Chosen by the Spirits, 9 [Buryat]


pp. 154-202 – cap. 9. "Shamanic Tools and Magic".

p. 155 tonog (‘tools’) used by shaman

"Each piece of a shaman’s equipment is said to be amitai ("alive") or ezetei ("having its own master spirit"), which means that it has a master spirit that entered into it at the moment of its creation."

pp. 155-156 drum (hese, hengereg)

p. 155

The drum’s "sound drives the shamanic journey and its rhythm represents

p. 156

the hoofbeats of the shaman’s magical mount. ... Ribbons and hadags [‘strips, streamers’ : "A blue hadag honors a low-ranking shaman; a white hadag honors a highly respected shaman." (p. 246)] are tied to the top, left, and right sides of the drum to represent the crown and ears of the drum. ... During a soul retrieval or during a journey to bring a spirit back to the lower world, a soul can be carried inside the drum until the shaman reaches the place where the soul needs to be placed".


"The drumstick, or orba, ... usually is rather spoon shaped ... with a distinct front and back side. Fur or soft leather covers the striking side, while the back side usually has rings attached that jingle with the motion of the drumstick."

p. 157 staff-rod (tayag)

"Most shaman staffs are adorned with hanhinuur ("jingle cones’), so that the staff can be used as a type of rattle ... . Most shaman staffs are either forked or adorned with animal heads. In Buryat tradition the most common type of shaman staff has a horse head carved at the top, and sometimes a staff will be adorned with a double horse head."

pp. 157-158 rattles (s^igs^uur)

p. 157

"a special kind of rattle, ... the raven rattle ... is made out of a cow’s horn, with the tip carved to look like a raven’s head. ...

p. 158

The rattle is shaken ..., with the movement imitating pecking (tonshoho) ... through the raven’s beak. The power of raven rattle is usually directed toward sources of negative energy or harmful spirits."

pp. 159-160 robes

p. 159

"The costume that is worn by shamans specifically for journeying work is ... a dudig, a piece of leather with a hole in the middle for the head that is worn over other clothing like a poncho. ... the dudig is secured by ties at both sides. ... The shaman costume is though to have its own ezen spirit ... . ... Among the Buryats, the costume has decorations made from rabbit, sable, squirrel, ermine, or weasel, depending on the tribal heritage of the shaman. ...

p. 160

Feathers may be attached on the back below the shoulders to represent wings for shamanic flight ... . Bunches of round tassels called snakes are usually attached at the shoulders in front and back. {cf. [Zaratustrian deity] Az^i Dahaka, out of whose shoulders grew serpents; and aequivalent Sumerian deities} ... An important part of the shaman’s costume – which also makes it quite heavy – is the hanhinuur, or jingle cones, that are traditionally attached to it ... the traditional complement of ninety-nine jingle cones. These cones are attached to the costume in bunches of three, at the wrists and elbows and in rows across the chest and back. ... many modern costumes use ... tiger bells (Chinese brass bells rather similar to jingle cones)."

pp. 160-161 hat (malgai); headband; mask

p. 160

"Shamans traditionally keep their heads covered while working with the spirits. ... Shamans’ hats are of two forms, and many shamans possess both.

The first type is a traditional ... hat that ...

p. 161

will have fur and jingle cones ... attached to it. The hat usually has two or more foxtails attached at the sides or rear.


The second type of shaman hat is a feathered headdress ... . The headdress consists of a band of leather ... around the head ... tied in back. The band itself is decorated with a small copper mask ... with ... a mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. This decoration represents the sense of the shamanic spirits merged with the shaman. Eagle and owl feathers are stuck into the top of the headband. ... This headband has a fringe of silk threads, horsehair, or ribbons that are long enough to cover most of the face."


"The only mask that is commonly used is the copper Avgaldai mask ... . It is actually more like an ongon than a mask."

pp. 161-162 crown

p. 161

"The shaman crown is the badge of the advanced shaman among the Mongolian peoples. ... The shaman crown consists of an iron band to which are welded two arched crosspieces, one going from the right side to the left

p. 162

and the other from front to back. The crown is adorned with metal ... antlers. This headgear is worn over a skullcap".

pp. 162-163 the 2 varieties (minaa & tas^uur) of whip; fan

p. 162

"The whip, called minaa or tashuur, is used to urge on the shamanic steed during the journey ... . ...

p. 163

A ... minaa is the horsetail whip, made out of horse-tail hairs, attached to a wooden handle. ...


