Manual The Shamans Knife

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  1. Shaman Healing and Divination Arts of SE Asia
  2. In This Section
  3. Spyderco Forums
  4. Background
  5. Transforming Consciousness through Ritual Body Postures

Cymbals represent the turtle — legendary hero figures, who are exercised for killing monsters. Used in religious rituals. Its sound is meant to evoke protective deities and dispel evil spirits. This type of bell is also used during chanting and incantations of mantras. Potent tool used similarly to a Himalayan Phurba, to direct evil energy away and to summon and control spirits. Text characters are painted onto all sides. Worn by shaman priests for all ceremonies. The motif typically includes all the deities of heaven to clothe the shaman in the protection of the universe.

Long ago shamans were women and men the providers. Not being encumbered by childbirth and child rearing, men gradually replaced women as shaman but the sacred costume remained the same. High level priests will wear a hat made of human hair. Hats made from human hair are worn only by high level priests. Postulants and newly ordained shaman wear a cotton and silk head scarf.

Human hair strands are twisted together to make thicker ones, dyed dark brown and woven into patterns. They are very difficult to make but are durable and last a long time. Worn only by high level shaman. The use of expensive and difficult to obtain brighter European dyes indicates an exceptional piece.

Originally a female costume. Not being encumbered by childbirth and rearing, men replaces women as shamans but retained this part of the sacred costume.

This particular wand is dominantly Dragon. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits — especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors. The slot on the underside is for mounting on a wall when not in use. Pan Hung is a varied mythical, composite beast: Dragon, Tiger, Dog. It is typically used for calling spiritual powers and for fending off evil spirits, especially at funeral rites, and to wave over items to be burned as offerings to the ancestors.

One of the four sacred animals, the unicorn symbolizes purity, happiness and wealth. If the unicorn appears, many good things will happen. It is often hung over the altar table in pagodas, temples or in homes of traditional families. Its strength and faithful nature are desirable for guarding temples and places of worship. Almost all of these pieces from this time period are portrayed in blue, cream and metallic color schemes.

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Because of its coloring, this panel is unusual and particularly desirable. Part of the items required to contact the spirit world. He is always mounted and brandishing a sword or pennant. They are only sacred once they are gifted with a soul. Spyderco hit this one out of the park. Once again too bad this was a limited run cause I highly recommend for any knife nut! Pros: Great steel with a great blade for hard work. The thick stock and M4 are much better than some other knives that claimed to be hard and tactical.

Love the spydie hole and compression lock.

Peru: Shaman gives Anthony Bourdain a spiritual bath (Parts Unknown)

Cons: The only issue is that the edge grind is not very good compared to some more expensive knife. So I've had this bad boy for a few days now. Unlike some others leaving reviews mine definitely did NOT come drop-shut smooth out of the box. It was very stiff.

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Since receiving it I've taken it apart, cleaned, and oiled it. The bit of work made the action much better. I have a feeling it will break in very nicely after I've flipped it a few thousand times. After handling the Shaman for a few days my PM2 feels like a delicate flower in-hand. Both are impressive however keep in mind if you think the PM2 is bulky you will find the Shaman to be a boat anchor. The Jade scales look great in person.

Shaman Healing and Divination Arts of SE Asia

Much better than in photos in my opinion. I'll really be curious to see how they look after carrying for a while. I can't comment too much on the M4 steel as I haven't used it much and this is my first blade equipped with it. I have noticed this will absolutely develop a patina over time. No matter how well you keep it clean.

In This Section

If you don't like the look of a patina then maybe the standard Shaman in S30v will be more your style. This will absolutely be my new EDC as I don't believe in safe queens. I received mine today. This looks freakin sweet! Actually, I had to experience several periods of initiatory illness, because I didn't understand what was happening to me. My first sinbyong attacked me when I was nineteen, after I broke off the relationship with my first lover. A big tumor developed on my coccyx, and I completely lost my voice and couldn't move for about three months.

Then, after awhile, the tumor mysteriously disappeared. The second sinbyong occurred when I was thirty-three. I began to suffer from tedium and loneliness, without knowing any meaning to my life. My interest in mundane affairs and domestic chores waned completely. I suffered unbearable loneliness and longed for the mountains. I spent many nights weeping endlessly or dreaming of impending death. In my dreams, I was imprisoned in the underworld and chased by wild animals.

For about nine months, I endured sleepless and restless nights, until I had an incredible, lengthy dream of an ancient royal funeral procession. My insomnia stopped right after this mysterious dream. I was happy without any specific reason. I felt elevated into the air, as if somebody was lifting me. After this funeral dream, my dream scene started to change into lighter, celestial ones.

In one unforgettable dream journey, a white unicorn with wings took me through the Milky Way to an incredible, infinite space of deep, jet-dark indigo. In that place, I heard a deep and resonant voice ask me, "How are the people down there? Then the voice told me I had to go back to teach the people love.

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I felt boundless joy and, at the same time, sadness that I had to go back. Without any sense of waking up from a dream, I found myself in my bed. For awhile, I was obsessed by this dream and felt very connected with that other reality. Although I couldn't understand it, the other space was so clear that I now felt as if my waking state was the dream. Mina Otis Haft: Can you explain how your initiatory illnesses differ from "normal" illness? The illness you describe sound like the ailments of many woman trapped by sex-role stereotypes.

