Shamanic Initiations in Siberia  

Posted by scoalamisterelor in , ,

Shamanism is a tradition of living in close contact with spirits of nature , animals, plants, rocks, lakes and forests and in Siberian shamanism is also a way of worshipping ancestors' spirits.

Siberian shamanism is one of the oldest shamanic traditions and is said to be the root of all shamanic beliefs on the planet. It has been practiced by natives of all kinds of tribes from Eskimos from snow tundras of the North Pole till the Khalkha people of sandy deserts in southern Mongolia.
Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirits' worlds and that everything has a spirit and is alive .

Lake Baikal shamans are saying "our temple is the sky and all wonderful and unusual things that surround us. In Lake Baikal area there are many beautiful and mysterious places; hidden caves, the remains of ancient settlements and burial grounds, rocks, mountain passes, ancient larches and powerful cedar trees that are treated with high and special reverence by all indigenous tribes of Siberia."

Today this original belief of indigenous people of Baikal area is becoming of great interest all over the world and old shamans are actively trying more and more to revive the shamanic traditions after the years of communist persecution.
Because of efforts of older shamans shamanism it is becoming more recognized not only as an ancestral tradition but also as a way of living and a belief system through which people can understand and reach God in order to improve their spiritual life.

It is actually being recognized as national tradition of tribes of Siberia and Mongolia beside all other worldwide religions like Christianity and Buddhism so it becomes also one of the most important religions in Siberia and Mongolia .
In order to become a shaman in Siberian and Mongolian tradition it takes a journey of lifetime, personal development for being able to serve the community, to help people in all things they need and want. In order to do these things with great quality and dedication a shaman has to undertake a great deal of practice and training, which actually suggests that it’s a full time job and lasts for a lifetime.

Shanars are the initiation steps that Buryat shaman has to undertake in this tradition in order to be able to have a right, qualities and powers to do the work required from a shaman. There are nine shanars or steps of initiation that a shaman has to go through.

1. Mapzhilaytay boo ("the newly shaman") - it is the first level of initiation in which a shaman receives a wooden wand that is made from birch tree. This wand has to have a number of marks that are equal to the number of shamans in his lineage, he can perform offerings with milk , tea, summon minor spirits and has a status of a student-helper of an older shaman. This stage lasts for three years, marking the beginning of a shaman's career.

2. Noptolhon boo ("wet shaman") – during the second step initiation as a shaman he is bathed in the waters of nine different water sprigs taken from the homeland of his ancestors. He has the right to make offerings to the spirit of fire, local spirits, ancestors spirits with minor requests. Duration of this stage is three years.

3. Zhodooto boo ("fir shaman") - the third step shaman can communicate freely with any kind of ancestral spirits, as well as connect and communicate with spirits of places from which he borrows his powers. At this level the Shaman can perform wedding ceremonies. He receives a smoking pipe with pouch (alshuur) and shamanic whip (Buryat tashuur). The duration of this stage is one year.

4. Shereete boo ("shaman from the shrine") - the fourth stage is associated with the strengthening of the forces that he managed to gain in the previous step. Shaman strengthens his relationship with the spirits of the previous stage and is now able to communicate freely with the higher level spirits like zayaans that are in charge with the destiny of his people, as well as the homeland of his ancestors. He receives bells and plates (aka tingsha) zele (rope, twisted out of animal fur to bring or catch the spirits) and iseree, a small cabinet to store shamanic utensils that can be used as a shrine. This stage lasts for three years.

5. Hesete boo * ("shaman with a drum") - this level shaman masters his ability to communicate with ongon spirits, dwelling places of spirits or sacred beings. He also receives three drums: one from bull skin, one from the deer skin, and one from goat skin, and a beating stick. He could call upon for the help of celestial gods, his heavenly spouse. His soul can reach only up to three levels of heaven-spheres. This stage lasts one year.

6. Horibopyu boo ("shaman with a horse head wand ") (otherwise Horbotoy boo) - the sixth stage, like the fourth is associated with improved ability to manage the skills gained in the previous stage. Shaman no longer needs the help of musical instruments to get in the trance state. He receives a metal rod with a knob shaped like a horse's head. This stage lasts three years.

