spirit has assuredly been localized in Europe. The superstition concerning spirits that issue from the water is common, and in Strathspey there is a lake called Loch Nan Spoiradan, the Lake of the Spirits.
When spirit-children were derived from the soul of life that was held to be inherent in the element of water, they would become members of the water-totem—unless some pre-arrangement interfered. For example, a water-totem is extant in the quatcha-totem of the Arunta tribe. A child was conceived one day by a lubra of the Witchetty-grub clan who happened to be in the neighbourhood of a quatcha, or water locality. She was taking a drink of water near to the gap in the ranges where the spirits dwell, when suddenly she heard a child’s voice crying “Mia, mia!” the native term for relationship, which includes that of motherhood. She was not anxious to have a child, and therefore ran away, but could not escape. She was fat and well-favoured, and the spirit-child overtook her and was incorporated willy-nilly. In this instance the spirits were Witchetty-grub instead of water spirits of the quatcha-totem locality, otherwise, if the totem had not been already determined locally, this would represent the modus operandi of the elemental power becoming humanized by incorporation. The water spirit is a denizen of the water element, always lying in wait for young, well-favoured women, and ready to become embodied in the human form by the various processes of drinking, eating, breathing, or other crude ways of conversion and transformation.
The several elements led naturally to the various origins ascribed to man from the ideographic representatives of earth, water, air, fire, such as the beast of earth, the turtle or fish of water, the bird of air, the tree or the stone. The Samoans have a tradition that the first man issued from a stone. His name was Mauike, and he is also reputed to be the discoverer of fire. Now the discoverer of fire, born of a stone, evidently represents the element of fire which had been found in the stone, the element being the animistic spirit of fire, to which the stone was body that served as type (Turner, Samoa, p. 280, ed. 1884). The derivation of a soul of life from the element of fire, or from the spark, is likewise traceable in a legend of the Arunta, who thus explain the origin of their fire-totem. A spark of fire, in the Alcheringa, was blown by the north wind from the place where fire was kindled first, in the celestial north, to the summit of a great mountain represented by Mount Hay. Here it fell to the earth, and caused a huge conflagration. When this subsided, one class of the Inapertwa creatures issued from the ashes. These were “the ancestors of the people of the fire-totem,” the people born from the element of fire (N. T., p. 445). The tradition enables us to identify an origin for children born of fire, or the soul of fire, that is, the power of this element. Moreover, it is fire from heaven. It falls as a spark, which spark falls elsewhere in the fire-stone. These particular Inapertwa, or pre-human creatures, were discovered by two men of the Wungara or wild-duck totem, and made by them into men and women of the fire-totem. Such, then, are the offspring of fire or light, where others are the children of air or of water, as one of the elemental or animistic powers; and the pre-human creatures
became men and women when they were made totemic. The transformation is a symbolical mode of deriving the totemic people from the pre-human and pre-totemic powers which were elemental.
There is a class of beings in the German folk-tales who are a kind of spirit, but not of human origin, like so many others that are a product of primitive symbolism, which came to be designated elementals because they originated in the physical elements. These little earth-men have the feet of a goose or a duck. Here the Kamite wisdom shows how these are the spirits of earth who descended from Seb, the power, spirit, or god of earth, whose zootype in Egypt was the goose. Thus the earth god or elemental power of the mythos becomes the goose-footed earth man of the Märchen and later folk-lore, which are the débris of the Kamite mythology. The cave-dwellers in various lands are likewise known as children of the earth. Their birthplace may be described as a bed of reeds, a tree, a cleft in the rock, or the hole in a stone. Each type denotes the earth as primordial bringer forth and mother of primæval life. Children with souls derived from the element of earth are also represented by the Arunta as issuing from the earth viâ “the Erithipa stone.” The stone, equal to the earth, is here the equivalent for the parsley-bed from which the children issue in the folk-lore of the British Isles. The word Erithipa signifies a child, though seldom used in this sense. Also a figure of the human birthplace is very naturally indicated. There is a round hole on one side of the stone through which the spirit-children waiting for incorporation in the earthly form are supposed to peep when on the look-out for women, nice and fat, to mother them. It is thought that women can become pregnant by visiting this stone. The imagery shows that the child-stone not only represents the earth as the bringer forth of life, but that it is also an emblem of emanation from the mother’s womb. There is an aperture in the stone over which a black band is painted with charcoal. This unmistakably suggests the pubes. The painting is always renewed by any man who happens to be in the vicinity of the stone (N. T., p. 337). These Erithipa stones are found in various places. This may explain one mode of deriving men from stones, the stone or rock in this case being a figure of the Mother-earth.