Hiah-Park: They were something like that. In Korea, women are subjected to great suffering due to the very repressive Confucian society. They are exceptionally ripe to find a new role for themselves, and the role of the shaman breaks all the traditional rules and stereotypes. Therefore, I think the female shaman was the first truly liberated woman. I believe that sinbyong happens because a person's spiritual body is starving from a lack of inspirational creativity.

The initiatory sickness allows her to escape from the world and withdraw into the darkness, in order to experience her own rites of passage. In order to become a shaman, the person must go through years of introspection, personal torment, and progressive spiritual development. Mina Otis Haft: Have woman always taken the role of mudang in Korean society?

Hiah-Park: In Korea today, almost all shamans are women. In the distant past, there were male mudang as well as female ones, but, over the centuries, male mudang have become much rarer.

Some people say this change occurred because women were more competent in appealing to the gods. Mina Otis Haft: How are woman more suited for shamanic work? Hiah-Park: It is not gender that makes a woman superior but, rather, her access to the feminine principles of spirituality which makes her an essential bridge between this world and the states of bliss.


In traditional Korean Society, women were not educated as much as men and, therefore, never became alienated from their intuitive and psychic powers by years of over-intellectualization. I had to unlearn twenty years of education before I was ripe for initiation. Mina Otis Haft: At the time of your last illness, you were living in southern California, but you were initiated ac a mudang in Korea. How did that come about? Hiah-Park: As a dancer, while I was living in southern California, I received several requests to perform shamanic rites for the Korean community-even though I had not yet become a shaman.

I was surprised when Mr. Zozayoung, director of the Emile Folk Painting Museum in Korea, respectfully introduced me as a mudang, particulary since mudang are looked down on in Korea. I was concerned about how I was going to perform the ritual, but when it came time to give the actual performance, I somehow knew what to do.

During the next year, I performed two more kut in California. Each time, the spirits entered me in a most powerful way, guiding me to perform rituals which I only later learned the meanings of. After these ceremonies, I sensed deeply that I could not treat these spirits, in me lightly. Every time I returned home from these performances, I felt oppressive aching in my shoulders and pelvic area.

There was a great weight on my chest and I felt as if someone or something was binding my body. Then I became completely incapacitated, unable to do even the simplest domestic chores. I was sick for two months and I knew I needed help. Since I'd had two previous illnesses similar to this one, I intuitively knew that this was not something a regular medical doctor could handle.

Transforming Consciousness through Ritual Body Postures

The clarity, freedom, and heightened awareness I had experienced during the rituals conflicted with the rationalizations, anger, fear, and defensive feelings that plagued my normal state of consciousness. The conflict had spawned a psychosomatic ailment. During this illness, I had three consecutive visions. In my second vision, I saw Tan-Kun, the heroic founder of the Korean nation, sitting in a meditation posture within a yurt and wearing a red hat and rote. As I gazed intensely at that figure, we became one; then I saw myself sitting as Tan-Kun.

This clear vision of Tan-Kun convinced me to visit my homeland after an absence of fifteen years. I didn't have any specific plan for my visit. However, from its start, everyone I met and everywhere I visited turned out to be connected somehow with shamanistic practices. When Kim came into the room in her house where I was waiting, we both shuddered. She told me she had the sensation that her spirits wanted to talk with me.

The fruit is fully ripe and can't wait anymore! Otherwise, she said. I would have died, like an overripe fruit that falls onto the ground and rots. My body started uncontrollably swaying in a circular motion. With tears running down my face, I tried to hold my knees still with both hands, but I couldn't stop the swaying. Kim continued to explain that I had disobeyed two times previously and, consequently, had had to go through unbearable pain and loneliness and near-death experiences.

She warned that I should not resist anymore--the third time, there is no forgiveness. It was absolutely essential that I undergo the naerim kut without delay. On a more positive note, Kim told me she saw double rainbows stretched around my head, celestial gods surrounding and protecting me in four direction, and warrior spirits descending on me. She said that the warrior in me was so strong that I would want to stand on the chaktu sharp blades of the initiation ceremony.

She predicted that, in the near future, I would be a famous shaman and I'd travel all around the world. Then she set a date for the initiation - June 23, In less than two weeks, I was transformed into a new shaman. Mina Otis Haft: Was there any other preparation or training before the initiation ceremony? As in the previous rituals, in the United States, I didn't know what would happen-but I was determined to find out what power had brought me here and what the meaning and purpose of my life were.

Mina Otis Haft: What happened in the ceremony? Hiah-Park: In the morning, I bathed in a cold mountain stream, then climbed Mt. Samgak located to the north of Seoul with my godmother. At one point, she asked me to climb up a steep cliff to get a branch from a pine tree. This task was the first test of the day. I did as she asked to receive Sanshin the mountain spirit. We talked as little as possible. At the mountain altar, I offered rice, rice cake, three kinds of cooked vegetables, fruits, candles, incense, and mak-gholi homemade rice wine. As my godmother chanted and beat a small gong, I held up the Sanshin Dari, a long piece of white cotton cloth called minyong white cotton bridge through which the shaman receives the mountain spirits.

My body started to quiver uncontrollably-a sign that the spirit was entering me. I completely surrendered to the spirit, turning off my internal dialogue and entering into inner silence. I sensed light coming from every direction, and I started to feel drunk with the spirit in me. I felt the ultimate completion of my primordial self before separation. I knew that the spirit loved me and forgave my long resistance to accepting it.

Bathed by the light of spirits, I felt clean and reborn.