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Where did the shamans?

“Since the beginning of the twentieth century ethnologists used to not too accurate use of concepts such as shaman, medicine man, magician or a wizard to define some entities, endowed with magical-religious powers and found in all “primitive” society. Since then, this terminology has extended to research in the field of religious history of “civilized” peoples. Say, for example, about Indian, Iranian, German, Chinese, and even Babylonian shamanism, meaning “primitive” elements in the respective religions. If the word “shaman” to indicate every magician, sorcerer, healer or mystic, mentioned in the history of religions and religious Ethnology, we eventually get a very complex and at the same time, an imprecise concept, the benefit of which is questionable because there is already the terms “mage” and “warlock” to refer to concepts as diverse as it is vague, such as magic or primitive mysticism.

Magic and magicians we see are almost all over the world, whereas shamanism is a particular magical “profession”, which we highlight in particular: “the taming of the fire”, a magical flight, etc. For this reason, though the shaman is, among other things, also a magician, not every magician can be defined as a shaman. The same applies to shamanic healings: each witch doctor is a healer, but the shaman has its own special methods. As for simanskiene of ecstasy, they do not exhaust all varieties of ecstatic experiences, recorded in the history of religions and religious Ethnology. Therefore, each ecstatic cannot be considered a shaman: the shaman is a specialist in trance during which his soul, as is commonly believed, leaves the body to ascend to the Sky or descend to Hell. Continue reading

The cosmovision of Kallawaya, Bolivia

Bolivia . on the Altiplano Catholicism coexists with the cosmovision of the Andean Indians.

The language of the Maha Huay evolved over many centuries, is a “secret language” which is spoken today only a few families of traditional doctors, herbalists, calavia . living in the Andes of Bolivia. Language Kallawaya is a means of transmission of ancient knowledge . are now under threat of extinction.

Calavia, herbalists Wanderers from the province of Bautista Saavedra, Department of La Paz, over many centuries have developed a “family language” of the tribes (ayllu), within which from generation to generation, passed on holistic healing knowledge. This language received the name mahah Huai or “language people”. Today, it is spoken of calavia eight families in the province, where the language of everyday communication is Quechua.

For the first time this language became interested in the colonies, administrators, and chroniclers, as mestizos, and Spaniards, testified to his “rarity”. Starting from the XVII century, it was widely distributed information about the existence of a special language healers-herbalists, who prepare medicine for the Inca kings and their entourage. Continue reading

Ethical principles of the ancient medicine

Historical sources tells us the information that for the first time some of the social function of the doctor introduced a social reformer Pharaoh Akhenaten of Egypt (15th century BC). He took some social functions of the priests and gave them to the doctors. That he exalted doctors and the fact that it appeared international medical sign – bowl entwined snake. The token can be decrypted so: be wise as a serpent and draw knowledge from the Cup of the universe. The ruins of some cities in Egypt bears witness to order the sequence of surgical operations, treatment of physical and mental disorders. After Akhenaten’s death the priests asserted his authority over the doctors, directing them to their rituals.

It’s been hundreds of years (the Millennium), and only with the advent of Hippocrates (C. 460-377 BCE) there were clear outlines of social medicine, which can be seen in the Hippocratic oath, where special attention is paid to moral and ethical characteristics of the doctor. Important socio-psychological step was the allocation of Hippocrates temperament types (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic). Today apply the concepts of Hippocrates mask, headband – hat of Hippocrates.

Hippocrates worshipped the God of healing Asclepius (the Roman name Aesculapius) and put forward the position that Asclepius is stronger than death. From here developed the position that the doctor should never stop fighting for the life of the patient, and fight for it until biological death – the onset of lividity, which is preceded by respiratory arrest and cardiac activity, set on pulse. Continue reading

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