Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains

The author, Nikolai A. Shodoev, grew up listening to epic tales of the Altai and to Altai myths and legends told by his grandmother. Over the years he collected material on local history and bilik, which is a Turik word encapsulating the notions of knowledge, science, cognition and wisdom.

Bilik represents a pool of traditional knowledge in the Altai culture.

Shodoev has pieced together and interpreted the knowledge of his ancestors and along with input from one of the last shamanic figures in Altai produced this book which provides a fascinating insight into the complex world of Altai historical and contemporary beliefs and rituals.

The original version of this book was in Russian and this translation has kept the original introduction which here forms the first chapter and provides an overview of religion in Altai.

The Altai Republic is situated in the South of Siberia and is seen as a key source of Asian spirituality and as the cradle of religion. With its roots in an animism world view that incorporated shamanism the religion has adapted and assimilated other beliefs and cultures over time. The book explains this development and the reasons behind it.

There is no doubt that the Altai Bilik is very complex but in this book we do have a genuine insight written by an author who is not only knowledgeable but has grown up within the culture.

Book Details: Nikolai Shodoev, Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains, Moon Books (27 July 2012), ISBN: 978-1780991214.

Review Details: Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains was reviewed by Yvonne Ryves, author of Web of Life, for Indie Shaman magazine.

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