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What are the rituals they do?

The figure of the shamans came to prominence after two of them found the body of Russian tycoon Alexandre Subbotin, 43, dead after a healing ritual. the shamanic duo magua Flowers and Tina Cordoba treated a former director of Russian state-owned LukOil with frog venom and, after the incision was made in the executive’s skin, he went into cardiac arrest.

The word “shaman” comes from the Russian, tung saman. It concerns the practices of non-Buddhist peoples in Asian regions, especially Siberia, in eastern Russia, but not only.

shaman - Gordon Wiltsie/National Geographic Creative - Gordon Wiltsie/National Geographic Creative

Shaman beats his drum and dances into a trance in a traditional tent covered with animal skins in Mongolia

Image: Gordon Wiltsie/National Geographic Creative

Shaman is a kind of priest, male or female, who usually goes into a trance during rituals, manifesting unusual powers. He/she invokes spirits and plants and uses objects for rituals on his/her own body or on the body of assistants and patients.

Communication with these spirits can happen through drumbeating, dancing, dreams and hallucinogenic herbs.

Typically, shamans are people who have overcome personal challenges such as physical or mental illness, which in their view is a sign of a calling. The shamanic vocation also passes from father to son, but no one can promote himself as a shaman.

shaman - Peter Komka/Efe - Peter Komka/Efe

Shaman prays near bonfire in celebration of the autumnal equinox in Karacsond, Hungary

Image: Peter Komka/Efe

In both cases, there is a long preparation, with learning about medicinal plants and other healing methods, as well as the powers of nature – they consider the planets, stones, earth, sky and animals as connected and sacred parts.

Therefore, they use herbs, rituals, clay, fire, spiritual surgeries and purification techniques.

The shamanic session is done at night. The community gathers inside a tent, surrounded by a fire. The shaman plays a drum, dances and sings invoking spirits. Upon reaching trance, the body falls to the ground and his assistant takes over the drum.

Another important point for shamanism is the relationship with animals. Most of the spirits that guide and embody the shamans are in the form of animals.

Clothes and accessories are made of skins or feathers, with a predominance of clothing that refers to wolves, animals most commonly found in Siberia.

Finally, the first recorded quotes about shamans date back to 1672, when an Orthodox priest would have found a shaman during a period of exile in Siberia.

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