How it was: SHAMAN’S WORLD – MYSTERIES OF UKOK PRINCESS

How it was: SHAMAN’S WORLD – MYSTERIES OF UKOK PRINCESS

There have been legends about Princess Kadin long before the discovery of her tomb.

“In Southern Altai, on the alpine Ukok Plateau, which rises up 3 km above sea level and has long been considered to be a sacred territory, near the foothills of the great Tabin-Bogdo-Ola mountains, exists a mountainous region called the “Second Layer of Heaven”. It is occupied by the sons of the sky.” The legend says that before the Scythians, who came to this region many thousands of years ago, there were beings with supernatural abilities who had come from other stars to live there. Somewhere among the summits of Tabin-Bogdo-Ola lived the mysterious Huandi with his “team”. Perhaps this “person” was the captain of a spaceship that had brought a team of alien scientists to Earth because according to Scythian legends, after a few years of living on Earth, Huandi and his team walked into a fire-breathing dragon made out of bronze and flew back home to other stars.

Expedition Day 1

The rush of packing settled and we started the big journey to Princess Ukok. The group was predominantly composed of women and from that point we would often laugh and call our team “the female battalion”. Out of 24 participants in the expedition, only one was a man.

In the beginning of the trip we visited the museum in Gorno-Altaisk. There, away from people’s eyes, lays Princess Ukok in a closed sarcophagus. The locals respectfully call her Ochi Bola or Princess Kadin.

We silently communicated with the Princess through the glass and sarcophagus walls and asked her to bless our expedition, to help us overcome any obstacles on our paths and to tell our hearts why we were there.

Standing next to the Princess brought up strange feelings. My fingers started to throb and my chest felt a tightening. Some people’s hearts started to pound.

After having felt this feeling of coming in contact with something indescribable and great, we went on. Our journey took us on a path through beautiful scenes of mountains, valleys and rivers in the Ongudai village region.

Our camp was located in an especially mystical place. We set up camp in colorful Mongol yurts and ailas (national Altai wooden nuts) in the National Uch Enmek Park. The huts are situated in the mountains. The small valley next to the mountain foothills was covered in mountain ridges from all sides.

It was symbolic that the custodian of this area was a local shaman, the head of the Altai Shaman Association. Some time ago there was a big ceremony for various shamans from Altai, Mongolia and South America that happened there. This was, undoubtedly, a good sign for our expedition. In the evening, after the sauna, we gathered in one of the ailas and contacted the Spirit of Fire to guide us between worlds, and to pray and ask the Great Spirit of Altai and Siberia and the spirits of the region and the spirit of the local shaman for help and blessings.

Expedition Day 2

It was a wonderful morning! Everyone was well rested even though the Spirits that lived in this area decided to play around during the night and bang on the walls of our huts. Olga, the tour guide, told us that the locals called these spirits “Almisi” (local yetis). It is said that when the Almisi pound on the walls, they are expressing their curiosity and checking out who has come to visit their land.

Breakfast served on the second day is a special event. During our meal, we listened about the mystery of how the raw material of food is transformed into the subtle energies. With every word, we were exposed to more and more Knowledge. By eating each bite with conscious awareness in such a sacred setting, we could truly start to comprehend how food intake can be an avenue towards spiritual development.

Then we went on an excursion. We were introduced to the traditions, local customs and the history of inhabitants of Altai.

We visited the Karakol Valley and saw the famous petroglyphs (rock drawings). The culmination of the excursion was seeing the Karakol burial mounds monument. In the middle of a meadow, there were the remains of an ancient structure consisting of stone steles. There were three pieces of broken stone steles with chiseled symbols and signs at the top of an imaginary equilateral triangle. One stele stood in the middle of the triangle. There are theories that this structure is related to the Stonehenge group and was used by ancient cultures to transmit information.

