Renowned, Seoul-based Korean shaman (mudang/manshin; 무당/만신) Kim Jung Hee (김정희), along with her team, present an introduction to the Korean shaman's ritual, called Gut (굿). As well as serving people in Korea, Kim Jung Hee has sought to bring Korean shamanism (mugyo; 무교) to the international community, through public and private ceremonies, as well as conferences on shamanism in Mongolia, Russia, Europe, and the United States. Jung Hee believes that shamanism represents the oldest religious cultures in the world, and is committed to healing, helping, and inspiring others of all backgrounds with the abilities and knowledge she has as a shaman. This event, in collaboration with musicians Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, will involve educational, practical, and artistic elements, from inside and outside of traditional Korean Gut/ritual, including traditional practices of clearing of negative energies, sharing in the voice and presence of deities, and 'riding the knives' or jakdugut (작두굿).
We have set $40 participation fee to be used entirely to support the shaman's costs associated with realizing the ritual - however, no one will be turned away. As is custom in Korean shaman rituals, you are encouraged to bring additional cash, should you choose to make offerings to the deities during parts of the ritual. This event will be most beneficial if attendees come prepared to participate via dancing/movement, prayer, and communicating verbally with the possessed shamans. The event is by reservation only and space is limited. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Korean shamanism, also known as muism, is called "mu-gyo" (무교), which is the word view on Korean shamanism as religion or "mu-sok" (무속), a cultural practice. Either way, Muism is the oldest religion in Korea, and many Korean culture is rooted from muism. For instance, Korean traditional dances and music are originated from ritual called “gut” (굿).
Gut is an muism ritual in which the shaman, "mu-dang" (무당), acts as intermediary between the client and the sprits or their ancestors. In gut, mu-dang offers sacrifices, rhythmic movement, songs, oracles and prayer to resolve the problem of the client.
"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:
Prayer ("Chookwon"; 축원): A method where the shaman invites gods to the ritual site through prayers and scripture reading.
Standing Cleansing ("Sunbujung"; 선부정): A method where the shaman extinguishes all evil spirits and negative auras through dancing.
“Seven Stars” Ritual of Blessing
(White clothes only)
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.
“Mountain god” Ritual of Blessing
(Red clothes only)
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 (대감)” Ritual of Blessing
(Blue clothes are mainly wore, but white clothes are occasionally accepted)
Daegam is the god of business and wealth. During this ritual, the shaman pleases Daegam and blesses for the prosperity of business.
“Shinjang (신장)” Ritual or the General’s Ritual
(Blue clothes only)
During this ritual, Shinjang, or the Sky General, extinguishes all evil spirits and returns them to where they belong.
"Cutter General’s Ritual"
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 (장부대신)” 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.
"The Ritual of Ancestors"
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 (접신)."
“Changbudaeshin (장부대신)” Ritual of Blessing
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.
"The Ritual of Solace (Haewon; 해원)"
During this ritual, the shaman sends the souls of ancestors to heaven through prayers and scripture reading.
Information on Korean Shamanism by Kim Jung Hee