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Beowulf - The Start of the Quest by Boat

Identifier

004867

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Beowulf is a hero figure – a shaman – with rather unique gifts.  In the following extract we see him setting out symbolically across the sea to perform a spiritually heroic act, notice that he is described as a ‘prince’ thus his route is largely spiritual and intended for good………

A description of the experience

Beowulf

He bade a seaworthy
Wave cutter be fitted out for him, the warrior king
He would seek, he said, over swan’s riding
That lord of great name, needing men.
The wiser sought to dissuade him from voyaging
Hardly or not at all, though they held him dear
They wetted his quest thirst, watched omens
The prince had already picked his men
From the folk’s flower, the fiercest among them
That might be found.  With fourteen men
he sought sound wood; sea wise Beowulf
Led them right down to the land’s edge
…………………..
Away she went over a wavy ocean
Boat like a bird, breaking seas
Wind whetted, white throated
Till the curved prow had ploughed so far
- the sun standing right on the second day –
that they might see land loom on the skyline
then the shimmer of cliffs, sheer fells behind
reaching capes

The source of the experience

Beowulf

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Hero
Spiritual path

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References