The Way of the Shaman Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Michael Harner
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Harner indicates that becoming a shaman involves pain, facing fears, and a willingness to:
(a) Cross dangerous jungles.
(b) Confront the unknown.
(c) Consume exotic foods.
(d) Leave behind all that one holds near and dear.

2. Why does Harner say it's important that the shaman does not tell the patient's family that he already has the ordinary form of the spirit in his mouth?
(a) The physical manifestation that has infected the patient will read the family's thoughts, rendering the cure useless.
(b) The symbolic act of expelling the ordinary form is part of the ritual rather than the actual act that removes the intruder spirit.
(c) The family should not know what is happening to the patient without the patient's explicit permission.
(d) It will frighten the family, and this fear will work against the energies applied by the shaman.

3. What are guardian spirits called in Siberia?
(a) Tutelary spirits.
(b) Warning spirits.
(c) Guardian angels.
(d) Angelic beings.

4. How do the Conibo access the Lowerworld?
(a) Riding on the backs of patagonian capybaras.
(b) Using a giant catahua tree root system.
(c) By chanting and dancing all night in front of a fire.
(d) Through secret holes dug by their ancestors.

5. In his guided, step-by-step instructions for a first journey, Harner instructs the aspiring shaman to eat:
(a) Chicken.
(b) Only seeds and fruit.
(c) Lightly.
(d) Nothing.

Short Answer Questions

1. What are the tsentak?

2. What does the Jivaro shaman help Harner acquire?

3. How might a shaman be distinguished from other medicine men?

4. How old is shamanism estimated to be?

5. The author emphasizes that not all tribes use what in their shamanic practices?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe an environment that's conducive to the shaman being most effective while in a shamanic state of consciousness (SSC).

2. Describe Harner's journey with Akachu.

3. Why does the author find it encouraging for Westerners that not all tribes use drugs in their shamanic practices?

4. How and why is a shamanic state of consciousness (SSC) achieved?

5. Describe Harner's experience of spiritually going to a cave beneath a waterfall with a Jivaro shaman.

6. Who is Akachu, and how does he help Harner?

7. What does Akachu question when he and Harner are getting to know each other?

8. Harner says that apprentice shamans report similarities in how they get out of difficulties. What are some of the difficulties he mentions?

9. What is the practice of rock-seeing?

10. What does the author say shamans feel about what they see in the non-ordinary reality or shamanic state of consciousness (SSC)?

(see the answer keys)

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