1 Section for Anthropology and Ethnography, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 School of Culture and Society - Department of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University3 School of Culture and Society - Department of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
The paper deals with a classical anthropological issue, the working mechanisms of rituals. It deals with the following questions: how is a (shamanistic) healing ritual able to transform a sick person into a healthy person? What is it that makes the ritual work? And which role does the shaman/healer play in the transformation of the patient? From a phenomenological perspective and with a point of departure in MUS (medically unexplained symptoms) patients’ experiences of ‘bodily-lived-meaning’ in Danish healing rituals the aim of the paper is to develop an understanding of how bodily experienced images of body and self work to transform the patient during a healing ritual; to develop an understanding of the process of a bodily founded symbolic ‘re-editing’ of body- and self-image, which it is argued is a fundamental art in any healing ritual. Furthermore, I will argue that a charismatic shaman/healer may be an efficient support in the patients’ transformation and healing process.