The Mysteries and Magic
of North Asian Shamanism
by David Shi
Publisher: Weiser Books
Release Date: May 1, 2023
The book begins with a discussion on the Roots of Shamanism. While he grew up in New Jersey David did not wish to embrace his Asian-American roots especially during his teen years. Although he became interested in witchcraft and Neo-Paganism in high school he truly began his learning journey in 2016 when he travelled to Hong Kong. There he visited Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan, mosques and Hindu temples in Indonesia, Buddhist and folk temples in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Buddhist temples in Korea. Of greater significance were his two visits to Mongolia where he met with local shamans on both occasions.
As most who write books – David quickly realized that he would be compiling a text of all the information he wished would have been available to him many years ago when he was seeking his knowledge. As he introduces us to his writings he reminds us that Shamanism can be summarized in to words – co-existence (with our spirits and our communities) and balance (that must be preserved between all of us and within ourselves).
Based on terminology and language – David proposes that the first shamans were women and male shamans appeared much later in history. He also articulates the differences in Shamans across cultures and geographical areas. The one constant is that not everyone can be a shaman. It’s not something you simply can study – you are chosen at birth, by the spirits. Most of a shaman’s spirits that guide are ancestors who were also shamans.
David introduces the concept of the Mystic Tablet which forms the basis for the Animals of the Zodiac, the nine karmic squares and the trigram directional map that were drawn on the back of a mythical giant turtle. The nine magic squares, representing the nine categories or karmic patterns that develop from lifetime to lifetime, can be found in many cultures under many names.
In his book, David introduces us to the North Asian shamanic traditions and how they differ across cultures; Turkic, Mongolic and Tungisic. He also divides them in to the categories of Upper World, Middle World and Lower World. He concludes this book by providing us with a list of Shamanic tools.
As noted early in the book – one does not study to become a Shaman. However, if you are interested in learning more about North Asian Shamanism and wish to compare them with your practice – I would highly recommend you take a deep dive in to the concepts that are presented in this book.
About the Author
David J. Shi is a shamanic worker and folk magic practitioner who engages in traditional North Asian forms of shamanism. David’s practices are deeply rooted in spirit work in which ancestral and land spirits are called to empower all workings. He has appeared at conferences and festivals throughout the United States and is always aiming to introduce Westerners to Eastern spiritualities and helping fellow Asian Americans connect to their spiritual roots.
About the Author:
Over the past 35 years, Linda has been helping people curate elements of their physical space to influence mind, body and spirit. Her focus has always been on creating meaningful connection with our environment.
Within her practice of Feng Shui, she combines the principles of Interior Design and the concepts of Biophilia to ensure positive energy flow. When we enhance the vibrations around us we become more likely to achieve our dreams and goals.
Linda lives in Halton Hills, Ontario with her husband and their cat Molley. Find out more about her and her practice at avalonlanestudio.ca