At the Edge of the Worlds
The Russian Museum of Ethnography has an exhibition on shamanism focusing on the forms of shamanism practiced in Northern Siberia and the Far East.
Drawing of Evenk Shaman Tent Discovered in Russian Museum
A researcher, Mikhail Semyonovich Batashev, at the Krasnoyarsk Ethnographic Museum in Russia recently discovered in the museum depository, photos, a drawing, and a description of an Evenk shaman tent with an artificial river. A shaman yurt with two ditches in the earthen floor was discovered by a scientific expedition of the Krasnoyarsk Museum on June 14, 1921, on the Stony Tunguska River in Siberia at the mouth of the Fitili River, not far from present-day Chemdal'sk (Evenkia). A river-ditch, dug from the tent entrance to its back wall, supports statements of researchers of shaman tent semantics that all structures of Evenk prayer grounds were designed as existing on a mystical river, flowing from East to West. The river was regarded as a road, connecting the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds. Read the article by Yuri Klitsenko. Submitted by Timothy Flynn, FSS Three-Year program graduate, Santa Cruz, California.
A Journey in Southern Siberia
Read a fascinating account from 1900 of the Buryat people of central Siberia, around Lake Baikal, written by Jeremiah Curtin, writer, ethnographer and folklorist. His entire book, A Journey in Southern Siberia, published after his death in 1909 can be found online. The first part of the book describes Tsarist Siberia before the Revolution; the second part describes the lore and stories of the Buryats. Of particular interest is the chapter on "The Origin of Shamans," including tales of bringing back souls, divination with a charred sheep scapula, and dancing on fire.
Arapaho Teach in Native Language
To preserve their native language, the Arapaho of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming, recently opened a school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Tribal elders hope this will create a new generation of speakers and help save their language from extinction. Read the article from the New York Times online.
SUBMIT NEWS: We invite you to submit news about shamanism for our readers. Please submit no more than a few brief paragraphs, including the source of the news item to the Editor.
The History and Work of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, by Michael Harner. Dr. Harner provided this fascinating look at the evolution and work of the Foundation for the 25th Anniversary Issue of Shamanism. Read the article. From Shamanism, 25th Anniversary Issue, Vol. 18, Nos. 1 & 2, 2005.
Note: Each issue we plan to post on the website or provide a link to an article of interest. Check the Articles section for several varied perspectives on shamanism and shamanic healing, many from past issues of Shamanism, the Foundation's scholarly journal -- one of the exclusive benefits for the Circle of the Foundation.
Help from the Spirits of Nature
I reached a bridge and turned around and a huge brown pelican flew to me and U-turned a few feet in front of me, flew alongside and then back out under the freeway. Pelican is very important to me and the name of long-time spirit teacher. When I turned around, there was a Great White Egret on the other side of the bridge I had just left, another important helper for me.
While looking at the egret, a juvenile Great Blue Heron flew up and landed on the rocks just five feet away. I hadn't seen one in months. I greeted it, explained my respect for it and asked for a feather – which I've looked for for ages, without success. The heron shook itself and a feather dropped out, floating upon the water. I tried for 10 minutes to get it to drift near me, climbing on rocks – no luck.
I crawled back up onto the path, and the heron had flown over the slough and again was on my side of the marsh. I repeated my request for a feather, explaining that I couldn't get to the first one, and would consider it a sign to proceed. Well, a few seconds later – another shake, another feather fell out – this time on the rocks! I was able to climb down onto the rocks to it, within two feet of the heron. And what a fine feather it was, eight inches long, grey-blue with lots of fluffy and long feathery parts. I got my answer in a very big way!
Submitted by Sandy, Sausalito, California.
NOTE: "Healing Words" contains helpful practices, ideas and suggestions from shamanic healers, and answers to questions of concern to those practicing shamanism. FSS presents them as a service to the shamanic community without endorsement; as always, each shamanic healer is responsible for using these ideas in a responsible and ethical manner. If you would like to SUBMIT A HELPFUL TIP, email the Editor. (No more than two succinct paragraphs, please.)
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