Siberian Shamans and the Shaman Sickness (Part 1)





How to become a shaman?

Shamanism has been around for many years. According to the legend the ancestor of the powerful shamanic tribe of Baikal was an eagle, who turned into a man. It is interesting that initially the activities of each elected shaman were directed only at their tribe. However today the Olkhon shamans willingly help people from all over the world. Moreover, a true shaman is obliged to help out even his enemy.

Such a designation can not be chosen as a profession in the university. To become a shaman one must have shamanic ancestors (ongons) and receive a distinct sign from above. It can be anything: the sixth finger on the hand, a sudden vision, a serious illness. To refuse such a gift is not an option either — the elders affirm that the spirits will not allow it.

As a general rule they learn about their abilities in the period from 6 to 50 years of age. However experienced shamans say that a too young age is not suitable for such activities. And even at 30 a person does not have enough knowledge to guarantee genuine help to the needy. Therefore the optimal age for performing rituals is 50 years and older. But this does not mean that there are no powerful young healers.

Each shaman has his own given abilities and mastery level (there are 9 of them). Some predict the future, others treat various diseases, remove generic curses or the crown of celibacy. Shamans of the highest level can even take off (ascend).

What is the shaman sickness?

Such a mysterious ailment can manifest itself in different forms. It happens that a person is always unlucky, and he can not succeed neither in his career nor in his personal life. Or the future shaman faces severe alcohol dependence. Some of the chosen ones understood their purpose through dreams or physical illness. And for others the ancestors prepared dangerous trials that threaten life.

The chosen must endure all the blows of fate and never lose heart and soul. For the calling requires the shaman to be strong and wise. Throughout such a difficult path the future shaman seems to be reborn, completely changing his life.

“The Symptoms” of this particular sickness disappear only when the chosen accepts his path. The refusal of this predestination entails a string of troubles for both the person himself and his family.

How is it to live with such a gift?

To be a true shaman is hard work. It’s a path that cannot be selected or changed. But by accepting their true destiny, the chosen ones help many people live in purity and harmony. Nowadays tours and excursions have become more popular than ever, with programs that include visits to places of power and shamanistic rites. Travelers from all over the world come to Baikal to get in touch with shamans and get answers to interesting questions.

Shamans help everyone whenever possible. At the same time they will never ask for money for their services. Each visitor gives as much as he can. Moreover the payment for help can be anything: candies, matches and stuff. If the shaman hints to a certain amount of money for the ritual then this is a serious motive to doubt him.

By the way, if you think that a shaman is a hermit who is detached from the outside world, then this is absolutely not true. Many modern shamans write scientific papers, watch the news, write poems or compose songs.

How do pagans treat the church?

In the past on the Olkhon island there were only the sacred spirits of nature. Now in this place stands the Orthodox Church, which was built for the locals. Contrary to various assumptions, the shamans are quite peaceful about this phenomenon. Considering that the priest is doing the same job as they are – helping people. So there can be no reasons for disagreements.

Representatives of several confessions live in the Baikal region: Shamanism, Buddhism, Orthodoxy. Many have become accustomed to such differences over time, and conflicts on this basis do not arise. After all everyone is looking for his own way.

Shamans about tourists on Olkhon.

Cape Burkhan has always been considered one of the most mysterious and sacred places on Lake Baikal. Its surroundings were once inhabited by celestial beings. But today shamans say that the spirits have left this place. The elders attribute this phenomenon to the fact that many tourists disrespect the local shrines. They visit the places of power not as guests but as hosts.

In the media the Baikal is listed as one of the most powerful energy places. This attracts many tourists from all over the world, but not all the visitors follow the rules of conduct on the holy land.

Every traveler is obliged to protect and respect nature and in no case to harm her. This must be remembered by everyone.

Photo: ©Alexey Trofimov

Source: Первый Байкальский. Translated into English by ©Excellence Reporter

Excellence Reporter 2018


The Shaman Sickness – a heavy gift of the spirits (part 2)


Categories: Shamanism

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