[Buryat sections of] Bo# & Bo:n, XIV-XV

pp. 583-584 fright causeth loss of the soul




"A soul may jump out of the body because of sudden fright ... . In such cases, it is not only the soul which may leap out, but a part of the amin energy may go with it. ... Some ... sudden, frightening incidents are deliberately caused by bad spirits trying to provoke the


exit of soul, which they then seek to enslave, but others are caused by Yabadal ‘travellers’, the name given to ... local Ezhen ... when they are on the move."

pp. 584-585 disadvantage from inadvertently blocking a spirit-road

p. 584

[autobiographical account by a shaman :] "I was woken up by strange metallic noises. {poltergeists} ... Then I saw many dwarves walking through the middle of the gher right through the hearth. Some of them were taking an interest in our metal pans and other kitchen utensils, poking around and making them clang. ... Soon afterwards, my mother fell ill ... . Everyone was worried about her and sent for a Bo#. After examining

{[western Ireland] "One case ... involved a fellow ... whose children were being taken ill and dying ... . ... the local wise woman that ... the dwelling" obstructed the path used by fae:ries (FP&SR, p. 46).}

p. 585

... the place, the Bo# said her disease was because we’d put the gher right on a spirit-way and that we needed to move it at once."

FP&SR = Paul Devereux : Fairy Paths & Spirit Roads : exploring otherworldly routes. Vega (Chrysalis Books), London, 2003.

p. 585 taxes are exacted by spirit-lords

"Epidemic of infectious diseases among people and animals often break out when certain ill-willed Tengeri, Haats or Ezhen are collecting alban-‘taxes’ from the population living on the land they considered their territory."

pp. 585-587 techniques of spirits for stealing souls


soul-stealing spirits


"A soul can be stolen ... it is often the messengers of Erlig Khaan who capture it. ... Frightening and fierce, these messengers of death ride on black


horses [fn. 5 Tibet (quoted from A&S, pp. 317-8) :] "In my dream I was carried away by a man with a dark complexion on a black horse."] or in black carts, their sleeves are rolled up and their hands are smeared with blood."


"While a person is asleep, his/her soul wanders off out of the body and that is when malign spirits can chase it and try to steal it.

Alternatively, bad spirits creep close to the sleeping person and try to make them sneeze in their sleep. If they succeed then the victim’s soul jumps out of the body and they give chase to it. ...

To avoid imprisonment, the pursued soul ... can turn into various animals, birds or insects. {Would not some skill in shamanship be necessary for the dreamer to change the anthropic dream-body into an theriomorphic one?} ... Alternatively, the soul can flee to the Zayaans of fire who emit fire-sparks which destroy or frighten the malevolent spirits. {[in Hmub myth,] "Sparks" (BM, p. 51) became (BM, p. 197, n. 3) meteors : meteors [according to the Qur>an] destroy evil jnun.} Or the soul can hide in the fur of sacred animals


dedicated to the White Tengeri or Haats, in the kennel of a good dog, in wild animal tracks ... . If caught, the soul emits cries which can be heard by humans." [citing SS, vol. 1, pp. 395-400]

A&S = Karmay : The Arrow and the Spindle. Kathmandu, 1998.

BM = Jin Dan (compiler and translator from Miao into Chinese); Ma Xueliang (editor of the Chinese version); Mark Bender (translator from the Chinese) : Butterfly Mother. Hackett Publishing Co, Indianapolis, 2006.

pp. 602-604 divination-methods in Buryatian Bo# Murgel




"A ... divination method in Bo# Murgel is to use a toli, a metal mirror ... . ... A toli is often worn at the front or back ..., reflecting negative energies ... . ... . ... the


mirror has a head which is marked by a small dot engraved in the brass and to reflect the curse one needs to turn it upside down".


