Moak-san  모악산
Holy "Mother-Crags" South of Jeonju
763 M Summit         Host of Geumsan-sa,
the Primary Mireuk-bul Doryang of Korea
The Shiila-Dynasty pagoda of Shimwon-am, nearly lost in the forest
Sacred Sites of Moak-san:

Statue-altar enshrining Korea's mythical founder-king Dan-gun, in Cheonil-am
Mo-ak-san  [母岳山, Mother-Crags Mountain]  is widely renowned for its mystical
qualities in most varieties of Korean spiritual culture, including Buddhism, Daoism, Shamanism and
several associated cults.  It is located in Gimje (金堤) City just south of Jeonju City [全州市, important
center of Joseon Dynasty Neo-Confucian / Royal culture, in the center of North Jeolla Province.

Its name can be interpreted as "Matriarch Peak" or "Matriarchal Peak".  Most of the great mountains west
of the
Baekdu-daegan MainRange are believed to have female Sanshin, great matriarchal mountain-
spirits offering feminine protection (and the eastern peaks are correspondingly male).  The best example
is the
Jiri-san Cheonwang-bong Seongmo-halmae, "grandmother of Korea", a figure related to Mago/Magu,
This mountain might be considered to be one of her primary daughters, the central-root of North Jeolla.
It is the most important member of a Gimaek Range branching-off from the
Honam-Jeongmaek Range.

Its most famous sacred site is the great Geumsan-sa or “Golden-Mountain Temple”, see next page.
Moak-san became a medium-sized Provincial Park in 1972.  Its summit is 793 metres high.
As the Unified Shilla Dynasty dissolved into a 3-way civil war around 900, General Gyeonhwon
founded his "Later Baekje Kingdom" in this area based on the mountain's auspicious spiritual energy
and great reputation, but that lasted less than 20 years.
In the early 20th century, a spiritual adept called Gang Il-sun (a.k.a. Jeung-san Kang; entitled "Jeung-
san Sangje-nim" by his followers) attained a unique enlightenment in Moak-san's Daewon-sa [Great
Origin Temple] after practicing austere meditations, and founded what is now a fairly large cult known
Jeungsan-do [甑山道, Boiler/steamer-pot Mountain Way;  in philosophical usage this jeung has
connotations of vast capacity (like
Mahayana) and also the process of burgeoning;  "Jeungsan" has
been a traditional Korean descriptive term for the highest and/or holiest mountain in an area (such as
Moak-san), and therefore in religious usage, the highest view or truth attainable.

In the early 1980s,
Lee Seung-heun (1950- ) also found his own Daoist-flavored enlightenment and
healing-powers here, at Cheon-il-am [Heaven-One Hermitage, which is now devoted to his
(丹学) or "Dahn World" cult, that has spread internationally under various names and organizations --
such as the Sedona Ilchi Meditation Center (renamed the Sedona Mago Retreat Center) in Sedona,
Arizona, USA.   They teach that Korea has become 'the spiritual center of the world' and that Lee is a
semi-divine spiritual leader leading humanity toward an 'enlightenment revolution' – and that humanity
must give-up nationalistic identities in favor of a single common identity, based upon people's mutual
appreciation of and reliance upon the Earth,   
"Great Immortal Master Il-chi Lee", as he is called by followers, greatly contributed to the 1990s
revival of Korea's spiritual-nationalist movement by mobilizing large numbers to revere Korea's
mythical founder-king
Dan-gun, including his 'Erecting 369 Dan-gun Statues in Korean Elementary
Schoolyards' project that proved controversial (opposed by Protestant Christians) in the late 1990s.  
Lee advances the belief that King Dan-gun practiced an ancient Korean ideology
Hongik Ingan Iwa
 [Widely benefit humanity and rightfully harmonize the world] and that the supposed "ancient
Cheonbu-gyeong [Heavenly-Amulet Sutra] reveals that "Heaven, Earth and Humanity
exist as One in each person".
Southern Moak-san with the magnificent Geumsan-sa Monastery, one of Korea's Top-7