Gods and spirits of Altai shamanism. Spirits and deities of the lower world.
Altai shamanism, according to many scholars-anthropologists, represents one of the most developed varieties of shamanism. For example, the Soviet ethnographer L. P. Potapov considered Altai shamanism a distinctive religion with a branched pantheon and a developed cosmogony (the structure of the universe).
The underground deity Erlik
The underground deity Erlik
According to the beliefs of Altai shamanists, spirits and deities inhabit all world spheres (upper, middle and lower), and these spheres can be more than three (up to seven). There are many different categories of spirits: underground spirits are called körmös, sky spirits are called kudai, earth spirits are called yer-su. Spirits are also divided into original (ancestral spirits tesa - “beginning”, “foundation”) and later (neme - “something”), pure (aru) and impure or black (kara).

The category of kara tös (or kara körmös), i.e. black spirits, includes Erlik-khan, a deity that occupies one of the central places in Altaic mythology. This god rules the underworld, and it is with him that the Altai people associate the most terrible disasters. Erlik brings diseases in order to force a man to bring him a blood sacrifice. If a man does not satisfy his wishes, Erlik strikes him dead, and after that takes the soul of a man to his service in the underworld. Ordinary Altaians were afraid of Erlik and rarely called him by name, more often using various epithets (for example, kara nama - something black), while shamans treated the underground master with the greatest respect, calling him “merciful king”.

The texts of shamanic rituals depict the appearance of Erlik. He was represented as an old man of athletic physique. “His eyes and eyebrows are black as soot, his beard is bifurcated and goes down to his knees. Moustache is like fangs, which, curling up, are tucked behind his ears. The horns are like a tree root, and the hair is curly”. Erlik-khan lives in the lower world in a palace of mud (according to other data - in a palace of black iron with a fence). His palace stands at the confluence of nine rivers flowing with human tears, or on the shore of the sea Bai-tanis, inhabited by water monsters. A bridge of horsehair is stretched across the underground river in Erlik's world, and if any of the souls of dead people decides to leave his kingdom arbitrarily, then, stepping on the hair bridge, it breaks off and falls down, and the waves carry the fugitive back to Erlik's abode.

Erlik has several sons, according to one version - seven, according to another - nine, the most famous of them is Karash-khan.
Erlik's sons are his messengers and on his behalf control the countless evil spirits scattered on the earth. Shamanic prayers distinguish several types of harmful beings: spirits “gluttons”, “spirits of death”, spirits of severe diseases and spirits “former fathers”, that is, the unconquered souls of dead people. Evil spirits are not characterized by discipline, between them often occur strife and even whole wars. The Altai people say: “when a man is sick - the evil spirit eats him”.

Numerous evil spirits harm not only people, but also Erlik himself, because by eating people, they eat what should go to him. That is why Erlik sends his sons to the earth to protect them from evil spirits. Even a hundred years ago every Altai clan prayed to a certain son of Erlik as their protector, and also these spirits were the protectors of black shamans.
+79221343011 Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram, Signal

Follow Ahamkara on:

https://ahamkara.teachable.com/ - Online Shamanic School
https://www.facebook.com/ahamkara.eu/notifications... - my Facebook
https://www.instagram.com/ahamkara.eu/ - my Instagram
5 lessons + "Mother Animal" ritual
Education — one year programm