveals the spontaneous, visual nature oj her practice and also highlights the role of the senses and emotions in divination. Other examples oj'scnsoiy experience, such as in cases of blindness, s/wiV that those senses deemed 'lozvcr dozvn' in the hierarchy of pcrccptioii can Inaccurate modes oj gaining launvlcdgc of the ivorld. KEYWORDS AnthropolofQ' of the senses, divination, embodiment, pcnrption, Nnv Age


n Orientalism, published in 1979, l'Alward Said took Western scholars to task for their unselfconscious depictions ot the 'Otber.' Aecordingto Marcus and Fischer (1986), this eritique, together with social, political, and economic ehanges in the 19B0S, helped hring ahout profound chan<:^e.s in the field oi anthropology, one being that many anthropologists tui'ned their unvilytic gazes on their own societies. Despite an expansion of the types of sites con.sidereti legitimate for fieldwork, however, certain subjects are still avoided, and divination in tlie West is one of them. Divination is hroadly definetl in the Shorter OxjordDictionary as 'the fbretelhng of kiture events or discovery oi what is hidden or obscure hy supernatural or imaginai means.'' While an extensive anthropologieal literature has ar cumulated on the subject (see, e.g., Hvans-Pritchard 1937; L,ienh;irdt 1961: (Jiuckman 1972; Turner 1967. 1975; Bascom 1969: Werbner 1973, s. vol.. 64:1, 1999
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The Western Psychic as Diviner


1978; and Peek 1991a, 1991b), few of these works address stich practices in the West. In the United States, divination not only exists, but thrives in burgeoning New Age mass market publications, radio and television shows on psychics and the paranormal, horoscope columns in most magazines and newspapers, Internet sites, and 'how to' workshops and 'expos.' Curiously, for anthropologists, the subject often works as a potent truth serum which compels them to confess their beliefs. Luhrmann (1989:18) distances herself from her subjects, British witches, by asserting, in terms reminiscent ofthe McCarthy era, 'I never have and do not now "believe" in magic' Many scholars openly derided African divination a few decades ago (Peek i99ia:9),- and those who wrote neutrally were often assumed to have 'gone native.' Brown (1997:10), for example, reports that he was met with scorn by academics when he was researching channeling in the United States, tiess (1997) in a review of Brown's ethnography, airs his own grievances over skeptics who 'are out policing social scientists to make sure we are not too neutral ... Skeptics are all too ready to confuse a method of cultural relativism with epistemological or moral relativism and to conflate a sensitive interpretation with implicit support' (1997:846-847). Another approach entails pulling the covers o\\ of'magic' in the hallowed institutions ofthe West: Taussig (1997) has written on magical tactics used by state powers, Luhrmann (1997) has presented work on the magic in psychoanalysis, and (jeschiere (1997) has compared American political spin doctors to Cameroonian witch doctors. In these instances, the scholars seem to be engaged in 'studying-up' or debunking tactics. Geschiere makes his agenda explicit: Since 'witchcraft is seen as the sign par excellence of Africa's backwardness ... it is important, in order to "desenclaver I'Airique" as Achille Mbemhe puts it, to show that ... "we" are not different from "them."' Here, 'magic' is used strategically as an equalizer. Van Dijk and Pels (1996), exploring the 'politics of perception,' provide a way to understand these tactics and affidavits. In any society, they assert. there is a struggle over whose perception and even mode of perception will prevail-^ and the question is what is at the top ofa hierarchy of often incompatible discourses of perception. If anthropologists are eaught in the politics of perception, with science and scientism determining what constitutes admissible evidence in the Western tradition, then their tactics vis-a-vis magic and the supernatural are maneuvers of placement, indeed survival, in their own societies.' Their entanglement in this politics is evidenced by the questions they choose to explore and equally important, to ignore. Although their
ETHNOS, VOL. 6 4 : 1 , 1999

and represent divining experience. Peek stresses. I begin to redress this omission by exploring the imaginal/embodied practices of an American psychic. is where Fernandez leaves ofl. but guides the diviner 'hy his nods. Recently. While the dialogical nature of a session is highly important. we can only . occurs during the crucial dialogue hetween diviner and client. and statements of agreement. each being 'both doctor and patient. a number of anthropologists. converting an unmanageably large number of interpretations into a more limited number. voi. 64:1. careful reasoning and analysis accompanying the apparently haphazard process of throwing bones.. or the citation of ancient Odu verses conjoined with the casting of palm nuts.which."' Methodological Issues The challenge... playing down the client's role and stressing the diviner's exceptional sensitivity and skill in mediating between these diflerent cognitive processes . in a volume devoted to African divination systems as 'ways of knowing. cues. 1999 . As Bruner (1986:6) has pointed out. however. We know little ahout how these primary proeesscs are experienced and have missed the role of sensory experience in the construction of meaning and the work of healing. in this attempt to reach a satisfactory diagnosis. following Freud.. he refers to as primary and secondary. In what follows. or where diviners are mediums who claim amnesia while possessed.. The client is not only led by the diviner.84 Dia':NA NEWMAN overlooking diviners' experiences may he understandable where divination involves interpreting objcetively preexisting signs rather than subjectively produced symbols. jumbled speech' is 'straightened out' to produce precise instructions. it is the diviner who must effectively bring his counsel to clients. the main reason for it may well be that they have considered that experience either scientifically irrelevant or fraudulent. I concur with Fernandez that the underrepresented aspect of divination is diviners' internal processes.' suggests that the defining feature of divination is its unique employment of two opposing cognitive modes. working primarily in Africa. then. In the end. Peek (1991b: 193). is how to gain access to.' Fernandez (1991:22) takes issue with Peek's and Parkin's analyses. Parkin (1991:183-84) emphasizes. comprehend. Parkin (1991) similarly prioritizes the dialogiie hetween diviner and client. fbr example. The synthesis of cognitive modes. have demonstrated that an attention to divination's experiential aspects can produce new insights. F'ernandez emphasizes. Where I start.' Client and diviner are thus conceptualized as mirror images. of course. asserting that it is through their joint effort that diviners' 'schizophrenic-like.

