Next my exploration of shamanism and culture brought me to the small village of Daerga, on the Amu River of Siberia. My guide, Nadia, explained to me that all of the shaman in this area are older women, one of which is 87 yr. old Lindsa.
Lindsa had been a Nanai shaman for over 50 years. She was only one of two remaining among the Nanai people. Although the Tiger was her main spirit she had over sixty that she called upon. There were several segments to her healing ceremony and after each section the spirits would call for her to take 3 shots of vodka. Lindsa obliged.
Shortly before I was asked to give my last TEDx talk I receive a call from Nadia. She happened to be in the area and came over for a visit. Nadia explain to me, now over 10 years later, that Lindsa wasn’t always asked by the spirits to drink vodka after a trance. According to Nadia, Lindsa had only been taking the shots for a few weeks. Her spirits had let her know that she was about to die and the vodka was only to ease her transition to the next world. Lindsa died just three weeks after I photographed her.
The following quote from Lindsa has always stuck with me.
She told us “everything in the natural world has consciousness, and if you are given energy be sure to pass it on – give it away; don’t keep it to yourself”