Destined for Shamanic Inspiration. An Integrative Study of Buryat (Neo)Shamans. Valentina Kharitonova and Yulia Ukraintseva
109 Destined for Shamanic Inspiration. An Integrative Study of Buryat (Neo)Shamans Valentina Kharitonova and Yulia Ukraintseva Introduction Altered states of consciousness (ASCs) experienced from time to time by people of creative professions, adepts of different religious and magical- mystical cults, people taking hallucinogenic, narcotic, alcoholic drugs, and individuals with mental issues or diseases, attract more and more interest of researchers in various scientific areas. In this respect the research field of ethnology and folklore studies allows to study (in collaboration with neurophysiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) adepts of various religious and magical-mystical practices (including shamanism), performers of epic songs, storytellers – to number several of them. At present this field includes, first of all, neo-shamans1, folk healers and adepts of some neo- religious movements (Kharitonova et al. 2008). All of them quite knowingly resort to ASCs, many of them do this not out of mere curiosity, but feeling a need to experience these states. Among above mentioned practitioners there are people who fall hostage to ASCs, because, on the one hand, their organisms can not function normally 1 In the context of Russia the term neo-shaman is used in relation to representatives of those peoples who have had well-developed shamanism until quite recently. These people, as a rule, resorted to the shamanic practice of their ethnic tradition indirectly in the context of “rebirth of shamanism” by attending courses of healing, magic, bioenergotherapy, or learning from any of the “new shamans”. The term urban shaman is used to refer to representatives of...
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