Keeping the spirit paths open
Type of Spiritual Experience
Not a spiritual experience but useful background information.
We have seen that there are numerous places worldwide that display signs of a spiritual landscape having been mapped out and indeed recreated on the physical landscape. In effect the spiritual objects and flight paths are marked out on the actual landscape, the routes and special sites found. The tribe or group makes a map on the landscape itself. It places markers where the paths are, it places shrines where it may have met a spirit, it may site cairns or barrows where its people have met the spirits of dead ancestors.
But what I have not yet described is the fact that many tribes then go to some lengths to ensure the paths are kept ‘open’ by ritually walking them or sweeping them. They keep the map from being lost.
A description of the experience
Paul Devereux – Shamanism and the Mystery Lines
The path ran from a river in a straight line to the centre of town, where it seemed to disappear under a building...... this was the physical trace of a spirit path which continued straight on, but only in aluna, to another river.
The cleaning of the path was a physical, some might say, symbolic act, which the supervising Mamas were transforming into a cleansing in aluna...it required 'a certain adjustment of perspective.. to think of relatively mundane work such as path cleaning as an out of body experience'............. All this puts the curious practise of ritual sweeping into place. We recall that Gary Urton witnessed the ritual sweeping of the town square in an Andean community...... Further, we noted that from her studies at Nazca, Helaine Silverman suspected …. that the pampa lines had been ritually swept in their heyday............. We should not suppose that ritual sweeping is just an Andean phenomenon – it occurs in ancient traditions of the Indo-European world, too. For instance, several survivals occur or are documented in folk ceremony in Britain. The annual 'Plough Stots' at Goatland, North Yorkshire involves a … man dressed as a woman, a 'Betty', who carries a broom and ritually sweeps the road.