Cleansing is performed first in all “Gut” rituals. During Cleansing, the shaman or the spiritual medium cleanses all evil spirits in and around the ritual site in order to invite the gods.
-Two methods of Cleansing:
The seven stars indicate the Big Dipper constellation in the night sky. During this ritual, the shaman blesses and prays for good things in life such as happy marriage and happy relationship between lovers, birth of healthy child, longevity and health, and peace and harmony in a family.
During this ritual, the shaman invites the Mountain god and the guardian gods of the town. Then, the shaman prays for the peace and safety of the town and blesses everyone gathered at the ritual site.
Daegam is the god of business and wealth. During this ritual, the shaman pleases Daegam and blesses for the prosperity of business.
During this ritual, Shinjang or the Sky General extinguishes all evil spirits and returns them to where they belong.
During this ritual, the shaman bare-footedly stands on top of a cutter and dances with swords. This ritual shows the power of gods dwelling in the shaman’s body. The shaman kills all evil spirits and negative auras as well as pleases both worlds of the living and the death.
Above is the list of “Gut” ritual orders in a brief format.
In private “Gut” rituals, the Ritual of Ancestors would be the second in the list. The “Changbudaeshin” Ritual of Blessing would be the seventh, and the Ritual of Solace would be the eighth. In ceremonial rituals, the Ritual of Ancestors is omitted because it is unclear whose ancestors should be invited.
During this ritual, the dead and the living are met. Vindictive souls of ancestors who are unwilling to leave the present world are invited to have a comforting conversation with their living families and friends. Once the souls have satisfactorily eased the feelings of pain and resentment, they leave the present world. The souls of ancestors could speak to the family and friends through the shaman or the spiritual medium; or the client can directly receive the soul and spiritually synchronize with them. This latter is called “Jeopsin”
Changbudaeshin is the god of music and entertainment. This ritual is performed lastly in order to prevent the negative energies and misfortunes in the next 12 months from happening.
During this ritual, the shaman sends the souls of ancestors to heaven through prayers and scripture reading.
Explanation on various acts by the Shaman:
Geosung is the act of dancing that is performed by the shaman in the beginning of the ritual. Through dancing, the shaman pays respect to the gods and invites the gods to temporarily dwell in the shaman’s body.
Yeonpung is the act of spinning in circles that is occasionally performed throughout the entire ritual. Through Yeonpung, the shaman invites the gods or ill spirits to temporarily dwell in the shaman’s body.
Gongsu is the act where the gods speak through the shaman’s body. The gods speak about things that they are resentful of or satisfied with. The gods also occasionally foretells the future of individuals and blesses them.
-Bokjan- (as in “give a Bokjan”)
During the Daegam Ritual of Blessing, the shaman blesses a cup of wine with the gods’ blessings and offers it to the client and the audiences.
-San- (as in “give a San”)
During the Seven Stars Ritual of Blessing, the shaman blesses few grains of rice or small berries with the gods’ blessings and offers them in even numbers to the client. This act is a blessing for things like the birth of healthy child and longevity and health.
Jeopsin is the act of receiving a god on a living body.
Bingwui is the act of receiving a non-god spirit on a living body. It is mostly considered as being possessed by the ill spirits.
* The shaman changes clothes as the ritual progresses because each gods demand different apparel.
The above explanations describe the basic format of “Gut” Rituals. However, there is another type of ceremonial ritual called “Chisung”.
”Chisung” means to sincerely serve the gods through various offerings. It is a smaller ritual than the “Gut” ritual because the shaman only invites the god who has a problem with the client rather than inviting all gods. In typical “Gut” rituals, 3 to 4 shamans participate; whereas in “Chisung” rituals, only 1 or 2 shamans participate.
Lastly, Korea’s ceremonial rituals are designed as the rituals of blessings where various gods are invited. The primary purpose of these rituals is to provide the opportunity of communication between the living and the dead. The shaman prays and hopes that the conflicts between the living and the dead, between two towns and even between different countries be resolved through these communications.
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