Spain has build a vast empire in South America taking advantage of native population and forcing Christianity . Slowly but steadily decimating their culture and the nature , so precious for the indigenous population .
Embrace of the Serpent tells the story of Karamakate(Niblio Torres) , a young shaman , the last survivor of his tribe .
Acquiescent with his fate he lives in solitude on the banks of the Amazon river . The German explorer Theodor Koch-Grunberg (Jan Bijvoet, "Borgman") and his companion Manduca (Yauenku Migue) appear as unexpected guests in his life . The first one very sick and his companion bagging the young shaman for help .
In Karmakate’s eyes , Theodor is a member of the white race , which is responsible for eradicating his tribe . At first he denies help to the couple , but then he realizes that leaving his broken hearth to take such a decision , would deprive him of his humanity .
Years later in 1940 Karamakate (played by Antonio Bolivar) is visited by another explorer Richard Evans Schultes (Brionne Davis, "Avenged") , a plant enthusiast , who seeks the mysterious sacred plant Yakruna . Many years have passed since the Karamakate’s first encounter with the white man . The shaman has now replaced his anger with fatigue and has been sunken in oblivion . He has forgotten the ways of his people and the only thing left as a distant memory are the petroglyphs he draws on the rocks .
Embrace of the Serpent is a touching story about the indigenous people and their simple gracious approach to life and existence . Ciro Guerra's masterpiece is focused on the Native Americans and their culture . Their spiritual practices and their symbiosis with the surrounding environment .
Embrace of the Serpent is also a story about two life changing voyages .
The movie explores the ideas of the so called civilized man , the controversial progress and the Christian’s way . At the end of his first voyage Karamakate meets a sadistic priest offering a “salvation” to orphans , by flogging and punishing them . He denies their right to speak their native language by calling it the devil’s speech . Years later during the second voyage Karamakate and his companion Evans once again visit the mission to find that it has been occupied by a vicious cult . The leader of that cult thinks himself as Jesus , fostering self-abuse and ritual suicides .
The characters of the two white man in Embrace of the Serpent are based on actual people . The work of Richard Evans Schultes in the Amazonian rainforest greatly exceeds what has been shown in the movie . His studies led to many discoveries in the medicine . His exploration of the psychedelic plants has given a base for future researches and studies . In 1979 he cooperates with Albert Hoffman(the founder of LSD) and publishes the book „Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers” .
Embrace of the Serpent depicts two unforgettable voyages . Somber and in the same time beautiful image of times past . The movie is a deep and touching experience describing the best and the worst of both worlds .
In the Korean Gut ritual the shaman makes a sacrifice in the spirits favor . The music and the dances are vital part of the ritual in which the shaman prays on the spirits for their aid for solving a particular problem . During the Gut ritual the shaman is dressed in a racy costume , which often is colorful , decorated with various metal objects . They produce jangling sounds which is very important for the successful communication between the shaman and the spirits . In the course of the Gut ritual the shaman changes his outfit several times .
During the Gut ritual , the shaman often speaks strange and unintelligible .
This altered state of consciousness in which he falls in , is part of the ritual . In that state the shaman is able to establish a strong connection with the spirits and to communicate with them .
The Gut ritual is a sort of symbiosis between the three sides involved . The spirits , the people and the shaman - the mediator between the spiritual realm and the humans .
The Gut ritual is conducted differently depending on the region and the goals . The individual character and skills of the shaman also define the way the ritual will be carried .
The Korean Gut ritual is divided in three general types . Naerim-gut , Dodang-gut and Ssitgim-gut
The Naerim-Gut (내림굿) the initiation ritual . In this ritual the suited for a shaman is initiated in the sacred traditions . This ritual is related to the so called shamanic illness (shinbyeong) .
Dodang-gut (도당굿) can be defined as a communal ritual . Often conducted in the countryside and the central and southern Korea . This type of Gut ritual is performed to ask the spirits to provide wealth and prosperity for the village or the region . The ritual takes place annual or even more frequently if needed . Most often the Dodang-gut is held in the days around New Year , during the spring or the fall . In this Gut ritual major role is played by the female shamans .