“It could definitely be felt that there used to be an ancient culture there. It is obviously difficult for us to understand what type of information is stored in those stones, but the sensations and beauty remain. We were shown two elk facing opposite directions. Through their horns, the elk transmit the energy of the sun. You could feel the spirit of an ancient civilization. It felt that there was something alive in the petroglyphs, wanting to communicate.”

(Marina, Ekatirenburg).

After the excursion, we continued our journey to our next destination — the camp, situated not far from the Aktash village.

After a heartwarming dinner at camp, we went for a quick hike to our first shaman ceremony.

At the ceremony, we greeted the spirits. To the beat of the drums and the sound of the homuz (lip harp) we experienced the unification of our spirits with the subtle spirits of Altai. We made contact and felt the support of the Higher Powers. This was important for us to experience, because we would be hiking up to the Ukok Plateau and this wouldn’t be an easy journey.

After, there was a very sacred and touching ritual next to the fire. The leader of our expedition gave each of the participants a small glass bottle with a cork. These bottles were meant to be filled with a little dirt from the Altai lands. Feeling a burst of energy, we passed the bottles from hands to hands, looking each other in the eyes, and filled them with wishes and light intentions for the expedition.

 

Expedition Day 3

We all felt excitement to be meeting the new day in the mountains. A light run in the morning next to the Chuy River filled us with joy and energy. During the run, we took a cue from the bison, who move through the wilderness as one big family, protecting and supporting the weaker members of the herd by moving in one rhythm with them and transferring energy between each other. The faster ones didn’t run ahead of the slower people, but rather ran in circles around the slower people and shared their energy and support with them.

After breakfast we went on an excursion to the “Kalbak-Tush” petroglyph complex. This was a wondrous place, where people from different epochs and civilizations left information about their lives and worldview for us to witness.

 

The symbols on the rocks tell stories. The tour guide, a local teacher, born and raised in Altai, was able to share with us the relationship and feelings that the Altaians have for their land and history. The Sanctuary of Goddess Umai was especially a point of interest for our group because according to legends, it gave women special powers.

Next, we were surprised with an unusual gift, a challenge — to river raft down the Chuy River. Our initial mixed feelings were replaced with intense emotions, especially after we successfully completed the waterways. This small extreme adventure gave us the opportunity to see how each of us acts in critical situations and to identify what was our leading decision-making center — intellectual, emotional or kinetic. This was a very useful exercise for self-awareness.

Also, this was a great way to test our resistance to wet and cold weather before our ascent to Ukok Plateau.

“It was my first time river rafting. So many emotions and feelings! I felt that I came in contact with some feeling that had been dormant within me, something alive and real. Thanks to rafting that something came alive, woke up within me and made me want to live a full, exciting, real life!!!”

(Valentina, Moscow).

In the evening, we wished one of the participants of the expedition, Natalia, a happy birthday from all of our hearts. We wished this woman with a beautiful smile all of the best.

Expedition Day 4

We spent almost the entire day on the road. Our crew consisted of a UAZ jeep and a big URAL truck, that reminded me of the car from the movie “Nochnoi Dozor.” The beautiful scenic forests in the beginning of the trip turned into desert steppes as we ascended into the mountains. After passing the border post we moved to the next point of our journey. The weather had been pretty bad for several weeks in that area, and there had been snowfall the previous night on the mountain pass that we needed drive over. But as we started to make our way into the mountains, we were surprised with a miracle — the sun came out and started shining over the land behind us as we drove on.

“Being on the mountain pass at 2,500ft, you could feel the power of that place. The air was icy and rarefied. We tied ribbons as a way to greet the spirits and ask them for their permission to access the place where the Spirit of the Ukok Plateau resides. It was very beautiful in this place. There are glaciers that do not melt even in the summer there. I’m curious to know what is in store for us…”

(Tatiana, Chelyabinsk).

The first stop was at the Djumaliskiye Springs. This is a beautiful valley with life-giving springs. They are venerated by the Altai people for being a sacred place protected by the Spirit Aiami.

