Alternative MethodsConventional Methods

March 29

Shamanism: A practice of early Turkic beliefs

Drew Wilkins
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

History books cite that Turkic people used to practice shamanism. A shaman is a person with the ability to contact supernatural forces. Reminiscent of modern-day psychics, shamans would lose themselves in the state of trance through their own methods such as chanting prayers while playing a frame drum. They had special clothing, used drums or other certain instruments, danced and had knowledge of things like spirits or jinns that ordinary people cannot see or hear. Shamans are not poets at all, but their prayers are generally in the form of a poetry that contains meaningless but magical words.

Shamans were tribe’ medicine men rather than men of religion we see in the Western religions. They are said to foretell the future as well. Shamans would heal people by killing and eating the evil spirit and talk about the things happening in the spiritual world. The talents of shamans were often seen as hereditary and were both men and women.

Shamans were commonly seen in a vast region from Siberia to India, Africa and Americas. Because they are referred to as religious practitioners, the religions we come across in these regions are called shamanism. Indeed, shamanism is not an independent religion, it is a system of supernatural forces that is part of religions. It would not be wrong to say that shamanism can be observed in every religion. However, calling the shamans’ faith religion makes the whole matter more complicated.

In ancient Rome, people believed in an afterlife and spirits were very important for people. Salius priests, who were dancing, singing and making music by striking weapons in each other’s hands, were similar to shamans. The resemblance between shamans and Druids, the Celtic priests appearing in white clothes, who used to make medicine from the mistel by collecting them from red oak, is also striking.

Shamanism is a technique and practice often found in animism, which is the belief that plants, animals, rocks and other living things and objects possess a spiritual essence. People who possess specific powers are believed to influence nature through words and gestures, and these words and gestures are related to what is desired. For instance, to cure an illness, a shaman would make symbolic gestures to dismiss the illness and say something like: “The parrot flew away / The illness flew away.” If rain is desired, a shaman would make a gesture similar to pouring water or do a war dance before setting off for battle. Apart from these, symbolic objects were also used in rituals.

One theory of the etymology of the word “shaman” is that is comes from Tungusic languages, related to the root “a man who loses self-control” but it also had an Indo-European cognate in a word for a Buddhist ascetic. The world “shaman” was transferred to French through Russian. Old Turkic people used the world “kam” instead of “shaman.” However, the Orkhon Inscriptions of the eighth century, which offers valuable information on ancient Turkic people’s lifestyle and history, does not mention the world “kam.”

Blue sky

According to the information that is more or less conclusive, most Turkic people believed in a single creator at times before they converted to Islam. They gave various names to their creator like “Chalap,” “Ogan,” “Bayat” and “Ülgan” and used them based on the creator’s features they would like to highlight. These words were used to refer to God even after they converted to Islam. “Chalap” means creator and all merciful, “Ogan” means mighty, “Bayat” means abundant and “Ülgan” means greatness.

These names were used in Yusuf Has Hajib’s 10th century politics and ethics book “Qutadghu Bilig” and also in many works on Anatolian literature. The world “Chalabi,” which was much used in the Ottoman period, is derived from the world “chalap” as well. Likewise, God shows mercy to all human beings on earth and equally treats them with the attribute “al-Rahman” (all-merciful), and a person with the attribute “Chalabi” behaves well to all, both friend and enemy.

Ancient Turkic people believed in the superiority of the creator’s will. They also believed in fate and accepted everything that happened since it was the creator’s will. They referred this creator as Kök Tangri (Sky God). In Old Turkic language, “kök” (sky) also referred to glory. The color blue was the color of the ruling dynasty.

Turkic peoples began to convert to Islam after 750 and in the 10th century, nearly all of them became Muslim. Long before this, Assyrians invaded Turkistan and made them live close to the border and worship the sun and stars like they did. When dawn breaks, they used to pray by positioning themselves toward the sun. This is why the word “tanyeri” (dawn) took the form “Tengri” (God) later. The dawn was not the god of these Turkic people, but was rather something like the qibla in Islam. Every day, the sunrise was seen as a blessing from God. At times in the Republic era, the word “tanrı” (God) was proposed to be replaced with the word “Allah,” in Turkey but it failed because it was used to refer to the word of God itself.