My solution. I 9 9 9 . He concludes that the normative methods of ethnography do not lend themselves to uncovering this type of information. Like the above theorists. eliciting narratives requires a specialized type of questioning. Ots (1994). white and middle-class. and the counseling sessions in which she worked as a psychic Gaining access to counseling sessions was initially problematic.The Western Psychic as Diviner 85 infer experience from its expressions (representations. The potential contribution of an approach which conjoins anthropology and phenomenology has been further explored by Jackson (1996). who resist giving personal experience and existential power the same value as political power. the random settings of daily life. a weekly class that took place at her home. lucrative. found that his first interviews evoked stereotyped descriptions of 9/and oiyin and yang. for example. I draw on phenomenology for my research into imaginal/embodied practices. habitual or unconscious. he contends. In addition. Research was carried out from 1990 through 1992 in Southern California. he proposes the method of'retrospective experiential commentary. taboo. In each case. Csordas (1994:4) also takes issue with standard ethnographic methodologies and advocates cultural phenomenology as a 'counterweight and complement' to 'anthropology's emphasis on sign and symbol. sensitive to the circumstances. performances. the imaginal dimension of healing may be inaccessible. was to ask her to counsel several acquaintETHNOS. in his fieldwork on ql-gungha-aSmg in China. objectifications and texts).' More specifically. at the very least. 6 4 : 1 . Access to a diviner's subjectivity may be particularly diffieult because it is seen variously as private.' which involves asking patients and healers to reflect on the healing session afterwards. he suggests. Ethnography's contribution to phenomenology. is to call into question the notions of intuition and ahistorical essences that characterize the phenomenological writings of Husserl and Heidegger. Elizabeth worried that my presence might compromise the patronage of clients who paid $100 to $150 an hour. which she accepted. VOL. language. and upbringing find expression. The contexts of research included life-history interviews. Taking issue with Bourdieu and Foucault. in which she trained eight apprentices and which I observed for a year. Jackson underscores that the individual is. My study focused on an American female psychic. named Elizabeth (Newman 1994). weekly television and daily radio shows. focusing on the healing session proper may mean missing out on aspects ofthe therapeutic process which occur afterwards. secret. It was only after he had repeatedly interviewed his subjects that their descriptions revealed a complex emotional world. the site where the forces of history. Without this elicitation.

and eolor therapy. Her interpretations displayed an open endedness that corresponded with the concept of the 'hypothesis' ot the scientifie method.86 I)I:L. for her.s. to buttress their views (Alhanese 1992.scssion. as Badone (1991:535) underscores.s wilh questions proved disriip tive and therefore. to the point that personal j^rowth and selt-tvansfovniaUon are i\dvi. New Age philosophy is radically individualistic. sharinj^ more ol her internal experience than she would have imdcr normal eircamstances. sensitive. had its cfteets. amting others' (Biidone 19911535). Thus. adherents express ambivalence tou-'ards sci ence. psychic consciousness. Sue cess in the marketplace is seen as compatible with spiritual progress (Heclas 1993:107).1. eounselor. McGiiire T988. unlike many ot her New Age peers. Klizahctfi altered her usual manner of delivery. Wagner 1983). equally tvue. Ail religions were. involved getting one's brain waves into alpha or theta." tarot reading. 1999 . For legitimacy she often relied on the language of science. most ofmy questioning of I'^lizaheth took place privately after session.iround activities 'as diverse as crystal healing. There is an emjihasis on holism and the eonnectedness of individuals. spirit "channeling. The New Age. meditation. An American Psychic in Southern California Born in the 1930s. Interrupting . neopagan magic. l^lizabeth distanced herself from the New Age whenever possihle. My presence.NA NKWMAN ancc's ol mine who were vvillinji' to have me observe their private session. she rejeeted the idea that she hatl been 'eliosen' in any way. Rather than rcterring to herself as a psychic. she explained.s in exehange tor my paying part ol her tee. the states of sleep or near-sleep. ot eourse. particularly physics. and she drew on clients'own religious philosophies in her counseling. aware ot my reseiirch interest. she variously called herself a minister (of divinity). 'is not an organized movement with well-detlned boundaries' hut a confluence of persons (primarily middle-class and wclleducvited [Brown 1997I) '. challenging the mainstream view of selves as utterly separate (McCjuire 1988:244: Melton r99o:xx). hut commonly use it.>eated as panaeeas (Brown 1997] and lhe purpose of life itself is configured as individvial growth (Ross 1992). and nature. or researcher (of parapsychology). Elizabeth was able to merehandise herself as a psychic in one ot the most receptive times in recent history for persons involved in the occult: the New Af^e ot the 19803 and 1990s. Value is placed on other than rational torms ot thouglit or social knowledge. animals. and she telt that it was scienee that would one day explain why she was psychic. 64.

she allowed her son to die and began to live with a different orientation . she was suffering from emphysema and unable to work full-time and she agreed to participate in my study. By the end of 1992 she was . By this time. in the 1970s. members grew overdependent on ber and sbe became ill from overwork. considering berself as "a freak of nature. Altbough the experiments themselves were a disappointment in that she felt herself turned into a 'human guinea pig.' forseeing or experiencing events that witbin a few hours came to pass. could land her in a mental institution and learned to be reticent about them. She gave away a good deal of ber property.' taking otbers with her to form a community dedicated to self-sufficiency. tbe project was a complete failure. she was a 'different person. The next turning point occurred years later. she realized that ber perceptions. Sbe worked for the police as a psychic infindinglost cbildren. To her surprise. twenty-four hours later.' For one tbing.a 'mission. that sbe began to have frightening visions of tuture earth cbanges and social disruption. completed a degree in a spiritualist ministry. taugbt intuitive skills to juvenile deliquents and drug addicts. VOL. because she sligbtly preceded it. As a child. Elizabetb fell into a coma-like state. I approached ber in tbe late 1980s with my researcb proposaJ. One of her sons fell ill witb stomach problems tbat mystified his doctors and resulted in a three-year stay in the hospital and undergoing dozens of operations.' they marked a turning point in ber life in terms of a new-found feeling of legitimacy. She then moved back to CaJifornia in the 19S0S where she worked as a psychic on radio and television and developed a counseling praetiee.' a commitment to service. she moved to a farm in Arkansas 'to begin preparing for the disasters abead. in the 1970s. Exhausted from long vigils in the bospital and faced witb tbe agonizing decision whether to discontinue his life-support system. and began counseling clients. After being bombarded with scenes of devastation for a year. sbared with tbe wrong person. Wben she awakened. and running a successful clothing business in Florida. Having heard her on the radio.' Without hesitation or emotion. and otber disasters. sbe was already baving experiences tbat made her "different. illnesses. 6 4 : 1 .The PVesteni Psychic as Diviner It would be incorrect in any case to situate ber entirely against the backdrop ofthe New Age. when sbe was in her third marriage. sbe 'got ahead in time. her family was determined to keep ber silent about her 'vivid imagination.' Eventually.' It was only when she participated in a parapsycbologieal/mental health research project as a subject in the 1950s that she learned that tbere were otbers like ber. 87 . and threw herself into work. It was within a year of her son's deatb. raising three children. Threatened by her extremely emotional descriptions of fires.

