Entering the Circle: Ancient Secrets of Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist. Olga Kharitidi, M.D., HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.

Reviewed by Maya del Mar

I had read this book a few years ago, and found it extraordinarily gripping and meaningful. It came into my hands again, and I reread it on the return trip from Capetown. My experiences in the interim give it even more poignancy and relevance. This is Olga’s true story, and she tells it with drama and cogency.

Olga describes a journey into non-ordinary reality, into a dimension inhabited by Siberian shamans high in the Altai Mts. Olga worked as a psychiatrist in a mental hospital in Novosibirsk, in the middle of Siberia, and considered herself to have a strictly rational, scientific approach. Events unfolded to bring her into the mysterious Altai Mountains, and there she encountered strange realities and the search for the elusive land of Belovodia.

Olga is devoted to her patients, and her impetus for cooperating with these strange experiences is the promise of learning to become a true healer. Which she ultimately does, by spontaneously allowing her inner healer to emerge and trusting it to do the right thing.

Umai is the ancient healer who becomes Olga’s teacher. She begins by putting Olga into a trance where she experiences her inner space, the place of the "Spirit Lake." Says Umai, "Each of us has this inner space, but during the lives of most people, it becomes smaller and smaller. As we go through life, the world around us tries to fill up and kill this inner space, your Spirit Lake. Many people lose it entirely. Their space is occupied by legions of foreign soldiers, and it dies.

‘Now you have experienced this space within yourself. You know it, and you will no longer be afraid of the world around you."

Umai goes on to tell her that she will become acquainted with the Spirit Being that lives in this space.

She then tells Olga the "greatest secret." We have the task of constructing two things while we are in our physical lives—the physical reality in which we live and the creation of ourselves. Keeping the balance between the two is a very sacred and demanding art.

Every human has a Spirit Twin, or Spirit Guide, who inhabits their inner space. There are seven kinds of these Spirit Twins: Healer, Magus, Teacher, Messenger, Protector, Warrior, and Executor—one who makes things happen.

Says Umai, "One of our most important tasks is to learn the identity of our Spirit Twin and then to integrate ourselves fully with it. This is how one finds and opens the gate to Belovodia."

"Use these five criteria," says Umai, "to make every decision in your life: health, happiness, beauty, truth, and light."

Olga absorbed Umai’s crash course in healing, and her wisdom, and returned to Novosibirsk, to work, and slowly began to explore and trust her Inner Healer, with results which continually surprised her. She encountered a scientific associate in exploring inner space, and they both developed together.

This is an exciting story of learning to trust one’s Spirit Twin, or Higher Self. Through opening to its guidance, no matter how "crazy" it might seem, Olga developed her inner potential, expanded her life enormously, and found new satisfaction in fulfilling her inner purpose.

Published by Maya del Mar. Copyright © 2000, 2001 Maya del Mar.
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