The most important instrument of the shaman is the
drum. The drum symbolizes the beating of the heart, both of man and the
earth, because the earth also is a living organism. The beating of the drum
gives the rhythm of the galloping horse carrying the shaman to the underworld
or the world of the gods. In many traditions, the drum is called 'the horse'.
There are many stories. For example, a boy who has to achieve something
great, or defeat a monster. When he arrives at the stable to get the horse,
he finds a skinny and neglected horse. The body then asks an old man or
woman for advise. They say: "You have to feed the horse." The
boy gets some hay for the horse, but it doesn't want to eat. "What
do you eat?" the boy asks. "I only eat burning coals", the
horse answers. Thus the boy brings him burning coals. The skinny horse eats
them and it transforms into a large, strong and sometimes winged horse.
Many studies have been made to find the meaning of these stories. Actually,
it is very simple. Shamans didn't used to have a drum with those metal screws,
with which you can put the skin under tension. When the shaman used his
drum a lot, the skin would become limp and the sound muted. To tighten the
skin, he would hold his drum above the fire, and the heat would tighten
the skin again. The horse symbolizes the drum, and the coals the fire. Therefore,
in Hungary, shamans are also called taltosj [táltos], which signifies Pegasus,
the winged horse that has eaten the burning coals.
On a personal level,
the burning coals mean the inner warmth. We have three kinds of inner warmth:
the humid warmth, the dry warmth and the radiating warmth. The humid warmth
is the one you feel after exercising and you start sweating. The dry warmth
is the feeling of heat, by which you get a dry mouth; no physical exercise
is necessary. The radiating warmth is the flaming wood, the mystical or
magical warmth which radiates from the body. The radiating warmth is related
to our fluidic system, to the meridians of acupuncture. That is the warmth
the shaman tries to create when he shamanizes. However, also artists and
other creative people can feel this. One has the feeling one is being irradiated,
but from the inside out.
This warmth finds its origin primarily in the
soft organs, like the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, the stomach. That you
can notice with yourself or with somebody else. This warmth can slowly be
raised by exercises. The intensity can vary, but it can also be too intense.
When I shamanize, I can feel this warmth rising within a few seconds.
Then I have to balance the wheel of the right side, of the water, the female,
with the wheel of the left side, of the fire, the male. Shamanism, and other
religions, tell us that we have a double wheel of energy inside of us. The
left side is the activity, the male energy, which turns from left to right.
The female wheel, or energy, turns from right to left. One is fire, activity,
the male; the other is water, the nurturing, the female.
of the heat can be raised, but only if the other side, the water, is being
raised also. It is the same principle with an atomic reactor. This has to
be cooled otherwise it will explode. That is the same with humans.
know this in the form of shaman sickness. When the inner heat or radiating
becomes too strong, then inner bleeding can happen, and other disturbances,
and even cancer. I have experienced this myself twice. The first time my
gums and tongue began to bleed. it wasn't that bad, and I considered it
a warning. However, the second time it was much worse, just at a time when
i thought it would not happen to me. Luckily, the blood coagulated quickly,
but after two days, I had blisters all over because the blood vessels had
ruptured. My head itched like it was being invaded by bugs, and I was feeling
My legs, up to my thighs, were blue, and my faeces contained
blood; I must have had internal bleeding as well. i was completely exhausted.
Then I remembered the words of Tamas Bacsi [his shaman-teacher]: "When
the fire burns you, you have to lie down and drink water, lots of water,
and more water.
My friends urged me to go to the hospital, but instead
I shamanized. While I was singing, I concentrated on the wheel of the female,
the cooling energy of the right side. I am absolutely convinced that if
I had taken the medicines from a doctor that the bleeding would have stopped,
but the cause would have remained, and it would have hit my most sensitive
organs. Maybe it would have caused leukemia. What happened was that the
radiating warmth expanded the blood vessels, especially the fine ones. The
body then reacts by cooling, and you get the shivers. The heart beat increases,
blood pressure rises, and the blood is being pumped through the fine blood
vessels. This causes the blisters and internal bleedings.
spiritual man have to give, in order to release this warmth. His intention
and goodness have an egoistic goal: not to burn himself. Like the burning
bush that did not consume, man must give his excess energy, otherwise he
will burn himself.
In many cases this is the origin of cancer. One can
warm oneself by spiritual things, but also by greed, love for money, power,
desire. These also create warmth, just as a hyper lifestyle. People usually
do not notice because they start smoking and drinking, and this makes them
insensitive. They also have so many social duties and entertainment that
they do not notice what is happening in themselves.
This excess heat
will hit the weakest organ. That is the reason why cancer can hit any part
of the body. The cause is not that far away. It is 'high tension'. Not only
the outside energy. One can have the appearance of a calm person, but inside
he is a volcano. A business man, for example, can appear to be a stable
and quiet person, but inside he can be thinking constantly, day and night.
The cause of cancer does not need to be found in many different areas. Primarily,
it has one cause: excess heat and the poor distribution of it. it is possible
that this heat can have a physical, psychological and psychic origin, which
can confuse the symptoms. Cancer can be healed by a more natural approach
like acupuncture, homeopathy, or certain physical or meditative exercises.
Surgery and chemotherapy are useful but they do not remove the cause. When
surgery was successful, the disease often returns in another part of the
body. If this not happens, what is the cause? Surgery has taken such a toll
on the body that one has to take it much calmer, and thus the radiating
energy has become much less.
