Art is intended to guide society. Our early development as a species was principally based upon art, language and imagination. To our ancestors there would have been no barrier between the real and the imagined.
In the first place ‘Art’ was our sacred science, and the guiding force of culture…
Let me explain….
Cave paintings are some of the oldest forms of art in the world. There are many beliefs as to what they represent; including ideas about hunting and ceremonial rites, to the depiction of contact with extraterrestrial species. However, I have had many remarkable experiences with cave paintings, megaliths and petroglyphs, and this has led me to a conclusion regarding the practical nature of these early means of communication.
While man was developing the power of speech and self-reflection – along side there would have been the development of a stronger need to communicate through other forms such as drumming. It is perfectly possible that cave painting developed out of verbalization
The early experience of man was ‘Band’ culture. This is the form of society that existed before tribal societies grew up. From the beginning these societies were hunter-gatherers, but primarily they would have been nomadic in nature. With the need to hunt comes the need to move around with your prey. In north-west Europe – it is a widely documented fact, that the tribes of the British Isles, had very pronounced migration routes. In particular between Ireland, the north of England and Scotland – the Picts, Celts and the Scots, occupying various different regions throughout history. The prehistory of Britain would likely have been no different. This idea of migration can be extended throughout Europe. During the period just after the building of Stonehenge, for instance it is documented that a culture arose of itinerant Magi. Travelling around Europe with brass conical hats (much like wizards hats) these druids, possessed information regarding the movement of the heavens – knowledge which prior to this point would have been built inherently into the megalithic structures. These events happened upon the entering of the agrarian age, where for the first time societies were focusing more on growing crops and as such had the need to settle in one place for the first time. Prior to this the tribes of north west europe would have been no strangers to migration. The megalithic structures that were built before this time were generally aligned with stars. In fact most ancient monuments have some connection with the heavens. But whatever the nature of the knowledge these Structures were a means of relaying information – art represented a means of communication. But communicating what exactly?
In the first place – the very earliest form of art were handprints on cave walls. These were dated to some 40,000 years ago. Hand stencils have been found in various parts of the world from, Timpuseng cave Sulawesi, Indonesia to Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals were at least 35,000 years old, these too found in caves in the district of Maros, located in Bantimurung district, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The earliest figurative paintings in Europe date back to the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000 to 32,000 years ago, and are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, and in the Coliboaia Cave in Romania.
There are also similar later paintings in Africa, Australia and South America, continuing until recent times in some places. There is a tendency worldwide for open air rock art to supersede deep cave paintings.
However these hand stencils, were more than just a means of self-reflection and self-identification. Rather they were a means of identifying yourself to others. They were a signature to allow others to know who had been present at a specific place at a specific time. People who knew you, would have also know your handprint, and from this your whereabouts. Keeping track of each others movements in this early age would have been of vital importance. This information could have been mapped by leaving these markings. Also the movements and quantity of availability of game – marked in codes known only to the other members of the tribe. This would account for animal depictions seen in some of the earliest paintings.
To some extent there would have been a link to the spiritual side of the existence for the tribe. In as much as these stencils and paintings were a description of their outer world – they would have undoubtedly been also a representation of the inner world. Perhaps visions of prey, hunting and actual places or event were depicted as the same reality. For our ancestors there was no little or no separation from the spirit; very different from our postmodernist approach of seeing spiritual practice as something separate from the rest of your life. Early man would have lived in accordance with the spirit – an existence uncorrupted and undivided by the passage of time.
So knowing where your friends family and allies were – would been an essential strategy for survival. I have no doubt – that this ritual became quite a developed science and subsequently an “art”, to the people of the Neolithic period. It would have developed alongside the growth and development of their civilisation. Bringing in more elements of ritualistic practice into sacred space. Making it more a representation of the abstract rather than the physical world. The need to map the outer world becoming less important over time as the balance tipped towards the metaphysical, as man’s success was assured.
But for the early ancestors looking to the stars for guidance – was also a cause and inspiration for how they decorated their world – perhaps they imagined messages from the gods written into the code of the celestial bodies and mapped the heavens as a direct guidance for their well-being and development too.
