Chosen by the Spirits, 7-8 [Buryat]


pp. 98-131 – cap. 7. "Healing and Psychopomp Work".

pp. 102-105 how to exorcise c^otgor & burhan




"The repressing spirits may simply be chotgor ... . An animal spirit, usually one that has been killed by human cruelty, may occasionally manifest as a chotgor. ... Use a shaman fan (dalbuur) to sweep them away; many chotgor will run away from the shaman when the dalbuur is waved in the direction of the patient. ... You may find that after you have chased them away, they come back when you walk away from the patient. If this happens, make a simple ongon or talisman, call a nature spirit to empower it, then leave it with the patient."


"If you ... have a shaman mirror, you can absorb the intruding spirit directly into the mirror and then place it on the floor or ground facedown so the spirit passes into the earth.

Sucking out the intrusion is another removal technique; ... and then spit it onto the ground forcefully."

"The intruding spirit will be picked up by the ongon and held there until ... you can take it back to the lower world. Once you have cleared you patient of intrusions, you will journey to the lower world to settle the spirits there."


"Sometimes you will find that the spirit you are dealing with is [not] a chotgor but, rather, a burhan. ... Because the burhan may very well be as strong as ... your helper spirits, you will have the embody them [viz., by temporarily incorporating the helper-spirits into one’s own body] in order to get rid of it. ...


You must first drum or otherwise bring yourself into a state of mind to allow your shamanic spirits to enter into your being. Once you have achieved this merging with your spirits, directly confront the spirit intruding on the patient. ... the spirit should be immediately visible or otherwise perceptible. Ask it why it is associating with the patient and what needs to be done for it to go away. ... The spirit may tell you about the event that first attracted it to the person it is affecting. ...


When you have overcome a spirit, you have mastered it; occasionally, if it and you helper spirits are compatible, it may be added to your spirit family."

pp. 106-109 soul-retrieval




(loss of souls generally :) "Soul loss is called ... "wandering off of the soul." This means that the soul ... drifts away from the body. ... The most common reasons for soul loss are ... sustaining ... shock ... or serious disease. At death the souls go away permanently in much the same way, and in cases of severe illness a soul may leave prematurely because it thinks the body is ready to die."


(loss of ami :) "Birds by nature become frightened and fly away


easily : similarly, the ami can pop out of a person’s body very easily when the person is frightened. ... Children more commonly than older people lose the ami ... because they frighten easily ... . ... When the ami leaves the body, it is usually not hard to find. It always remains in the middle world, and often not very far from the body it has left. ... You may see the ami as a birdlike being perched somewhere nearby. Call it gently, coaxing it to come into your hand or to reenter the body it had left. If it comes to your hand, place it on the patient’s chest so that it is reabsorbed, or blow it into the chest. ...

If the ami is not in the vicinity of the body it left, you will have to journey to look for it. Sometimes it will fly off to a person to whom the patient is emotionally attached ... . ... When you journey to find it, just ask you helper spirits to locate it and bring it to you. Once you have recovered it, return it to the body".


(loss of suns :) "Loss of the suns is a serious situation because ... after a certain period, usually a couple of years, the soul becomes "wild [feral]," meaning that becomes much more difficult to find and keep inside the body if it is returned. ...

During dreams and shamanic journeys, the suns soul leaves the body temporarily ... – while the body is asleep, the ami and suld are capable of handing the minimal amount of bodily ... functions going on [in the physical body existent in the waking world] ... . ...


Finding and retrieving a suns may entail a long and complicated journey. ... During your journey your spirits will probably explain the reasons and circumstances of the loss ... . If the case you are working on involves a spirit that has prevented the return of the soul, you will confront it on your journey. You must negotiate with it ... . Ask it why it had done what it did and how it can be placated; fight and subdue it if you have to.

In the lower world, ... the suns may look similar to the person to whom it belongs. ... You may even perceive the suns with some sense other than sight. In whatever way you perceive it, you can make the suns (or any other spirit, for that matter) small and place it in your drum, ear, mouth, or some other place on your person so you can carry it back to the body it belongs to."


