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Mircea Eliade - Teleut shamans - And the spirit wife



Type of Spiritual Experience


In research of the shaman’s experiences, there  are a number of observations that show that female spirits are absolutely essential for a male shaman.  But very often once the female spirits have nurtured, tutored and helped their human protégée, they occasionally don’t want him to continue on the spiritual path. 

In some legends the female spirit even prepares a banquet for the shaman in order to dissuade him from carrying on his quest.

A description of the experience

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

Using A V Anokhin’s data on shamanism among the Teleut, Sternberg states that every Teleut shaman has a celestial wife who lives in the seventh heaven.  During his ecstatic journey to Bai Ulgan, the shaman meets his wife and she asks him to remain with her, she has prepared  an exquisite banquet for them;

‘My darling young kam [she sings]
We shall sit together at the blue table
My darling husband, my young kam
Let us hide in the shadow of the curtains
And let us make love to one another and have fun
My husband, my young kam’

She assures him that the road to the sky has been blocked.  But the shaman refuses to believe her, and repeats his determination to continue his ascent.

The source of the experience

Siberian shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Activity not known