Shamanic cultures often consider the presence of spirit intrusions to be an important component in serious sickness and disease. These intrusions are not evil, but are inappropriately situated on or in a person’s body. To a person using shamanic sight, they may appear in a number of ways. They might have the form of insects, spiders, centipedes or other creepy-crawlies. They might appear to be sharp-pointed objects penetrating or impaling the body and ranging in size from pins and needles all the way to broadswords and pitchforks.
Sometimes, to me, they look like blobs of essentially shapeless tar or oily, viscous gunk. At other times, they seem to be very heavy boulders or stones. One practitioner might see these intrusions in one form and another practitioner might see them in an entirely different way. However, whatever form they take, it is clear to the practitioner that they should not be present.
The ritual removal of intrusions is one way of addressing the spiritual components of a sickness, and this, in turn has the potential of complementing present-day medical methodologies.