Legend has it that those who practice Shamanism are capable of incredible things. Shamanism is a method of ancient spiritual healing in which the Shaman is able to communicate with the divine to gain guidance, healing abilities (for both body and soul), sacred knowledge, the ability to tame beasts, and the ability to manipulate the environment and alter weather patterns. By entering into a trance to commune with the spirit world, these individuals are said to request assistance from the elemental spirits. With these abilities at the Shaman’s disposal, they could accomplish many feats and rise to great positions of power. However, it is important that the Shaman remain humble for if they were to become egotistical, they would lose their powers and their communication with the divine.
Mongolian king and conquerer Genghis Khan is said to have practiced Shamanism and to have conducted weather changing rituals before all of his battles. His ability to alter weather patterns may have been what made the Mongolians so proficient in the conquering of Asia. According to historical accounts, Khan was said to practice powerful magic to create severe weather on demand to defeat his enemies. An unusually warm weather period during his rise to emperor of the Mongolians allowed Khan and his horsemen to thrive as they as they conquered the land from Russia to China, the largest spanning empire the world has ever seen. With the warmer weather, the vegetation and grass plains that were usually inactive due to cold and arid winds began to flourish, which was essential for the large herd of horses that were necessary for these nomadic people. The success of Khan’s army is owed entirely to the mysteriously rapid weather changes during Khan’s reign, which supports the belief that he was in fact a powerful Shaman emperor.
A mysterious rock formation known as Ratho Kroonkop lies on top of a 1,000 foot tall hill in the south of Africa near Botswana. This site is understood to have been an altar of offering to the gods where rain making rituals were conducted by the Shamans of the San, an indigenous tribe of South Africa. The Shamans would ascend to the top of the formation through natural caves and tunnels, they would then create a fire where they burned dead animal remains as an offering in exchange for rain. Over 30,000 types of animal skeletons were found when excavating the site such as giraffe, rhinosaurus, and zebra. The site would have been well protected and ordinary villagers would be forbidden from going near the site for fear of angering the gods. Could these rituals have brought rain to an otherwise arid climate.
Through our studies of the ancient cultures of our planet, it is apparent that Shamanism has been embraced in many different parts of the world over the course of history. Tales of powerful Shamans retrieving lost souls, healing the ill, bringing suffering to the wicked, and changing the weather have been written and illustrated in historical documents found in indigenous regions around the globe. The fact that the practice of Shamanism has found its way to so many different cultures that had no relation to one another offers reason to believe that there lies truth behind this mystical and powerful method of spiritual channeling.
Today, Shamanism is still practiced and taught to those who are capable and willing. The trials presented to those following the path of the Shaman are daunting and challenging in order to weed out those who are unfit for communication with the divine. A number of modern day shamans still seek assistance from the elements, attempting to bring rain to areas of drought. Rumor has it that powerful organizations such as the US government have employed groups of Shaman in the past in order to prevent potential natural disasters, though information supporting this theory is limited.