In such wise the primitive representation survives in legendary lore, and the myth remains as a tale that is told. Earth, as the birthplace in the beginning, was typified by the tree and stone. A gap in the mountain range, a cleft in the rock, or the hole in a stone presented a likeness to the human birthplace. The mystery of the stone affords an illuminative instance of the primitive mode of thinging in Sign-language, or thinking in things. Conceiving a child was thought of as a concretion of spirit, and that concretion or crystallization was symbolized by means of the white stone in the mysteries. It is the tradition of the Arunta tribe that when a woman conceives, or, as they render it, when the spirit-child enters the womb, a Churinga-stone is dropped, which is commonly supposed to be marked with a device that identifies the spirit-child, and therefore the human child, with its totem. Usually the Churinga is found on the spot by some of the tribal elders, who deposit it in the Ertnatulunga, or storehouse, in which the stones of conception are kept so sacredly
that they must never be looked upon by woman or child, or any uninitiated man. “Each Churinga is so closely bound up with the spirit individual (or the spirit individualized) that it is regarded as its representative in the Ertnalutunga” or treasury of sacred objects. In this way the Arunta were affirming that, when a child was conceived of an elemental power, whether born figuratively from the rock or tree, the air, the water, or it may be from the spark in the stone that fell with the fire from heaven, or actually from the mother’s womb, it was in possession of a spirit that was superhuman in its origin and enduring beyond the life of the mortal. This was expressed by means of the stone as a type of permanence. Hence, when the stone could not be identified upon the spot, a Churinga was cut from the very hardest wood that could be found. The stones were then saved up in the repository of the tribe or totemic group, and these Churingas are the stones and trees in which primitive men have been ignorantly supposed to keep their souls for safety outside of their own bodies by those who knew nothing of the ancient Sign-language.
A magical mode of evoking the elemental spirit from material substance survives in many primitive customs. Whistling for the wind is a way of summoning the spirit or force of the breeze, which was represented in Egypt as the power of a panting lion. Touching wood or iron, or calling out “Knife!” to be safe, is an appeal to the elemental spirit as a protecting power. Setting the poker upright in front of the grate to make the fire burn is a mode of appeal made to the spirit of fire in the metal. This, like so many more, has been converted to the superstition of the cross. The Servians at their Coledar set light to an oak log and sprinkle the wood with wine. Then they strike it and cause sparks to fly out of it, crying, “So many sparks, so many goats and sheep! so many sparks, so many pigs and calves! so many sparks, so many successes and so many blessings!” (Hall). These in their way were seekers after life, the elemental spirit of life in this instance being that of fire from the spark. The element of fire was evoked from both wood and stone. It was their spirit-child. Now, it is a mode of magic to evoke a spirit from these by rubbing the wood or stone, or the totems made from either. And this way of kindling fire is applied by the Arunta for the purpose of calling forth the spirits of children from the Erithipa stones, which are supposed to be full of them. By rubbing a man can cause them to come forth and enter the human mother. Clearly the modus operandi is based on rubbing the stone or wood, to kindle fire from the spark that signified a germ or soul of life.
