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© Photo credit: Alexey Trofimov
November, 26, 2017

What the Shaman Disease Is or How Baikal Shamans Live

A lot of articles about the history of shamanism in the Baikal region have already been written. However, few people know how real shamans live today. Is it easy to be a chosen one? How do shamans treat tourists, the church and their own mission?

How to become a shaman

Shamanism has existed for many years. According to a legend, the progenitor of the powerful genus of Baikal shamans was an eagle that turned into a man. It is interesting that each chosen one initially performed the rites only for his own tribe. However, today Olkhon shamans are eager to help people from all over the world. Moreover, a real shaman must render help even to his enemies.

This mission cannot be selected as a specialty in the university. In order to become a shaman, one must have shaman ancestors (ongons) and get a special sign from above. This can be anything: the sixth finger on a hand, a sudden vision, a serious illness. You cannot refuse from the gift of this kind: the elders say that the spirits will not allow this to happen.

Usually shamans learn to know about their abilities in the age of 6 to 50 years old. However, experienced shamans say that too young men are not suitable for such activities. And even at the age of 30 a person does not have enough knowledge to guarantee help to those in need. Therefore, the optimal age for performing rites is 50 years or more. But this does not mean that there are no powerful healers among young shamans.

Each shaman has his own level of skill (there are a total of 9 of them) and certain abilities. Some predict the future, others heal various diseases, undo generic curses or celibacy wreaths. Shamans of the highest level can even fly.

What the Shamanic Disease Is

This mysterious illness can manifest itself in different ways. A person may always be unlucky, thus he cannot succeed neither in career, nor in personal life. A future shaman can also have severe alcohol dependence. Some of the chose ones see their mission through dreams or physical illnesses. Some have to face dangerous life-threatening trials prepared by their ancestors.

The chosen one must endure all the strokes of fate and never lose courage. After all, shaman’s mission requires him to be strong and wise. Such a difficult path forces the future shaman to be reborn, completely change his life.

The “symptoms” of this particular disease disappear only when the chosen one accepts his path. A refusal from this mission entails a consequence of troubles for both the person himself and his family.

How to Live with This Gift

Being a real shaman is a hard work. This is a path you cannot choose or change on your own. But by accepting their true mission the chosen ones help many other people to live in purity and harmony.

Today tours and excursions have become more popular than ever, they include visits to places of power, and shamanistic rites are also included into the program. Travelers from all over the world come to Baikal to appeal to shamans and get answers to their questions.

Shamans help everyone, if possible. At the same time, they will never ask to pay money for their services. Each visitor gives as much as he can. And the payment for the help can be anything: sweets, matches and other stuff. If a shaman requires a certain amount of funds for the rite, then this is a serious reason to doubt his real mission.

By the way, if you think that a shaman is a hermit who is detached from the outer world, you are completely wrong. Many modern shamans write scientific works, read news, write poems or songs.

How Pagans Treat the Church

Only the sacred spirits of nature lived on Olkhon in olden days. Now an Orthodox Church built for local residents stands there. Despite various assumptions, shamans keep calm about this phenomenon. They accept it that the priest is doing the same job as they do: helps people. So, there are no reasons for disagreement.

Representatives of several confessions live in the Baikal region: shamanism, Buddhism, Orthodoxy. Many people got accustomed to such differences over time; they do not cause any conflicts. Indeed, everyone is looking for one’s own path.

The Peculiarities of the Shaman’s Attire

If you once saw what a real shaman looked like, you were probably impressed by such unusual and spectacular clothes. They wear suits of bright blue or, less frequently, green fabric. The cloak used for rites is called “nemerge”, and the hat is called “mayhhabsha”. The main ornaments on the chest of each shaman are mirrors reflecting negative energy. They are called “toli”.

Shamans Speaking about Tourists on Olkhon

The Burkhan Cape 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. Elders connect this phenomenon with the fact that many tourists show disrespect to local shrines. They visit places of power not like guests, but like masters.

The Mass Media say that Baikal is one of the most powerful places of energy. This attracts many tourists from all over the world, but not all of the visitors follow the rules of conduct on the holy land.

Each traveler is obliged to protect and respect nature and never do any harm to it. Everyone should keep this in mind.

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