Orthodoxy and Shamanism in Siberia

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Orthodoxy and Shamanism in Siberia

by Vladimir Rozansky

Quote:In the Russian Far East there remains a great mixture of Christianity and paganism. Orthodox priests in the countryside indulge in shamanic practices. Pagan folklore seen as a spectacle of "popular culture." Orthodox clergy and shamans "ally" against Covid.

Quote:...In the freezing Siberian nights, lost in the borderless taiga, "one becomes a pagan even without wanting to," as Sergej, an inhabitant of the Tomsk region, says: "Not everyone is ready to observe the virginity of principles, when it comes to life or death." Faced with the unpredictability of tomorrow, the help of local shamans seemed to many the only way out, with their propitiatory and soothing rituals.

Many representatives of Russian Orthodoxy, from the famous schismatic priest Avvakum in the seventeenth century to the monk Rasputin before the revolution, were fascinated by the noisy pagan rites, in which shamans shouted in unknown languages beating on huge drums and waving magic symbols, compared to the endless litanies of the Slavic-Byzantine liturgy. Many Russians became shamans themselves, as attested by a Petersburg list of the early 1700s, in which among the 30 best-known Siberian shamans, at least four had Russian names.

Orthodox country priests not infrequently indulged in shamanic practices, and this phenomenon is still observed today. Floral and plant decorations, processions in winter festivals (Russian Carnival lasts from December to February), use of pagan bells and drums - all this emerges even in parishes and monasteries in the most isolated areas. Some priests make agreements with shamans, coordinating sacred and magical ceremonies and then dividing the proceeds of the offerings of the faithful...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


[-] The following 2 users Like Sciborg_S_Patel's post:
  • woethekitty, Typoz
Quote:Floral and plant decorations, processions in winter festivals (Russian Carnival lasts from December to February), use of pagan bells and drums - all this emerges even in parishes and monasteries in the most isolated areas.

I whole-heartedly support winter celebrations from December to February.

These things are, in my view, a way of making the darkness as well as the cold of Winter bearable, even enjoyable. In my part of the world, winter celebrations begin in September, continue until the end of December, then abruptly stop. That leaves the cold and dark months of Winter without any communal festivities to lighten and bring joy during that time.

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