Even though we woke up after a few hours of sleep, we start moving right away with the excitement of joining another ritual that is taken place once a year. Again we got into the jeep with our guide and start another bumpy ride. Mongolians are really good drivers. I say road but it is mostly like a dry riverbank. The roads are so bad the guide said sometimes it takes them 8 hours to go 100 kilometers.
When we reach the shaman temple, we find ourselves in a place covered with colorful fabrics. Everybody greets each other with smiling faces. Last night the local shaman told us that the shamans in today’s ritual will make it rain for 24 hours. So we are ready with our rain jackets just in case 🙂
It is a celebration more than a ritual the way we understand where everybody even 1 year old kids and foreigners like us joined. Here shamans are a part of the life. In western world shamanic or any other rituals are held very seriously and away from its own nature. For instance the second ritual we joined here in shaman temple If the same was taken place in the west it would probably be an event that people join with permission, hold with strict rules, and if someone doesn’t keep that seriousness won’t be tolerated. I’m not writing these to judge the western way. I just want to say this kind of rituals, not just shamanic, are to bring us together with the nature, universe but in the west we are transforming it to something else with our minds/egos and loose its nature and joy. But in fact to unite with each other, with nature, with God means happiness (bliss). You understand the difference when you experience it here in its most natural form.
This ritual will be held by 10 shamans. Some of the shamans come here on horse from 10 kms away. Each shaman comes with a big bag that has their drum in it. First they put milk, sugar, bread etc. to the altars. With the woods from the forest they make a fire. Shamans took out their drums and start warming them by the fire so they sound good.
Each shaman has a helper with her/him. They start wearing their amazing costumes. You can understand from the costume what each shaman’s spirit animal is. Most of them are wolf and some of them are snake. And most of the shamans are women. With the sign of the head shaman who is also a woman the ritual starts. Some of the shamans got into trance quickly and their helpers make them sit on a square cloth that has been made ready for them. Again people want guidance ask questions. In this ritual the shaman gives information about what will happen in the coming year to people that wants guidance. And some of the shamans start telling things as soon as they are in the trance without any question.
While all these happening when it suddenly starts to rain we think shamans are right once again. They start coming out of the trance one by one. It takes longer for some to come out; some faints and some of them starts shaking.
When the ritual ends, we eat the offering food of the people there. Some people scatter wheat etc. around for abundance. Everybody takes from the bread and the sugar shamans give. They say we shouldn’t leave the temple without eating even a little bit of this. Some people take the bread they don’t eat with them some throw them in the fire.
Then the purification starts. They put milk and alcohol everywhere. They clean everything and with the same joy at the beginning, people started to leave in groups. People who saw us walking down the hill offers a ride. There are 5 cute kids in the car I got into. We count in English from 1 to 10, and make some selfies with the phone their mother gave on the crazy bumpy road.
After two rituals now it’s time to rest and enjoy the surroundings. And of course it takes us 24 hours to see the sun again as the shamans said. Like I said this is a magical place 😀
Next stop is Ulaanbaatar again and from there once again India…