Foreword Review — July / Aug 2001
“Human beings have made the mistake of ignoring the voice of nature and forgetting the value of the natural and spiritual worlds.” In many cultures, including Native American and Native Siberian, the shaman is an individual capable of communicating with cooperative spirits to bridge these gaps by realizing the collective wisdom of our ancestors and utilizing the enormous power of nature.
The author was born in the United States, but returned to her ancestral homeland in southern Siberia to study the Mongolian and Buryat shamanic tradition. She uses her background in both cultures to create a guide for Western students of shamanism by drawing from her own personal experiences and the rich shamanic tradition of Siberia.
In many cultures, shamanism seems to have been passed down from generation to generation, but Sarangerel makes it clear that even in these cases the individual has been called by the spirits to the work.
The first section of the book details the signs to look for to be assured that this is the correct path to take. She goes on to show how to acknowledge this call once it is determined to be genuine, then explains many of the rituals, meditations, and divination techniques that have been used by Siberian shamans for centuries. She stresses the importance of the three basic principles of Siberian shamanism: keeping one’s life in balance, maintaining a respect for nature, and accepting personal responsibility. Concepts such as dream life, vision quests, and role of music are explored as well.
Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from Chosen by the Spirits is the importance of developing the relationship between the student and his or her spirit family. When this is successfully achieved, the purpose of this book, “healing, protection, and restoring balance and harmony between man and the natural world,” may be most fully realized.