According to legend, this Spirit comes to people who visit this place in their dreams in the form of a beautiful 18-year old woman on a horse. The waters here are considered to be healing. The locals bring multicolored beads as presents to Spirit Aiami when they visit.

After dinner by a fire, we made gifts for the Spirit Aiami out of yarn, because we didn’t have any beads. We sang songs and made the ornaments with love and asked the Spirit for various things. Some people asked for happiness, some people asked for healing and some people asked for warmth during the cold night.

The night was truly cold, but in the morning there was a warm fire and hot tea waiting for us.

Expedition Day 5

In the morning we saw another sign that the road to the destination of the expedition was open for us. The clouds parted in the sky and the sun shined on us. The groundskeeper of the springs told us that a local shaman had communicated with the spirits and that the spirits had seen that light beings had entered the valley and cleared the grey skies for them for the first time in many weeks.

Then, we were back on the road. We still had the most difficult part of the journey before us. The road led us through the mountains. We progressed at the speed of about 5km/hour. It took us almost 6 hours to cover the territory. We were exhausted but the beauty of our destination was worth the road!

The view of the Ukok Plateau surrounded by the snow-covered mountain ranges where clouds are born was incredible. We made camp on a riverbank of a mountain stream. The water looked white because it was mixed with white clay from the ground. This looked like the Belovodiye (white waters) that is said to be at the gate of Great Shambala.

In the evening, there was a shamanic ritual held to cleanse the heart and to ask for permission to enter the sacred space of Ochi Bola’s (Princess Ukok’s) burial. After the ritual all the participants felt their spirits heightened and the sense of having their hearts healed.

Expedition Day 6

The long-awaited day of August 4th finally arrived. We congratulated each other for on this day, it was the Great White Shaman’s birthday. He had changed the lives of every single one of the participants by making this expedition possible. Each person felt the warmth of love and gratitude in their hearts towards him. Little surprises started happening for us from the very beginning of the day. First, we were approached by the border patrol and we did the registration right at camp, so we didn’t have to waste precious time to travel to their patrol post. Then another participant of the expedition joined us — Alexei! Another man joined our ranks after having traversed many obstacles.

 

The road to the burial site of the Princess went through the plateau and we got to enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains and clouds decorously drifting above the peaks. We communicated silently, in our minds, with Princess Ukok and prepared to meet her. When we got there, we got in a circle around the rocks from the burial mound and started beating our drums to one beat and tuned in with the vibrations of the sacred place. We could feel strong vibrations from all directions and suddenly strange unbelievable things started to happen. The rocks around us started to shake. Some of us experienced very clear visions, some of us felt shifts in awareness.

“I felt myself traveling to another era. I saw a beautiful structure with a baptistry. It was as if the princess was guiding me, walking with me. I asked her, ‘How did you die?’ She laughed and said, ‘I didn’t.’ Then I asked the priests and they said, ‘She didn’t die. Why can’t you comprehend this?’ She is alive. She has just moved to another plane of existence. We don’t consider this as dying, because when she died, she instructed us on how to mummify her.’ She instructed them how to correctly lay her down so that she could preserve the information that she transmits as a code of power. She knows about us, she knows about our goals and is happy that we came here and that she has the chance to transmit to us her blessings so that we many protect and save the planet. She told us that we should be happy and take care of the planet. She loves the sun very much. I see her marveling at the sun. She is raising her arms and saying, ‘Dance! Laugh!’…”

After we shared our experiences, it became evident that we were given some energetic “capsules” in order to transmit the energy into the world. We had been called upon by Princess Ukok to revive the power that her burial mound, an energetic source, had lost.

There was a festive dinner waiting for us back at camp. It was another participant, Taisia’s, birthday that day. The fact that there were two celebratory occasions was significant for us. Two solar returns was a sign of a new beginning for all of us.

