Book “Siberian Shamanism”, Prologue or the beginning of the story

Saosh Yant, an eager, lucky and daring young man with intense black eyes, handsome face with big regular features, strong young body and sturdy tough legs, was an otherworldly person from a very early age. Even as a baby, when all other babies quietly slept in their cradles surrounded by soft wavering light from the fireplace and monotonous singing of their mothers, he already had self-awareness and could understand everything that people said. Moreover, his soul constantly travelled in the upper worlds communicating with the Gods, and it was dissolved in the infinite Power, Knowledge and Bliss. The spirits of the land freely communicated with him informing him of events around. Ayamy, the guardian spirit of the land where he was born, sang her lullabies to him. He was receiving power and energy from the nature itself. When growing up he was turning into a strong and healthy guy.

            “He’ll be a mighty man,” his father would say with satisfaction. “Look how strong he is already.”

            His mother would nod in agreement. All his relatives already were seeing him as an able hunter or fisherman. But they had no idea about one thing: the Gods had had sealed his fate in a totally different way…

            When he grew up a little, the power of limitation which influences all leaving creatures on the Earth started influencing him too. Getting older, leaving behind one year after another he became aware that his direct interactions with the Cosmos were becoming less frequent, more fragmentary and shorter. The unearthly visions were becoming rarer. Voices of the spirits sounded less and less often. The Cosmos seemed to be “imploding” in front of his eyes, and he was submerging into everyday mundanity. When did it happen? It is hard to tell for sure. Likely it was a gradual and lengthy process. Probably it started when he was learning to speak. Yes, yes, nothing else but descriptions of the world by words started to deprive him of the ability to perceive the reality directly. And by and by he became aware of his limitations, though in this respect he was like the overwhelming majority of humans on our planet…

            However, the Power that led him through his life claimed its right. It would storm into his being. Such things happen to every true shaman in the beginning of his or her journey. If somebody tells you that he became a shaman without it, be aware that it is a lie. This person is not a true shaman. More likely he styles himself as one, not being one in fact. Every such time Saosh Yant would feel the approaching of that Power. It would come to him destroying all former modes of perception and patterns of behavior and making him to act in, frankly, rather peculiar ways. He began to communicate with the spirits, often even speaking aloud. His behavior was becoming abnormal. If he was a resident of a large metropolis and if his parents were totally detached from traditions, they would have promptly put him in a mental hospital. And his gift would have been ruined. But he was lucky. He was born not in a metropolis, but in the taiga. Later, after a couple of years, by a twist of fate they moved to a small town, where people still remembered the old traditions and respected the knowledge of their ancestors. His parents became aware of such things.

            With no delay they introduced him to a great shaman, a benefactor of the local folks. His name was Kuday Kam. His abilities were outstanding! He had ailing people on their feet by a mere word. He could deliver people from feebleness, melancholy and sorrow. He could see the whereabouts of a missing person. He could tell the spot where an animal would show up. He knew what the weather would be like without listening to weather forecasts. That unique man was endowed with enormous abilities, power and might.

            Many people even feared him a little and gave him a wide berth. According to some legends he even could punish a person for causing a lot of big troubles to his relatives. He could make a person mute by mere a word or, on the contrary, to drive evil spirits from him. In such a case a bad person would fall down on the ground and start weeping loudly, suffering from tremendous, almost unbearable pangs of conscience. As soon as an evil spirit left the sufferer completely, his eyes would dry out, and he would quickly gain joy and tranquility. He then would become helpful to his relatives, tune in to the general rhythm of life and experience true happiness because of that.

            A lot of good was done by Kuday Kam. He was loved by people and his life was full of luck. But his time was running out. His hair and beard were frost white and his harmonious charismatic face had deep distinct lines that on one hand indicated integrity of his nature, but on the other hand showed that his life was coming to an end. He felt it himself. And he knew in advance that a new young shaman had come into existence to replace him and he had to teach him while there still was time. At last, the predestined hour having arrived, Saosh Yant visited him accompanied by his parents. Or more precisely, they brought him.

            “Great shaman, check what’s wrong with him,” said his father with concern.

            “He’s been not himself the past year,” his mother added.

            Kuday Kam fixed his piercing falcon eyes on him and understood everything at once.

            “Good. Leave!” he said in a powerful voice.

            The two parents looked at each other in puzzlement.

            “As soon as he’s all right, I’ll let you know.” And he commanded: “Go!!”

            They bowed to him obediently and left the great shaman’s chaadyr without looking back. The shaman began to inspect his guest, a future shaman-to-be. Saosh Yant’s condition was close to madness. His eyes were moving incessantly. His lips were making a gibberish consisting of fragments of words. The great Kam started the training process, conducted the ritual of shaman cut and initiated him into shamanhood. But it is a different story…


Kuday Kam had yet to teach his young pupil a lot of things. For that purpose the latter had to visit him regularly.

            “How can I reach you when you move from place to place all the time?” asked Saosh Yant. “Today you’re here, but tomorrow you may move elsewhere. Could you stop being a nomad for at least the period of my education? As you know it’s important for both of us. You must pass your Power to somebody and I must learn to be a true kam.”

            Kuday Kam merely chuckled and then fastened his piercing, almost unbearable gaze upon the young man. Kuday Kam, a great shaman of Siberia, possessing tremendous abilities, power and might. One who has done a lot of good, helped out millions of people.

            “You’re a weak kam if you’re unable to feel the Power of this kind,” said the master and chuckled again. “How can you find common people lost in the forest, being like this? If a person lays unconscious, are you going to say “I can’t do it”?

            “But I’ve never ever done this,” said the young pupil, still in puzzlement. “How is it possible at all?”

            “Don’t you worry. I’ll be sending you messages about myself.”

            “And how will I work out where to go?”

            “Tune into me.”

            “In what way?”

            “Look closely at everything you see, keep your ears open to everything what may sound. Pay close attention to any feelings. If you see a sign, go that way. Keep going in that direction.”

            “What if there’ll be no signs?” Saosh Yant kept on inquiring.

            “You shouldn’t worry about it. I’ll take care of everything. The main thing for you is to be alert. BE in everything what happens. And then I’ll lead you to the right place.”

            “All right, I’ll try,” said the pupil in a more optimistic voice.

            “You are to visit me next time during the season of falling leaves.”

            Saosh Yant opened his mouth to ask the next question.

            “Silence!” commanded the Great Shaman. “I’ll come to you in your dream and tell you to go to the right place. Now go home and don’t look back. Tomorrow before midnight you should be home. GO!”

            Saosh Yant bowed to the ground respectfully and left the chaadyr walking backwards. Then he headed to his house. Just in several hours he joined his family members.

            “You’ve returned so soon, sonny,” said his mother with pleasure, laying the table.

            “I never expected it either,” said he in surprise, eating his favorite flatbreads with honey and herbal tea. “By some reason I walked directly through the forest, not along our paths as we usually do. And I reached home sooner.”

            The mother and father exchanged glances full of suggestions. Saosh Yant stopped talking, lost himself in thought and unwittingly fell asleep…

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