Oracles and Demons of Ladakh

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Oracles and Demons of Ladakh
Directed by Rob McGann (Avenue E Production) – 2003, 71 min (English).
Trailer (4’20″)

Isolated in the Indian Himalayas, Ladakh is a western enclave of the Greater Tibetan Plateau untouched by Chinese occupation. Home to each of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, this vibrant land of high mountain passes is believed to have special people who are able to have direct discourse with spirits from the old lands of Tibet.

Human mediums for these spirits, or “Oracles” as Ladakhis call them, play an integral role in the culture of the area. They are called upon to divine the future, cure bodily diseases and ward off harmful entities that haunt the land from the mountains.

Shot onsite in Jammu and Kashmir, the chronicle follows the tales of several of these shamanic figures across the high-altitude deserts of Ladakh. Narrated by leading authorities on Tibet, the film considers how Oracle practices such as spirit possession, ritual healing, soothsaying and exorcism remain fundamental folk traditions in Tibetan societies to this day.

The film features interviews with an array of experts, including: Eric Margolis, Laurent Pordié, Geoffrey Samuel, Robert A.F. Thurman, an assortment of highly respected Rinpoches, as well as the Dalai Lama’s own Nechung Oracle.

The phenomenon of oracles has existed in all parts of the world before and even in the Western world. It is just that such practices and arts have been lost through the ages in certain parts of the world. It is encouraging to see the Western world is now once again interested to investigate further this ancient art of divination.

To read more about oracles click on the links below :

Validity of Oracles

The Tradition of Oracles

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  1. I have been searching everywhere for a copy of this film (Oracles and Demons of Ladakh). I need to see it for research and teaching I am doing. Anyone who has a copy or knows someone who does, PLEASE contact me!

    Thank you,

    Tony Kubiak
    [email protected]

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