Observations placeholder

Mircea Eliade and R Bradley on magical flight and ley lines

Identifier

011441

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A hunter gatherer shaman  would fly out of body over the spiritual landscape looking for game, water, routes through a forest or over difficult terrain.  The spiritual landscape remember mirrors the physical.  On his return he would then describe the key points that had marked his journey – and the people of his tribe or village would then go to great lengths to create a map of the spiritual landscape.

The next stage was to mark out these routes physically so that he or she could use them again.  As every physical change is marked spiritually, a marker stone would show up on the spiritual landscape, so even in ‘flight’ over a spiritual landscape, the way marks and pointers would be capable of being perceived.  Not with the eye obviously but with the inner eye that is used during out of body flight.

A description of the experience

R Bradley – Symbols and Signposts 1994

Farmers define agricultural territories by enclosing them, but hunter gatherers define their territories in a very different way, by monitoring paths running between specific places.  Those places overlook the surrounding land and hunter gatherers define their territories by the views seen from them.  For hunter gatherers, tenure is … ‘one dimensional’ because it is based on places and paths respectively.  Among agriculturalists it is ‘two dimensional’ because it works by delimiting an area of ground.

Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy

In the Far North of Asia, when game becomes scarce, the shaman’s intervention is sometimes sought.  The same is true among the Eskimo and some North American tribes, but these hunting rites cannot be regarded as properly shamanic.  If the shaman appears to play a certain role under these circumstances, it is still always due to his ecstatic abilities; he foresees changes in the atmosphere, enjoys clairvoyance and vision at a distance (hence he can find game); in addition, he has closer relations, of a magico religious nature, with animals.

Divination and clairvoyance are part of the shaman’s mystical techniques.  Thus a shaman will be consulted to find men or animals gone astray in the tundra or the snow, to recover lost objects, and so forth

The source of the experience

Shaman unspecified

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Activity not known

Commonsteps

References