THE LOST ONES
"In Guarani, they are called mokoi and gwyra. You can think of them like two small birds that fly to join you at the moment of birth and travel on your shoulder all your life. They are the guardians of your ayvu, your animating force, your soul. If you grow old, and your body wears out, then the birds depart for their natural home in the cosmos. That's a good death.
But the birds can also be frightened off your shoulder, long before your body wears out. They can be dislodged by harsh words, or by a shocking sight – your lover encircled in someone else's arms, for example. The birds may settle and return to you – but they may not. That is when trouble begins: The most evil spirits, the angue, that are around us and in us, can take over then.
The angue can lead you to do all manner of bad things. They may even give you the idea to pick up a rope, toss it over the branch of a tree, pull it tight around your own neck, and jump. Jejuvy, in Guarani: It is usually translated as suicide in English, but that's a limited word – the clear implication is that the angue suffocated you, after giving you a wish to die. And then the spirits are loose, and if no one is on hand to take steps to stop them, they can fan out to cause new suffering – including jejuvy in many others.
Once the hangings have started, it can be a very long time before they stop."
- Stephani Nolan The Globe and Mail
THE GLOBE AND MAIL