Ssitgim-gut (씻김굿) is a shamanic ritual which is conducted for cleansing the spirit of a deceased person . Since time immemorial the Koreans believe , that when somebody dies , he cannot pass to the realm of the spirits , as his soul isn’t pure . This is why the Ssitgim-gut ritual is really important . The ritual cleanse everything negative of the deceased person's soul , so that he’d be able to enter the spiritual realm calmly . This Gut ritual is most often performed in the South-West provinces of Korea .
A major part of the Korean shamanic tradition is the banishment of the evil spirits .
The Salp’uri dance is part of these rituals , which translated means to cleans the evil spirits . The Salp’uri is the beautiful conclusion on the shamanic rituals . This sacred dance is common for the region of Honam and is called Ssitkimgut(a ritual for cleansing the deceased soul) . This ritual is considered to be in the foundation of the modern Salp’uri . Surviving during the ages , the ancient dance , now has more than a ritual meaning . The dance puts an aesthetic and artistic accent on the Gut rituals . The main figure in the dance is a female .
The dance is performed under the sounds of the traditional Korean Shinawi (시나위) . During the dance , the female shaman falls in to state of trance . The Salp’uri dance starts slowly and builds up . An important part of the dance is the apparel of the dancer , which in most of the cases is white . During the performance the dancer uses a scarf . She swing the scarf in a wave-like movements , leaded by the rhythm .
No matter where do we live and how advanced we think our society is there always is a place for spirituality . The ancient shamanic and spiritual teaching are deeply rooted in our consciousness . Shamanic rituals like the Gut ritual are a portal to ancient times . They are a window to our past and a way to communicate with our ancestors . To learn from them and to share their and our experience .
Wallace Black Elk(1921-2004) was a traditional Lakota shaman and a Channupa (sacred pipe) bearing . Wallace is straight descendent of the famous Nicholas Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks) . He was born and raised in South Dakota and has been trained since childhood in the sacred ways of Lakota .
At first look “Black Elk : The sacred ways of Lakota” is just another book about the life and the messages of a North American shaman . We know the books the James Welch's "Fools Crow" and the “The Seven Visions of Bull Lodge” told by his daughter – Garter Snake, and many others . Each of these books , however is unique , as the paths we all walk through our lives . Paths that leads us to knowledge , enlightenment and the skills we develop . On the other hand these books are like pieces of a puzzle completing with each other , letting the reader to build an almost complete picture of these native american people and their sacred traditions .
Authenticity and details , bright presence , decorated with subtle humor . Genuine wisdom and deep concern for the future of the humanity and Mother Earth . These are the aspects over which the brilliant work of William S. Lion and the Wallace Black Elk , is focused on . The book provides the opportunity to get even deeper understanding of the shamanic practices of the Lakota . To learn the ancient teachings , guided by the Wallace Black Elk’s words .
“Black Elk : The sacred ways of Lakota” is a book that you can't just rent from somebody and to read once .
It is a book that you must own . Book filled with priceless lessons , and knowledge of the old ways . This is a book that will constantly inspire and guide you . Well help you find new worlds and will taught you how to deal the old ones better .
William S. Lyon is bachelor in Mathematics (1963) and a doctor of anthropology graduated in the Kansas university (1969) . In the last decades a subject of his studies are the shamanistic practices of the North America’s indigenous people and particularly the Lakota tribe . Currently Dr. Lyon is a professor in the Center for Religious studies in the University of Central Missouri . In 1990 as a result of long term collaboration with Wallace Black Elk the book “Black Elk : The sacred ways of Lakota” was published . Few years later William published two more books on the subject . “The Encyclopedia of the Native American Healing” and “The Encyclopedia of the Native American Shamanism” . Dr. Lyon is also a consultant on Native American culture of Michael Harner’s “Foundation of shamanic studies” . He is also known as an associate in the “Shaman’s Drum” magazine .
Kambo Frog Medicine - The Spirit of the Rainforest
Kambo frog medicine is the name given to a specie of a tree frog, inhabiting the North-western territories of Amazon . The Kambo , Campus , Sapo , Vacion da Floresta , these are some of the names of this curious amphibian creature . The scientific name of the frog is Phyllomedusa bicolor , also known as Giant Monkey frog .