The other form of whip ..., tashuur, is a long ... bone with a lash made out of two strips of leather on one end and a lanyard that secures it to the shaman’s wrist on the other."


"A closely related shamanic tool is the dalbuur, the shaman fan. The spirit fan can be made of feathers".

pp. 163-166 mirrors (toli)


"Mirrors ... are round and ... usually have a loop welded on the back for a string or ribbon to be passed through so the mirror can be worn around the shaman’s neck."


"In ... mythology, when the spirits call the first two shamans in a dream, they awakened to find a tree growing outside their house. It was the world tree, and its leaves were shaman mirrors."


"Shamans also commonly wear a mirror on a string or ribbon either over or under their clothing at all times."


"mirrors are especially good to keep on your person while traveling."

"In the removal of intrusions, the intruding spirit can be sucked up into a mirror and then expelled into the earth by placing the mirror on the ground facedown. This is helpful because the shaman will have no direct contact with the spirit and there is no risk of accidentally absorbing it into one own spiritual body. In a journey for soul retrieval, the mirror can hold the soul when it is found. Then the mirror can be touched to the chest of the person being healed so that it enters the setgel and reincorporates into the body."


"In Inner Mongolia there is a divination technique in which an egg is placed on a mirror and the shaman watches which way the egg rolls off ... . In addition, a shaman can often see intrusions and illness in a person by looking at the reflection of the patient in the mirror." (citing Sh&E, p. 256)

"There is a magical spell known as toli erguulehe, "spinning the mirror." ... The shaman takes the mirror he wears around his neck, twists it around on its string until it is fully wound up, and then allows the mirror to spin while he states his intention."

Sh&E = Caroline Humphrey & Urgunge Onon : Shamans and Elders. Oxford, Clarendon Pr, 1996.

p. 166 musical instruments (huur)

"Shamans use ... the two-stringed morin huur (horsehead fiddle) ... and

the tobshuur, a ukelele-like two-stringed instrument with a head carved like a swan."

pp. 169-170 smoking-pipe (gaahan)

p. 169

"The Mongolian long pipe can be eighteen inches in length ... . Mongolian ... pipes have" :


a __

made of __






semi-pretious stone


"(until five hundred years ago, the ritual herb was Cannabis sativa ... ). In Tunkhen there is a special shrine for the spirits of the Sayan Mountains that features a gaint pipe about six feet long called the Tamhinii Bariaasha. The bowl itself is almost a foot in diameter!"

p. 170

"the shaman may ask to be given the pipe while he is ongod orood so that the spirits can enjoy the smoke more directly (at which point the spirits will cry out, "Ikra!" or "Give me a puff!")."

{however, in India, immunity to influence by such psychotropic drugs is deemed the sign of authentic spiritual attainment!}

pp. 176-177 Triangular Pouches (Gurbaljin Dom)

p. 176

"Triangular pouches ... are used for dom for the protection of fetuses and children ... . The pouches are in the shape of an isosceles triangle ... . When a woman is pregnant, a shaman will make a dom out of three triangular pouches strung together ..., the colors of the pouches being" :



in __

for __ world











"The pouches are then hung over the child’s crib. If the child is a girl, a yellow pouch (representing fire ...)

p. 177

is added to the bottom ... . ...

The triangles of this dom are hung with the long side [of each obtuse isosceles triangle] on top and one angle [the obtuse one] pointing downward. ... The points on each side are like branches on which beneficial spirits can perch."

pp. 193-199 the legend of Abai Geser




"In the galab time, in the most ancient of times, ... In the center, in neither the western skies ruled by Han Hormasta nor the eastern skies ruled by


