See also cross.
The Orans is a posture that people sometimes unconsciously adopt during spiritual experience, but is also found extensively as a symbol of experience.
Manic Depression and Creativity – D Jablow Hershman and Dr Julian Lieb
The experiences of diagnosed manic depressives converge with that of saints and mystics...........
When a person in acute mania goes rigid in a rush of exultation, he throws his head back, rolls his eyes heavenwards, smiles ecstatically and extends his arms as though to welcome bands of angels.
This is remarkably like the pose and facial expression found for centuries in paintings of saints, the Virgin Mary and other holy figures either on their way to or already in heaven.
It seems the look of a religious person in acute manic ecstasy was well known in less secular times than ours.
It is not, as some people appear to believe a conscious posture, although it has been incorporated as a ritual gesture within some religions, where it is meaningless, because it is an empty gesture. It is also not an attitude of prayer or deliverance.
If shown in any form of ancient drawing or statuary it was an indication that those people had obtained a profound spiritual experience of some sort – a vision for example or even ecstasy. Where a female figure in an Orans posture was placed over the tomb of a man it meant he had indeed achieved both ecstasy and the chemical wedding.
One of the oldest depictions of the orans position can be seen in the ‘stag man’ of Val Camonica [below left] in Italy, one of a number of rock carvings made by a people who were likely Celts. The figure was carved in the fourth cent BC. It is a figure of a man with antlers, who wears a long robe, and has his arms raised in the orans position. Around his right and possibly his left arm are loops which may represent torcs or bracelets, while underneath his left arm is a curved line which may represent a snake, symbol of kundalini energy.
Another set of images found on the Internet.
The photos show an unusually large and enigmatic sculpture. It is 43 inches high (109.2 cm.) and depicts a hermaphrodite figure – bearded and with distended breasts. A hermaphrodite [Androgyny] figure shows a shaman or priest who has achieved union with their Higher spirit.
Both arms are raised high. The expression is intense, the mouth is open, the nose is elongated and the eyes are bulging – see Staring and bulging eyes.
He has a top-knot on his head. This is the symbolic crown – the ‘crown chakra’.
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- A golden shaft of light beamed down through the middle part of his body
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