A deep examination of the Kambo frog medicine is first carried by the Nobel award nominee Vittorio Erspamer . He describes the sacred frog as :” Fantastic chemical cocktail with potential medical applications unequaled by any other amphibian” .
The Kambo Frog medicine is part of the indigenous traditions of dozens of Amazonian tribes .
A medicine that helps treating snake bites , malaria , yellow fever, epidemics and most importantly , deals with the panama . Panema is the bad luck, and the negative energy responsible for most of our emotional and health problems . The sacred frog is also used in a variety of rituals and ceremonies , as these for good hunting for example . The frog is rather hard to catch . The tribe members are going to frog “hunt” mainly at night , when Kambo sings her songs . In some tribes however only the shaman has the right to hunt for Kambo . The frog has no natural enemies in her habitat and doesn’t fear the people when approached .
In order to harvest the secretion , the frog is stretched by her legs with strings . Although the it looks quite painful , Kambo is considered sacred and no harm is caused . After the harvesting is done , the frog is released unharmed . The secretion is then dried on wooden sticks .
The Kambo frog medicine is applied by making small burns on the patient's skin using glowing stick .
The effect is immediate as the medicine enters the bloodstream directly . The body heathens, the heartbeat becomes more intense . Then the person starts vomiting the water that he has drunk at the beginning of the ritual . It all lasts for 15-20 minutes .
The Kambo frog medicine like the rest of the native medicines is based on the principal of transmitting energy from the shaman to his patient . Every tribe has a different approach in regards to the usage of Kambo . The tribes Katukina and Matses for example are making Kambo burns few times at night when preparing for hunt . The main reason they use Kambo frog medicine is to get rid of the penema . The word penema the symbol of everything bad in our lives . Bad luck , bad health , bad thoughts , the state of the mind that causes illness and misery .
When everything goes wrong is a perfect time to use the kambo frog medicine .
The indigenous people are saying that Kambo is the spirit of the forest and must be treated with respect . To hurt Kambo frog brings bad luck and misery . The Matses tribe usually takes Kambo frog medicine in combination with nu-nu , a snuff which the hunters use to initiate visions . These visions will show them where and when the pray will offer itself . They are saying that the shamans are seeing the Kambo frog in their visions and communicate with her .
As the author Peter Gorman (Ayahuasca in My Blood , Sapo in My Soul) says , Kambo is a sacred medicine healing both the body and the soul . It is a fire medicine , which combined with water triggers alchemical reaction . This reaction helps the body to get rid of the old toxins stacked in our system .This sacred ritual however , does not only cleans the body . The Kambo frog medicine is a tool for connecting the person with his natural wisdom .
A tool that is meant to show us our negative habits , to teach us what to avoid and what to improve in ourselves .
During Kambo ceremony the people receive insights . These insights are messages of the sacred medicine . Messages which guides us to the changes we must make in our ways of life . The Kambo frog medicine unleashes the healing powers of the human body . It helps to let aside the bad habits and provides priceless lessons on how to act and think in particular situations . Kambo cleans the Panema , the negative energy that stacks above us . The Kambo frog medicine also works very well in a combination with other sacred plants like Ayahuasca and Iboga .
The sacred frog medicine gets more and more popular in South America and the world . The healing tradition is no more closed tradition to the indigenous tribe of the Amazon . The Kambo frog medicine is now spread by people taught by the natives in the ways of the sacred tradition . Kambo is another priceless gift of Mother Earth . If treated with respect and reverence the sacred Spirit of Kambo can make wonders with our lives .
Yopo is a powder made of Anadenanthera peregrina seeds . The Anadenanthera peregrina is a perennial tree growing in the Caribbean and South America . In size it can reach up to 20 m.