the mythopoetic function (EUenberger 1970). 1999 . For example. VOL. By interpreting lliem herselfshe controUetl their understanding and buffered the information they conveyed with a sensiS. she died. torty-five minutes by freeway from Los Angeles. the word 'produced' is not quite fitting. Tracking the Imaginal/Embodied Counseling sessions took plaee in Elizabeth's home. autonomous imagination (Stephen 198911. C'lienLs will m. with hooks. Elizabeth internally produced ber own material tor interpretation. active imagination Qung T959). hallucinations. a tall apartment complex on the ocean front in L<Mig Beach.lizabeth rarely identified images. it was not so mueb an active as an involuntary process: 'I put me aside. Price-Williams 1987). and bere Elizabeth and the client sat. After the session. telling him that everything would work oat all right. Whereas many diviners openly articulate their cryptic symbolic language (perhaps. primaiy proeess (Freud i960 [1900]: Kracke 1987). 'I'he information is just there. souiids and emotions. accompanied by a mix t^f sensations. waking dreams (Watkins T986[i976]. imagination (Preston 1991).ENA NEWMAN too ill to work or participate in the research in any regular way and in October 1997. she elaborated for me on the image that had prompted ber advice: in her mind's eye she had seen "wild and filthy animals' leaping fiercely at the client who was protected from them by a circular wall and eventually sprouted wings and flew away. She had blocked her client from imaginatively participating in her imageiy.' She would witness a series of images. but he should keep bis distance from tbis group. This type of internal visual experience while awake has been variously referred to as the imaginal world (Corhin 1972). desk.isunderstand images. or entrails. I found this perplexing. discussing a client's worries about a group ot friends. and computer. she spoke. to highlight the otberworldliness of their experience) F. bypnomantictbought (Obeyesekere 1981).' and 'It's like pushing a button.88 DF. and visions (Noll 1985). and.''' She descrihed the experience as "tbinking in pictures. After doing so for a few seconds. ln contrast to a diviner who interprets eowry shells. fn tact. Eaeh session began witb P^lizabeth asking to hold ber client's bands. Clients were admitted to the building by a buzzer and greeted by a secretary and tben escorted into a small room turned into a home office. cloud patterns. Two chairs were placed fiicing each other. Wben I asked about it her answer was definitive. assuming that she might use the 'evidence' of imagery for legitimation. 6 4 : 1 . instead reporting the gist of tbeir meanings. Maurieio [1995) suggests. since for her.1989b). Something else takes over. California. sbe had warmly consoled him.

^9 You're complieating it. instead. imagery was only a tool. I wisb I could tell you it will pick up and move quickly. In another session. she bad divulged the image but had not made it explicit tbat she was actually seeing an image. For example. For example. images worked as illustrations. leading ber to say. and this led her to ask the client if sbe was a dentist (which she was). It's like a snail moving along with a book on its back. but it gives you the credibility. Why are you complicating thisP And the sense tbat I have about it is that you're questioning the success of it. Sometimes it moves so quickly that I can't even verbalize it. then. In tbis case. in one counseling session that she described in retrospect sbe saw an image of ber brother. You're complicating tbe whole situation. At this point I began to listen carefully to Elizabeth's narratives and I found that what I at first bad understood as rote verbal metaphors were often based on or productive of internal images.' Sometimes. and as you were talking. 6 4 : 1 . very slowly. Tbere was also a logistical reason that Elizabeth screened out images from her narratives: they moved too quickly to be described individually: 'The minute I verbalize it.The Western Psychic as Diviner tive delivery. Now.' Tbis perspective brings to mind Sperber's observation that interpreting symbols tbemselves is like looking at the light source instead of what it illuminates (Sperber 1974:70). dealing witb the sales potential of his novel.. In her view. but everything's like at a snail's pace." After the session. Sometimes images seemed to precede conscious tbought. and sbe interrupted him to say. I saw you actually creating problems witfi tbese strings. 'It's like your moutb is zippered shut. and 1 lose it. very slowly. Elizabeth commented. it's gone. and then I don't even try at that point. 'Tbe first book will move very. Does tbai make sense to youP KTHNOS. I 9 9 9 . then you don't have to see whether it will really work for you. VOL. tbe real work of a counseling session was 'putting clients back together. I questioned her privately about this turn ot phrase and learned that sbe had been seeing tbe image she described.. my question tbat 1 bave to ask is. U is not as difficult as you're describing. she was viewing an image ofthe elient whirling in the costume of a mime. like tying them in knots and then trying to untie them. and as she studied it a blur at tbe mime's mouth became a zipper. You can be more vocal. who was a dentist.' Tbe process bad become so habitual that she compared it to "an automatic mouth' or to "being bilingual' What she meant by this became clear in a session with a young writer. As long as it can be a dream . accompanying the 'text' of ber tbougbt or her client's discourse. once a client was telling ber about his dream of starting a musical instrument business.

