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Observations placeholder

Concept - Korean mystic shamanism – Intelligence hierarchy and the Tree of Life



Type of Spiritual Experience


Haneullim ("Lord of Heaven"), also spelled Hanalnim, Hananim, Hanunim, Hwanin (in the Dangun myth), also called Sangje, Sangjenim ("Highest Emperor") or simply Haneul ("Heaven") or Cheon ("Heaven", in Sino-Korean), or Cheonsin ("God of Heaven"), is the concept of God in Korean Sinism.

A description of the experience

Korean Shamanist Ritual - Symbols and Dramas of Transformation - Daniel Kister

We find worship of other gods and spirits from at least the time of the northern kingdom of Koguryo (37 B.C.E.-668 C.E.), when ritual offerings were made not only to Heaven, but also to a Star God (Yongsong), an Earth God (Sajik), and various lesser spirits (Kwishin; Chen 1985:III.843-844).

Along with rites offered to “the God of Heaven," we read, too, of "setting up a huge tree [or wooden pole], hanging a bell [or bells] and a drum on it, and reverencing lesser spirits (Kwishin)" in this same period or a little earlier in one of the three Han Kingdoms in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula (Chen 1985:III.852).

The God of Heaven is spoken of reverently by present-day mudang and continues to be worshipped in kut under the common Korean appellation of Hanunim, or under such titles as the Jade Emperor (Okhwangsangje), Chesok, the Big Dipper Spirit, and so forth. Hanunim means etymologically "Revered Heaven" or "Dear Heaven"

Korean Shamanism – Muism – Dr Kim Tae-kon

And how does Muism view the mutual relationships among the gods. Research shows that Muism has Ch'onshin (the God of Heaven) as the supreme god, with the remaining gods classified into four groupings: High, middle, low and lowest clusters.

The female mudang Sim, who lives in Wonan-ri, Ujong-myon, Hwasong-gun Kyonggi Province, maintains that:

  • The gods in the high class include Ch'onshin (god of the sky/heaven), Ch'ilsongshin (the seven stars - god-kings -the Big Dipper), and Sanshin (the mountain god).
  • The gods in the middle class include Sahaeyongshin (the god of the 4-seas, the ocean god), Sambul chesokshin (three mu gods who look like Buddha) and Changgunshin (the General-God).
  • The gods in the low class include Songjushin (Chief house-hold god), Taegamshin (a deified court official), Chishin (a god of the land; an earth god), and Chowangshin (the kitchen god ).
  • In the lowest class are Kollipshin (the grain god) and chapkwi (miscellaneous spirits of the dead).

The source of the experience

Korean mystic shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items


Tree of life

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps