Shamanistic Beliefs of the Desert Dwellers

Around the world there is a vast variety of shamanistic believes and cultures .


Bedouin holding a goat


They all share something in common. The love to the nature , mother earth and all her creations . They all believe that everything has a soul . In all these cultural traditions the plants are playing a vital role . The shamans are using the plants for medicine and shamanistic rituals . The Bedouin shamans are no exception .


The Bedouins are nomadic tribes with a centuries old traditions


The word  Bedouin means “desert dweller” . These tribes live in most hostile and harsh environment that planet earth can offer . Their home is the desert . Because of that every plant is especially honored there . The shaman of the Bedouins are called Fugara , which means weak . In fact they are really physically weak . In their shamanistic tradition it is considered that a Fugara must refrain from consuming substantial meals . Their physical weakness however is compensated by their mental powers . The Fugara plays a crucial role in the everyday life of the Bedouin tribes . He is a healer and adviser , a mediator and a wise man . He is the connection between our realm and the world of the spirits .


 In the Bedouin shamanistic believes there are several plant with major significance 

Ausaj bush


One of these plants is Ausaj bush . Also known as a desert thorn this sacred plant is really important for the shamanistic practices of the Bedouins . They use almost all of its parts for certain brews and healing potions . It is believed that the Ausaj bush is a sacred and is protected by the spirits . It is also believed that anyone injuring the plant will suffer punishment from the spirits .


Another plant of major importance for the Bedouin’s shamanistic traditions is the Dom Acacia . This tree is considered sacred in several other cultures , including the Egyptian mythology .  The tree is valued by the Bedouins because of it priceless fruits and the tick shadow it throws .


Also plant of great importance for the Fugara shamanistic rituals is the Syrian rue (Peganum harmala)


Syrian Rue plantThe Syrian rue contains harmine andother harmala alkaloids  . It is a consciousness altering plant which combined with some acacia plants provide visions and opens the doors of the spiritual realm .

Furthermore Syrian Rue is usually used in ceremonies and for the making of healing potions , love potions and many more .Living their lives in the hostile environment of the desert the Bedouins have learned to value the plants . To honor and love them . They use their physical and mental properties for centuries . The shamanistic culture of the Bedouins has survived for thousands of years , teaching the Bedouins to honor and protect the scared plants of the desert . Maybe we can all learn from their wisdom .

Related Literature

Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West

by Michael Moore


Legends of the Fire Spirits

by Robert Lebling


Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics

by David Jay Brown


Bedouin: Nomads of the Desert

by Alan Keohane


 The Way of the Shaman

by Michael Harner