' Silberer (Freud i96o[i9oo]:38o) also wrote about the correspondenee between images and words. and translate a symbolic language. Thus. She recognized a new client's inner strengtb in an image in whicb. This notion is strikingly similar to tbe idea mentioned eariier of diviners moving back and forth between two cognitive modes (see Fernandez 1991. Silberer easily tracked the transformation ofthought into pictures. Wben faced with symbols that seemed nonverbal. repression and displacement. iie went to great lengths to establish that tbey were verbal after all. and a client wbo had no options but persisted in looking tor one appeared m -an image vepcatedh' "hitting her head against a wall. In addition to distinguishing two modes ofthought (primary and seeondary process). he found that thought escaped him and in its place a picture appeared.Another feature of l^lizabctfi's imagery was its link with linguistic expression. comprehend. he was represented as a 'muscle man. Unlike Freud. the imagery of dreams). her description of an issue's "tying in' with anotber issue. Freud (i96o[i9oo]) used metaphors and figures of speech to deeode imagery (in bis case. Sbe understood tbat one woman was going 'back and forth' on the issue of where to reside because an image depicted her moving between two countries on a map. Ameriean metaphysical and religious groups . 64:1. then. images not always having the same tiieaning.90 DI^I•:^'A NEWMAN . though slight of build. When she characterized a situation as 'rocky' but predicted it would 'level off. when he contemplated 'having to revise an uneven passage in an essay. sbe also emphasized that tbe symbolic language was contextspecific. who postulated hidden meanings. Her assessment that a client hungered to have her 'name up in lights' was generated by an image of a lighted theater marquee. vt)!. For example. A man "overshadowed' in his family life appeared in an image in shadow. referred not to her eommand of a language with a set lexi con hut to her ability lo produce.. Sbe described a person 'at a erossroads' in her life upon seeing an image ot her standing at an interseetion. Parkin 1991) and it has interesting correspondences with the reports of the early psyehoanalysts as well. Peek 1991. 1999 .' Weak family 'ties" were represented by a frayed rope. Her deseription of herseli as bilingual.' Altbough KHzabcth described the 'translation' as automatic. turned out to beacctjmpanied by an image of a rope tying two objects together.' he viewed a mental image of himself 'planing a pieee of wood.' sbe was seeing a rocky road that heeame a smooth one.' When he considered bow to "work his way through' to certain eonccpts he saw an miagc of fiimself pushing a long knife under a multilaycred cake as though to lift out a slice (Freud i96o[i9oo] :38o). upon probing. When on the verge of sleep or fatigucd.

in one session sbe told a client that a cousin with whom he bad had a falling (jut would approach him again. Now. Csordas 1994). and fixity of the image. Elizabeth's report suggests that the use of metaphor may instead be an attempt to aecurately represent internal imagery. she explained. She bad a way of distinguisbing wbether images referred to the past.The Westem Psychic as Divt'ncr 9i demonstrate a similar reliance on metapht)rs for decoding visual or embodied imagery. if I could get them [a mental image ofthe person] moving. 'When I said to him that tbis cousin will be back. or future by tbe relative brigbtness. For example. wasn't ifinished. For example. Elizabetb's system demonstrated other economies as well. changing the guiding metaphor in approaching a problem often contributed to its solution. then it was fixed. then I knew there was a ebange. depicting their metaphors. clarity. Similarly. present. as a means 'to retreat from an unpromising lead and take up another through the use ofthe same words' (Parkin 1991:181).' Images that were very bright consistently referred to tbe present. So then I would . a woman who could not rise from her bed concluded that sbe had brought on the eondition witb ber careless use ofthe phrase 'I will not stand for that' (MeGuire 1987:368) and another participant reported. Wavy images referred to ebange: 'When I was working on someone wbo was very ill. for example. It served another purpose as well that Lakoff and Johnson (1980) bave written about at lengtb. Elizabetb's metapbors served tbe purpose of framing and in many instances reframing clients' pereeptions of tbeir situations and thus helping to resolve them. It was very clear. 6 4 : 1 . ln addition to tbe fluency it atTorded ber. sometimes signaling 'things you need to deal with now. If 1 couldn't get tbem to move.' Images from the past were faded. 1999 . much clearer than tbe door closing. a still photographic image represented tbe fated dimension of a client's life. a very sharp image.** What Elizabeth gained by translating internal images into verbal metaphors was a seamless linking of tbe two that allowed her to communicate with great speed. After tbe session. VOL. They were going to die. 'almost like an old photograph. These examples show quite explictiy how metaphors are embodied (secJohnson 1987. belping her to grasp abstract concepts hy means ofothcr concepts that were less so. I saw a door opening. Tbat's wby and how I knew that it [tbe relationship] wasn't over. I was picking up on tbe future.' Occasionally. and 1 needed to listen' (McGuire 1988:230). Schon (ig7g) observed that the metaphors people used determined the way in whicb problems were pereeived and resolved. Many anthropologists have considered diviners' rhetoric deliberately enigmatic and strategically ambiguous. 'My bearing problem was telling me that God had sometbing to say to me.

I can't move these lights avi'ay. suggesting that the lights represent his roommates..' In some circumstances. covered witb an X. and they move in and out.' This freezing ofthe image was somewhat autonomous. the lingering image created a break tbat prompted her to elicit more information from the client until the flow of images resumed: ELIZABETH I'm Seeing three lights. point to something that could not be changed. Wbatever the case.. I want to leave the lights alone [Silenee]. It might signify tbat sbe bad not correctly grasped the meaning of an image. but it was wavy. so to speak. so I have to clear this.' signaled that she had enough information and needed to stop and think. by a 'lingering image. I'm going to try to leave that alone hecause you're not particularly concerned with the one that fades. A family of three? CLIENT I do. in trying to move them away to move on to something else. a voice commanded 'Not now. tben I'd know there was something else going on. CLIENT U h huh. did you have some kind of falling out. ELIZABETH Okay.' an image that would not go away and blocked ber flow . but you should be. or some kind of problem? [Client intercedes and reinterprets the images. The one who is away.. one of them is in the military.] ELIZABETH Let me clarify this all . or indicate that tbe client was in denial about the trutb of tbe content of tbe image. ELIZABETH There's a fading of one of these lights. hrothers or sisters. that's possible. or erased meant that she was 'not supposed to know' or 'tell. Do you have brothers and sisters. All right.' and sbe took tbis to mean that she should hold back on wbatever she was about to communicate.'like a pause button on a VCR. I couldn't. VOL. ETHNOS. I 9 9 9 .' An image obscured by fog. Alternatively it might serve to emphasize and bigbligbt a topic.. like someone would ask me about a marriage and I would bave a picture of a bride and groom.. The lights come and go based on you. 6 4 : 1 . Okay? They would represent to me siblings. Conversely. and she basically had to wait until the flow resumed. I'm having trouble with three lights. I had one continually fading away as though they were dying or a wish for death .. or close family memhers.9 2 DEENA NEWMAN see tbis in other situations . I can't move the one away. hut one is very dim and that's why I'm questioning the physical condition [Lengthy pause]. I ean't get away from the one that keeps fading. after that. Occasionally her system would be jammed. Is one ill or not around? CLIENT Um. and this would represent for me siblings. a voice saying 'Now you know.

