|The Shaman Aadja||page 1|
This story tells about the development of the shaman. He is the doctor, priest, philosopher, historian and poet. He is the master of nature, able to enlist the forces of nature to obtain their power.
There once was a young man who become terribly ill and fell into a deep sleep. One day he heard a fluttering of wings and saw a large black raven staring down at him. The raven picked him up and flew through an opening in the sky to the land where the sun and the moon were both shining. The residents of this upper world had human bodies with raven heads.
The young man was set down in a nest where he was nurtured, growing smaller and smaller until he was the size of a thimble. After several years, the young man was sent back down to earth and he lost all memory of his previous life.
He was reborn to a new set of parents and was given the name Aadja. When he was five years old, he suddenly remembered everything that had happened: how he had been born and lived on the earth, how he had been reborn among the raven people and how he now had another life.
As he got older, Aadja also discovered that he had great healing powers. When someone in the village became sick, he would put himself into a trance and search the patient for the source of the illness. If a medicine was needed, he called upon his spirit guide, the raven, to show him where the proper herb grew. If he determined that the soul of the sick person had been taken away, he would fly like a raven to the Upper World and seek to bring it back.
With each new discovery, mankind has gained understanding and power. New stories arise that illustrate our changing experiences. We grow more confident in our ability to master the elements of nature.
We can compare the Shaman Aadja with Sinbad the Sailor. Although he encounters fabulous creatures in his travels, he is not helped by spirits or gods. Instead, he uses his wit and knowledge. He is a "modern" hero.
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