Lake Baikal rivals the Grand Canyon in sheer magnificence–possessing an almost other worldly feel. Visiting there 3 previous times through Sacred Earth Network my jaw always dropped in wonder: “How could this place really be!?”
This time I am leading a shamanic pilgrimage there. What follows is an itinerary and below that the messages I sent to a small group of friends who had gone on previous trips with me AND the group that is forming. You will see the evolution of the trip as it stands on 1/14/14 and the price. And btw, the weather at that time is warm and nurturing…
July 29-leave NY or other cities.
July 30. Arrive Moscow late morning, early afternoon, settle into 8 hour layover at countryside hotel, leave for Ulan Ude in evening ( there have never been earlier flights, long story). Overnight flight.
July 31th Arrive Ulan Ude in morning, capital of Buryatia. Check in Geser Hotel. Rest, welcoming ceremony at Geser Boosa shrine ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_King_Gesar for general info on King Gesar). Rest.
August 1. Visit famous Tibetan Buddhist temple (Ivolginsky) with legend of incredible phenomenon of Khamba Lama Itygelov. (previous email.) Return to hotel.
August 2-5 Tolonki island on Lake Baikal. Camp out 3 nights. Immerse in beauty of lake. Ceremony to honor spirits. Head south to the land of the Soyots on the evening of the 4th. Overnight Arshan
August 6- Tunka– Bukha Noyon sacred site, Burkhan Baabai sacred site
August 7-9 Oka–Arrival to the foothills of Munku-Saridag, the highest peak of Sayan Mountains. Meeting with Soyots and Norhu Lama. Nature and culture of Oka
August 11-Tunka. Leave for Irkutsk
August 12–return to Moscow but this time take in main part of city, visit Red Square, eat in famous Georgian restaurant.
August 13-Depart Moscow for home cities.
#1 Next summer is coming up fast. I remain very excited about going to Lake Baikal (please google it if you want to know more about the deepest, oldest lake in the world holding 1/5 of the planet’s fresh water!). Baikal is not only one of the GREAT ecological wonders but it’s surroundings are inhabited by the Buryat people who have called it home for over 8000 years. It is these people we will get to know more closely. We will listen to them while listening to The Lake… and learn from their traditional culture as well as share from our hearts our hopes for real peace and environmental sanity. As part of this cultural exchange we will visit local shamans and take part in ceremony. As with any trip of this kind, we will let Spirit lead, allowing what is most beneficial to arise without insisting on any particular agenda. Our intention of CONNECTING to the land and its people has great power. We will travel through Moscow to Ulan-Ude (or first Irkutsk and take trans-Siberian around southern tip of lake). From there our wonderful host and main translator Erjen Khamaganova will show us her land and her people…. There may be an opportunity to go all the way to the north of the lake by plane (1.5 hr) from Ulan-Ude to Severobaikalsk where the Evenki people live. They are the people who coined the term shaman. This trip would be optional and the group would decide once I have more info.
The trip dates are July 29- August 13, 2014.
Price $2600 plus the cost of overseas and in-country airfare and visa. Approximate fares are $600 Moscow–Ulan Ude (or return Irkutsk) plus $200 to Severobaikalsk if we do that trip [unlikely as of 1/9/14/. Flights will be cheaper the earlier we book. New York-Moscow apx $1000. Trip officially begins and ends in Moscow.
Price includes all meals, ground transportation, and accommodations except incidentals,alcohol,and gifts.
Sadly, we will miss Mongolia this time. Upon reflection it seemed like too much traveling and a serious added expense for some people. I’m ready to receive a deposit of $600 to hold your place (Refundable until April 1) before I put it out to a wider audience. You can paypal me to my email address to make it easy or send me a check to 42 Glasheen Rd, Petersham MA 01366. Several of you have said “I’m in” and I know who you are. I’m happy to talk with u more by phone to give you a fuller picture… and this is as much as Erjen and I know at the moment… as we let the spirits (which include your spirit guides) create this!
From the central spiral of the Hunab Ku ( remind me to tell you about the Mayan connection to the Lake at some point)
Affectionately and appreciatively:
PS. We will try to spend as much time on the land as we can without camping extensively. Erjen asked me if I thought it was OK for us to share our insights/feelings with the locals. I said that was a wonderful question and yes because we are humble enough to listen not just speak ( trying our best to represent the West in a good way (-: ). She and I reminded each other that one of the key reasons for doing this trip is VALIDATING the importance of indigenous culture for the people themselves, especially the younger members.
#2 Hi All:
I’ve been speaking with our main interpreter and host Erjen Khamaganova. She and I have been discussing different ways of exploring the Lake (and its environs). There is an opportunity to travel extensively by boat (usually people get to places by car along the coastline) and to visit a very impressive Buddhist temple with the possibility of “experiencing the incredible phenomenon of Khamba Lama Itygelov.” This is in addition to meeting various shamans and other Native people of the land.
The journey is starting to become more real and getting more exciting by the moment! I will be presenting a few options to you when they become more fleshed out for your preferences.I wanted to get this email out to this small group (adding a few more who recently expressed interest) before I send a notice out to my whole list and fill the trip.
Thanks to a few of you who have already sent in your deposit or are about to!No worries if you can’t make it this time around. Wishing you the very best on this fine day, Bill
After seeing the ice drummers and re-reading Shanar (see the links below) I am FEELING THE SPIRIT of Lake Baikal more and more. That spirit is so magnificent and ineffable.. where the healing waters made of liquified starlight adds immeasurably to the well being of planet Earth (1/5th of non-ice freshwater!!)… And I’m also noticing how that magic lake provides a unique energetic “stamp” to the surrounding animals/humans and plants….
I’m writing to ask—if you have not done so already— to set your intention and do some dreaming on this trip. Please ask your spiritual guidance to connect with the land and people and to glean the messages/images/instructions for you and us. Let me know what you come up and share with me or the rest of the group if you like.
In January I will send you a registration form and a release form. Please get that to me by the end of the month.
- Be prepared to send 80% of the trip cost by April 1. ( I will give you an exact number before then based on what I said in my original email)
- Make sure your passport is valid and find out where the nearest Russian consulate is to get a Russian visa. You will not be able to actually get the visa until we get closer to departure but I wanted to give you the heads up… AND I will help you with this if necessary.)
This is thrown in to make you feel extra good. 🙂
For Earth and Spirit,