Illness attributed to supernatural forces may be due to soul loss, ancestral spirits, tame household spirits, wild forest spirits, malevolent spirits, or shaman spirits, but can also be attributed to magical interferences by humans in the form of curses. Illnesses caused by ancestral spirits are commonly a form of communication, as ancestors may be made unhappy by actions performed or not performed by humans.
These actions must be corrected by spiritual interventions or the illnesses may continue and result in death. Even tragic accidents and bad luck can be attributed to spirits.
Spiritual illnesses may occur when one or more souls separate from the physical body. Separation may occur in a number of ways. For example, a soul may be “frightened away,” abducted by a malevolent spirit, disturbed by an ancestral spirit, or simply become dissatisfied with the physical body and leave to become reincarnated.
The seriousness of the illness depends on the number of souls that are lost, the length of absence from the body, the distance of the soul from the body, the firmness of the spirit’s control over the soul and the exact circumstances surrounding soul loss. Traditional healers, including soul callers and shaman are called upon to treat spiritual illnesses, often after natural home remedies failed to correct the problem.