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Entering the Circle: Ancient Secrets of Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist Paperback – August 2, 1997


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Entering the Circle: Ancient Secrets of Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist + The Master of Lucid Dreams + Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (August 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062514172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062514172
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The term "shaman" is Russian and, until recently, was applied only to members of the indigenous tribes of Siberia and Central Asia by such scholars as Mircea Eliade. This exciting autobiography cum spiritual adventure by a Soviet psychiatrist is the first popular account of initiation into those tribes' ancient and mysterious traditions. Kharitidi writes (with no translator) in the slightly stilted English of a native Russian-speaker, an effect that highlights the fantastic nature of her encounters. From the grim state hospital where patients are fed only gruel to the isolated Altai Mountains, Kharitidi is inexorably led to Umai, a female shaman who passes her power to Kharitidi on her death and who continues to instruct her from the spirit world. The author's involvement with shamanism is fraught with danger, for in the Soviet Union, interest in the occult can lead to psychiatric commitment. But Kharitidi manages secretly to incorporate her new powers into her practice at the hospital. During her trance voyages, she visits Belovodia, more commonly known in the West by its Tibetan name of Shambhala, where a parallel human race with advanced spiritual knowledge hints at a radical new future for humanity. Others are also discovering Belovodia, Kharitidi learns, particularly a Soviet physicist researching the nature of time. Whether one swallows this whole, with salt or not at all, there's no doubt that with its classic New Age elements?the skeptical protagonist turned believer, exotic locales and esoteric knowledge, suspense and synchronicity?this is a great read that should sell briskly. Drawings, not seen by PW. $75,000 ad/promo; BOMC, QPB and One Spirit selections; film rights to North Tower Films; translation rights sold in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A sort of autobiographical adventure, this book describes Kharitidi's mystical experiences in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. When a friend asked her to come along and observe a healing ceremony there, the perceptions of the Soviet-trained psychiatrist suddenly and drastically changed. Kharitidi's whole belief system was shaken with the help of Umai the shaman/teacher, whose wisdom is imparted through dreams. The author set out to broaden the base of this knowledge and met a prestigious physicist who also experiments with time/space studies and filled in some of the gaps in Kharitidi's knowledge. Now committed to sharing her new-found understanding, Kharitidi has moved to New Mexico and lectures all over the world. This BOMC selection is backed by a heavy marketing campaign sure to draw attention and belongs in libraries where Deepak Chopra's works are popular.?Lisa S. Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Birmingham, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Olga Yahontova, also known as Olga Kharitidi, is a trained psychiatrist from Siberia. In search of knowledge hidden within traditional cultures, she has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her first book, Entering the Circle, has become a classical introduction to the reality of shamanic practices and has been published in more than twenty countries. Her follow up, The Master of Lucid Dreams, continued her exploration of healing stories and presented a radically new approach to the healing of traumas. After more than a decade away from the public eye, Yahontova has returned with Michael Gate to start a new series of transformational books stemming from her personal, extraordinary experiences. She currently works as a forensic psychiatrist in a facility for the criminally insane.

From her recent interview:
"I construct the narratives of my stories to make them sort of a Rosetta Stone for collective imagination, so they become a tool to interpret the matters of the Invisible and to translate its most hidden elements into the matters of everyday life and vise versa." Olga Yahontova.