In the Orkhon Inscriptions, it reads: “When the blue sky is created on the top and dark land on the ground, human beings were created in the middle,” explaining that all of these are creatures and only one creator exists.

In the legends and folkloric stories written after Turkic people adopted Islam, they were all described as monotheistic believers. It is understood that some changes and superstitions were later added into this religion by either emperors or religious men. Still, among nomads or villagers in Central Asia or Anatolia, some appear like shamans

by Ekrem Buğra Ekinci For Daily Sabah


Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Career Coaching
$195 USD
Holistic Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching


If this sounds like you, then you don’t need a new diet… you n…

David Giddings
Bach flower therapy
$120 USD
Bach Flower Essence Consultation

Exploration of where you’re feeling stuck or limited in life and recommendations of Bach Flower Essences to help loosen and dissolve old patterns.

Suzana Da Costa
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
$100 USD
Subliminal therapy

In this service we will use Subliminal therapy and Sound healing as alternative to tradition cognitive behavioral therapy.

We are born with our thoughts. Do n…

Ahmed Amin Youssef
Psychic Reading
$10 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Intro 2 Alignment Healing Chant


That is my greeting to the spirit within you. Join me for a welcome introduction session to celebrate my arrival at Core Spirit!

For 15 minutes I wi…

Ti3rc3 Fire
$55 USD
Psychic Medium Readings

READINGS Currently, all readings will be offered virtually. Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am-1pm (UK Time Zone). When we…

Jan Morgan
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
Oracle Cards Reading
$25 USD
Psychic Reading 15 Minutes

Well-versed in the main 5 clairs, I will Intuitively answer your questions for 15 minutes.

Jyll Hoyrup
Emotional Stress Release
$150 USD
Creatrix® Breakthrough

This is a revolutionary process, SPECIALLY designed for women. You will be able to clear your most depeest BLOCKS and limiting beliefs. 

This is the only too…

Tamar Viva
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Energy Healing (Distant)

Distant Energy healing promotes relaxation, reduces tension and stress and will support an overal sense of well being after a treatment. It is an effective ad…

Beverly Lynn
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate.

I don’t do deity readings or readings about a third party. That to me, is a violation of the person.

Zara Kalil
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
Transform Your Relationship With Your Money

In this session, you will learn the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. Together we will use that technique, sometimes called simply tapping, to sor…

Nancy Allen
Personal Development Coaching
$10 USD
Anxiety and Depression - Coaching Consultation and Assessment Call

Are you looking to begin making a change in your life and become the best version of yourself by breaking free from the emotional barriers that has been blocki…

Amritha Kailas
Mind Control
$72 USD
Women's Emotional Wellness and Transformation Coaching

Are you dealing with confusion, low esteem, anxiety, depression, overthinking , relationship issues and trying to find focus, confidence, purpose, peace and b…

Amritha Kailas
Past Life Regression
$10 USD
Soul Readings

Your Soul is an accumulated repository of existential experience.

Access your creativity, things you learned from past lives.

Healing, you learned how to mak…

Core of Your Spirit
Emotional Freedom Technique
$105 USD
EFT tapping - Heal your past and uncover your authentic self

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is also know as EFT tapping. It is a mind-body approach which helps us to improve our physical, emotional and mental well-be…

Sina Weber
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Single Card Pull

I will pull one single card for you to answer any question or concern. Typically, these types of quick readings are good for yes or no questions or simple answ…

Megan Zavar
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
One Question Tarot Reading

I’ll answer your question through Tarot and Oracle cards. I don’t restrict myself on the number of cards which will be used to give you guidance and clarity on…

Shanen Keith Hernandez
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Love Reading

You can ask me up to 3 questions about your love situation and I will answer them all.

Tarot Reading
$10 USD
General Tarot Reading

A three card spread to help you identify issues in your life and how to resolve them.


Related Articles