Mircea Eliade - On caves
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
The legend of Epimenides of Crete must also be cited. He ‘slept’ for a long time in the cave of Zeus on Mount Ida; there he fasted and learned prolonged ecstasies. He left the cave a master of ‘enthusiastic wisdom’, that is of the technique of ecstasy.
Retirement to a cave = descent to Hades – is a classic initiatory ordeal, but it is not necessarily shamanic. It is in his ecstasies, his magical cures, his divinatory and prophetic powers that Epimenides approaches the shaman