Some science behind the scenes

Sacred geography - mapping the spiritual onto the physical

 

Whenever a shaman 'flies' in an out of body state over the spiritual landscape, what he may be seeing is a 'copy' in software terms of the physical landscape, as such there can be a one to one correspondence between physically perceived things and the spiritually perceived things. In genuine out of body 'flight', the shaman can survey for game and water, mark out territories, survey the terrain in general to look for routes to new areas of hunting and fishing and he can also search for healing plants. As he has shamanic capabilities, he may be accompanied by animal helpers and may ‘see’ spirit figures in his travels – these of course are not physically perceived they are ‘disembodied’.

The next logical stage, if this information is to be used by his group, is to try to map what he has seen, thus he may produce maps on vellum or in stone which represent the landscape he has travelled over. This serves to help others in his group, who also have shamanic capabilities, share knowledge, and serves to identify water and other landmarks in the spiritual and thus physical landscape.

The third stage, however, may be to mark out on the actual landscape, the routes and special sites found. In effect, 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 and where they have identified a route for the dead to go – so called corpse roads.

 

Beckensall 1992 – Prehistoric Rock Motifs in Northumberland
Someone was marking the routes to define territorial division, hunting grounds and the way to sacred places

This mapping of the spiritual onto the physical landscape is a worldwide phenomenon. In the next few paragraphs I will provide just a few examples, but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of such examples. The UK has been particularly well blessed with spiritual paths marked onto a physical landscape. In the early days the paths were called ‘ley lines’ and one pioneer mapper of them was Alfred Watkins. His work was essential in getting the lines described, however, we might better think of the phenomenon now as a ley landscape rather than just ley lines.

The spirit paths in Europe are known by the following names; 

  • Geisterweg - Germany
  • Fairy passes – Ireland
  • Spookwegen – the Netherlands
  • Spookwegen - Flemish Belgium
  • Routes fantôme – French Belgium

In other parts of the world we have:

  • Bolivian altiplano
  • Song line paths in the Amazon
  • Costa Rica
  • Sears point, Gila river, Arizona
  • Death valley/chocolate mountains California
  • Californian sierras – Miwok indians, Mokelumne, fresno river, Lake Tahoe. Barret and Gifford “were usually almost airline in directness running uphill and down dale without zigzag or detours
  • Mississipi valley; Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio; Mississipi indians and Hopewell culture
  • Manitoba Canada, Whiteshell Provincial Park – Ojibway people/Ashnabe
  • La Quemada [Toltec] Mexico - Made by the Zacatecas over 100 miles of straight roads have been found 

Observations

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