Vishim Shamanism

Vishim shamanism is an all-encompassing belief system practiced by the Vishim People throughout the Vishim Desert. It includes spirituality, medicine, and reverence for nature. It is tied into almost all aspects of tribal structure and social life. Shamans, and more rarely shamenesses, act as intermediaries between humans and spirits, to beg forgiveness, request favours, or offer praise. Common people may offer private prayers or personal worship, but they are not expected to hear a reply nor be specifically listened to.   In the past few centuries, it has been influenced by Timilism and aspects of that, such as meditations and the concept of chiig, have been adopted by many practitioners, especially in the east.  


There is no central body for this religion. Each community has their own shaman, who chooses their own successor from within the community. There is no overarching authority controlling these shamans. Within a community is a shaman, who is usually an elder male. He is the only one who can directly communicate with the spirit world, and all requests for spiritual aid go through him. He often has 1 or 2 young men as his assistants, and designates one of them as his successor.   The spirits themselves have a hierarchy as well. First, all spirits fall under the domain of either Midnight, Dawn, Noon, or Dusk.   Midnight: Black, south, winter, stars, death. Feminine Dawn: Red, east, spring, sun, childhood. Feminine Noon: Blue, north, summer, sky, adulthood. Masculine Dusk: Yellow, west, autumn, moon, old age. Masculine   Although Midnight and Dusk are black, they are also worshipped and respected. Sometimes, darkness is necessary. The dark of night brings relief from the summer temperatures, death provides an end to prolonged suffering, the beauty of the sky at dusk, etc. A black spirit may aid humans if appropriately worshipped, and a white spirit may cause calamity if its slighted. Black spirits are called upon in times of war, and white spirits more frequently for peace. Above all, spirits are protectors and guardians, whether it's a species of animal they protect, a type of person, a mountain, etc.   Chiyash is the Creator-Father, at the top of the pyramid. Below him are the 4 Divinities Below them are the Great Spirits. There are around 100 of them, roughly 50/50 black and white. These are common and worshipped by all communities. Below them are the hundreds or thousands or lesser spirits across the region. These might be a spirit of a particular hill or a guardian of a notable family. 27 of them are patron deities of various Vishim clans.  

Creation Myth

In the beginning, there was an egg. The egg hatched Chiyash, who could not see anything in the darkness of the universe and so created light. When the light came, he saw to the horizon and saw that the universe was empty. So Chiyash cut his hand to spill his blood and created four children: Midnight, Dawn, Noon, and Dusk. As he was creating, a drop of his blood went astray and landed on the forgotten eggshell. The shell transformed into a tortoise. Chiyash was fascinated by the tortoise, and so shed more blood to create life on its back and sent his children to become its guardians.   Each child created more children of their own, but they were not as powerful as Chiyash and could create only spirits, not living creatures. The spirits created by Midnight and Dusk are classified as black and are feared, while the ones created by Noon and Dawn are white and benevolent. These spirits filled the land, taking domain of mountains, rivers, regions,weather, or beasts. They exist alongside us in the spirit world, which is not a different place but a level of existence above and beyond us.
Related Ethnicities
The star represents the four Divinities in a cycle. The white circle in the middle represents Chiyash.