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This talk arose from a demonstration by Mr. Gold of the traditional way of preparing a body for burial, in which students acted as members of the "washing society" under his direction. Mr. Gold describes some of the Sumerian and Egyptian practices relating to this process, including the embalming practices, the origins of ritual washing, use of oils and tree resins, how they are applied to the body, and so on. He emphasizes the special nature of the actions of all participants and the use of these practices not only for burial but also for the preparation of a shaman's body for the journey to and from the macrodimensions. Several very esoteric elements of the shaman's work are revealed by the end of this talk.