The Yopo is known to the Europeans since Colombus second voyage , when in 1496 he reached the shores of Haiti . Friar Ramon Pane , a participant in the expedition describes :
“The shaman takes a certain powder called cohoba snuffing it up his nose, which intoxicates them so they do not know what they do…”
Cohoba is one of the many names the sacred powder has . Depending on the region it is also called Jopo , Mopo , Nopo and Paric
The Yopo is made by toasting the seeds of the plant . It is a vital part of the ceremonies and the sacred rituals of the South American tribes for centuries . There are evidences that Yopo has been used for more than 4000 years . The oldest know definitive evidence is dated 2130 BC . It is a puma-bone smoking pipe found in Peru , containing traces of DMT . Snuff trays and tubes also found in Peru , dated back to 1200 BC , are another proof of its long history .
The DMT is one of the psycho-active compounds in Yopo . It also contains Bufotenin and 5-MeO-DMT . All of these provide strong psychedelic effects .
Special tubes are used for snuffing the Yopo . For achieving maximum effect and letting more powder enter the nose , a person blows it to another person’s nostrils using the tube . The tubes are usually made of bamboo or bird bones . It can be with single straight tube or Y , V-shaped such . It isn’t an easy task to handle these tubes however . To properly use it a person requires preparation and experience .
When sniffed Yopo may cause nausea and vomiting , but in just a few minutes the person taking it will fall in state beyond the reach of words .
The effects of the Yopo are similar to these of Ayahuasca . The psychedelic experience last for up to three hours . The sacred plant provides vivid visions and a portal to other dimensions . It invokes the healing energies in the human's body . The Yopo is part of the South American culture from time immemorial and it holds deep ritual significance . The intake of the powder causes quite a pain , but allows the participants in the ceremony to enter other realms of existence and to communicate with the spirits .
The Yopo is considered sacred by many indigenous tribes .
It is a medicine that helps them strengthen their mind and body . It is used as remedy for treating variety of deceases , but most importantly it is a tool . Tool that improves their relation with the spiritual realm and enhances their liaison with the nature . It is a teacher that helped them developing a deep understanding of the world that surrounds them . It is the divine hand of mother nature itself . A gentle hand that guides these who want to learn , these who want to live in peace and harmony with all existence .
Peyote (Lophophora Wiliamsii) is a thornless cactus growing along Rio Grande valley and south of it . Its green flower buds are covered with white spots . These spots contain nine alkaloids of the Isoquinoline group . This alkaloids group has psychedelic effects on the human consciousness .
The name Peyote comes from the Aztec language Nahuatl .
In Nahuatl the word Peyotl means caterpillar . The analogy comes from the fact that the cactus looks like the back of a caterpillar . In the different native American tribes , the cactus is called differently . The Lakota word for it for example is “unchela” or simply medicine .
The Peyote rituals are practiced among the tribes of central , north Mexico and United States for hundreds of years . Accordingly to some explorers, as Carolyn E. Boyd however the sacred plant is been used for millennia . During 19th century the Peyote rituals are widely spread among the tribes of southern of the Great Plains . The plant has been highly appreciated and considered sacred medicine for many of the tribes there .
The first propagator of Peyote among the tribes of the Great Plains is the Comanche chef Quanah Parker (1845-1911) .
During a ride in Mexico he has been seriously wounded by a raging bull . His condition was critical , but luckily his warriors mange to find a local medicine woman which saved Chef Parker’s life . Quanah Parker was as good as dead . The woman give him a mysterious herb , which miraculously healed him . The shaman agreed with the Quanah’s request and taught him the secrets of the mysterious plant medicine . The rituals he has been taught by the shaman were significantly different than these practiced by the other tribes . However Quanah Parker became the first peyotist among the north American tribes .
Greatly impressed by the healing powers of “Grandfather Peyote” Quanah knew that his mission was to spread the knowledge of the sacred plant among his people . In his quest he has been aided by the American ethnologist James Mooney (1861-1921) , who helped the chef systemizing the knowledge of Peyote . This systemized knowledge is the foundation of the Native American Church .
The word church however may sound inappropriate word to be related with the usage of Peyote cactus , but there are few good reasons for that .
The most important however is related with the social intolerance , prohibitions and persecutions imposed on the Peyotism and its followers . The Spanish chronicles of the first explorers are speaking about how the Chechemeca tribe used the sacred plant of Peyote to see the future . With the help of the plant they were able to predict when the enemy will attack , or what will be the weather like during the next season . Of course the Catholic church proclaimed Peyote to be a plant sent by the devil in order to stray the natives of the salvation . That’s why the peyotists are burned to the stake .
