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[BD]From Weikzahood to Mediumship: How to Master the World in Contemporary Burma



In this paper, I bring into focus the biography of a Burmese ritual specialist who combines in her practice different spiritual resources in order to master her changing world. By analysing the way in which she positions herself between different fields of practice, namely the weikza path and the spirit possession cult, I aim to show that beliefs and practices considered normatively distinct according to their relative distance from the core of Buddhism actually converge in her personal history. By bringing to light the evolution of such a specialist in terms of a “spiritual career,” I seek to illuminate changes in the religious landscape that reflect those of the overall social context. Finally, this case demonstrates that magic, as a field of practice, is fully constitutive of the way the Burmese Buddhists of today think about and manage their lives, even if it has often been regarded as deviant from normative Buddhism.