Spirits from the Edge of the World is a compilation of oral shamanic history gathered from 1994 to the present.
The Ulchi are Manchu-Tungus speaking peoples who gave the word shaman to the world. These people have inhabited the regions of the Amur River since the Neolithic epoch. Their oral histories recount their earliest beginnings in the midst of the Pleistocene landscapes of southeastern Siberia.
This book reveals the essential and comprehensive teachings of Classical shamanism. Wonder tales of enchanted animals, legends of the first ancestral shaman, creation stories, ways of nature, and the intimate relationship between humans and spirits are explored and discussed from in-depth conversations with the elders and last remaining shamans of the Ulchi people.
Born on a cold shore
And tried by the harsh cold
Only now have I learned and am able
To warm people’s hearts
With a singing voice
— Leonid Laptsuy
I do not know, but forgive me here as I sing my song and dance my dance
Here I stand on the edge where the ocean begins
Here I stand on the edge where the sun falls
Here I begin my journey
Here on the edge where my father’s path begins
There where the sun falls
Rolling and tumbling and traveling with the yellow cloud
Traveling with the blue cloud
Catching up with the red cloud, I begin my journey
My relatives were great shamans
Great tiger spirits
Black nature spirits
That is where its home begins
Taking me along with it
— Grandfather Misha
Personal Journey for the
Shaman and Group
Spirits from the Edge of the World
"This book is a rich repository of commentary, elders’ memories, personal and cultural narratives, all given life and skillfully strung together by an author who appropriately has little presence in the text.
"The book itself is easy to read, with language accessible to all skill levels. When reading this book, one of the first things that became apparent to me was how much of the actual text was direct quotes and commentary given by the elders and shamans of the Ulchi people. I finished this book feeling more like I had just participated in a timeless dialogue, or a lengthy and pleasant conversation over an intimate meal, rather than turning pages in a book.
"Academics, students, lay scholars, and the curious will all find something to value in this book. Those interested in healing will perhaps find something that sings intensely to their souls."
"An excellent book on this unique topic of Siberian shamanism in the Ulchi society. This book was created based upon the author’s many years of discussions and experiences with Ulchi shamans, plus her own collection of rare original source information. The book includes many original photos. A well written and organized book, which I believe will become a classic reference on the subject. I recommend this book to any serious student or researcher."