Fasting

From The SpiritWiki

Fasting, sometimes for days at a time, is Connection Technique. It is a common way of undermining the Bodily Ego and inducing a Connection Experience

List of Connection Techniques

Connection Technique > Bornless Ritual, Breathing, Caloric Reduction, Connection Affirmation, Connection Visualization, Dance, Deprivation, Detachment, Drumming, Fasting, Graduation Invocation, Holotropic Breathwork, Hypnotism, Hypoventilation, Intent, Japam, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mysticism of the Historical Event, Poetry, Power Quest, Receptive Seeking, Relaxation, Spirit Canoe, The Method of the Lamp, The Way of the Hollow Bone, Thought Control, Vajra Breath, Vision Quest, Writing, Yoga, Zazen

Notes

The Ojibway encouraging fasting as a way to induce a connection experience. When a young females begins to menstruate, they "...must go into the forest, build a ba-ca-ne-ge, a small lodge for herself, and fast. There she will stay for a period of ten days, or as long as she can. During this time she has no contact with anyone. She will neither leave the lodge for a long period of time nor go very far from it. The longer she fasts, the clearer will be her dreams of what she will do in life. If she is a Dreamer or a Medicine Person, her visions will confirm this."[1]

"Among some Inuit of the Arctic, one way to have a successful quest for power was to spend four or five days in a special isolated igloo in the depths of winter without food or water. When the specified time elapsed, an elder, usually a shaman, opened the igloo and brought the person home. The igloo did not have even an oil lamp to heat it, so the suffering from extreme cold was combined with suffering from lack of water and food."[2]

"A persisting feature of preparation for shamanism is fasting. This, when coupled with loss of sleep, stress, and hypnotic suggestion, can certainly lead to the mental state in which visions and hallucinations occur..."[3]

Amongst the Huron, "Huron males would undertake to fast for a vision or dream whereby they could obtain a gift of power to help them achieve success in life...The vision fast involved an extended period of isolation, either in a portion of the longhouse partitioned off from the rest of the inhabitants or a fast in a specially constructed "cabin" where the person remained in isolation, being brought a little wood for a fire if the stay was a prolonged one (JR 11:265; 13:227).v These longer fasts, lasting up to thirty days, were part of the shamanistic pattern by which one became a powerful oki or they were undertaken by shamans to help find resolutions to village problems. Men also undertook vision fasts to gain power for hunting or war during which they might cut themselves to make a blood offering to the oki" [4]

"No record exists of women undertaking a structured fast but they did experience spontaneous dreams and visions which were regarded as important sources of empowerment"[5]

Footnotes

  1. Ignatia Broker, Night Flying Woman: An Ojibway Narrative (Minnesota: Minnesota Historial Society Press, 1983: 95).
  2. Harner, Michael. Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2013.
  3. Rogers, Spencer L. The Shaman: His Symbols and His Healing Power. Illinois: Charles Thomas Publishers, 1982.
  4. Irwin, Lee. “The Huron-Jesuit Relations: Contesting Dreams, Confirming Worldviews.” Religion 22 (1992): 259–70. p. 260.
  5. Irwin, Lee. “The Huron-Jesuit Relations: Contesting Dreams, Confirming Worldviews.” Religion 22 (1992): 259–70. p. 260.