Were myths ‘shamanic’ journeys … ?

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  • #15211
    Dowrgi
    Participant

      Hello everyone,

      Just something I was wondering to myself: Were myths, or at least some of them, perhaps the recordings of ‘shamanic’ journeys or vision quests that were thereafter recorded for posterity? I have this idea of an ancient group of people faced with some kind of problem or dilemma and requesting the aid of the otherworld. Perhaps the ‘shaman’ or equivalent thereof, went on their journey and the story was actually the answer.

      Any thoughts or ideas?

      Bennathow
      /|\

      #15213
      True Owl
      Participant

        Hi Dowrgi,

        An interesting question.

        I have heard that some historians think its a possibility that some of the ancient texts of Egypt, which were assumed to describe the journey of the soul after death, actually describe the out-of-body journey that the Pharaoh would take on behalf of his people when alive, which does seem quite shamanic.

        Many ancient writings were quite symbolic as well, and are not to be taken literally. For example, when Jesus met Moses & Elijah in the transfiguration story – was this a shamanic journey, especially as both Moses & Elijah had been dead for centuries. Also, Jesus took on a different & changed appearance as his face & clothes shone like the sun. Another story is his vision quest for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, which comes across as shamanic in its nature, dealing with Otherworld spirits.

        I have read before where various researchers have said that Jesus trained with Druids in his missing years (between 12 – 30 years of age). Also In India, they have a legend that asserts Jesus visited them and trained with them as a guru / shaman. Who knows ?

        So, yes, your assumption is a possibility – especially if you read between the lines. Although you’ve got to be careful with interpretation sometimes.

        Blessings,

        Jules.

        #15214
        Dowrgi
        Participant

          Hi True Owl, Kowan Wir, :-) …

          Indeed, I have even read a few theories that some might consider a bit ‘out there’, but they do draw parallels between the stories of Jesus and shamanic traditions, there’s also the Gospel of Thomas, which includes some material that seems rather shamanic, too.

          According to legend, Jesus visited Penzance (Pennsans – Holy Head(land), Falmouth (Aberfal), and St Just in Roseland (Lannsiek), the latter being the first place he supposedly set foot. There’s a church at St Anthony in Roseland, nearby, which has the Agnus Dei, the lamb and cross, facing eastwards, to the right that is, which is interesting because it indicates Jesus’s youth and the time of year, just before December. The inscriptions, I believe, may be at least a thousand years old. Whatever the case, Roseland is a beautiful area with a beautiful name (even though it doesn’t derive from roses).

          Moving on, in the Odyssey, Odysseus/Ulysses has to journey to the underworld, likewise Aeneas in the Aeneid. Then there’s the myth of Orpheus, too. I think all of these could be ‘tapping’ into far older traditions. Who knows?

          Although you’ve got to be careful with interpretation sometimes.

          If only more people took that approach … Yes, I agree. ;-)

          Bennathow
          /|\

          #15215
          True Owl
          Participant

            Hi Dowrgi,

            Wow ! That is some list of places that Jesus was meant to have visited in Cornwall – I didn’t realise there was so many.

            I obviously heard about the legends of him going to Glastonbury, as a lad with his Uncle Joseph of Arimathea (a wealthy merchant & tin trader), and again when he was older in his missing years, with a longer stay to train in the ways of a druid. Glastonbury is full of legends & books about him visiting and starting up the very first church there. And that his mother Mary is buried there as well.

            It is amazing though to think that it was already written by Tertullian (an early Christian writer, born 155AD), that Christianity had reached Britain due to the journeying of disciples. If it is a myth then it is one that has been held dear by the locals for at least 1800 years or more; as by 1066, it was documented that areas of land around Glastonbury had historically never been subject to tax, as it had been given by the King of that part of England to Joseph of Arimathea, a 1,000 years earlier.

            Of course the following poem by William Blake (later, put to music), made the idea of Jesus in England very popular – great words.

            And did those feet in ancient time
            Walk upon England’s mountains green?
            And was the holy Lamb of God
            On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
            And did the countenance divine
            Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
            And was Jerusalem builded here
            Among those dark satanic mills?

            [‘Dark satanic mills’ referred to the industrial mills & factories of that time, associated with harsh working conditions & exploitation].

            Thanks,

            Jules.

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