Divine Messengers: The Untold Story of Bhutan's Female Shamans by Stephanie Guyer-Stevens and Françoise Pommaret
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The first intimate narrative account of the living tradition of female shamanism in Bhutanese culture from an award-winning journalist and a celebrated anthropologist.
In the pristine Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famous for its peaceful Buddhist religion and monasteries on mountain peaks, female shamans fill an important spiritual role as mystics and healers. These women communicate with local spirits, cure diseases through prayer, and travel to the netherworld and return to communicate their encounters with the dead and the horrors of the hell realms. Their spiritual authority is immensely important to their communities, but is often overlooked in the male-dominated monastic institutions traditionally associated with Tibetan Buddhism.
Journalist Stephanie Guyer-Stevens and anthropologist Francoise Pommaret traveled to the Himalayas to meet the living female shamans of Bhutan. Divine Messengers is their written account of the extraordinary lives of seven Bhutanese female shamans and their reflections on the centrality of the divine feminine in Himalayan Buddhism. The book shares their stories, including their accounts of falling dead and communing with the Lord of the Dead; predicting someone's well-being or misfortune through divination; consciously reincarnating in order to help others; and retaining their important roles in society outside of formal Buddhist lineages and hierarchies.
192 Pages, 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, Softcover, October, 2021.
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