Atai Ulaan, there lived Segeen Sebdeg Tenger, the god of winter, who had sent the white-headed eagle {bald eagle} to earth as the first shaman in even earlier times. ... Atai Ulaan Tenger ... made thirteen magicks {vowels?} dance on his palm {Tezcatlipoca appeared "with Huitzilopochtli as a manikin dancing on his hand." (MP-CA, p. 283) In Irish lore, "Finn-mac-Coul is similarly exhibited dancing on the hand of a giant." (ibid., p. 283, fn. 3)} and twenty-three magicks {cf. 23 consonants in alphabet used in Qabbalah} dance on his fingers and sent sickness into the sun goddess Naran Goohon, so that the sun became dim ... . Bukhe Beligte Tenger, the heavenly incarnation of Abai Geser, went to the great Mother Manzan Gurme Toodei and asked her what to do. She told him that ... There was only one being that could save her [Naran Goohon] – the great white skylark of the heavens, ... with magic words written in gold on its back and magic words written in silver on its chest [p. 266, n. app. 1:12 : "Shaman costumes are often referred to in folklore as silver on the front and gold on the back." – gold for sun of day, silver for moon of night], that flew at the edge of day and night singing its words of power. ... Bukhe Beligte mounted his magical flying horse, Beligan, whose bones were full of wisdom {horse-bones used in divination}, traveled up to the sky where day and night came together, and retrieved the magic lark. When Manzan Gurme Toodei touched the lark to the sun goddess, she was restored to health ... . This having happened, ... Han Hormasta’s son Bukhe Beligte ... asked her how Atai Ulaan could be defeated. She told him, "He has hidden his souls in the big toe of his right foot." {cf. Tezcatlipoca’s Kic^e` aequivalent (in the Popol Vuh) pirouetting; pirouetting (on his big toe) by Inuus (according to the Saturnalia by Macrobius); the star-toe (evidently the pirouetting pole-star) of the husband of goddess Gro`a (according to the Edda), etc.} ... Bukhe Beligte threw a great black spear that smashed the big toe of Atai Ulaan’s right foot. His souls now knocked


out of his body, Atai Ulaan lay helpless. Han Hormasta ... hacked his enemy’s body into pieces and threw them out of the heavens. Where the pieces fell they exuded great poisonous fogs, diseases, and heat that dried up plants and springs. ... At that time mankind was ruled by three" :-



who was an earlier incarnation of __


Sargal Noyon

S^argai Noyon


Hara Zutan

Elbite Hara


Sengelen Noyon

Ulaan Zalaa


"The old shamaness Sharnaihan Shara odigon did a tuksavi ritual ... . When the ongon spirits came into her, she took a tsatsal [caerimonial spoon] filled with the tears of suffering of humans and other living beings and threw it up into the sky. It landed on the table of Manzan Gurme Toodei. When the mother goddess saw the tears ..., she took out two shaman mirrors (toli); looking it the larger mirror she saw all was peaceful in the skies, but when she looked into the little mirror she saw ... suffering on earth. She ... tore her scarf in half, ... she struck the ground ... with her staff ... . ... she went to the home of Esege Malaan Tenger, chief of the sky spirits, and told him, "... Do something about it!" Esege Malaan Tenger called a meeting in the Pleiades and on the moon ... . ... Han Hormasta’s son Bukhe Beligte stood up in the assembly of the tenger and declared that ... he would go on certain conditions, to which the tenger agreed. He would be able to have" :-

"his flying horse Beligen,"

"the zadai stone that stopped a thousand storms,"

"the two shaman staffs that could still the


waters ...,"

"the healing sandalwood staff that put people into a trance when it was touched to their heads." {cf. sleep-inducing rod-staff of Hermes}

"a magical snare that could catch seventy animals,

the goddess Naran Goohon would incarnate as a human to become his mother, and his three sisters and elder brother from his heavenly family would be his protectors while he was on earth.

This having been agreed to, Bukhe Beligte turned into an eagle and flew around the earth to see what had happened. Esege Malaan Tenger would take care of his tonog (shamanic tools) until the time of his initiation.


