Chosen by the Spirits, 0-3 [Buryat]






















rocking motion



volunteer service






balanced, being in balance



sacred place within home : "Here you keep your sacred objects".





















crown of the head









"ability to induce hypnotic trance"



"psi or paranormal abilities"



"magic spell"



enchanted object



spiritual energy

{/TeNGeR/ ‘god’ is the same word as (and derived from) [Sumerian] /DiNGiR/ ‘god’}


p. 1-4 -- cap. 0. "A Few Words about the Buryat Mongols".

pp. 1-2 the Buryat people




"the name Buryat ... means "the wolf people.""


"Buryats live in the basin of Lake Baikal, the Selenge and Angara River valleys, the Aga Steppe, and the eastern Sayan Mountains. ... Buryats are also ... within Mongolia, living in all of the northern ... aimags ... of that country. ... they live in the Hulun Buir region of Inner Mongolia ... . The Dagurs, who also live in Hulun Buir, are closely related to the Buryats, having migrated from Buryatia ... in the seventeenth century."

pp. 3-4 legend of swan-maidens




legend of origin of (among others) "the Terte clan of the Hongodoor tribe, the swan-people of the eastern Sayan Mountains" : from "the region known as Huvsgul, ... a man called Toorei, migrated north into the beautiful Tunkhen valley, which lay between the Sayan Mountains and the Erhuu River. One day ... she saw several swans come flying down to a lake. When they landed, they took off their bird clothing and he realized that they were the daughters of Han Hormasta Tenger come down to earth to bathe. He stole the clothing of one of the women. ... Toorei emerged from his hiding place and they met ... and married. They had three sons, who became the ancestors of three clans in ... the Hoimor region ... . The eldest son was a shaman ... calld Zaarin ... . The middle son, who was called Terte, married the shamaness Bagshagui ... .


The youngest son, Bata, fathered a lineage". Afterwards, the "swan-wife ... convinced her husband to give back her swan-clothing so ... the feet of the swan became black, as they are today."


pp. 5-13 – cap. 1. "So You Want to Become a Shaman?"

pp. 8-9 characteristic from childhood : marks of a shamanic calling

p. 8

In my childhood, "I caused my parents a great deal of worry because of my hours-long wanderings through the woods, singing and communing with the plants and animals that live there."

p. 9

"de’ja` vu or other signs of paranormal ability" : "Many shamans-to-be have these experiences in childhood and are surprised to find that other people do not have these same natural abilities."

p. 10 necessity for training in shamanship

"Like the chrysalis, an untrained shaman contains the potential for transformation from an ordinary individual into a wonderful butterfly-like being. Sometimes a person will not recognize that he is in the butur state and will be discovered to be a potential shaman only [through] the spirits’ way of bringing in a shaman who can recognize the person’s calling and direct him to a teacher for training."

p. 11 ritual to thank the spirits

burn : sage or juniper; sandalwood-incense


pp. 14-26 – cap. 2. "Contacting Your Shamanic Spirits".

pp. 15-16, 44 uda & power-animals




"In Buryat shamanism ..., each shaman has a unique shamanic spirit who is responsible for the calling of the shaman. The spirit is known ... as an udha".


"the udha is responsible for the acquisition of power animals. Power animals are spirits that take on the form and characteristics of a certain animal. ... These animal spirits act as the collective consciousness of the species they represent ... . When you journey as a shaman, you may actually take on the identity of the animal and run or fly in its body."


"you will be channeling several ... power animals in succession ... . Do not be surprised if you suddenly find yourself swooping like a bird or stomping around and growling like a wild animal. Sometimes when you merge with animal spirits you will transform yourself in to those animals – I have seen my teacher turn into a wolf and have been surprised to find that I myself have left wolf tracks in the snow!"

p. 17 spirit-spouse

"a shamanic helper spirit, sometimes even the udha itself, will become a spirit lover to the shaman. Contact with the spirit may be ... erotic ... the shaman ... making love to the spirit."

pp. 18, 25, 37 visions of past and of future


past & future


(Dreaming by shamans produceth the shaman river.) "This shaman river is a tributary of the World River Dolbor, in which all times and consciousnesses merge. ... you can actually see events in the lives of the shamans with whom your udha has bonded in the past ... .What is even more fascinating is that you can glimpse scenes from the lives of shamans with whom the udha will associate in the future, after it has left you. {viz., after one’s own death} These dreams showing past and future are the beginning of the teachings that your udha will impart to you."


"You may experience scenes from the lives of previous shamans in your udha’s lineage or even hear the shaman songs."


During dreaming, "You will see glimpses of the past and the future, of far countries or worlds".


pp. 27-45 – cap. 3. "Bringing the Spirits into One’s Being".

pp. 28, 40-41, 43-44 ecstatic spirit-possession




"This state is known as being ongod orood, "embodying the shamanic spirits," and is often accompanied by a sensation of great ecstasy for the shaman. ...