"A cup is filled with milk and covered with soft sheep wool which is made into a shape resembling a bird’s nest. This is held by the client. ... The Bo# ... pours the molten tin into the cup covered by the nest of wool held by the client. ... the tin ... solidifies forming peculiar shapes which are then examined and interpreted by the Bo#."

pp. 612-613 ‘chatterbox spirits’

p. 613 [transl. from SS, vol. 2, pp. 124-8] Buryatian "diviners have ‘chatterbox spirits’. They run everywhere and gather all sorts of information for the diviners. They are always female and are frightened by loud noises. Day and night they whisper all sorts of gossip into the diviner’s ear ... . They see the past and present very well but are unreliable for seeing the future. They are called Hobushi-ongon."

p. 612 [Bon of Tibet] "you take a small piece of birch wood and make a kind of doll, practice and recite mantras while doing visualization. You make nice clothes for the doll and keep

[p. 613] it warm, keeping it just under your collar on your right so that it can talk in your ear. ... Other people can’t hear [it] but you can ... hear it speaking directly into your ear, telling you ... what to do."

pp. 625-627 a particular se’ance by a spirit-medium




"He was fully in the trance. Ongons started entering him and talking through him. Each time a new Ongon entered or exited [the shaman spirit-medium]’s body he made the medium burp and shake; his voice, facial expression and behaviour changed dramatically. ... Each new spirit demanded offerings as soon as s/he arrived so the medium was given a bowl of milk, chai and, sometimes, a lighted cigarette when the spirit wanted to smoke. ... Sometimes [the shaman spirit-medium] was making gestures as if pulling some invisible strings toward himself ... . At times his body would shake with convulsions when an especially powerful or tough spirit arrived. Questions were put to the medium by those present, ... and the answers were written down by ... helpers. ...

A blue, semi-wrathful Tengeri riding a deer appeared and was circling the air around the house ... . ...


When he was coming out of trance he would throw his head and body backward and his face became totally absent and indifferent for some time. When he regained his senses fully, he didn’t remember anything and other were telling him which spirits had possessed him and what they had said. ... When he was in trance his eyes were closed even when he was walking.

Now he suddenly again entered the trance and I simultaneously ‘saw’ the White Elder Sagaan Ebugen approaching. I told the others about what I saw and also said that Sagaan Ebugen would enter [the shaman spirit-medium] now. Meanwhile the medium was occupied by another spirit ... . However, after some time that spirit left and the White Elder entered [the shaman spirit-medium]. He told me (through [the shaman spirit-medium]’s mouth) to come near and said that he had come from the Silver Mountain to reply to my questions. ... While Sagaan Ebugen was replying through him, [the shaman spirit-medium] was walking around leaning on a horse-headed hor’bo. Then I asked what should be done in order to cure my liver problem. The medium took me by the left arm and told me to take a bowl with milk ... to drink it in three gulps. {This is the milk-eucharist for which the Molokan denomination (of Ukraine) is named.} He said that after a while there would be heat in my liver. True enough, after a short while I felt heat in my liver. {Is this a usual commencement of the internal heat bodily arising in gTum-mo = Hat.ha? Praeternatural heat is generated in the internal organs in Taoist internal alchemy.} Simultaneously my mouth opened uncontrollably and I emitted the sound ‘A-a-a-ah’. {the Bon bija-mantra} At the same time I had a strong feeling of energy entering my liver. ...

Next came one of [the shamaness]’s Ongon-ancestors and started shouting at her. ...


This time mainly [that shamaness]’s Ongon-ancestors were coming and some of them were very ancient. One of them was dressed in a fur coat and fox malahai-hat decorated with a wolf tail. Last came someone claiming to be a Cho:d lama dressed in red robes ...; he could have been a Gyalpo spirit. ...

[The shaman spirit-medium] started jumping and moving as if he were a bull; Buha Noyon Baabai had entered him. ... Buha Noyon Baabai said there would be early snow this year and some other things."


