My name is Cenk Sertdemir, or Salchak Kurt Şaman.
In this video, I am performing the ritual Sacrament of the Black Sea, or Karadenizde Saman Ayini.
It is important to me that people know Siberian Shamanism is directly linked to the real Turkish culture, in which we are called Kham Kishi. It means protector of the tribe or clan.
Many people ask, “What it is like to be a Siberian Shaman?” I would like answer the question because books about shamanism are not written from the point of view of the the shaman himself. No traditional shaman has ever described his inner self when he enters a trance situation, or when he performs a healing ritual.
To be a Kham Kishi is the biggest responsibility that the tribe could give to someone. Can you imagine being the only one who can cure people from their death beds, and it depends on your power of faith to achieve that? And the person’s loved ones are standing outside of the house, praying silently, so as not to be seperate from their relative so soon, when they are still madly in love?
Sometimes we have to decide that death is the best thing a sick person can experience. Of course, we are not the ones who decide his fate, but we are the ones who make it happen. Death is not something to fear. No one fears death. People are afraid of being alone at the other side. That is why they cannot leave directly after death. They hang around, so to speak, because they do not want to believe they are gone.
So we have to explain to the dead one what happens from now on — that it has 42 days to visit every single memory and experience before he or she has to leave totally. The spirit must make peace with everything in their life-path. As they are able to walk through dimensions, they go from their day of birth, until the day they die, and make peace with every trauma they ever had. Otherwise, they would be too heavy for the other side.
They have to lighten up or enlighten themselves. This ritual is parted in two. The first part takes place on the 7th day of death. The second one happens after 42 days after that. If they still do not go, they start to manifest themselves as a negative influence on the family, and later on the Earth. At that point we come in and banish the spirit to another place where its radiating energy cannot harm anyone. This Death Ritual, we call Ot Kypsyk.
Besides the drum, our tools include a whip, juniper, bells and Eeren (supporting spirit), tos karak (a nine-eyed spoon), and a böört.
The Böört headdress is a very important part of the shaman’s equipment. It not only protects the shaman from negative entities called Aza, it also gives the owner a light feeling in the head when worn. The lightness is created by the many feathers, which should be from strong and high-flying birds, like the eagle, crane, or goose.
One eagle feather is necessary because the eagle is a predator who can protect the head of its owner from evil spirits. The feathers also help the shaman fly to other dimensions and the upper world, where the ancestors and gods are.
Some shamans put horns to each side of the böört. This has two reasons. One is threatening, and the other one has ancestral significance. The threatening part is to push away evil spirits, as a bull pushes away its attackers. The ancestral value is dedicated to Oguz Khan, the first Turk in history. His helmet had two long horns at their sides.
The shaman wears the böört to carry this legacy from generation to generation. Shamans are also keepers of the truth and true history. Therefore, everything they put on the böört is a truth.
Cenk Certdemir lives in Tarabya, Istanbul, Turkey, and runs the Ajalat Shamanic Cleanic. The Cleanic holds events focused on body-and-soul healing, which can be attended by following Ajalat’s page on Facebook: