Haunting. Visionary. Magical. Disturbingly beautiful—or is it beautifully disturbing? Both, to be sure.
These are the adjectives that my muse has conjured up for me to describe my experience of reading Dr. Olga’s books. As Dr. Olga Kharitidi, a Russian psychiatrist from Siberia, she is the author of two non-fiction works, Entering the Circle (1997), and The Master of Lucid Dreams (2001), which describe her spiritual quest for greater self-knowledge and healing, both for herself and for others–her patients, and maybe the entire planet. Under the name Olga Yahontova, she is the author of a work of “transformational fiction,” Michael Gate (2013).
Allow me to back up a bit. I’m at the august stage of my life and career where I only read books that call out to me. By chance, I came across a reference to her first book, Entering the Circle, in something I was already reading, and it made me curious. Something “clicked.” I had been called.
A quick web search was not too informative. Dr. Olga has no social media accounts, and does not court publicity. And I could only find a few scattered references to her work. A radio interview (now available as podcast), as well as a newspaper article from 1996 or 1997. There were a couple of workshop announcements from that same time period. She was referred to as “the Russian Castenada,” for her role in popularizing the Altai shamanism of Siberia, and her several apprenticeships with shamans and spiritual teachers. At some point she emigrated to the United States. But instead of going the workshop/New Age celebrity/Spiritual Teacher route, she evidently chose to concentrate on using her hard-won esoteric knowledge in her psychiatric practice. From what I can gather, she works in a California psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane.
In my initial web search, even before I read her books, I also came across a piece from her (long since discontinued) blog that I liked so much, I quoted it in entire in a previous entry of this blog, “The Beginning of the End of Answerism.”
In strongly disclaiming possession of ANSWERS that can be neatly packaged and marketed, it strikes me that she is ironically identifying herself as a true spiritual teacher: a genuine seeker after truth and wholeness, which is etymologically related to the word “healing.” This quality is exactly what led me to read her books. I knew there must be wisdom in them. No wonder she wanted no part of the New Age Carnival.
I was not disappointed. Indeed, I know her works will repay rereading. I know this because, since my initial reading, I have been gifted with a vivid intensification of my dreams as well as the occurrence of several interesting synchronicities that revived archetypal patterns from past synchronistic experiences. In short, I am intrigued.
Dr. Olga Kharitidi, I am also grateful. I wish you well, wherever you are, and wherever you are going in your journey.