On the shoulders of Ursa Major: Karelian spells and magic action about lempi-raising

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Key words
beliefs, sexuality and love magic, guiding spirits of the human
Konkka A.
About the Author


The aim of the article is to analyze stories about magic actions of the “lempi-raising” in Viena, Ladoga and North Karelia from the collection of Finnish Literature Society (Folklore archive), published in multivolume edition “The Old Poems of the Finnish People” (SKVR). The author proposes that lempi is a sort of soul’s descent, emanation of vital force during pubescence and actualization of sexual energy. Rituals of lempi arisal are most probably connected with initation rituals, relate to the coming of age.