Event Category: Kâmbo/Toad Venom
THE LAND OF THE EAGLES
This highly energizing 7 day Sacred Mythic Journey centers around The Golden Eagle Festival which is a 7 day event held annually at the beginning of October in Bayan Olgii province. It is dedicated to an ancient tradition of eagle hunting practiced by the Kazakh ethnic minority residing in Western Mongolia.
FIVE MOUNTAIN SAINTS OF MONGOLIA
The Altai Tavan Bogd (Five Saints) mountains of Bayan Olgii province in Mongolia are the highest peaks in the Mongol Altai Range, which stretches some 2,000km (1,250mi) from the Gobi desert to the Greater Himalaya in Pakistan and Russia on the North. It is composed of different types of shale, granites and other rocks of paleozois age and is home to golden eagle, wolf and snow leopard. The Five Saints include Mt Khuiten (4,354m), Mongolia’s highest peak, Mt Nairandal (Friendship), which marks the intersection of the borders of Russia, China and Mongolia, and Mt Snow Church (4,100m), arguably the most beautiful mountain in NE Asia.
SUCH EYE DAZZLING BEAUTY TO BEHOLD
Lush alpine pastures make ideal grazing lands during the summer months and local herders bring their herds of yaks, sheep and horses, adding a cultural element to the mountains. Among the many glaciers of Mongolia, the biggest one is located in Altai Tavan Park and called Tsagaan-gol, situated in the upper reaches of a river of the same name, attaining a length of over 20 km.
THE KAZAKHS ARE HIGHLY SKILLED HUNTERS OF THE REGION
The Kazakhs use three types of eagle for hunting. The most common one is the Mountain Eagle also known as the Golden Eagle. Both, for entertainment and passion, handsome hunters in their traditional costumes and red fox fur hats gather from all over Mongolia and neighboring Kazakhstan to put on an amazing display of their skills as hunters, as tamers and trainers of eagles. Kazakhs only hunt with female birds, as the male eagles are smaller and not as good at hunting. The eagle hunters usually catch four or five foxes in a day’s hunting, as well as some smaller prey, such as marmots. If they are lucky, the hunters might even score a wolf.
TESTED FOR MASTERY AND PASSION
First, the contesters are tested how well the eagles know their masters. The birds are released one at the time from the peak of a mountain and are expected to find their owners down at the foot. Judges time how long it takes the eagle to land on its master’s arm. On the final day of the festival, the eagle hunters drag fox and rabbit skins behind their horses, and the eagles are judged on how well they hunt their “prey”.
SURVIVING THE TIDES OF CHANGE
Shamanism in Mongolia, embedded in the nomadic life style of the people since ancient times, has managed to survive against enormous odds, including centuries of persecution by Buddhists and Stalinist efforts to eradicate this ancient tradition.
COMMUNICATORS WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD
Mongolian shamanism, more broadly called the Mongolian folk religion, or occasionally Tengerism, refers to the animistic and shamanic ethnic religion that has been practiced in Mongolia and its surrounding areas (including Buryatia and Inner Mongolia) at least since the age of recorded history. In the earliest known stages it was intricately tied to all other aspects of social life and to the tribal organization of Mongolian society. Along the way, it has become influenced by and mingled with Buddhism. During the socialist years of the twentieth century it was heavily repressed and has since made a comeback.
THE MONGOLS BELIEVED THAT THE MOUNTAINS WERE BRIDGES BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
The Mongols were animists and shamanists who believed that medicine men-like shamans had the power to communicate with the gods, heal the sick and predict the future. The supreme Mongol deity was Tengri, the ruler of heaven. The Mongols believed that mountains were bridges between heaven and earth. Even today some Mongolia discourage the digging of wells and mines because they don’t want to disturb, the spirits in the earth. Important animal symbols included: the hawk, Genghis Khan’s favorite bird, and wild geese, symbols of heros roaming the steppes in search of a home.
HORSES CARRY THE SHAMAN TO HEAVEN
Horses sacrifices and divinization with bones was practiced. Horses are still sacrifice today. Their dried corpses are hung from long sticks in the Altai Mountain region of Mongolia. This ritual is performed because it is believed that only a sacrificed horse can carry the shaman to heaven.
-Comfortable accommodations throughout the journey
-All in-country local ground transportation
-Healthy and balanced fresh food diet, juices and herbal teas
-Welcome celebration meal and farewell meal
-Local national park entrance fees
-Transformational workshops and/or ceremonies
-Inspirational facilitators, guides and shamans
-Private one-on-one consultations (if requested)
-15% of your total contribution goes towards supporting local indigenous communities
What’s NOT Included:
-International and in-country domestic flights
-Personal travel and medical insurance (optional)
-Essential kit list items
-Private taxi to/from local airport before and after the journey
-Extra personal expenses (e.g. Snacks & drinks in-between meals, clothes washing)
Terms & Conditions
-Cancellations made more than 2 months from the journey start date will be fully refunded but excluding a 50% cancellation fee.
-Cancellations made within 2 months of the journey start date are fully non-refundable.
UP AND COMING JOURNEY DATES
First Quarter Moon of the 4th October – Full Moon of the 10th October 2019
Full Moon of the 3rd October – Last Quarter Moon of the 9th October 2020
New Moon of the 5th October – First Quarter Moon of the 11th October 2021