Even in more recent times the Christian missionaries had the same negative view regarding Peyote . They believed that this plant was taking the people away from God and the civilized society . Many Peyotists are thrown in the jail , others are forced to renounce of their believe . Even outside the religious doctrine , the civil position regarding the sacred plant was negative , defining the ceremonies as amoral orgies of drugged Indians . All of this has led to the formalization of the Peyote spiritual cult . In 1918 in Oklahoma the Native American Church has been officially registered .
From Magic Mushrooms to Ayahuasca or The Beneficial Psychedelic Experience
Anything from magic mushrooms to Ayahuasca can provide you a beneficial psychedelic experience , as long this is the goal you are after .
The sacred psychedelic plants are part of the human culture since time immemorial . The shamans relay on these plants for achieving altered states of consciousness . In these states the spiritual workers are able to tap in to realms of existence otherwise unreachable . Accordingly to the mainstream historians , psychedelic plants and substances are been used for more than 10 000 years . Evidences of shamanic-ritual usage of San Pedro cactus in Peru for example , are dated 8600 B.C. The magic mushrooms usage in Mexico and Guatemala has long roots . Artifacts like the mushroom stone (apx. 3000 years old) , are a definitive evidence of how important the hallucinogenic mushrooms were for the people . The Batel plant was wildly used in Asia . The first evidence of Batel usage pointing back to 2660 B.C.
Furthermore out-of-the-box thinkers and authors like Graham Hancock “blame” the psychedelics experience to be the trigger that led to a revolution in art , culture and symbolic thinking in prehistoric times ...
“Whether we find its traces in Australia, Asia Africa, or Europe, it is simply impossible to overstate the uniqueness and peculiarity of the evolutionary event by which we were drawn into fully modern consciousness and the fully modern capacity for symbolism and culture, religion, and art. No ancestor in the human lineage had ever made use of any form of symbolism before, and needless to say, no other animal species had ever done so either. But the switching-on of humanity's symbol-making capacity between approximately 100,000 and 40,000 years ago was the change that changed everything.”
The beneficial psychedelic experience is combination of intentions , goals , approach and understanding of the plants .
It all starts with the intention . The intention to get aquatint with the psychedelics can be induced by curiosity . It might be caused by the simple intention to have fun . Or might be induced by the one’s will to grow mentally and to explore his consciousness .
The goal really matters . You must know what you are after if you want to achieve it . If you intend to use magic mushrooms for example , you must know what your goal is . Assuming that you want to do it just to have fun , well you will most definitely get some . If your goal is to explore , prepare yourself to peep in to places of your consciousness never reached before . If you want to learn then be ready to listen .
The approach , or the setting is the key to the beneficial psychedelic experience . Your mind must be properly set for what is about happened . The environment that surrounds you is another important part of the setting . If you want to reach answers and find solutions to your problems , a club or a party probably isn’t the best place to do so .
Of course all of the above would not matter if you don’t know which psychedelic plant would be the most appropriate for achieving your goals .
The hallucinogenic mushrooms , or the magic mushrooms are plants teachers and maybe the answer for most of the people , as the psychedelic effects they provide is not so extreme (depending on the dosage of course) . The mushrooms are gentle most of the time and are suitable for usage without the guidance of a shaman . They are able to provide answers , they can boost one’s creativity and to charge with positivism . A beneficial psychedelic experience on mushrooms can help you overcome issues and fears and can teach you priceless lessons in many aspects . Of course a shaman can help multiply these benefits , but regardless of that the magic mushrooms are probably the most accessible way to tap deep in to your consciousness .
The sacred brew of Ayahuasca can provide beneficial psychedelic experience to everybody who’s searching for an answer , as long as they are ready to handle it . You must be prepared to see through the fake image of yourself . The one you build for so long . This plant teacher has to be approached with a lot of respect . Ayahuasca , unlike the the magic mushrooms is a harsh medicine . The Ayahuasca experience can be painful , both for the body and the soul , but rest assured it will be beneficial . With ayahuasca however the shaman plays a vital role . Without the proper guidance and the proper mental setting the psychedelic experience on Ayahuasca can have devastating effects .
