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Spill-Spell,
or,
This Era of Pointless Miracles

Dreamed 1995/9/30 by Chris Wayan

I'm a small boy in the Arctic. We're Lapps living in northern Finland. My family are shamans for the village. We're no longer fully nomadic--today, most of us have permanent houses.

One day, I pour coffee down the steep driveway. Brown rivulets braid like a silty Alaskan river. My godmother walks up. She asks me why I'm painting with coffee on the walk. I say "It's not a painting, it's a SPELL. Now we will NEVER lack coffee." I'm a little kid, I don't even drink the stuff, but I know it's important to my elders.

Perfectly normal arctic shamanism--if I were older. I'm starting young, and on my own, without initiation--without community support. Hell, without comprehension. We've forgotten that much...

But I guess I'm a born shaman--remember or not, taught or not, culture or not.

WHEN I WOKE

Odd. Not odd being a precocious Lappland baby shaman, that felt pretty normal for me. But... coffee? I never drink coffee--gets me too manic. So does the spill-spell mean "spells for others" or maybe "spells for the unnecessary"?

Or... "pointless spells for practice"? Maybe a certain practice-era of pointless miracles is necessary when learning magic... just as in other arts and sciences.

Come to think of it, doesn't that characterize our present world? Substitute science for magic, and we're doing pointless technomiracles right and left... just to see what happens. And maybe that's not the insanity it sometimes seems, but just the crouch and stretch, before the tiger's leap. A necessary warmup--before we get on with what we're born as a species to do.



LISTS AND LINKS: kids - shamanic dreams - food and drink - spells and curses - Lappland and Finland

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