Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Eurasian eagle huntress (photos)

Amber Larson and Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly;
Golden eagle and falconer Ashol Pan Central Asia (Asher Svidensky/BBC News Magazine)

Moon Goddess Artemis
"I am named of olde by Men, Artemis and Cerridwen..." (The Book of Shadows, Lady Sheba).
Even before the ancient Greeks recognized her as Artemis -- Goddess of the Moon, Archery, the Hunt, Katniss to Hollywood, and Diana to the Romans -- the devi (female deva) appeared to inspire others.

Homer in the Illiad (xxi 470 f.) calls her "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals." Here she is celebrated by Bjork and appearing today:

The mythological arrows are no accident
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles.

Kazakh boys in western Mongolia, however, start learning to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. 

Ashol Pan is a good girl and huntress.
Buddhism in Kazakhstan refers to forms of Buddhism especially prevalent along the Silk Road in Central Asia. Its history is closely related to the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism during the first millennium CE. A number of Early Buddhist schools were historically prevalent throughout Central Asia. Three major phases of missionary activities are associated with these chronological sects: Dharmaguptaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mūlasarvāstivāda. The Dharmaguptaka made more efforts than any other sect to spread Buddhism beyond India and Afghanistan, to areas such as Iran (Ariyan-land), other parts of Central Asia [at one time dominated by the ancient Greeks], and China, and they had great success in doing so... More
Map of Kazakhstan (upper left) and Mongolia
Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill as well as the girl, Ashol-Pan

"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. "She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."

Kazakhs have good childhoods (HS-A)
The Kazakhs (Central Asia) of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people who hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practicing falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country's only apprentice huntress. More

Eagle (garuda), pony (named Kanthaka?), and Kazakh falconer Ashol Pan (
A pony and a wandering, nomadic religion (shramanic Buddhism) for Ashol Pan (BBC)

Note the Uggs and harmony between human and animal realms (Asher Svidensky)
There are no such things as unicorns...except for this one and others like it. They have been bred back into existence by careful animal husbandry (

Hunger Games III: "Divergent"

Take a teen angst trip all over again, this time with Shailene Woodley (as Tris Prior) instead of Jen Lawrence. Also starring Kate Winslet and Theo James as the mysterious Four.

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