7. Tengeriin orgoshpo boo ("shaman in heavenly garb") - initiation at this stage is accompanied by a second sprinkling with holy water, brought to boil by throwing in it a red-hot stone from Lake Baikal. Then the shaman is sprinkled with vodka, and prays to Uha Loson Khan, the owner of water. Then he receives a metal crown with deer horns and a shamanic mantle and another three drums. Shaman of a such a level can communicate freely with all the spirits of Earth and Sky, make offerings from a bowl with eagle feather and initiate novice shamans . This stage lasts for three years.

8. Tengeriin orgoshpo buheli boo ("shaman with complete vestment ") - the eighth stage shaman possesses profound knowledge of shamanic mythology , shamanic skills and performs complicated rituals. He is able to control the wind, rain and storm, to travel freely between all three worlds, he completely mastered the art of contemplation and concentration. He receives another wooden wand with a knob shaped like horse's head and decorated with tinkling round wedges and multi-colored stripes, a hat decorated with signs of sun and fire and some other accessories and has all the necessary utensils he needs at this point. This stage is one year.

9. Tengeriin pshbilgatay zaarin boo ("Great Shaman by the will of Heavens ") - shaman that fully mastered all the shamanic and magical powers. He can control the weather, move to any place, becoming one with the spirit of ongon, and communicate with any creature in the physical or non physical body from anywhere in the Universe. He has a hat decorated with images of the Sun and Moon.

The shamans are in very close contact with spiritual world communicating constantly with different kinds of spirits. Because of this the shaman has to be very rooted into physical world in order not to get lost between the worlds. This is why it is very dangerous and not advised for the people who are the dreamers and who like to see the world through the pink glasses or all they want to see in the spiritual world are butterflies and beauty, because they can become trapped between the worlds or even lose their soul in this kind of journey.

To be a shaman is to be able to live with one foot in the real world, and another in the world of spirits, and not to forget who and where you are. This is achieved through the maintenance of balance, constant self-awareness and discipline, grounding and sense of reality, mental awareness of physical existence. Shamans must know where they are at any time any place.

This is one of the reasons why shamans seem so strong, because they‘re always aware where they are, what they are doing what is happening around them and in which realm they are working.

All these skills are extremely necessary because the people come with all sorts of questions to a shaman: healing, soul retrieving, getting an advice and a blessing on the business, getting the help of the spirits in changing or getting a new job, carrier, marrying, divorcing, entering the university, military service etc which suggests that a shaman besides his psychic powers also has to be a very grounded and knowledgeable person in all the aspects of this life. Because of working with people most shamans are very good skillful psychologists.

To be a shaman means to have a huge responsibility, they are in position that does not allow them to make mistakes. They have to live a life without looking back, to have angelic patience, holy mercy, highest justice, sharp mind, computer intelligence, chronic lack of sleep from night vigils, looking young but being wise and assuming responsibility for each step and everything they are doing before the Creator of the Universe , the responsibility has to be for himself, for friends, for family, for all those around, for all those who come to be helped.

It is also the ability to see and hear the upper, middle and under worlds as they are, with all its visible and invisible entities and beings and to manage the art of interacting and communicating with all these beings of all the worlds and Universe.

Shaman is the one who is actively using the natural magic of interaction between people and processes, he has to be neutral, he must stand outside the frame, border, color and sex. He is living real life and not life imposed upon him by society, other people, culture, dogmas, opinions, he has to act and not to react. He has to live his life journey to fulfill his mission to do what he had come to do.
And because of all that we can indeed say that a true shaman is truly a magician.

Elena Baldaeva
Adept and Teacher in Mystery School and
Hermetic Institute of Study, Research, Training and Personal Development

This entry was posted on vineri, iulie 01, 2011 at vineri, iulie 01, 2011 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

0 comentarii

Trimiteți un comentariu

add this

Creative Commons License
Copyright 2009 - Scoala Misterelor by Raul Petrisor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Romania License.