Shortly after that se’ance was completed, "At night various female Tengeri and spirits were coming down. A male spirit came and told me his name." {indication of willingness in a spirit-guide}

pp. 635-636 ritual apparel of Bodish oracle, comparable to that of Bo#





s`a-gos ‘long-sleeved gown’



stod-le / stod-g.yod ‘shoulder piece’



pan-khebs ‘apron’

hebeneg (overcoat)


>ja>-pan ‘breast ornament’

elgebs^i (breast-piece)


dba>-bo-chas ‘armor’

huyag (chain-mail)

pp. 638-639 rites for retrieving the soul




"The place through which hunehen exited feels cold and empty, so Bo# and Utgan establish where it will re-enter through their psychic abilities. ... . ... sprinkle to the Tengeri or spirits and ask them to talk to the patient’s hunehen and persuade it to return. ... The Bo# or Utgan sprinkles to the Tengeri and Zayaans asking them to come and help return the patient’s hunehen. Then an arrow, which serves as support for life-force ..., it put into a bucket together with the patient’s favorite food (and toys when the ritual concerns children). If possible, Bo# and patient go to the place where hunehen jumped out of the body as it is believed to stay nearby at first, moving further and further away as time passes. ... the Hunehen Hurylha ritual ... should be performed at the same time of day as the incident which caused hunehen to exit because it returns to the place at the same time. Hunehen is invoked, offered food and other objects it likes and is asked to enter the body. When hunehen does so, the patient will cry because hunehen is overjoyed to find its body again." [SS, vol. II, pp. 215-7]


"Food is arranged on a plate, the officiate {officiant} performing the rite comes out of the house and rotating the plate sunwise {cf. similar rotating of shaman’s drum}, exclaims ... . Hunehen is then invoked into the offerings, begged to accept, enjoy them and enter the body."

pp. 639-641 retrieval of a stolen soul

p. 639 [Buryat retrieval of the hunehen]

pp. 640-1 [Bon retrieval of the bla (‘soul’)]

"the Bo# sends his own huhehen {viz., goeth himself during dream or trance} in search of the patient’s lost hunehen. The Bo#’s hunehen travels through many dimensions, often on its steed which can be a ... spirit-animal depending on the Bo#’s clan and lineage. Some Black Bo# and Elbeshen black sorcerers use the hunehen of other people as their steed. {cf. Ravan.a’s using, to ride in, the vimana which wax belonging to Rama-candra} Having found the captured soul, the Bo# enters into negotiations with the beings who stole it. He offers them various gifts (which should be prepared beforehand) in exchange for the patient’s hunehen. Offerings may include ... dole:, a human ransom figure in the form of the beneficiary of the rite ... . If the barter is successful, the Bo# returns back with the patient’s hunehen and s/he will recover from disease ... . ...

p. 640 "A male effigy is made for a man, a female for a woman and a child effigy for a child. ... The demons who stole the la are then called to come ... . The demons are

[p. 641] offered various gifts such as a lalu:d [bla-glud] effigy ... . The demons are told that the effigy has all the best qualities and is much better than the real person. They are exhorted to accept it and release the patient’s la. To further convince the demons they are told that

If the captors refuse to accept the gifts and release the soul, the Bo# has a last resort; he engages the thieves in a magical battle."

if they do not, countless wrathful ... emanations will come and grind them to dust."

pp. 647-648, 653-654 human surrogate for patient


[Buryatian dole:]

p. 653 [Tibet]

p. 654 [Tibet]


"If the patient’s soul was abducted by the messengers of Erlig Khaan and kept in Erlig Hama, one of the eighty-eight dungeons of the Under World, Hun Dole: is offered to Dombo Noyon, Erlig Khaan’s official, with the request to liberate the patient’s soul and take instead the soul of an animal or another man or woman. There are other dungeons in the Underworld which are difficult for even a powerful Black Bo# to reach, and if the soul was taken to Erlig Tama there is no way to recover it and the patient will surely die as

gLud->gon rGyal-po – "humans were used as living ransom effigies, ... to increase the regent’s health ... . ... One was sent ... to the south in order to appease ... Pehar while the other was ... in the north."