Sargal Noyon had a dream in which he saw the great skylark of the heavens flying at the edge of day and night, and the spirits told him that if this lark was brought down to earth, it would be the salvation of all living beings. When he awoke, he went out and beat on"


his __ drum

to call people from the __








When his subjects arrived, he told them about the dream and asked if anyone knew how to find this magical bird. His brother Hara Zutan ... took out a great black arrow {cf. [Magyar] "Black Arrow" Society} ... and shot up into the sky ... . A giant white lark came fluttering down. When it landed it turned into an astonishingly beautiful woman – it was the sun goddess Naran Goohon. The spirits told Sargal Noyon that in order for her to be the mother of the savior of living things she must learn their suffering. He commanded that one of her eyes be blinded, that one arm and one leg be broken {this converted her into the ½-sun well-known in Buryat, Aztec, and other mythologies}, and that she be married to his brother Naran Goohon. {In the marriage-almanac of Codex Borgianus Mexicanus, pp. 58-60, a ½-sun is a token of some marriages.} ... one night Naran Goohon awoke to find an invisible man in bed with her. When he realized she had awakened, he ... ran out of the teepee. Suddenly she realized that her eye,


arm, and leg were healed ... . {dawn-goddess Auos became day-goddess Hemera?} ... she hurried outside and saw strange, large, square footprints in the snow. Following the tracks she came to a cave in the mountains. When she entered she found a man sleeping, a "man from the sky" (alien) who had a light in the middle of his forehead that glowed even while he was asleep. {star-god Astraios, husband of Auos-Hemera?} ...

After only nine days she gave birth to a very strange-looking red body ... . ... One eye looked straight ahead and the other squinted. Suddenly he spoke from the cradle, saying "... With one eye I see the way I must go and with the other I see through illusion."" {cf. declaration (while possessing a devotee in trance) by [Fo,n god] Gede concerning how he seeth differently with each eye; cf. also the differences between the eyen of [Irish hero] Cu-chulain}


transmutations of gigantic instances of 3 animal couples into swarms of little instances of same species :- rats; ravens; mosquitos. {cf. myth (from tribes in British Columbia) of similar diminution of mosquitos’ size – MBC, pp. 20-1} These species-diminutions were all accomplisbed by means of his minaa (‘whip’). {inasmuch as "the "whip" must be of tamarisk, suqai, wood" (BF 4.3.1 – p. 187), therefore cf. Akakalle ‘Aiguptian tamarisk’ = (CDCM, .s.v. "Acacallis") Minos’s daughter Akakallis, mother of Naxos, whose parentage is alternatively assigned to Selene and the ever-sleeping Endumion}


obstacles overcome by Geser while wearing "a hat trimmed with squirrel fur" : "the yellow, blue, and black lakes where nine hundred disease spirits congregated each night." – "he took a large reed and sucked up all of the ... disease in the world and spat it into the Arctic Ocean."


"His wives decided to find out what he did at night and followed him secretly during his wanderings. {Prokris the wife of Kephalos decided to find out what he did at night and followed him secretly during his wanderings. (GM 89.f-g; CDCM, s.v. "Cephalus")} As they followed him, he suddenly turned into an eagle {Prokris had the pseudonym (GM 89.e) /Pterelas/ "launcher of feathers" (GM, vol. 2, p. 407a)} and slew up the slopes of the World Mountain Humber {Su-meru} Uula ... until he reached its summit ... . He ... offered a ram to the tenger ... . {cf. ram offered in Hekalesian rites (GM 98.b)} Suddenly his body was transformed, ... with tsog energy like lightning". {cf. lightning summoned (GM 98.j) by Prokris’s paramour (GM 89.e) Minos}

MP-CA = Donald Alexander MacKenzie : Myths of Pre-Columbian America. Gresham Publ Co, 1924."dancing+on+his+hand"&source=bl&ots=7Zq5bcykDa&sig=oTZQobTT8fi20O9A2YmPsfPGzKA&hl=en&ei=h-euSo3RFpqQtgeL1pzWBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=Tezcatlipoca%20%22dancing%20on%20his%20hand%22&f=false

MBC = BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL MUSEUM HANDBOOK 41, Peter Belton : "The Mosquitoes of British Columbia".

BF = Krystyna Chabros : Beckoning Fortune : a study of the Mongol dalalGa ritual. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1992.

CDCM = Pierre Grimal : A Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology. 1990.

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

{The heavenly war’s consequences (on pp. 195 & 211-212) seem Zaratustrian.}


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