Symbols – Picts – Constellation - Centaur [Centaurus]
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Centaurs are hybrids – half animal half human, and a ‘Means of Transport’. Depending on which animal is the ‘other half’ they take on the attributes of that animal. Thus as the majority of centaurs are half horse they tend to take on the symbolism of the horse. At the most simple level, the centaur is simply another representation of the shaman in ecstatic flight – a symbol of the ability of a person to ‘fly’ [out of body] like a horse.
The symbolism for the centaur is described in full in the entry in the symbol section found by using the link.
Pictish stones were used as signposts. They described in pictures the sacred site to which the pilgrim was being directed, they gave directions in which it was to be found and they gave the constellations that could be used for navigation by the stars. Every constellation has a symbol and each picture of the symbol then maps onto the constellation.
Centaurus - There are two constellations that use centaurs as a symbol. Centaurus and Sagittarius. Centaurus is a bright constellation in the southern sky . One of the largest constellations, Centaurus was included among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.
Pictish Cross Slab, Glamis Manse, Angus - See figure top right