Shaman Healing Preparation

Published: 19th June 2010
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Shaman Healing Preparation: Pre-Trance

To enter the spirit world, the shaman, or jhankrini, must first enter a trance state. Before the shaman is even able to do that, there are rituals that must be performed and followed. These rituals provide a guideline for the shaman, and also inform them about possible methods they can use, or who exactly in the spirit world they should consult about the issue at hand.

So first the shaman will consult what is called the jokhana, which is translated to "the ginger oracle." The ginger oracle tosses small pieces of fresh ginger after a short ritual to thank the gods, and then these ginger pieces are interpreted depending on the matter in which they fall. This oracle can uncover what exactly is the primary cause, gain insight on the perceptions and intentions of the patient, or even allow the shaman to have a peak into the past or future in relevance to the healing. The ginger oracle (jokhana) is a very important part of Kirati healings. It is a rare event if the shaman does not consult an oracle before a healing, unless there is no time, such as during an epidemic.

The shaman does indeed use a specific kind of spiritual energy that is not unlimited, at least within the shaman. There will be times when the shaman will run out of this energy, which is called "Shakti." Often, the shaman will not wait until they run out of healing energy but instead go at regular intervals on expeditions to replenish themselves. There are a few ways for a shaman to go about doing this: a pilgrimage to a sacred site, also known as a "gupha;" a visit to burial grounds to connect with the everlasting energy of the tribe from the beginning of time; or a complete retreat into nature where they shaman essentially exiles them self and becomes one with nature.

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