.. ah. and this is not a past life carryover . suggesting a type of trance or dissociated state. As Gregory Bateson observed. I'm going to try not to interpret this [Long pause]. didn't want to frighten you. There's. There's a pen with a feathered quill and a hand writing like in a journal. but in interpreting the images retrospectively she felt that she did not have the same clarity as sbe would bave if sbe bad interpreted immediately: I think the. VOL. so this work is heing done by eandle light [Long pause]... to 'talk in symbols'. After a session she remembered its content in general terms but could not retrace bow she had come to know what sbe knew. 1999 . Nothing changes. Now.. The images were gone. it's . Once she began to interpret tbe scene. There's a certain amount of residue or smoke eoming from it. there's no reason for you to be afraid. Okay .. and it's right beneath the flickering candle.. this is like something out ofthe . sbe failed to get closure on the reason for the lingering ofthe image. She agreed to try this. In an effort to gain access to more of her internal experience.. It continues to flicker. The coffin does not mean that they're dead. As often bappened. It means that in your mind . the children with the nightgowns and um.The Western Psychic as Diviner 93 ELIZABETH Do you understand? Then I bad a eoffin. the first thing I saw was a eandle. and it's in a masculine analytical style. in taking your hands. an old-fashioned candle.. do you understand [Client nods]? There's a completion with this.. the symhol ofthe candle flickering with smoke means there really wasn't enough light for the clarity of this writing. amnesia is extremely economical. and that's why the hand is male. Here a lingering image caused Elizabetb to break witb ber usual pattern of silence about specific images. Hmmm. This I believe is you writing. the candle light is flickering.. That's why I don't. so I would have to say you're having trouble with your writing right now heeause it's in the now even though it ETHNOS. sbe regained ber fluency and was able to move out of it. I came up with tbe idea tbat sbe migbt simply sit down witb me and report wbat sbe saw witbout interpretation. 64:1. It's just sitting . and it's almost laborious. One difficulty of Elizabeth's system for my researcb purposes was tbat she had little or no recall of particular images after interpretation. Now with a completion. I have to interpret it hecause I can't move beyond it. [Long pause]. for 'no organism can afFord to be conscious of matters witb wbich it could deal at unconscious levels' (quoted in Stepben i989a.. ah..4849). probably seventeeth or eighteenth eentury..

94 DEENA NEWMAN appears to be something very. 1 usually don't do that. I:LI/AHH'1H By interpreting them. 'f^rcscnt what you can in symbols.. It's not your writing which is cold and it's not you who is cold. Iftherc's a t]ow. 1999 .. several hundred years old. it's like an automatic mouth . then I'm going to set up blocks and not have the clarity that I do have. I ean let go (jf the pietare. the images don't progress.. But it's showingyou it's diftleult to see and do things and this is all at night. it was cold. or that that's the way you should he working with it.' See.AHK-rH No. VOL. so the style is that of a man.' Wlien clients flatly challenged or denied her statements. and I'd he constantly interpreting. and it's. I was looking ior symbols. like you would see when someone translates a news broadcast from Hiis. so you're going to almost have to take a man's approach to your writing . DEKNA It's not the same as a counseling session? i-:i.' After the session. 6 4 : 1 . women who did write had to write under men's names and what have you. her information was always 'correct. So it eould be cither way.. It's as though f speak two iaiigLiages .siiin to English . It's just your whole environment for this is not making it easy for you. am.. See. 'clouded' in her clarity. that that could be what's making it laborious. she eould be 'blocked' in her flow." T don't question that. we talked about why it was atypical: It seems that withotit your interpretation. so stay open with it. which f think gives you some directions. however. It's not really conducive. beeause even the feeling I had was.. that's me. hecause I'd he doing symbols..' though she might be 'wrong' about the 'interpretation. I really conditioned myself by saying to myself. and the only time 1 would stop for a symbol is ifl'vc got ETHNOS. you know. Interestingly.' 'If I start denying what I pick up.. "That isn't right. feelings. and even 'shut down. It was definitely a masculine male hand that was doing the writing. This is just showing you that you're having dliTieuhy with it [the writing]. But today. If I'm losing in the translation. men were the acceptahle authors.' As she put it.. iff had interpreted it as it went. voices." and then get consciously involved. hecause even at that point. And the male concept could also be why it's laborious. It's as real to me as you sitting there.. I might have gotten more clarity on that. Before the session. It's so second nature . !ikc another language is there. I ean get another picture... conditions arc not good for it. because I'll be questioning. it's an aatomatic translation. I bave absolute eonfidenee about that.T'/. Also. She hclicvcd that ifsbe was in the proper neutral state of mind. fjccaiisc I've dismissed it . 'When 1 say "The information is always correct. her uncertainty or even apparent errors never led her to doubt her credibility.

as Elizabeth often described it. wben I feel it. So I really fbeused on just the symhols and being ahle to do it. But the proeess is so second nature that if I stop to analyze it. DEENA But I was interested in not only the information that you were picking up on me but more on your proeess. the flow just keeps going and it unfolds itself. what information you got. she experienced emotions.The Western Psychic as Diviner 95 this [symbol] and 1 don't know what it means. you would have collected ten times more [information]. sensations. her body 'talked' to ber. So. 'I'm hearing this and 1 don't have a name tor it. tastes. So if I stop [to explain wbat I heard specifically] I stop the flow.' hecause I have a pause in there too. It's like putting the VCR on pause. 'Deena. given tbat so many of her figures of speech were linked to images. Much later it occurred to me that. Normally. or ifthere's something in question. I use my eyes to scan across a room. and I'm not going any further. it increases.' Sbe ETHNOS. 'We can't recapture what's happened here. I heard this. then I'll ask you what it means to you.. or I may say. I 9 9 9 . VOL. I'm stuck.' that's when you're going to get it. sbe bad construed my request that sbe report what sbe saw to mean limiting herself to images and had screened out the otber aspects of her sensory experience. How do I know? Because I'm feeling a groin pain. 6 4 : 1 . If something is holding and I can't interpret it. That's why I took the position of. I'll say. DEENA But the prohlem with not limiting you is that otherwise you don't have any recall [of your experience]. More significantly. it migbt have been possible to jog her memory of images after a session witb a collection of tbe metapbors tbat studded ber speech. if I said to you. let's go with these symbols. and I know it's not mine. '1 heard this.^ He bas prostate problems. but you see. Operating without ber usual full sensory engagement was like trying to work witb ber bands tied behind her back. all at the same time: 'You see that man over there. smells. in tbe far booth.' So it may have meaning for you. a name heing repeated. ELizABKTii HmHm. I actually limited you today? ELIZABETH Right. But I may just say something to you that I've heard and not quality it. [Then 1 would try to figure out] what does it mean to you. That's the best way I ean explain it. But if I were doing a reading for you . and sounds. then I'm onto the next thing.. If I leave it alone. it's like stopping with a pause button. because I normally just allow it to flow. then I lose it. In addition to seeing images. Now ifl'm in that flow where I say it to you and 1 haven't qualified it. ELIZABETH See. and wben it passes over the source ofthe sensation. DKENA So.