>Chi-glud – "The living lu:d is then given another effigy resembling the patient and the dough lu:d. ... Thus there is a triple ransom ... . ... all present at the ritual perform Dogpa [zLog-pa] by clapping their hands."


this dungeon is under the direct control of Erlig Khaan himself. If, however, the Bo# is successful, he returns from is magical journey with his patient’s soul and reunites it with his/her body".

p. 658, fn. 207 Tibetan Book of the Dead : "Since the Bo:npo text ... considerably predates Padmasambhava .., it seems reasonably clear that the Bo:npo text ... is the original one."

pp. 660-662 rite of exorcising Guoideg




"The tradition of exorcising Gooideg ‘runner-spirits’ is especially prominent in Tunka, northwestern Buryatia, where the ritual Gooideg Garguulha is performed after a death ..., especially if the death was caused by ... an accident. ... It is said that one dead person


can manifest multiple Gooideg who run in the village and try to murder the relatives, friends or neighbors of the deceased. ... In Tunka, Gooideg Garguulha is performed as follows :

... relatives of the deceased consult a Bo# ... to establish when and from which direction Gooideg spirits will appear ... . The Bo# then ... makes a trap for the evil spirit by cutting a figure out of black cloth and adding a red cloth ‘tongue’. ... After that the Bo# prepared a han, a plate of smouldering embers onto which sweets ... are put to produce smoke. ...


The Haats are requested to send the Gooideg to the Underworld realm of Erlig Khaan. The Gooideg ‘doll’ is then placed in the doorway which symbolizes the border between the realms of the dead and the living. The Bo# walks around the house with the smouldering han-plate in one hand and a hootaga-knife in the other. Coming to the doorway, he ... throws grain at it thrice and then spits at it thrice."

pp. 672-674 offensive- & contra-magic

p. 672 Buryatian women’s shaking the hem of their skirt : "The young woman ... stopped, lifted her skirt above her knees and shook it. That is what black witches do to send a curse."

p. 673 Tibetan women’s (reference : O&DT, p. 356) : Bud-med dMod-zor (‘women’s cursing zor) : "The women cast a curse while shaking their apron, the hem of their dress or their hair."

p. 674 Buryatian : "Blood, sometimes human blood, is also used for certain destructive ritual and spells."

p. 674 "in many Tibetan rituals of destructive magic ..., different types of blood are also used as ink for writing destructive spells." (reference : O&DT, pp. 483-509)

O&DT = Nebesky-Wojkowitz : Oracles and Demons of Tibet.

pp. 680-686 destructive female magic

p. 680 Buryatian

pp. 681-2 Magar

"To make zya, the black sorcerer or Black Bo# draws an upside down human figure on a piece of cloth and puts a spell on it to attract a dangerous spirit ... . ... Zya belies its presence through crackling noises, ghostly cries and flashes similar to a shooting star."

p. 681 "The Magar of northern Nepal believe in evil female spirits called Zya and the Magar priests make a pact with them". (reference : JSN, pp. 142-7)

p. 682 "Magar evil witches do use effigy figurines in their magic".

JNS = Anne de Sales : Je Suis Ne’ de Vos Jeux de Tambours. Paris, 1991.

pp. 681-682 Magar Zya

p. 681 There are three types of Zya spirits :

the Nine Sisters from which all evil witches descended;

spirits causing accidents and diseases such as the Sarazya which make people fall from cliffs ...; and

wandering spirits of dead women" [p. 682 : "comparable to Buryatian Dahobar."].

p. 744 term for ‘sky’ in various Altaic languages









Old Bulgarian




SS = M. N. Hangalov : Sobranie Sochinenii. Ulaan-Ude :Buryatskoe Knizhnoe Izdatel’stvo, 1958. 2 Vol.s

Dmitry Ermakov : Bo\ and Bo:n. Vajra Publ, Kathmandu, 2008.