To have a beneficial psychedelic experience with Iboga you must be prepared .
This sacred plant will tore you apart and will turn the pieces of you to dust . There is no other way around . Only like that you will be able to build your better self . The Iboga has showed its potential in dealing with one of the major problems of our society – the addictions . No matter the addiction the African root has proven his value . The Iboga has found its place in the modern day medicine . Psychiatrist are now using it to treat some of the most severe addictions like these of cocaine , heroin and alcohol . The so called “near death experience” which Iboga provides , can have profound effects on your consciousness . Effects unachievable even after years of psychotherapy .
The San Pedro can provide a beneficial psychedelic experience to these wanting to look deep in to particular subject . The San Pedro experience is focused and directed . If you have a goal and your approach is the right one , San Pedro can make you dive deep in to it . With the proper guidance you will be able to find what you are searching , no matter you like it or not .
There are numerous sacred plants , that can provide us with a remarkably beneficial psychedelic experience .
For example , the world of the magic mushrooms is inhabited by more than 180 psychoactive species . At least this is what we have discovered so far . There are thousands of plants containing the DMT molecule - from the simple acacia tree to the plants in the Amazonian rainforest . The symbiosis between our kind and the plants exists since the time we were making our first steps outside the caves . The plants and their psychedelic properties are closely related to our evolution as a species . To the ability to deal with our problems and fears, and to better understand ourselves and the realm that surrounds us . They are a portal to other dimensions and a window to our souls .
Unfortunately the modern world prohibited the usage of most of the sacred plants . Our misunderstanding of the psychedelics led our governments criminalize them . We now call them drugs and consider them harmful for our society's , mental and physical health . We deprived ourselves of this mots sacred experiences the psychedelic has to offer . Our lack of knowledge and understanding led to this prohibition . A prohibition of exploring our consciousness and having a beneficial psychedelic experience . An experience that can help us live better lives . Lives in harmony with the world that surrounds us . Lives filled with love and compassion .
There is light at the end of the tunnel however .
Slowly but steadily more and more light is shed on the subject . Researchers and scientist are now working with psychedelic plants like Ayahuasca , Iboga and magic mushrooms in attempt to find solutions to problems unsolvable with the means of the mainstream medicine . Used to treat severe psychological conditions like depression and PTSD , alcoholism and other addictions . The magic mushrooms are now available for purchasing online and are considered legal in many countries . The ayahuasca retreats are opening their doors for visitor all over the world . We are on the right path once more . We are about to once again learn how to harness the knowledge contained by the psychedelics . To learn from them and grow as a species and human beings .
The Inuit shaman or the Angakkuq , as it is called by the Netsilik people , plays a vital role in their society . Although his daily activities are not much different than these of the others , he is treated with respect and awe because of his supernatural powers .
Angakkuq shamans always observe the behavior of the young boys in the tribe .
What they are looking for is a sign that a boy is suited for a shaman training . When a youngling is picked his training begins . The new found Inuit shaman is assigned to a master Angakkuq , who will be responsible for his training . The pupil moves to his master’s home , where he must get used to a variety of rules . He must not eat outside the house , not eat liver , heads , hearth or intestines , but most importantly , he is prohibited of having sexual intercourse . The pupil , supported by the spirits , starts to sleep on phases and receives visions . Then he is allowed to move to a private igloo where for the next few weeks he is taught the special language of Angakkuq and the secrets of the Inuit shamanic practices . During that stage he receives his belongings as Angakkuq shaman – a hat and a belt . At the end his teacher connects the young shaman with his spirit protector (tuurngaq) and they starting practicing together .
At the beginning the tuurngaq almost entirely controls the young Inuit shaman . With the time and the experience gained the Angakkuq starts learning to control his spirit . When that skill is obtained the young Inuit shaman is considered as a master shaman , who have skills equal to these of his teacher .
The Angakkuq works with the Tuurngaq during their whole life . They often obtain new spirit protectors during their path . Sometimes the Tuurngaq are received as gift from other shamans , sometimes it is the spirit who will to join a particular shaman . The relationship with this spirits isn’t an easy thing though , as the Tuurngaq spirits are hard to tame . There are numerous stories of spirits turning against their masters .