It's like being erowded with vibrations. many clients came to her as a last resort and needed comfort as much as any partieular advice or information. whether that of anger. In a world of free-floating emotion and indefinite boundaries between persons. 'It's not what you know. she commented on their emotional state. 'I have to work at keeping myself separate. or unanticipated. depression. 'It's like a sea of negativity. Images from her own past sometimes surfaced. and in such cases she attempted to determine whether her own unresolved issues were being triggered and 'clouding' her objectivity or whether tbey were presenting themselves preeisely because tbey encoded symbolic information of relevance for her client. for it was clearly not stained by any projections.' She recognized that sometimes she and her clients shared 'fertile ground. she let the nuances resonate until she reached some kind of understanding and tben she 'cleared' or 'dismissed' them so that she could pick up more information. she canceled the second. Elizabeth acknowledged tbat distinguishing between ber own emotions and sensations and those of others eould be difficult. Sbe claimed to 'pick up on' the emotional state of clients as well as their significant others in a layering of emotion that she called 'cross-vibrations. her statement 'Emotions are a luxury I cannot afford' amounted to a strategy for minimizing her potential input into a confusing heap of impressions.and because of this could reeognize emotions and sensations originating outside berself. unfamiliar. Indeed.' Yet it was tbis very sensitivity that was so useful in counseling.' Elizabeth said. You ean't spill oven' She likened herself to 'an open wound. The emotional alchemy ofthe session took priority over all else. sbe might never get to the positive ones tbat were therapcutically important. The possibility of projection resulted in an interesting inversion: The more bizarre. With tbis emotional sensitivity. T999 . VOL. sbe found it extremely uncomfortable to be in crowds.' This meant tbat ETHNOS. Sbe felt that she knew herself .' an overlap of common psychological and emotional issues. 'Ninety-nine percent of wbat I do is nurturing.' she explained. 6 4 : 1 . Pllmotions also oflcrcd commentary on ber internal images. the 'not me. Since the negative aspects of clients' lives so predominated. it's how you say it. which she took to represent her own response. When two contradictory messages appeared back to back. or opinions on ber part. she explained. desires. Her first step in a counseling session was to search for the positive aspects of a client's life. As persons passed us. or happiness. the more sbe trusted its veracity.' As tbe emotions wasbed over ber.her emotional makeup and persona! symbols .96 OEEN'A NEWMAN claimed to absorb emotions as well. if she started there.

T999 . joined together in a posture culturally reserved for intimates. her eyes closed. Of course. In a description that could not be more to tbe point.' Immediately before or after this brief tactile interchange. Elizabeth would ask to bold her client's bands. prefacing her statements with disclaimers such as 'This may sound bizarre' or 'This sounds contradictory. music cannot be grasped all at one time and consequently the composer.' At the opening of a counseling session.'It helps me to pick up what's going on witb you more clearly' . in essenee sbe was working toward helping them become emotionally buoyant so that she could steer them cither toward practical action or toward acceptance of their situation. they often commented on tbe feeling of'lightness' or 'energy' in her hands. clients would not fee! threatened and might remember her words later. for what clients comprebended through toueh differed from Elizabeth's understanding. focused on tbe nonverbal modalities. in linking hands. incorporated them into berself. Elizabeth and her client. VOL. Elizabeth summed up her work in tbree words: '1 sell hope. replaced their selfdefeating discourse with self-affirming langLiage. Wbatever tbeir feelings and ideas about what was happening wben they joined hands. Tbe linking ot hands can be compared to Alfred Sebutz's views on music. Schutz observed tbat un!ike ideas.'' Sbe did not explain that with toucb she felt the client's feelings. or reframed tbeir life situations or assessments witb a positive east. there is an asymmetry bere. the performer. brought the present into clear focus. Their sbaring of'inner time' by means of a somatie exchange prepared them for the communication and sbaring of meanings tbat followed. she would sit in silence for approximately ten seconds. I saw tbis in the careful way she broached difficult topics. thought tbe client's thougbts. elient and counselor. clients participated in an exchange of feeling. Yet. she offered an explanation to the client . and the audience are linked in a sense of'weness' in tbe 'vivid present' througb 'sbaring inner time' (Neitz & Spickard 1990:27-32).'" this might bave been too disturbing. With eyes closed.' In this way. while subtle expressions passed over ber face and her coloring changed.The Western Psychic as Diviner 97 sbe beavily edited herself as sbe sensitively delivered advice.' Whether she involved clients in recognizing their strengths and achievements. She described this as 'deepening' or 'intensifying. when they were 'ready. 6 4 : 1 . Througb touch they not only transmitted sometbing to Elizabeth but felt something as well. Taking both bands lightly in ber palms. this gap in unETHNOS.before launching into her first impressions or questions. Elizabeth explained. Similarly. as we have seen.