(loss of suld :) "If the suld leaves the body, the body dies almost immediately."

pp. 112-115 working with spirits of the dead


spirits of the dead


"It is believed that ancestral suld souls remain in close contact with their descendants for eight generations and can be called in fairly easily."


"Sending the suns to the lower world is referred to in Western traditions as psychopomp work. ... The most common reason is that the person who has died ... continues to hang around its former home ... . This is the chief cause of hauntings and poltergeist phenomena. ... When you are required to return a suns to the lower world, interact with the spirit as if were still a human being ... . Therefore, when you begin this work, invoke the spirit or address it directly if it is already present and visible to you. ...


Assure it that you will respectfully bring it to the lower world ... . ... Lower-world journeying for returning a suns is almost the same as for a soul retrieval ... . While you journey, a cooperative suns will fly with you and your spirits ... until you reach the lower world. Leave the soul at the entrance to the lower world or travel further in, depending on what ... you feel is appropriate. ...


You will need to do ariulga on the people and objects that were affected by the spirit you sent away. You also must do an ariulga of the place where it had been lingering".

pp. 117-118 pebble-divination in 6 fields, "numbered clockwise from the upper right"





"Going to the city will be lucky"; "It is a good time to start building"



"unlucky ... to enter a competition"; "Not a good time to start building"; "Bad luck from water spirits"



"defiled clothing, or fright"



"You are under attack from chotgor"; "It is a dangerous time to move"



"bankruptcy"; "divorce"



"Abundance"; "bad dream"

pp. 119-120 pebble-divination in petals of Heaven’s Door : "The center circle is called Raven."





"News of what has been lost will come from a red-faced person living ... to the north."



"What has been lost is far away and cannot be recovered."



"If things are borrowed, they will not be returned. If an



animal has been lost, it has been found by someone to the southeast."



"A lost animal will return on its own. Guests will come to stay overnight in twenty-one or twenty-two days."



"do zasal (repairs)."



"Lost things will be recovered quickly. A lost animal has been found by someone to the south."



"A lost animal will return today on its own."



"contact with an ... undead being." [vampire?]



"Rain will come if there is drought. Lost animals will be found."

pp. 120-123 the 41-pebbles’ divination




"These pebbles are usually colored semiprecious stones or beach pebbles collected from places like Lake Baikal, where there is an abundance


of pretty-colored stones. ... Shamans usually keep these pebbles in their own special bag ... . The number of these pebbles traditionally is forty-one ... .


... separate these pebbles into three groups ... so that they become three ... piles.


... divide each of these piles into three sections. These represent "head," "body," and "legs."" The 3 piles repraesent :


left pile

middle pile

right pile

client’s body

client’s soul

related person


The colors of pebbles repraesent :



red or white

buff or brown

blue or transparent




flesh or skin

(to be learned of)

pp. 124-129 divination with 5 coins, flipped sequentially : "antique Manchu coins, the side with the squiggly Manchu script is heads and the side with Chinese writing is tails."





5 h

"Profits will be great".


1 h, 4 t

"Profit will be small and difficult to obtain."


1 t, 1 h, 3 t

"Items querent is selling will get the desired price."


2 r, 1 h, 2 t

"moderate profits."


3 t, 1 h, 1 t

"the merchandise needed will be hard to find."


4 t, 1 h

"Delays in business."


2 h, 3 t

"Business will be profitable."


1 h, 1 t, 1 h, 2 t

"Quick and big profit".


1 h, 3 t, 1 h

"the desired item will be ... too expensive."


1 h, 2 t, 1 h, 1 t

"Profit will be great."


1 t, 2 h, 2 t

"profit will be great but business matters will be completed slowly."


1 t, 1 h, 1 , 1 h, 1 t

"Profit in business will not be greater than 10 percent."


1 t, 1 h, 2 t, 1 h

"Profits are small."


2 t, 2 h, 1 t

"There will be trouble with paperwork for government such as tax forms, permits, or licenses."


2 t, 1 h, 1 t, 1 h

"No profit."


3 t, 2 h

"Profit in business will be great."