The Netsilik Inuit culture is also aware of the evil entities roaming our realm .
They are the main reason for most of the people’s suffering . The reason for all the illnesses are the malicious spirits . When somebody angers the spirits or violates a taboo, they would attack the person and enter his body . Then a Inuit shaman is needed to drive them away . One of these evil entities is called the Tupilait . The Tupilait is a spirit consisted of animal and human parts . He is able cause horrific deceases . Most frightening however are the tuurngaq spirits . They might be helpers of the shamans , but not all of the time . When an Angakkuq sent his spirit to attack a bad spirit and he fails the tuurngaq turns to something new . He becomes a returning spirit . A vicious entity , blinded by rage and infuriated by its failure . Uncontrollable , this spirit turns against his master and his family , spreading illness and death . In such cases the Angakkuq must ask for help to another shaman , with more powerful tuurngaq , which would be able to tame the raging spirit .
To purge the evil spirits away the shaman will perform a special ritual .
We would kneel at the corner of the igloo and would cover himself with a caribou hide . In the dark he will then call upon his tuurngaq , who will then enter the patient’s body . Then the shaman will start speaking through the patient’s mouth . We will speak the special shamanic language of the Angakkuq . The malicious spirits leave the body and the igloo . Then the shaman would send his spirits to chase the evil ones . With the aid of a deceased shaman’s spirit , he would be able to drive the spirits back to the igloo . All the attendances of the ceremony would help the shaman by inviting the malicious spirits to enter the igloo again , by saying : “come in , come in , there is someone waiting for you inside” . Once they enter the igloo again the shaman would attack them with his snow knife (pana) and will kill as much of them as possible . A proof of his success would be the blood of the evil spirits over his hands . Of course not every ceremony is successful . Sometimes the evil tuurngaq are too much for the a single shaman to deal with .
The spirits are inextricable part of the Inuit society . That’s why the Inuit shaman is an extremely important figure . In that cold and hostile environment , only the most gifted are trained in the ways of Angakkuq , as the mistakes are severely punished there . To deal with the evil spirits require exceptional skills and inner powers . To be chosen as a Inuit shaman is a blessing and a curse in the same time .
The Bon religion exists , since the time when the Nagas roamed the earth . This is how the Mahabharata describes the origins of the ancient spiritual tradition .
It tells a story of a time when the people were ruled by the Nagas – Half human half snake demigods . Around 18 000 years ago the teacher Tonap Shenrab Miwoche freed the humanity of the nagas . He taught the people to worship the white god of the sky , the black goddess of the earth and the Red tiger . The teacher also showed the people how to control the Nagas , to handle the spirits and the powers of the nature .
The first symbol of the Bon religion was the swastika with its tops pointing left . This symbol represents the never ending struggle of man with forces from other realms and dimensions .
In the ages when the Buddhism was just emerging , the Bon religion has been wildly spread in almost all of Asia . The rulers of ancient Asia started imposing the Buddhism as a main religion and persecution has taken place against all the followers of Bon .
During VII century B.C. most of the Bon temples were destroyed . With that many of the ancient manuscripts were destroyed too . The Bon religion has been declared heresy and its followers exiled form Tibet . Thanks to its strong roots and devoted followers the ancient religion mange to withstand this genocide . In 1017 A.C. , when the Bon was considered completely lost an ancient esoteric text was brought to daylight . A manuscript kept hidden for hundreds of years give a new life for the ancient Bon religion .
This secret manuscript tells the story of the ancient teaching . Accordingly to what is written in the text , the Bon religion was found more than 50 000 years ago , when the Great Teacher went down to earth . This Teacher was a embodiment of the divine essence .
The Bon dogma is based on the belief that the whole existence consists of three realms .
The White – The skies . The realm of the gods . The Red – The earth . The realm of the humans . The Blue – The under realm . This realm belongs to the water spirits .
A mystic tree grows and penetrates all the tree realms of existence . This tree is a passage between the realms . The divine beings also use this tree to interfere with the human’s realm .
