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Why do shamans lick hot metal?

What are shamans capable of and why do they do it?

Darkhans, blacksmith shamans of Buryatia, or rather they can be called Booh Darkhan. And this fiery rite is called Gal Tarim, fiery purification.

The fire is sacred. It heals everything, fulfills all desires. While the fire is burning, the shaman is performing a ritual, one can ask the spirits of everything.

To perform the ritual, the shaman heats red-hot Iluur (metal stick), a shamanic attribute. They use the same metal strips, rods or even knives.

Then the bars are shackled.

Then the shaman, calling upon the owner Tarim, licks the hot metal and blows steam on the person. Asks God to remove the disease, witchcraft, adversity from a person. The aura of the latter becomes very strong. This is called Tumer Sunte – Iron Soul.

It is repeated for three times. If the ailment is not serious, then after this rite everything immediately passes. Sometimes, in severe cases, Tarim has to be repeated.

It is believed that, by touching the red-hot illuur with one’s tongue before the the shaman is cleared and the one gets the power to purify others. During the trance state, the shaman is able to lick hot metal without causing any harm to himself. It is believed that the spirits, guarding him, not allowing him to burn.

Also, the shaman can extort the sickness spirit from the patient’s body, or he draws a net on his body with red hot iluur, scares the sickness spirit with his ritual bow and arrow, or blinds him with his copper or bronze mirror (toli). The choice of method for removing the source of the disease from the patient’s body for each case is individual, depending on what kind of negative spirit has penetrated the patient’s body.

Before any healing rituals begin, the shaman must energetically warm himself.

This Buryat preparatory process is called “Amya Halaah”, which literally translates as “warm up the energy of the soul-breath”. At the same time, different shamans use different methods. Some people put boiling water or vodka in their mouths and sprinkle them vigorously. Others lick red-hot stones or iron iluur, if not, simply take a burning match in their mouths. Some simply bang their teeth, sniff tashuur (ritual whip) or smack, tightly pressing the tongue to the sky and clicking it to pull it back. Whatever method is used by the shaman, the functions of these actions are the same – to reorganize energetically.

The fire is sacred. It heals everything, fulfills all desires.