~ Toltec Warrior
The Shaman has no interest in Politics – Politics is a different system, a different matrix… The shaman practices being one with the Earth Matrix and as such has no time for such things. Which is not to say they cannot look and discuss. But when politics encroaches upon the viability of their livelihood this discussion ends and its time for action – Other than that, what else is there to consider ! ~ Toltec Warrior
“Sorcerers say that true rebellion, and humanity’s only way out as a species, is to stage a revolution against their own stupidity. As you can understand, this is solitary work. The goal of sorcerers is this sorcerers’ revolution: The unrestricted unfolding of all our perceptual possibilities. Don Juan demonstrated that it is possible!
I cannot guide you, but I can put you in front of an abyss which will test all your abilities. It depends on you, whether you hurl yourself off it to fly, or run to hide in the security of your routines.”
“To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.”
The western system is flawed; we are beginning to see evidence of a total system crash from economics to social unrest; with the developed world imploding in on itself. The world has finite resources and yet materialism demands production that cannot be sustained – blundering on at the risk of a complete environmental breakdown. Man works best in the tribal system. From the very beginning man formed into small tribal groups or bands and settled for this for a very long time. These tribal and clan systems grew up out of the need to organize in order to survive and from this developed into the indigenous systems we hear of today.
The people of the indigenous system, follow the shaman, in regard to their spiritual well-being. He recognizes everything is an illusion. This, in turn, means nothing is of importance. Even the suffering of his fellow-man is not his concern unless he chooses to make it so. The shaman in connection with his ancestral spirit knows that those he needs concern for are the people of his tribe. He is the one who guides, heals and protects the tribe from external forces. In this western world, however, we are separated from our tribe and tribal nature. And instead, our tribal ‘urges’ are tapped and suppressed with such activities as supporting your local football team or other artificial enticements (too numerous to name). The world in which we live is divided, each ‘individual’ supporting his own interests, be it his team, political party, or whatever.
Often people say, it is important to know your roots – to know where you come from. This generally means knowing what region your name originates from or something about your hometown or country. But to truly understand ‘who you are’, I would suggest takes dedication and discipline. In order to understand yourself, you must have some idea of the processes which lead to this present moment. In this modern age, we are mostly cut off from the past; cast adrift in the dark seas of awareness.
In past ages, man knew who he was by being aware of the hereditary lineage he was a part of. The ancestors were present. They could either be asked for advice or even sort for as guides. Knowledge would be passed down by word of mouth through stories and other means of transmission such as song or dance. Nothing was written – instead, the oral tradition kept knowledge alive. With the advent of religion, there was an inevitable fall into reason; a need to construct a means of organization and things were written down for the first time. Once something is written it ceases being known in the sense of ‘Lore’, and instead becomes ‘law’. When knowledge is acquired in the first place it has the capacity to be enlarged upon, developed to gain further understanding – to evolve! But once it is written it loses this ability.
Once religion took hold it was an obvious means of control for those who would wish to subvert the message. We arrive at the point today, where religion is empty and the rituals and ceremony reflect nothing of the true spirit of what early man ‘saw’ but are hollow gestures. If you go to any Anglican ‘high church’ service or maybe Catholic mass, you will see that all the pomp and ceremony is nothing but a reflection of the self-importance that it represents. The spirit I believe lost interest in religion a long time ago…
Religion is now the domain of man and his fruitless desires. Science has come along to de-construct the universe and while it still seeks knowledge, it does so in total isolation from the pressing issues troubling the planet. Religion and science while seeming to be avowed enemies, are in reality two halves of the same device. It is like the two-party state. The acquisition of knowledge has been divided into two camps: the first believing that everything is unfathomable mystery and nothing can be understood, while the other believes everything will someday succumb to its inquiry. Both are wrong and this duality causes only separation from the meaning of existence.
At this eleventh hour recognizing our tribal nature is of vital importance. The Ancestral spirit is what connects us to the past, brings us into relationship with the present and maps a way to the future. At this time more than ever man needs to remember his ancestral nature, in order to return to the spirit and to save the planet from annihilation.