The ancient text also speaks about the incredible powers of the Bon Lamas . The first of them were the rulers of the legendary city of Agarttha . It is believed that these Lamas are still hidden in caves in the Himalaya driving people back to the ancient teachings .
The superior power of the Bon lamas has been manifested when emperor Ashoka was trying to conquer Kalinga in III century B.C. . His 100 000 man army was crashed thanks to the lamas and their mystical skills . Ashoka was so impressed by their powers that he began studying the ways of the Bon and founded the order of the Nine Unknown Men . It is believed that the order still exists .
During the fifties a German cameraman was able to shoot a video on one of the Lama’s sacred rituals . On this video he captured how the Lamas were summoning evil spirits . This video has been checked by several experts and confirmed as authentic .
it is considered that most of the shamanic traditions around the world originates from the ancient religion of Bon . The tradition of Bon is still alive today . Her followers still performs the centuries old rituals . No one knows for sure what is the meaning of these rituals , at least no one but the Lamans .
Sangoma is a shamanic spiritual practice of South Africa on which the majority of the South African population relies daily .
The birth place of Homo Sapience and cradle of the human civilization , Africa is also a home of many shamanic cultures and spiritual traditions . One of the major shamanistic movements in the southern territory of the African continent is the Sangoma . The sangoma tradition is preserved for thousands of years as a beacon of spirituality . Accordingly to latest studies , there are more than 200 000 sangoma practitioners still practicing the ancient shamanic tradition . These practitioners are trusted and consulted by more than 84% of the south African population .
The Sangoma shamans are divided in two groups .
The first one and a major groups are the ancestral shamans . They tap in to the spiritual ream and communicate with the ancestral spirits . With their help the shaman can see in to the future . The second type of sangoma shamans are the healers . They use traditional medicinal practices and mainly rely on plants and other natural gifts . They normally do not interact with the spirits . These frames however are blurry , as these who work with the spirits often engage with healing practices . Furthermore they use the help of their ancestors to diagnose their patients and to establish the best cure possible .
The beginning of the shamanic journey isn’t easy for the sangoma shaman . A new found shaman usually suffers the so called shamanic illness . A severe disease that puts to the test one's mental and physical capacity . Enduring these troubled times can mean only one thing . The ancestral spirits protect and guide this person . He is considered connected to the spirits and fitted for shamanic initiation .
The ancestral trail is of major importance for the sangoma traditions .
The ancestors are the direct link between the divine beings and the humans . The sangoma shaman is the messenger of the these beings . These messages are of major social and political importance , as they often provide a field for discussion of topics , which otherwise are taboo .
The sangoma prophecies are covering a variety of aspects . From the weather conditions and the forthcoming harvest to the personal and health problems and conditions . The sangomas believe that all health problems are caused by three factors . By the ancestor’s spirits , evil magic or contamination . After the source of the illness is identified the healing process may begin . In order to connect with the spirits , the sangoma shaman falls in to state of trance . This state is achieved by variety of rituals , including shamanic drumming , dances and songs . The plants and the herbs are also part of the sangoma shamanic tradition and are often used for achieving that state . The clothing also plays an important role in the sangoma rituals . The ritual clothes are colorful and amply decorated with ostrich feathers , beads and trinkets .When in a state of trance the sangoma shaman starts shaking and breading rapidly .
In this moment the ancestral spirits is entering the shaman’s body .
In this state the shaman hyperventilates and his body functions are hyperstimulated . This condition of the body , allows the spirit to take possession over the shaman . Then the shaman uses bones , shells , coins and sticks as tool for reading the prophecies . He throws these tools on an antelope hide . Then the sangomas are reading the signs from the location and position of the bones . These positions contain key information for the prophecy or the illness of the patient .
The sangoma shamans are part of the life of millions of people throughout South Africa . As messengers of the ancestors they play important role in almost every aspect of the everyday life of these people . As healers they are even more important , as they take care of people’s health in places otherwise deprived from basic health care . The sangoma shamans are bearing an important lesson for all of us . We should never forget our ancestors , as they continue to be part of our lives even when their gone . They posses wisdom and answers otherwise unreachable for us . They posses knowledge long forgotten .