Another mode of evoking the spirit of and from an element may be illustrated by a Kaffir custom. When the girls have come of age and have suffered the opening rite of puberty, it is the Zulu fashion for the initiate to run stark naked through the first plenteous downpour of water, which is characteristically called a “he-rain,” to secure fertilization from the nature power. In this custom a descent of the elemental spirit for incorporation is by water instead of fire (or earth, air, or light), but the principle is the same in primitive animism. Whichever the agent, there is a derivation from a source that is superhuman, if only elemental. It was the elemental powers that
supplied pre-human souls in the primitive sociology. These we term totemic souls, souls that were common to the totemic group of persons, plants, animals, or stones, when there was no one soul yet individualized or distinguished from the rest as the human soul. They could not be “the souls of men” that were supposed to inhabit the bodies of beasts and birds, reptiles and insects, plants and stones, when there were no souls of men yet discreted from the pre-human souls in old totemic times. The human lives, or souls, are bound up with the totemic animal or bird, reptile or tree, because these represented the same animistic nature power from which the soul that is imaged by the totem was derived. The soul in common led to the common interest, the mysterious relationship and bond of unity betwixt man and animal and elemental powers, or the later gods. It was this totemic soul, common to man and animal, which explains the tradition of the Papagos that in the early times “men and beasts talked together, and a common language made all brethren.” (Bancroft, vol. III, p. 76.) In the primary phase the soul that takes shape in human form was derived directly from the element as source of life. In a second phase of representation the powers of the elements were imaged by the totemic zootypes. Thence arose the universal tradition, sometimes called belief, of an animal ancestry in which the beasts, birds, reptiles, fish, plants, trees, rocks, or stones were the original progenitors of the human race, through the growing ignorance of primitive Sign-language. Spirit-children derived from the elemental power of air are described in the Ritual as “the younglings of Shu,” the god of breathing-force. And as the lion was the totem of Shu, the children would or might be derived from the lion as their totemic type. Germs of soul might ascend from the water of life in the celestial Lake of Sa, or soul, as the children of Nnu. The children of Horus are emanations from the sun. As such they have their birth in heaven to become incorporate on the earth, Child-Horus being first, according to the eschatology. It is because the sun was looked upon at one stage as the elemental source of a soul that its power could be, as it was, represented by a phallus. Thence also arose the belief that the sun could impregnate young women. This will partly explain why the female at the time of first menstruation must not be looked on by the sun. The young and fat Arunta woman, fleeing to escape from the embraces of the wind for fear of being impregnated with the elemental spirit-child, suggests a clue. She did not wish to bear a child, therefore she fled from the elemental power. In the other case the maiden must not be caught, for fear a soul should be made incarnate under the new conditions. For this reason the young girls were taught that terrible results would happen if they were seen by the sun in their courses; and they were consequently kept in the shade, or were instructed to hide themselves when the time arrived. They were not merely secluded at puberty, but were shut up sometimes darkly for years together, and suspended on a stage betwixt earth and heaven, as Tabu, until the period of pubescence came, at which moment they must not be shone upon by the sun, nor breathed on by the air, nor must they touch the elements of earth or water. They were secluded and consecrated for puberty, and were shut up from the elements to which generation had been
attributed by the early human thought, a superior element of soul being now recognized in the blood of the virgin.
Blood was the latest element of seven from which a soul of life was derived. This followed the soul of air, water, heat, vegetation, or other force of the elements, and a soul derived from blood was the earliest human soul, derived from the blood of the female. Not any blood, not ordinary menstrual blood, but that blood of the pubescent virgin who was personalized in the divine virgin Neith, or Isis, or Mary. In the Semitic creation man, or Adam, was created from a soul of blood. Blood and Adam are synonymous, and the previous races, “which are but spittle,” had derived their souls, in common with the animals, from the elements of external nature that were represented by totems, not by the blood of the mother nor the ancestry of the father. Several forms of an external soul had been derived from the elements of earth, air, and water, and at length a human soul was differentiated from the rest. This was the soul of blood which has been traced to the pubescent virgin. The virgin mother in mythology is only typical, but the type was founded in the natural fact that the mother-blood originated with the virgin when the blood was held to be the soul of life. This, to reiterate, was the pubescent virgin ready for connubium. The virgin Neith was represented by that bird of blood, the vulture, who was said to nurse her young on her own blood. The virgin Isis was portrayed as the red heifer, when Child-Horus was her red-complexioned calf. The first rendering, then, was pre-anthropomorphic, and at last the human likeness was adopted for the soul of blood, and this was imaged in Child-Horus as the soul born in the blood of Isis, the divine blood-mother, who was the typical virgin. This was the creation of man in the mythology, who was Atum the red in the Egyptian, Adam in the Hebrew version; and in man this seventh soul was now embodied in the human form.
The human soul never was “conceived as a bird,” but might be imaged as a bird, according to the primitive system of representation. The golden hawk, for instance, was a bird which typified the sun that soared aloft as Horus in the heavens, and the same bird in the eschatology was then applied to the human soul in its resurrection from the body. Hence the hawk with a human head is a compound image, not the portrait of a human soul. The celestial poultry that pass for angels in the imagination of Christendom have no direct relation to spiritual reality. A feathered angel was never yet seen by clairvoyant vision, and is not a result of revelation. We know how they originated, why they were so represented, and where they came from into the Christian eschatology. They are the human-headed birds that were compounded and portrayed for souls in Egypt, and carried out thence into Babylonia, Judea, Greece, Rome, and other lands.