In my experience, when the spirits enter my body I feel like I have relinquished control of the body but remain aware of my surroundings ... . The entering of the spirits is accompanied by a pleasurable feeling, almost like being intoxicated."


"perception of everything besides yourself and your drum fades away. Other noises will seem far away, and if your eyes are open, the reality they reveal seems detached, almost unreal. Your body may feel weightless. Even the motion of drumming seems to require no effort.

The experience of spirit entry is correctly referred to as ecstasy. The sensation is ... an uncontrollable letting go and filling of your being with pleasant feelings. Everyday reality may seem to be blown away and you will be surrounded by light. You may feel as if you were flying into the sky. It will come suddenly with a burst of energy that carries you away. From the time of spirit entry until it is over, you will feel as if you have yielded control to other forces, which is exactly what is happening. During a shamanic session, one or a whole succession of spirits nay act through you in your work. ... You may have the sensation that you are working in two realities at once : the physical reality of your body ... and the ecstatic reality of spirit.


While you are embodying the spirits, you are in perfect safety; the spirits will not allow any harm to come to your body while they are in it. You may find yourself singing songs you have never heard, doing ritual actions you never learned, dancing dances you have never seen. This is because your udha is working directly through you and teaching you the techniques that have been passed down through the sunsnii mur, the stream of shamanic experiences and techniques from the lives of all the shamans your udha has partnered with before."


"you will have a definite sensation of energy exploding into your being. It may be in the form of light ... . ...

When the ongon spirits are in your body, they feel physical sensations the same way you do when you are in a normal state of consciousness; in fact, the ongon spirits, who normally experience only the spiritual realm, enjoy the novelty of being in physical reality ... . When the ongon spirits are in your body, they will not allow you to be harmed in any way. Even if you do something dangerous, such as walking through fire, they will use their spiritual-magical power to protect you".


"It is as if you are a passenger in a car, allowing someone else to drive you to a place you do not know. You are watching but not controlling. If you sense the spirits are making you get up and walk around or dance and lie down, just be accepting and allow it to happen. If they start making you sing or babble words you do not understand, let them. At this point you are merging with them so that they can teach you about what it is they like."

pp. 32-35 animated ongon kept within sahius


ongon in sahius


"While the helper spirits usually are clustered in the general vicinity of the shaman at all times, the ongon is used in ritual ... to call the spirits. When they are not being used in ritual, ongons are kept in the shaman’s sacred place (hoimor), ... wrapped in a sky blue cloth."


"ongons I have are carved from wood. They have faces and clothing and generally resemble dolls."

"the act of amiluulah, bringing the spirit into the ongon, ... is done only by shamans."


"Shamans also usually have what in Mongolian is called a sahius. ... It is usually a bag filled with the shaman’s most sacred objects, and it is an ongon of the udha spirit. ... Others should not handle it without permission."


ongon-s : "According to Mongolian ... custom, you should "feed" them ... from


time to time."

amiluulah : "a ... ritual to imbue an ongon with the spirit for which it was created ... should be done only when the process of creating the ongon is completed and the materials you used for making it are put away. ... address the spirit for which the ongon was specifically made. ... State your intention : that you have created the ongon for this spirit ... . Hold the ongon upward in front of you. You may feel a flow of spiritual energy into the ongon as the spirit takes hold on it. You will be able to tell the ... "alive" ... ongons, for the spiritual essence in them will be directly perceptible through your hands. ... Do not allow non-shamans to handle it except in the context of shamanic work ... .


If, in your shamanic work, you ever handle ongons used by other shamans, be prepared to be contacted by the spirits in them. They will often reach out to other shamans when their ongons are handled".

pp. 35-37 communication with spirits during dreaming




"In Buryat tradition we say that the nine shaman sons of Bukhe Noyon Baabai, one of the great patron deities of shamans, send shamans important revelations in their dreams."


During dreaming, "You may tend to go to certain places on multiple occasions. If these places are foreign to you, it may be that they are significant to your udha or to another of your helper spirits."


"The final stage of dream training is intentional and lucid dreaming. In intentional dreaming you dream with the specific purpose of obtaining an answer to a question."

pp. 39-40, 43 shamanic dancing, and resisting cold weather, during spirit-possession


dancing & cold


"Many shamans dance very vigorously and even jump while drumming. ...

one shaman costume I used to wear weighed almost thirty pounds, yet when I achieved ecstasy it suddenly seemed weightless. The weight of the costume would normally bring exhaustion fairly quickly, but the spirits will enter and empower the shaman to continue dancing and drumming, sometimes for hours. ... [A shaman] was said to have shamanized naked in winter; I have shamanized at temperatures of minus forty-two degrees without feeling cold or


suffering frostbite, as the spirits came in quickly and protected me as long as the ritual lasted."


"experiment with spinning around sunwise three or nine times – this often triggers spirit entry."


Sarangerel : Chosen by the Spirits. Destiny Books, Rochester (VT), 2001.