In Tales of Adam, Mr. Quinn makes reference to gods not of the living community, who certain individuals of each generation seek out in their search for uncommon wisdom. Might I ask for a greater explanation of these gods, and such wisdom?
The subject you want to study is shamanism. A “subject” search on shamanism at Amazon.com will give you plenty to read. Shamanism by Mircea Eliade is considered the definitive modern work on the subject.