In the Contes Arabes, published by Spitta Bey, the soul of a female jinn who has become the wife of a human husband goes out of her as a beetle, and when the beetle is killed the female dies. Again, in a German tale the soul of a sleeping girl is seen to issue from her mouth in the form of a red mouse, and when the mouse is killed the maiden dies. In both cases we find Egyptian symbolism surviving in folk-
lore. The red mouse was a zootype of the soul of blood, the soul derived from the mother of flesh, and, being such, it was consecrated as an image of Child-Horus, who was born in the blood of Isis; and because it was the figure of an elemental soul in the ancient symbolism, the mouse remained the emblem of the human soul in the Märchen of other nations. The scarabæus placed in the chest of the deceased to signify another heart was given to the Manes in Amenta, and the giving of this other heart to the Manes was dramatically represented on the earth by inserting the beetle in the embalmed body as a typical new heart, the beetle being a type of transformation in death. According to Renouf in Parables in Folk-lore, we have here the notion of “a person’s life or soul being detached from the body and hidden away at a distance.” “The person,” he continues, “does not appear to suffer in the least from the absence of so essential a part of himself.” (Proceedings Soc. Bib. Arch., April 2, 1889, p. 178.) But this is not the genesis of the idea. What we find in folk-lore is not contemporary evidence for current beliefs. In this the ancient wisdom is continually repeated without knowledge, and the symbols continue to be quoted at a wrong value. The soul or heart of the witch, the jinn, or the giant never was the soul of a mortal. The Arabic jinns originate as spirits of the elements. They appear in animal forms because the primary nature powers were first represented by the zootypes; hence such animals as jackals, hyenas, serpents, and others are called “the cattle of the jinn.” No human soul was ever seen in the guise of a mouse or a beetle, hawk or serpent, turtle, plant or tree, fire-stone or starry spark, if but for the fact that no one of the souls had been discreted separately as a human soul from the elemental, animistic, or totemic powers which were pre-human. It was on the ground of a pre-human origin for such souls that a doctrine of pre-existence, of transmigration, of reincarnation for the soul could be and was established, i.e., because it was not the personal human soul. This account of an elemental origin for the earliest souls of life may help to explain that pre-existence of the soul (erroneously assumed to be the human soul) which crops up in legendary lore. In the Book of the Secrets of Enoch it was declared that “Every soul was created eternally before the foundation of the world.” (Sclavonic Enoch, ch. 23, 5.) The pre-existence of souls is an Egyptian doctrine, but not of human souls already individualized and possessing each a personal identity. They were the elemental souls, not the ancestral human spirits. The Egyptian Hamemmat survived in Talmudic tradition as a class of pre-human beings. It was held as a Jewish dogma that the souls which were to enter human bodies had existed before the creation of the world in the Garden of Eden, or in the seventh, i.e., the highest, heaven (Chagiga, 12B). So the primordial powers in the Ritual are identifiable with the divine ancestors who preceded Ra (ch. 178, 22), and who are called the ancestors of Ra. “Hail ye, chiefs, ancestors of Ra!” Elsewhere they are the seven souls of Ra, when Atum-Ra becomes the one god in whom all previous powers are absorbed and glorified. The religious ceremonies of the Arunta date from and represent the doings of these ancestors in the Alcheringa at a time when the ancestor as kangaroo was not directly distinguishable from the kangaroo as man. The derivation
of souls from elemental and pre-human powers is marked when the Arunta claim that each individual is a direct reincarnation of a totemic ancestor who is still living in the Alcheringa. And, as the same origin is assigned for the totemic animal, it follows that the man and animal are brothers, born of the same ancestral and pre-human soul (N. T., p. 202). This is indicated when it is said that the spirit kangaroo enters the kangaroo animal in just the same way in which the spirit kangaroo man enters the womb of the kangaroo woman (N. T., p. 209). These totemic souls are the pre-human ancestors of the Arunta tribes who lived in their pre-human as well as prehistoric past. “Every native thinks that his (mythical) ancestor in the Alcheringa was the descendant of, or is immediately associated with, the animal or plant” “which bears his totemic name.” So intimately in the native mind are these ancestors associated with the totemic types that “an Alcheringa man says of the kangaroo totem that it may sometimes be spoken of either as a man kangaroo or a kangaroo man” (N. T., pp. 73, 119, and 132). The present explanation is that these ancestors in the Alcheringa originated in the superhuman nature powers or elemental souls that were first represented by the totems which are afterwards (or also) representative of the totemic motherhood. Thus the origin of the totemic men, in this phase, was not from the tree or animal of the totem whose name they bore, but from the elemental