According to the tradition, a shamanic fire was lit when it got dark and the Great Shaman revealed to us his sacred knowledge. Through the shamanic ritual, each participant was given the opportunity to remember his origins, where in the Universe he had come from, and what his purpose was on Earth.

“When we were on the Ukok Plateau, I asked the princess where she was from. She pointed to a star and I thought that perhaps it was Sirius. When I asked where I was from, she pointed to the same star. Then, when we entered a state of trance, I saw a green glow coming from another planter. There were many of us and we were ascending up a mountain. That’s when I realized that we could all directly communicate with God. We were sitting down and God was speaking with us! He said that we must incarnate upon planet Earth, where there are people who don’t believe in God and we must help them awaken. He said that this was a frightening state to be in — to not believe in God! ‘What a terrifying planet!’ I became very scared to incarnate on this planet, but I was told that this was the 9th branch. I sat and watched and continued to be afraid. I couldn’t stop thinking about how frightening this planet would be and how scary it must be for beings to inhabit it. Then, we were told to return and it happened so quickly that I didn’t want to leave that state of being able to directly communicate with God. But we were told that we would be able to return to him and I became more calm. However, the feeling of missing home remains…”

(Svetlana, Barnaul)

 

Expedition Day 7

On the day of our departure from the Ukok Plateau we awoke to a rising sun bathing in a thick, milky fog. This breathtaking view was just a precursor to something even more amazing. As the fog cleared, a white arc formed above our heads. This was an unusual natural phenomenon and reminded us of white marble gates. Everyone got the feeling that these were the gates to the legendary Shambala.

The journey back was long. We covered the distance it took us two days to cover on the way there, in one day.

When we got back to camp, unbelievable surprises were waiting for us. That day, it was another birthday of one of the participants. In response to her birthday wishes, Elena, told each person their fortune and what was expecting them in the future. Her words carried weight and resonated with us.

 

Afterwards, there was a sauna ritual. After experiencing such intense energetic flow on the Ukok Plateau, we felt cleansed and rejuvenated in the sauna. The ritual was accompanied by a joyful and fun mood and it was so great to go down to the river, running by barefoot on the bridges under the moonlight and dip into the river’s cool waters after the sauna steam.

Expedition Day 8

After loading our belongings into the UAZ trucks we continued on our way. The road continued amazing us with the beautiful landscapes of Altai, the mountains, the lakes. After making it past a mountain pass called the “Red Gates” we saw another astoundingly beautiful Altai landscape — the Katu-Yarik pass. The pass is about 700m tall and from this height you can see the beautiful valley below. On the bottom of the canyon there is a mountain river and a big waterfall can be seen pouring over from a cliff. It can be accessed as a source of refreshment it you descend down to it. Standing above this sight, you feel like a bird, soaring over the canyon, with your wings spread out and riding on the wind streams. Our next stop was a small wonderful camp called “Red Mushrooms” on the bank of the Chulimshan River. We felt very welcome in this secluded place.

After dinner, during which we all shared our impressions, we took our drums and went up the mountain a bit. There, amongst the birch trees, was a fire burning and we united with the Great Spirit of Altai to the sound of shamanic instruments. It was a very deep experience and you could hear how affected everyone was by the way participants described their emotions after the ritual.

During the ritual, the Spirit of Altai came to every participant in a different form and feeling. He blessed every student to follow their chosen path.

Expedition Day 9

The start of the new day was accompanied with the sound of drizzle melodically breaking the silence of the mountains. The weather was conducive to a meditative state.

At 10am we all crossed the Chulishman River and started making our ascent up the side of the mountain. The steep climb was about 50 meters, but after we made it up, a beautiful scene opened itself to us. The cone-shaped grey mountains were covered in black elongated upright stones that looked like some strange-looking mushrooms. The whole group experienced joy at the sight of these and we were all in good spirits on the way down, laughing and singing songs.