a world in which. which conies to the same thing . 'meaning should not be reduced to that whicb can be tbought or said. bas written about ber own visual skills and problem solving tecbniques. odours expressed emotion.98 DEENA NEWMAN derstanding served the purposes of tbe session. Briggs {1994) has suggested tbat the nonverbal vocables.' " Whereas anthropologists tend to overlook sensory experienee or dismiss it because of its idiosyncrasies and variations. As Jackson (1996:32) reminds us. For example. Sacks (1990) on the way in whicb persons witb many different sensibilities and disabilities function. sbe suggested. VOL. gestures. and Lusseyran (1963). blind since the age of eight.' relinquishing their 'hold' on the self and thus increasing their receptivity to new ideas. How should I explain to other people that all my feelings towards them.begins to smell. frustrated vagrancy and impotent curiositj' can be aceuinulated by forty boys between the ages often and fourteen! (1963:48).. not only was there an exchange of feeling but clients figuratively and symbolically placed tbemselves 'in ber hands. 64:1. the appearance of things . neither the teacher's questions nor the answers ot my comrades. on bis receptivity to sounds. 1 was too much ahsorhed hy the images that their voices were parading through my head. I999 . I lieard nothing. All the more since these images half the time eontradieted. ior minutes at a time in class. ETHNOS. smells and touch. images. sounds. and movements ofthe bealer play a very important role in the healing process. particularly emotions of frustration. feelings of sympathy or antipathy. indicating to patients tbat the healer possesses knowledge of and power over a realm of wbich they are ignorant. That is literally the case. For Lusseyran.or because of soeial obligation. sound could be a 'blow to body and spirit. and sensations . humiliated independence. and with children it happens even faster. For Lusseyran.. because sound is not sometbing bappening outside us. Like a Warao healer's. that they could do nothing about it and neither eould I (1963:54-57). came to me from their voices? I tried to tell a few people it was so. insigbts into Elizabetb's world of free-floating emotions. Elizabeth's touch reinforced clients' faith in her ability to see beyond appearances into tbe unknown. and flagrantly. Just think how mueh suppressed anger.' Voices similarly 'entered' him and stimulated images that seem akin to Elizabeth's report: Sometimes. Finally. we are all 'at sea' — can be drawn from the work of others. but a real presence passing tbroagb us and lingering unless we have beard it fully. Luria (i987[i968]) on one man's synesthetie and highly visual memory. since meaning may exist simply in the doing. A group of huinan beings who stay in one room by compulsion . Grandin (1995) who is autistic.

this exchange. This can not be demonstrated. somatic. Are tbese merely chance correspondences. Movement ofthe fingers was terribly important . Yet there was something stiil more important than movement. until we accumulate more pbenomenological ethnographies on similar practices in America. voi. As a ehild I spent hours leaning against objcets and letting them lean against me. and the amazing thing is that the pressure was answered by the table at once . 1999 . Such consistencies in somatic techniques of divination have been observed ill a number of different cultures. If I put my hand on the table without pressing it. I knew the table was there. 64:1.. Although she arrived at her techniques on her own. and visual...tactile.the imaginal/embodied experience of diviners./loyd (1911) write about the 'beating' or 'tapping' that some South African 'busbmen' fee! in their bodies when in proximity to game. Tbese correspond witb set meanings. and each one of the shapes had meaning. my fingers used to be stiff. ha!fdead at the ends ofmy hands. enemies or kin. flourishes of creative minds witb receptive audiences. Any blind person can tell you that this gesture. good only for picking up things . The first of these constitutes a neglected aspect of divination .. a tapping in the calves or backs ofthe knees indicates tbat a springbok is in the vicinity..77/1? Wester?! Psychic as Diviner Lusseyran's sense of touch was similarly receptive: '^ 99 When I had eyes. and its blood drips down his legs.in particular areas of their bodies. These pressures gathered togetber in shapes. To find out. without a teacher..called lightning of the blood . The similarities ofthe narratives of Elizabeth and Lusseyran are suggestive. and that was pressure. Another man feels a prcsETHNOS. auditory. as he carries the carcass bome. for this is the sensation a hunter feels after a kill. however. Blcck and I.. I aetually began my research focusing primarily on her visual imagery. emotional. or arc they evidence of bighly developed sensory skills.'' Conclusion Tbis article bas focused on two distinct but interrelated topics: the phenomenology ofthe divinatory experience and tbe politics of perception. my fingers had to bear down. For example. gives him a satisfaction too deep for words (1963:17-19). but knew nothing about it. As soon as my hands came to life they put me in a world where everything was an exchange of pressures. The works of Csordas (1994) and McCiuirc (198B) are a start in this direction. I suspect tbat ber system was not entirely idiosyncratic. but Elizabeth corrected my perspective by providing descriptions of a full sensorial range of experience . Tedlock (1982) reports that Mayan diviners' lengthy apprenticeships result in their internalization of knowledge so that they experience sensations .

In writing about the stakes involved in a hierarchy of perception.''^ Perhaps it was the internalization of this conflict that caused her difficulties in interpreting the imagery ofthe session when she commented on my writer's block. 1987:2). but the people we write about find themselves in similar predicaments. a sympathetic account is likely to be mistaken as an endorsement and tbus a reflection of tbe gullibility ofthe researcher. In writing about divination or shamanism witbin Western society. In Elizabeth's case. locating lost objects. tbe more implicated are the researcbers wbo carry it out (Wagner 1997:94-97). or UFO 'abductees.that tbe social disapproval of psychics was possibly tbe source of wbat was blocking me. It is evident from the above cases that pbenomenological studies of the divinatory practices of'other' peoples are well ahead of studies of similar practices in the 'West'. Tbe recognition of a 'politics of perception' belps explain this paradox. the sensation corresponds witb tbe position of a strapped thong tbat secures ber child to ber body. but I was struggling. 6 4 : 1 . hand trembling is tbe recurrent somatic mode of diagnosing illness. it is interesting tbat Elizabetb missed noting tho obvious bere . botb to fit my data into current (male?) anthropological paradigms and with tbe potential stigma of studying a Western diviner. Elizabetb's example raises difFerent questions from the ones van Dijk and Pels address . Somebow. There were aspects of her experience that she tried (often unsuccessfully) to repress and that she did not sbare with clients in order to avoid being associated with stigmatized groups such as New Agers. If so. Perbaps this was because such a recognition would bave involved revisiting her own marginality and any discomfort associated witb it. Anthropologists have failed to ETHNOS. 1999 . the mentally ill. van Dijk and Pels focus on the risks for antbropologists. and identifying witches (Levy et al. How do members of a society manage wben they have 'outlaw' or 'illegitimate' experiences that deviate from tbe norm or the desirable or place them at risk? How do we access these sensitive experienees? The topic requires no less than that researchers become aware of their own blind spots wben it eomes to the senses (Stoller 1989). I wasn't aware ofthe source ofmy writing difficulties at tbe time.questions tbat emerge from tbe bottom of tbe pereeptual bierarchy. In retrospect. VOL.'^ Among the Navajo. tbe session ended with us botb caugbt on the borns of tbe current politics of perception.lOO DEENA NEWMAN sure on his shoulders as bis wife approaches their bome. she felt ambivalent about being a psychic and rarely used the term to refer to berself. tbe closer to bome a study is conducted.

