As I discovered while trying to prep for this interview, there’s not much available online about the Hungarian shamanic traditions. Hungarian shamanism was subsumed by the Christian church, and has largely died off. In this interview, Elizabeth A. Barton, director of the Transformative Healing Center, recounts her childhood memories of being trained in those traditions by her grandparents and mother.
PYN: Can you tell us a bit about your family history?
Elizabeth Barton: It’s all verbal history. My grandmother’s name was Gisella Torpay. Her family lived near Milita on the river Tisa. The family came from the 7th tribe of the Magyar, and they were the herbalists and the spiritual healers. They may have been Rosicrucians also, because my grandmother’s family crest was a mother pelican feeding her seven young with her own blood, and I found out later that that image is for the 13th degree for the Rosicrucians. I frequently asked my mother, why would a landlocked country have pelicans as their family symbol? Maybe it was my families crest first from the time they lived near the sea before the seven tribes moved to the Ural Mountains.
The family was high up in the community, and raised Arabian horses on a huge estate. Every Sunday, they would have the Catholic priest to dinner. They knew how to use the structure of society to hide what they really were. She told me her family was part of a secret sect with a secret society.
My grandmother was the seventh child of a seventh child and had the ability of telekinetics; she could move a thing by thinking it, could see the dead, had the power of healing, and prophecy. As a child, I thought that all grandmothers had the ability to move things across the table. I thought this was normal until I was at a birthday party and a grandmother asked me to pass the ketchup and I said, “Think it to yourself.” My mother laughed, pulled me away, and told me, “We’re different. They don’t understand or have our abilities.” I heard caution in her voice.
My great grandfather had all the “Clairs” clairaudience etcetera, and one deadly gift. He was not allowed to look at any new born human or animal because if he did, it died.
For myself, I have most of the “Clairs.” My odd specialty is if I get into a big emotional trauma, I blow up water heaters and or light bulbs. Now that I know how to manage my Energy, I do not do that anymore. When I was younger I couldn’t wear a watch, it would always break, no matter the brand. It seemed like there was at least one individual born in each generation who has the gift.
PYN: What happened to the Hungarian shamans?
Elizabeth: They were killed in the pogroms, mainly by the Catholic Church, which is why my family went underground with their abilities and held their enemy close.
The history of the Hungarians as told to me by the family is that they were tall blonde-haired, blue-eyed people that came from the stars, settled near the sea, then the seven tribes went to the Ural Mountains for a while, after that three tribes went to become Finland and four went down to become Hungary. My grandmother died when I was 15 and my mother when I was 18, so this is just the memory of what they were telling me around the kitchen table.
PYN: But your grandfather was a shaman, too?
Elizabeth: I’m not sure. He would teach me things, but I don’t know his background. He’d take me into the forest to feel the energy of the trees and he would say to me, “Hold the tree, feel its roots in the earth, and feel how it connects to the sky.” [Tweet this!] Each tree had its own energetic, which he’d take me to feel. Then he’d ask, “If there was an army here, could you feel them?” And I’d say, “yes.”
PYN: You could feel them because the trees could?
Elizabeth: Yes, when you walk, the energy comes out of the bottom of your feet and it’s like you’re moving with, feeling the roots. The tree roots themselves send up energy and messages to you. You can feel them as you walk. You feel them with your hands. You listen to the birds and wind.
We were taught how to project ourselves behind the eyes of the bird (but not into it) to see through its eyes. [Tweet this!] You never possess anything. It’s not your right to go into any persons or any animal’s body. But you can sit behind the eyes of their soul and look. This is distinctive from other shamanic traditions, which do go into the animal’s body. With the Hungarian teaching as I was taught, you sit in their essence but not in their body. And it’s much easier to send up a link to a bird’s astral plane from your astral plane and then look down into the regular plane, rather than invading their body and making them distressed. And you ask permission. You don’t just do it. You ask permission of the plants, the bees, everything. Because everything is sacred, and as you walk it’s a sacred path, and in that sacred moment, everything talks to you.
You’ll notice when you’re in that moment, your breathing shifts. As you’re breathing in, you’re breathing in messages. And when you’re doing that, you can pick up any human disruption of the energy grid of the land. So if someone has done a horrible act on the land – e.g. a massacre – you can feel it. The stones hold the vibration of everything we do. They hold memory. That’s why in so many haunted houses that are torn down, the house that replaces them has the same activity. Because it’s not the house that holds the memory, it’s the land. And that’s why then you do house clearings, like I do, you also have to do the land clearing. Sometimes it’s impossible to clear the land because the site is on a major ley lines (a natural river of energy, positive or negative, produced by the Earth). In that case, all you can do is set up crystals and copper and divert it. But what/where are you diverting it into? Someone else’s house? So you have to be careful of what you’re doing.
PYN: Are ley lines part of Hungarian shamanism?
Elizabeth: Unknown, they use Earth energy but I don’t know the name.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interview tomorrow, when we’ll dig into more details about the shamanic practices of Hungary.