Next, we continued our journey in our trusty UAZ trucks to the Teletskoye Lake. There we would be embarking on a boat adventure. As we made our way on the speed boats over the far-reaching smooth surface of the water, we took in the beautiful landscapes of lake banks. According to legends, the Teletskoye Lake is a portal to the world of Erlik.

We visited the Korbu Waterfall. It isn’t very big, but it is a very powerful waterfall. You could feel the vibrations of the water falling just by standing nearby. There were some shops next to the waterfall, selling traditional Altai goods like small trinkets made out of natural materials, herbs and souvenirs.

In the evening, back at the camp on the bank of the Biy River, more sauna rituals were waiting for us. This time we used the power of the Altai land to charge up our family clan. Every participant was able to charge his family clan with the power of the region that we were able to absorb through out the expedition.

Expedition Day 10

We all felt a little sad in the morning of this final day before our departure. We had all gotten very close to each other over the ten days. The forest around us was full of lush vegetation. We found a cozy meadow, where we went to do the final shamanic lesson of the expedition.

During the lesson we were able to learn about the secret of communicating with the dead and how to discover the knowledge that our ancestors had about existence. We were able to ask a question to our dead relatives through a special ritual.

This experience of contacting the dead was very emotional. One participant was able to contact her mother who had passed exactly 40 days before. She was able to get answers to unresolved questions. Some people cried from emotion over the information they received from their ancestors. We all received a very powerful tool to help us in this world through communicating with the world of the past.

“I tuned into my grandfather, but I saw my sister and father, who were the most recent to pass. There were a lot of dark figures standing behind them and I got the feeling that they had passed without notice, that they’re not remembered. I asked my sister, ‘Why is our clan like this? What happened? Why are we all suffering?’ Then I saw the next picture: A woman in a black headdress, like a widow, is sitting washing clothes in a river. Then, overwhelmed with emotion, she drowns herself. This was a relative. I hear the name Glafira. When I asked, ‘What can I do for my clan to save it?’ I am told that I have already done plenty for it. My sister also said that I am doing everything right. She said she even felt slightly jealous and sent me an emotion of ‘if I could, I would be with you in this school.’ When she was alive, I used to give her books to read and music from the school to listen to. Back then she said, ‘I like it, but I have doubts.’ Then she died not long after that. My sister said in my vision, ‘If I had believed you, if I had been open to this knowledge, I probably wouldn’t have died.’ Then I had the feeling that I was in the kingdom of Erlik and what could I do right then? Then I started to feel light, as if it the light was cleansing my soul and filling me up. Then everything suddenly disappeared.”

(Ishtubi, Pechoga).

 

Before the first group left, we all put all of the things we had accumulated over the 10 days, souvenirs, presents, on a table and charged them with positivity by walking around them and thinking good thoughts. This state of positivity and spiritual closeness passed into our goodbyes. We all hugged and told each other our blessings and wishes.

Our expedition to the Ukok Plateau had come to an end. But our journeys weren’t over Each participant’s heart was charged with Princess Ukok’s transformational energy given to us to carry into the world and share with other people.

“My mom came to me. She was young, like a photograph and I haven’t even seen her like that in real life. Then my grandmother came. I only had one question: ‘How can we put an end to the war in Ukraine?’ My family tree from the Ukraine came to me. It was terrifying. There were beings hanging from it, their faces contorted in grimaces. I said, ‘Where is the Ukrainian Spirit?’ Then I saw a small golden deer. I asked, ‘How is he sitting in the darkness? How can I help him?’ They said that not enough of Ukrainian songs were being sung. I said, ‘Show me the spirit. What does it look like?’ Then a young woman appeared, but not like the ones drawn in Ukrainian books. Then I saw Ukrainian poets and they were holding on to the family tree. Then this tree turned into a giant woman and there was a sky filled with stars above her head and in her hand there was a spindle made out of stars. I asked, ‘What is that?’. She answered that these were the fates of Ukrainian people.”

(Svetozara, Donetsk).

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