power or pre-human nature-soul from which both the man and animal derived a soul of life in common, as it was in the Alcheringa or old, old times of the mythical ancestors which in other countries, as in Egypt, have become the gods, whereas in Australia, Inner Africa, China, India, and elsewhere they remained the ancestors derived from animals, plants, and other zootypes that were totemic and pre-human. The derivation and descent of human souls from these superhuman elemental nature powers was at first direct; afterwards they were represented by totemic zootypes in ways already indicated and to be yet more fully shown. Thus a clan of the Omahas were described as the wind people. The Damaras have kept count of certain totemic descents (or eandas) from the elemental powers when they reckon that some of their people “come from the sun” and others “come from the rain” (Galton, Narrative, 137); others come from the tree. The progenitor, as male, may and does take the mother’s place in later ages, but the bringer forth was female from the first. So is it with the types. Hence the mount, the tree, the cave, the water-hole, the earth itself were naturally female; indeed, we might say that locality is feminine as the birthplace, and the elemental power was brought forth as male. In Scotland, persons who bore the name of “Tweed” were supposed to have had the genii of the River Tweed for their ancestors (Rogers, Social Life in Scotland, III, 336), which denotes the same derivation from the elemental source, in this instance the spirit of water, as when the Arunta of the water-totem claim descent by reincorporation from the elemental ancestor in the Alcheringa, or as it might be in the Egyptian wisdom, from the God Nnu, or Num, or Hapi, the descent being traceable at first by the totem, and afterwards by the name.
Primitive man has been portrayed in modern times as if he were a
philosophic theorist. He has been charged with imagining all sorts of things which never existed, as if that were the origin of his spirits and his gods, whereas the beginning was with the elemental powers. These were external to himself. There was no need to imagine them. They were. And with this cognition his theology began. Primitive men were taught by the consistency of experience. However primitive, they neither had nor pretended to have the power of taking the soul out of the body when in peril, and depositing it for safety in a tree, or stone, or any other totemic type. Such a delusion belongs to the second childhood of the human race rather than to the first. It never was an article of faith even with the most benighted savages, as will be exemplified. Bunsen was one of those who have cited the “Tale of the Two Brothers” to prove “how deep-seated was the Egyptian belief in the transmigration of the human soul.” But, as before said, Bata, the hero of the transmigrating soul, is not a human being! He is a folk-lore form of the mystical hero, the young solar god who issued in the morning or the spring-time from the typical tree of dawn. In like manner the golden hawk, in the Ritual, brings his heart=soul from the Mountain of the East, where it had been deposited in the tree of dawn upon the horizon. Externalizing the heart or soul in this way was not the act of men who were out of their minds or beside themselves, but simply a mode of symbolism which remains to be read in order that the error based upon it may be dispelled. When the nature powers are represented as human in the folk-tales they assume a misleading look, and primitive thought is charged with puerilities of the most recent fashion. It is these elemental souls that have been mixed up with the human soul by Hindus and Greeks, by Buddhist, Pythagorean, and Neo-Platonist, and mistaken for the human soul in course of transmigration through the series which were but representatives of souls that were distinguished as non-human by those who understood the types. The mantis, the hawk, the ram, the lion, and others in the Ritual are types of souls, may be of human souls, but not on this earth. Such were types of elemental powers first, and next they were continued as indicators of the stages made in the seven transformations of the Manes in Amenta, the earth of eternity. This imagery was first applied to the powers of external nature, and when it is continued in a later phase the mythical characters become mixed up and confounded with the human in the minds of those who know no better, or who are at times too knowing ever to know. Once a year the Santals “make simple offerings to a ghost [or spirit] who dwells in a Bela-tree” (Hunter). This is taken by Herbert Spencer to show that the spirit in the tree was derived from the human ghost, which, according to his theory, never existed save in dreams. He points to certain Egyptian representations of “female forms” “emerging from trees and dispensing blessings” (Data, ch. 23, 182). But in no case has the female any human origin or significance. The females are Hathor and Nut, who personate the divine mother, not the human mother, in the tree, as the giver of food and drink provided by the Mother-earth. As to the “ghost in the tree,” neither was that derived from the human spirit or the shadow seen in dreams. Egypt will tell us what it signified, and thereby prove that it did not originate in the human ghost or the Spencerian phantom