Customer Reviews

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The book contains much wisdom and many insights.
S. L. Ondrasek
My experience is that each reading of this book gives an opportunity to move forward, remember and awaken in your own way.
Janet Straightarrow
The book is good... I would recommend it to anyone interested in reading about spirituality and the truth of life.
"mustangsally613"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am by no means a shaman, and I don't want to get caught in a debate over the authenticity of this book, but I can make a few comments that might be helpful. I had the opportunity to hear the author interviewed on the radio. I taped the interview and listened to it several times, both before and after I read the book. One thing that is not in doubt is that this woman is highly intelligent, articulate, and unaffected. She is an MD and also a psychiatrist, and whether you think much of those fields or not, a manipulative fool she is not. She was much more intelligent than the woman who was interviewing her. She was also completely spontaneous and candid about her experiences. Please note also that she remarks in the beginning of her book that she condensed her experience for the sake of better story flow. Also note that Umai did (does?) speak Russian. I found this book way way more believable than Castenada (and of more value!) but the final word on what is 'real' and 'not real' in the human experience will have to come from someone else.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I give my opinion as a shaman trained in Buryat Mongolian shamanic traditions. While Ms. Kharitidi's book is the first popular book in the English language that handles the topic of Siberian shamanism, it is nevertheless not a true reflection of Siberian shamanic beliefs. The Altai share almost identical shamanic beliefs and customs with the Buryats and I found very little in this book that was familiar. I did find a lot of ideas drawn from contemporary Russian mysticism, which has nothing in common with Siberian shamanism. If one reads carefully one realizes that the author's contact with the shamaness Umai (I question this name because it is the name of the Siberian womb goddess and not a name given to human babies) is very limited--less that 24 hours--and they were unable to communicate because they had no language in common. The writer's supposed apprenticeship to the shaman is based on a series of dreams, not that I as a shaman discount the value of dreams, but this nevertheless seems to be a rather shaky basis on which to base her teachings. If you want to read a book that presents authentic Siberian shamanic beliefs and practices try Riding Windhorses by Sarangerel. You will learn very little about real Siberian shamanism if you read Dr. Kharitidi's book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William Courson VINE VOICE on September 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Olga Kharitidi is a Russian physician and psychiatrist now residing in the USA. She was born in Siberia and worked for some years in a Novosibirsk psychiatric hospital. She has traveled in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Siberia in search of secrets of healing, long the property of isolated, ethnic enclaves which she believes can have a global impact on mental and physical well-being. Dr. Kharatidi first encountered such hidden knowledge of healing in a seemingly chance encounter with a `kam' (shaman) in the Altai, a mountainous region of Siberia that increasingly appears to be the source of many of the world's mystical traditions.

Northern Asia, particularly Siberia is regarded as the 'locus classicus' of shamanism. It is inhabited by many strikingly different ethnic groups and many of its Uralic, Altaic, and Paleosiberian peoples observe shamanistic practices even in modern times and many classical ethnographic sources of "shamanism" have been recorded among Siberian peoples. According to historical research, many civilizations had begun their migrations across our Earth from this area. Human settlements dating back as far as 300,000 years - long before the remotest thought of recorded history - have been found there. Legends say that this region, called "the navel of the Earth" is energetically connected with outer space, the name of the chief goddess of the region being the Altaic word for the star system known to us as the Pleiades.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Arananda on June 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read this book three times and found that I got something different from it each time. First, the narrative of her amazing experiences was compelling and carried me along much as good novel does. I was intrigued by her willingness to recount her subjective experiences with such confidence. Many of us with paranormal experiences hesitate to expound on them so openly - risking ridicule and perhaps even ostracism - as well as the fact that we often discount our own (subjective) experiences because we lack an external "objective" validation of them.
The second and third readings found me paying more attention to the lessons and wisdom and questions of people she describes - the shaman Umai, the Russian physicist, and those she meets in her subjective experience reveal interesting and widely varied perspectives.I believe you will find Olga Kharitidi fascinating as well.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. KUSYTSCH on January 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was hooked within seconds by the compelling story. As someone who has lived and worked in Russia I can vouch for the authenticity of the living conditions of ordinary Russian people.

For me this book was exciting to read like The Celestine Prophecy but it seemed that it was so much deeper. I gained deep insight into possible causes of negative human behaviour linked to trauma which damages the soul energy. The cures of deeply disturbed patients are profound and I had to smile at Olga's way of making her ancient shamanic practices acceptable to her stern Russian colleagues by describing them as experimental dissociative techniques!

A book about a medical doctor who has crossed the boundary into esoteric healing practices which could have profound implications for all people trying to understand where their negative behavior patterns come from. I would be delighted if she would visit the UK to share her experiences with likeminded people.
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