The shaman


A shaman is an middleman between humankind and the spirit world, occupying a role just like that of a priest: a spiritual specialist, possessing the ability to speak with spirits, to enchantment to them to dispel evil, to explain turns of fat
e, and to transmit the directions of spirits. She or he often has healing and magical powers, and may influence the spirits to result in good and evil.


The practice of shamanism


There are several parts of shamanism in Taoism. Killing and expelling demons with the help of charms and incantations, invoking spirits, holding ritual offerings, and presenting written memorials to spirits with the aid of a medium are all shamanistic practices.


Shamanism just isn’t unique to Asia. A lot of the lengthy-established religions have parts of its beliefs and practices – the rite of exorcism in Christianity, for example, by which a priest makes an attempt to communicate with, and expel, an evil spirit from one other person, an animal or an inanimate object such as a house.


Shamanism in Vietnam


Although shamanism exists in mainstream religion in Vietnam, it is principally found in the traditions of the nation’s ethnic minority groups, many of whom retain a shaman in every village. To invoke the spirits, a shaman makes use of songs and dances, spells and talismans resulting in the induction of a trance-like state during which he or she is in direct contact with spirits.


In theory, such actions are labelled as superstition and are illegal. Nonetheless, the law is basically ignored, and even the authorities recognise the tourism potential of such rituals. As an example, one ethnic group in the Central Highlands has a standard annual festival by which the spotlight is the ritual slaughter of a buffalo as a sacrifice to the spirits. This gory spectacle is now being promoted by the tourism division of the world and has developed into very popular.


The fortune-teller


Another type of shaman specializes in divination, a standard observe all through the country. Vietnamese individuals consider that there are good days and bad days, and one’s future welfare relies upon selecting probably the most propitious date and time earlier than enterprise any important venture or activity.


Divination by astrology is the primary software to be used to determine what day an individual should move house, apply for a job or get married: in every case, the decision of the fortune teller is taken very seriously. The recommendation is sort of invariably followed to the letter. The cost of this service is seldom low-cost, generally operating into tons of dollars – a large sum in a poor country.


Generally the end result is highly inconvenient – having to maneuver house in the course of the night, for example. In other cases, the recommendation can result in main life changes – an ‘unsuitable match’ verdict upon a pair (or one of many units of oldsters) in search of steering upon a potential marriage nearly inevitably leads to a break-up.


A person will generally seek the advice of the shaman to ask how he should cope with what he considers his spouse’s unsuitable behaviour (deep-rooted Confucian subservience inhibits girls from doing the identical). Sometimes, this leads to divorce. Young folks typically spend a number of months’ salary looking for a way forward after rejection by a girl or boyfriend.


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