Doctors tell us that the surgery was a success,
but why does it work with one person but not with the other? How can it
afflict another part of the body? That they cannot explain.
My drum has
a diameter of 50 cm. It's an initiated drum , that is to say it has been
initiated with a special ritual, during which the potentialities of the
shaman arise in the form of images. These images, for example, a certain
tree or an animal, give by themselves strength, and can be called upon.
In this way guardian spirits can also present themselves. When I had my
drum inaugurated in 1976 there were immediately five guardian spirits, and
a few weeks later there were two more. Now there are twenty-seven.
initiation can occur at three levels; initiation to knowledge, initiation
to be able to do, and initiation to come into contact with one's own potentiality.
There are also other possible initiations such as the initiation of the
fourth dimension or a parallel universe, but in the present context the
initiation of the drum serves to evoke the images of the potentialities,
just like in the East they call up the image of the mandala.
My drum is painted like every shaman drum. Horizontally,
there are three areas, under the earth, on the earth and above the earth.
At the lowest level, under the earth, and under the water, is the fire that
is represented by the primeval atom, and instead of water, a water animal,
a polyp, has been painted.
At the level of the earth are the people.
I have made an ideogram of a man and a woman.
is the sky, the sun is above the man and the moon is above the woman. The
sky is really the superconscious, the subterranean is the subconscious and
the middle plane is our human consciousness.
The highest levels are indicated
by the Polaris star. The Polaris star represents the seventh chakra. Here
you see a wheel in the form of a double swastika, one side turns from right
to left , the other from left to right.
In the middle is a vertical axis
, that is the harmony , the backbone of man, and the line of his development.
Because horizontal knowledge is infinite, but true knowledge is vertical
, connecting with upstairs and downstairs. The vertical line is the axis
, the harmony and the spine . On the religious level, it is the tree of
life, and on the cosmic level it is the cosmic tree, which runs from the
human to the Polaris star and then even further. In shamanism, the Polaris
star was considered the great door to the divine.
We need to focus on
only the sun and the moon, as you have a sun cult and a moon cult. Because
there is also a higher cult, the cult of the stars and especially the Polaris
star. That cult existed long ago and was forgotten later on.
comes from both sides down, left and right, coming together in the sacrum
and goes from there through the axis upwards . That is the cycle of the
two wheels , and the three levels. That's why I always say that you must
work on the total human: body, soul and mind, the conscious , subconscious
On the drum are also the five colors. On the left,
the female side, is the color black, the symbol of the earth, on right side
the white color of foamy waves, which is the male. Above is the blue color
of the sky and below the red color of the fire. The fifth element is the
yellow color of the mind or the sun, the power that makes everything experience.
The bottom of the drum is at the top of the image. Polaris star is at
the bottom of the picture.
I also play the Tibetan singing bowls. Long time
ago, before Buddhism came to Tibet, there was the bon-religion. This was
a shamanistic and animalistic religion which used a lot of rituals
and singing. When in the eighth century Buddhism came to Tibet, it fused
with the original shamanic religion. That was a good connection, because
shamanism was very extravert, action oriented, and Buddhism was more meditative.
They united into Lamaism. This gave a more total form to the human seeking
In this way the singing bowls are connected with shamanism.
They are made from seven different metals. They contain gold for the sun,
silver for the moon, mercury for Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for Mars,
tin for Jupiter, and lead for Saturn. According to the teaching, each metal
has seven kinds of sounds or vibrations. Therefore, each bowl contains seven
multiplied by seven, 49 different sounds. One has to try to distinguish
them, and to let them work on oneself.
One can simply listen, and hit
them and listen. One can also rub a bowl with a stick by which the bowl
starts 'singing'. You can also feel the bowl and absorb the vibrations this
way; or hold your tong against a bowl to receive the vibration in a more
The purpose is that after a while you you feel the vibration,
even when you simply think of it; and that you can experience the sound
in your mind independent of the instrument.
As long as you are not able
to do that, it is good to have such a bowl, because that can save time and
hasten the process.
The singing bowls are very old, they date back before
Lamaism. Two years ago, there was an large exposition of Tibetan ritual
objects in the British Museum. On display were two medium sized bowls from
an archeological excavation in 1938, and which had been cleaned recently.
The excavation had taken place nearby an ancient Bon temple. Scientific
research showed that the bowls were from 2400 B.C. This shows that the bowls
were already used in that time, in Tibet.
Only monks who especially used
sound had those bowls. For the rest it was a secret, because they were not
used in ordinary rituals. One day, when I asked a high ranking Tibetan lama
if he knew if these bowls were really used, he answered: "Maybe."
When the Chinese invaded Tibet, they destroyed almost all fourteen thousand
monasteries, only seventeen were spared. The Chinese have taken away all
valuables from these monasteries and they sold it later in Shanghai and
other places. In this way, the bowls arrived at antiquarians and collectors.
In Japan, they also use similar big bowls, but they only hit them and don't
really play them. Although they are present in Zen Buddhism, they probably
came from the much older Shinto religion, which also dates back to old shamanic
In many religions, sound has an important function. In the old
temple at Jerusalem, Jews were singing day and night. Each hour, twelve
Levites sang to praise god, and they would alternate.
It is said that
in the monasteries on the mountain Athos, the Greek orthodox monks have
been singing uninterrupted since the sixth century. In this way the harmony
in the individual, but also on Earth is being maintained.