Mirrors in Central Asian Shamanic Tradition (The Wu and Genghis Khan)

“Know that the realm of the Ninzuwu is a place of mirrors above and below, side by side. It is a world of reflection, but the Ninzuwu walk about in this Dream as upon solid ground.” – Ivory Tablets of the Crow

Ninzuwu is translated from Chinese characters as ‘your ancestral shaman(wu)’. What is interesting about Chinese male (xi) and female (wu) shaman as well as Siberian and Mongolian saman is the shamanic use of mirrors. On the traditional garments of the shaman is always tied at least one if not multiple Chinese mirrors.  The mirrors are made of metals such as bronze, copper, brass and are essential tools of traditional shamanic practice.

Here is an article by Nicholas Wood entitled Mirrors of the Soul

Mirrors are seen as portals to the spirit world as well as tools to reflect and even trap evil.  Scrying, foreseeing, diagnosis of disease and soul retrieval are all functions of the mirror in central Asian shamanism. Healing energy can also be stored in a mirror and placed in a container of water.  The water is then purified to be drunk by a patient for healing.  The mirror can also carry within them the spirit guides of the shaman such as their wind horse and the souls of other deceased shaman of lower and higher classes. (Much like the Ninzuwu the soul of a saman in central Asian tradition can take up residence in mountains, forest, lakes and other natural formations becoming a guardian. The term sam/xam/qam is related to the Japanese term kami and Nanay term qomio).  With the mirror, distant spirits may be contacted by a shaman for communication.

The mirrors of the Ninzuwu not only attest to their mastery of a reality that is reflective in nature, but also their connection with the central Asian shamanic tradition; the practices of Genghis Khan and the Mongolians.

Here are some pictures of the traditional shaman attire and the metal Chinese mirrors they use:

tumblr_mbd0792TvW1r4kizgo1_500  shaman's mirrors


The shaman had an important role in hunter-gatherer and nomadic societies, which was the main lifestyle of man during the Ubaid and Jomon periods preceding sedentary civilization (The Art of Ninzuwu is said to originate from the Jomon Period). Their need to maintain an intimate connection with nature for the sustenance of their people is the origin of shamanic practices that became systematized into religion over time as civilization formed and progressed.

Johuta recorded in the Ivory Tablets the beginnings of such occurrences:

“The magic men practice is vain. Those who worship the gods of temples are deceived by spirits who falsely glance at them with a calming face. Their priesthoods go about collecting tax for some form of power that the people do not understand. There is no salvation in these things, but the haunting of ghost.”

This attest to the over-systemization of shamanic practices of the hunter-gatherers into forms of state religion with a political spin used to collect taxes and subjugate the masses. The shamans who lost their intimate connection with nature in their lineages became the tax collecting priest of religion as civilization progressed. Civilizations often came into conflict with nomads because it was hard to collect taxes from a non sedentary people.

The connection of The Art of Ninzuwu with Central Asian hunter-gatherer culture is also suggested by the book aptly titled the Yi Jing Apocrypha of Genghis Khan who was himself a Mongolian shaman.

Categories: Cult of Nyarzir, Genghis Khan, mirror symbolism, Mongolian Shamanism, Religion, shaman, Tengu, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wu, Yi Jing, Yi Jing Apocrypha of Genghis Khan

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