Decoding ‘Going into Trance’ ritual in festivals of saint and mother goddesses temples in Vietnam: A philosophical assessment
Thi Thuc Nguyen – Truong Thi Thanh Quy – Huong Thi Lan Nguyen – Nigina S. Babieva – Gulnara F. Ruchkina
Spirit mediumship rituals are one of the forms of Shamanism, common to all peoples on the planet, which arose during the period of tribal society. Today, spirit mediumship rituals continue to satisfy the spiritual need of some segments of the society. As a form of folk belief, these rituals appeal to a majority of the Vietnamese people, often taking place during nation-wide festivals. Spirit mediumship rituals are not only for communicating with spirits. The Vietnamese people believe that the dead continue to live in the ultimate realm of bliss while at the same time following the lives of their loved ones here on earth. Spirit mediumship rituals contain a “yin-yang” narrative with strong affective significance. However, modern skeptics question the value and nature of the phenomenon (beliefs vs. superstitions). This paper argues that understanding the humanistic value of spirit mediumship rituals as well as deciphering the meaning of the layers of the phenomenon will help people to realize more clearly the underlying moral nature of their experience, as well as the ritual’s historical-cultural value that is worthy of protection and preservation.
Key words: Spirit mediumship rituals, medium, psychic, trance incarnations, mother goddess worship
Pages: 157 - 170