A Swedish female folk healer from the beginning of the 18th century


  • Carl-Martin Edsman


Shamanism, Sweden, Shamans, Women shamans, Women, Gender, Healing, Christianity, Spirits, Magic, Witchcraft, Bible, Trance, Ecstasy, Spirit possession, Psychology and religion, Altered states of consciousness


Catharina Fagerberg was a tailor's daughter from Marbäck in Småland, South-Sweden, where she was born in 1700. For a period of seven years she was afflicted with severe vexations of spirit, and was visited by blasphemous and murderous thoughts. In January, 1727, physical weakness set in; she had a stitch in her side and other troubles that kept her sleepless for eleven weeks. For a while they stopped, but on Easter Monday while in church Catharina experienced great difficulty in breathing and mental agony. On the 5th of August, 1727, as Catharina was sitting at her loom she had an attack of yawning and convulsions felt in an unusual state, and then was addressed by a 'good spirit', but from inside her and without her perceiving any voice: "You are puzzled by this yawning. I want now to tell you what is the matter with you, namely, that several unclean spirits dwell in your body and cause your illness and your pains”. She devoted herself to steady prayer and Bible-reading.



How to Cite

Edsman, C.-M. (1967). A Swedish female folk healer from the beginning of the 18th century. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 1, 120–165. https://doi.org/10.30674/scripta.67027