like mesas: “many shamans using traditional practices to help clients in developing countries or in ethnic communities in developed countries have incorporated religious imagery into their healing rituals.  An example is the way the shamans in Peru and Ecuador use the images of Catholic saints or other deities on their mesas.” G.G. Scott, “The Evolution of Shamanism.” Paper Presented at the 20th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing. 2002.

typical forms: S.R.L. Clark, "Is Humanity a Natural Kind?" In, T. Ingold, Editor, What is an Animal? London, 1988. pp.18-9. "If one individual can make the symbol meaningful, reveal its depths and power, communicate some of the mystery, then that individual is performing 'a la shaman' the great event of ritualizing the object and turning into a means for deeper awareness. Be it a cob of corn, a leaf of tobacco, a painting, a poem, a song or a dance -- it is still the empowering, the act of 'investing' that requires some direction and guidance and the act of communalizing needs the shaman to show the way." L. Irwin, HERMETICA@cofc.edu. 29 Apr 1996.

birds: "In all texts where they appear, birds possess supernatural qualities, rarely malevolent, but usually directed toward turning events in some amazing way back toward order and mortality." T.O. Beidelman, "The Moral Imagination of the Kaguru: Some Thoughts on Tricksters, Translation and Comparative Analysis." In, W.J. Hynes amd W.G. Doty, eds, Mythical Trickster Figures. University of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa, AL., 1993. p.179.

try to sing: "'We have some close relatives,' (Fernando) Nottebohm said. 'Chimps, even monkeys. But they can't speak. No primate can speak. It's only humans who do it. When you look around the animal kingdom, birds are one animal that attempts vocally to do anything like what we do.'" M. Specter, "Rethinking the Brain." In, M. Ridley, Editor, The Best American Science Writing. New York, 2002. p.153. Although Nottebohm's works has led to valuable discoveries about the brain, such as neurogenesis, all animals speak in their way, not just birds, as communication is vital to survival. To say that they don't attempt "vocally to do anything like we do," is only to say that we don't have similar needs. 

Yet in the end: M. Basho. From, "Records of Unreal Dwellings." "One of my early Japanese friends, widowed for many years, said sadly to me, 'I realize that I thought of my wife as a broom.'" R. Aitken, Original Dwelling Place. Washington, D.C., 1996.

phantom: "It remains to be seen what the phantom means or--this can have still other meanings--what the word 'phantom,' the 'word' phantom means. In a phantom-text, these distinctions, these quotations marks, references, or citations become irremediably precarious; they leave only traces, and we shall never define the trace or the phantom without, ironically or allegorically, appealing from one to the other." J. Derrida. Quoted in, M. Wigley, The Architecture of Deconstruction. Cambridge, MA., 1993. p. 164.