The Bulgarian Shamans and Their Relation to the Thracian Spiritual Cults
The Bulgarian shamans were not only spiritual workers they were vital part of the kingdom . They marched in front of the army spreading fear in the enemy hearts .
The Thracians are part of the Indo-European ethnic group . The first evidences of their culture are from more than 6000 years ago . They have lived on the Balkan Peninsula . There are many hypothesis of their origins , but no one knows for sure where do they came from . The Thracians were fearsome warriors , fine artists and mystical magicians . The oldest know processed gold treasure - the Panagyurishte Treasure is made by the Thracians .Their long lasting history as an independent ethnic group ends around 600 A.D. when together with Proto-Bulgarians and Slavic have formed the first Bulgarian Kingdom . This melting of cultural traditions and spiritual practices have given the medium needed for the thrive of the Bulgarian shamans .
“...During a battle a Bulgarian warrior falls down on the ground . He is cut by a sword in the stomach . An old men comes out of nowhere and kneels beside the warrior . The man is wearing clothes made of white sheep hide . He puts some clips on the warriors wound , then smears the wound with some clay like ointment . Making some strange hand movements . Few moments later the warrior is back on his feet ready for battle...”
This is how the Byzantine annals describing the miracle of the Bulgarian shamans
This is a description of the mystical skill of the Bulgarian shamans known as Kolobers . They were followers of a form of religion called Tangrism . It is believed that the Tangrism originates from the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis . The Tangrism itself is related to a dozen of esoteric and mystical teachings . Its teaching are spreading in Asia , Africa and Eastern Europe . Some parts of Tangristic beliefs can be found in the Tibetan Bon , the Daoism , the Mongolian and the Siberian shamanism .
The Kolober was not only a shaman . He was a philosopher , warrior , poet , singer and actor . The Kolober was skilled in working with the cosmic flows and the earth energies . In state of trance the Kolober was able to travel in Space, separating himself from his physical body . In the Space he was meeting entities from other worlds and dimensions . The knowledge of the Bulgarian shamans about the stars , constellations and the surface of distant planets has baffled even modern day scientists .
The Bulgarian shamans were able to communicate with the spirits in two forms
The first one is by letting the spirits possessing his body and speak through them . He was also able to leave his body and enter the spiritual realm . Sometimes the Kolober were preforming both types of communication one after another . Such actions however were extremely exhausting and after the session the shaman was falling down almost dead .
It is believed that the Kolober is chosen by the spirits to be their messenger . In some stage of his live he is experiencing the so called shamanic initiation , which prepares him for his path .
May be the most notorious Bulgarian shaman was the mysterious Boian-Magesnik . Information about him is passed by the Cremona’s Bishop , delegate of the German emperor in Constantinople .
“ …. He(referring to the Bulgarian king Simeon) have two sons. One called Baian(Boian), the other , who still rules the Bulgarians - Petar . Baian is so skilled with the magic , that he is able to instantly transform himself to a wolf or any other beast… ”
Another notorious Bulgarian shaman is Vasilii Vrach . He was burned on the pile for heresy and witchery in 1114 A.D. Anna Komnene daughter of the Byzantine emperor was a witness of the event . She tells the story how Vasilii went in a strange state of trance just before the fire covers him . He didn’t show any signs of pain of emotion . The fire wrap him around in just a second but no smell of burning flesh was sensed . The fire was smoking with a dense white smoke and it was looking like Vasilii was disappearing instead of burning .
The Bulgarian shamans were extremely honored
In a state of war they were deciding which days and hours are suitable for a battle , depending on the stars positioning . They also made magical amulets and symbols to protect and aid the warriors . With the help of the spirits they were able to influence the enemy warriors .The Bulgarian shaman was also able to summon a storms if needed .They were also the most trusted advisers of the Bulgarian rulers . Many of the Khans were also a Kolobers themselves .
Even in battle the Kolobers were marching in front of the army rising the morale . They also controlled the energies and protected the their armies from hostile influences . Joannes Zonaras , a Byzantine chronicler describes the battle for Illiricum in 515 A.D. “ ….The Bulgarians are attacking Illiricum again and some Romaic warlords opposed them with their troops . But the Bulgarians were using magic and spells and the Romanic suffered an ignominious defeat ”
In the Chinese Daoism “Lieh Tzu” tells the story of a shaman that came from the far west , a territory inhabited by the ancient Bulgarians . The story says that the shaman was able to transform in any creature to walk through ice and fire , metal and stone . To change the direction of a river flow and to levitate . King Mu has honored him as a holy spirit and even let him stay in the royal chambers .
Another story about the battle between the last remnants of Volga’s Bulgaria (one of the two major Bulgarian kingdoms) and Ivan the Terrible during 1552 A.D.
“The city of Kazan is besieged . The Bulgarian warriors fearlessly defended the walls of the city . From time to time a shaman appears in front of the eyes of the Moscow army performing strange rituals . The wrath of the gods fells down on the besiegers . A storm rises out of nowhere tearing apart the siege weapons and all the tent in the camps . Many boats and provisions are flooded and destroyed .”
The mystical powers of the Bulgarian shamanism has it place in the history . The Kolobers were feared and respected . They lived in a time of war and terror and used their powers to influence the course of history . Unfortunately the only remaining of this ancient traditions are the few historical reports . May be the spirits has decided to strip off their powers , as they weren’t used properly . Maybe the Kolobers decided to leave our realm and to journey to the realm of the spirits where they belong . We will never know for sure ……
Thracian Magic: Past & Present: The folklore and magical practices of the Balkan Peninsula
The Bulgars and the Steppe Empire in the Early Middle Ages
The Panagyurishte Gold Treasure
Anna Komnene: The Life and Work of a Medieval Historian
The Bogomils: A Study in Balkan Neo-Manichaeism
Ivan the Terrible
The Book of Lieh-Tzu