3 h, 2 t

"Everything will be completed as planned."


2 h, 1 t, 1 h

"A minor quarrel will not be resolved."


2 h, 2 t, 1 h

"Possessions or money will be stolen."


1 h, 1 t, 2 h, 1 t

"Querent will win a lawsuit."


1 h, 1 t, 1 h, 1 t, 1 h

"Big profit in business."


1 h, 2 t, 2 h

"A person who will bring a lot of luck will be coming soon."


1 t, 2 h, 1 t

"Power is sent down from heaven."


1 t, 2 h, 1 t, 1 h

"an enemy has had a shaman or other spiritual practitioner invoke the spirits to cause problems for the querent."


1 t, 1 h, 1 t, 2 h

"Profit will be good but less than expected."


2 t, 3 h

"Success in finding money brings happiness to the family."


1 t, 4 h

"rain on plants."


2 h, 1 t, 2 h

"People are ready to do business with the querent."


4 h, 1 t

"Lawsuit will be settled out of court to the querent’s advantage."


1 h, 1 t, 3 h

"standing on ice with thin shoes."


3 h, 1 t, 1 h

"Travelers will have too little money and no one to turn to for help."


5 t

"failure in business, death."

pp. 130-131 the 6-bead divination




ritual required



"Health is strong."

"giving charity in order to increase buyan [spiritual merit]."



"The sick person is not getting a correct diagnosis and needs to see a different doctor."

"banish evil spirit into a tsats (zolig) [repraesentation of hound]."



"There should be a ritual to banish the disease spirit."

"do serjim [scattering of substances as offerings] to .. the spirits."



"They is very little free time or freedom of choice."

"The spirits cannot help the querent do what he wants."



"Illness will not be serious. The querent’s life will be long".

"A ritual for the sahius [medicine-bag] spirits".



"the sick person cannot be cured until a ritual is done to remove the spirit."

"do dallaga [clockwise motion of hands with palms up]".


pp. 132-153 – cap. 8. "Healing of the Earth, Blessing, and Protection"

p. 134 how to obviate a haunting

"If the haunting spirit is hostile, ... the spirit may try to hide or run away from you. In this case begin doing ariulga at the perimeter, staring with the natural entrances and exits such as windows and doors. Smudge around the perimeter and then strew salt all the way around so that the spirit is confined within the place and cannot run away; Continue to do ariulga with smudge and salt room by room, finishing each room by salting in front of the door. ... the spirit becomes more agitated, even knocking things over, as it becomes trapped."

p. 141 weather- & hunting-magics

"invoking Tatai, the tenger of storms, will stop ... severe storms almost at once, espcially if accompanied by drumming. ... zadai [bezoar] stones, stones that have great magical power for stopping storms ..., should be placed with ongons in weather-related ceremonies."

"In ... hunting..., ... shamans will journey to the master spirits of the animals ... . In undertaking this journey, the shaman asks master of the game [quarry] to bring hunting success for his community. ... An invocation ... is therefore appropriate of behalf of hunters if ... they are hunting in order to obtain food".

pp. 142-144 traditional annual festivals





Apr 20-1

"when the migratory birds have arrived and mushrooms start to appear, the Great Spring Ceremony welcomes the birds".


June 5-6

Great Summer Caerimony


(June 22)

summer solstice = Ulaan Tergel (‘Red Round’) [people "throw water ... on each other to assure rain" (p. 144)]


July 4

"shamanic rituals in honor of ... the spirits of the lower world"


Sept 11-2

"rituals to honor the upper-world spirits and the master spirits of sacred places, the tenger and the khans."


(Sept 22)

autumn aequinox = Sagaan Sar (‘White Moon’) "this is the new year"


Oct 16-7

"honor Bayan Hangai, the spirit of the forests"

pp. 151-152 done "shortly after the White Moon" : climbing the 9 branches of (symbolic) visionary upper-world tree, in Clean-Tent ritual [also of the Samoyed (p. 145)]






"the ancestors"






"mind becomes like a point"






"helper spirits are singing like birds."









"Altan Hadaas, the polestar"



"hole in the skY"


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