Mircea Eliade - The Altai and the Tree of Life
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Patterns in Comparative Religion – Mircea Eliade
The Altai peoples believed... that 'at the earth's navel grows the highest tree of all, a giant fir whose branches rise up to the home of Bai-Ulgen' – that is to heaven. Often this tree is found at the top of a mountain, at the centre of the earth. The Abakhan Tatars talk of an iron mountain on which there grows a seven branched birch tree, which apparently symbolises the seven heavens – an ideogram which seems to be Babylonian in origin. In the hymns of the Vasyugan Ostiak shamans, the cosmic tree, like the sky, has seven levels; it passes through all the heavenly spheres and buries its roots in the depths of the earth.....