Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/47

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31
SHINTŌ.

In the case of people the act of possession is nowadays known as kami-oroshi', kami-utsushi or kami-utsuri, that is, "the causing of the god to come down," "the causing the god to transform" or "god transformation." The first two names thus view the thing from the human standpoint, the last from the divine. But this is matter of the temporary point of view, all three expressions, with others such as nori-utsuri, "to change vehicles," being used indifferently according to the speaker's preference.

Possession may be partial, complete, or intermediary, that is, the alien spirit may share the head of the person with the native spirit, or it may drive it out, or it may drive it down into the belly. But such degrees of tenancy are grades rather of the proficiency attained during novitiate into the cult. In actual possessions the chief distinction consists in the character of the god who comes.

Possession of things are in like manner possible through purity in the person who would bring them about. They are called kamiwasa or god-arts, because originally only the gods, and now only the gods and the godly, can perform them.