2-ji) referred to 3 spirit-possessed diviner's speech as 'gibberish. Michelle Stephen. Some diviners operate self-explanatory mechanisms that reveal answers. Stoller 1989. in his theories on dissociation. DesJ3rlais 1993). Sometimes the diviner's body beeomes the vehicle of communication tbrough spirit possession. I delivered a version of this paper at a University College London Medieal Anthropology Seminar and thank the participants for their helpfiil comments. Doug Hollan. VOL. Compounding the st3kes involved in perceptual polities is the controversy associated with the subject matter of religious/extraordinary experienees ever since the publication of C3rlos Cast3neda's (1968) writings. Howes 1991. Parrinder (1976:122) could not believe that anything was revealed by divination's 'haphazard methods. Ethnographies would be better representations of tbe world if tbey were to take such experience seriously. other systems require the diviner to interpret cryptic metaphoric messages. He asserts that Cast3neda's credulous accounts of paranorm3l experiences se3ndalized anthropology even more tfian the ethical questions raised by the putative fhiudulence ofhis accounts (1994:297). Peek's (19913:2) description is similarly broad: A divination system is a standardized process deriving from a learned discipline based on an extensive body of knowledge. Rob Lemelson. or a more difRise body of esoteric knowledge. Notes 1. The fmal diagnosis and plan for action are rendered collectively by the diviner and the client(s). This knowledge may or may not he literally expressed during the interpretation of the oraeular message. Divining processes are diverse. Some type of device usually is employed. Peek (19913:9-10) records some ofthe disp3r3ging eomments directed at divin3tion: Be3ttie (1967:64) assessed that a particul3r diviner w3S well aware th3t 'he was simply putting on an aet. such as the Yoruba Ifa Odu verses.' rather than 'primary' and 'secondary' processes. 5. 1 prefer to use the more general terms of 'imaginal/embodied practices. Acknowledgments This paper is dedicated to Elizabeth's memory. it is often associated with some degree of repression and regression. 'ITie literature on the anthropology ofthe senses has illuminated how different senses are given priority both historic3!ly (Classen 1993) and culturally (Feld 1982. Joseph IXimit.' 3. 4. 'lTie diviner may utilize a fixed corpus. 6 4 : 1 . 1999 . the notion of primary and secondary processes is too restrictive. 2. suggests ETHNOS. from a simple sliding object to the myriad symbolic items shaken in diviners' baskets. but all follow set routines by which otherwise inaecessible information is obtained. I wish to thank the readers of eadier drafts of this paper: Jacques Maquet. it is likely that there are more th3n two processes to human thought.The Western Psychic as Diviner IOI write about diviners' experience because tbeir own beliefs have prevented them from recognizing any such thing as that experience. Furthermore. Marton (1994) discusses how Castaneda's reputation has negatively afFeeted anthropologists who research religious or subjective experience (also see van Dijk & Pels 1996). Altbough the eoncept of primary process has been revised since Freud first created it. For the time being. Cynthia Seheinberg and Charles Stewart.' Middleton (1971 •. Hilgard (1977).

hrood.ssion. Even when objects did not actually touch him. sharp. has been singled out as liie salient feature of what Micheic Stephen (1989a. iissuming a real shape in space. Sec his discussion ofhow the phrase "a . As I walked along a country road bordered by trees. 6 4 : 1 . Freud also wi'ote about embodied . KTHNOS.matter (hence the Portuguese name of the island of Madeira) and undoubtedly //w/c/Mies at the loot of matnia (matter). their nia. 11.' or even cured of symptoms of illness. as ! came closer. he once wrote to Jung: 'On the scientific side just an oddity. far from beinjr atavistic..s with nuclear complex involvinjr their witnessing acts of infidelity on the part of their mothers (the one historical. f eould point to each one oi the trees hy the road. clever and penetrating. One more of our dear parents' disguises' (quoted in Forrester 1980:99). fHjrcc and matter would then be father and mother. VOL.slap in the face' en-dbleil the memory of an argument to beconie lodged in a patient's face as trigeminal neuralgia (quoted in Forrester 1980:67). just as it happens when there is sight. also cupboards [both these words have sexual ctjnnotation in (ierman] but 1 have never heard of any close connection between wood and the mother complex.' She traces tlie following terms for 'thought' to derive from the tactile or kinesthetic senses: apprehend. smart. keen.sychics do. 'fernis connected with intelligence are also commonly touch based. I have two )")aticnt. grasp. the sense that they arc not created' but autonomous. perceive. cogitate."' (Jalanti concludes: 'What p.straight . or was. b) calls "the autonoinous imagination. the other perhaps a mere phantasy). oiten to the point of defining re. 12. can often he more high fiinctioning than ordinary consciousness. even if they were not spaced at regular intci-vals.' The idea that touch is linked tt> understanding has an etymological hasis. comprehend.. Classen (1993:58) ha. I knew whether the tree.ss was modified. Clalanti (1989:6) similarly reported that niany psychics commented that 'reading a client was simply a matter of "becoming one with" that client and then "reading themselves. It occurs to me though that wood in Spanish is madera ..' For example. as mucrh as Elizabeth's counsel. The 'otherness' of these kinds of experiences.A NEWMAN 6. They spoke of feeling 'refreshed.s were . and uncierstanc!. riiniin ate. ponder. Now I am aware that boards mean a woman.s suggested that the roots (or many Knglish terms for 'thought' and "intelligence' derive from the tactile or kinesthetic senses. both emotionally and physically. liiey both tell me about it in the same day and preface their stoiy with dreams about ivood . experienced primarily in terms of touch.. acquiring distinctive colour. leading her to conclude that thought 'Is.il contours. Lusseyran (1963:21-23) felt as though they exerted a type ot pressiiie similar to that ol being touched: How should I explain the way objects approached me when ! was the one walking in their directionr Was I breathing them in or hearing them.' "energized." After a se. is predicated on the ahility to literally or metaphorically "let go' of their ego boundaries. I 9 9 9 .nid tal! . then... In her research on tlfly American psychics. or gathered into thickets and partly covering the ground around them . playetl a role in their new sense of well-being. 'A knowlcdj^cable person does not simply illuminate a sufijcct but cuts into it. such as acumen. conceive. acute.symbols.102 DEEN.?.. 10.. mull. clients often reported that they felt better. 8. 7. that consciousness cannot only be multiply divided. 9. but that the dissociated parts. It is possible that touching and co-prescnee.

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