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Archive for September 10, 2010

SHAMANISM: Crack in the Rock divides US from our Spiritual Side

Rock art in North America is found deep into Mexico north into Utah-it can be quite old, in central Arizona it begins before Christ and around 1000 AD rock arts takes on human shapes. North to New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, a rock wall has a series of lines in a single panel said to mark the summer equinox, a sun dagger is said to mark the coming and going of summer. Elsewhere in Chaco’s back country is a panel said to depict a 10th century Super Nova seen in the sky. Graphic shapes or counting seems to be one media but art does become more expressive, but nowhere is the javelina or wild-pig and mountain lion depicted in stone. They migrated late into our area only within the past two hundred years. This flute-playing Mountain Goat carved in rock is found at SAND ISLAND IN BLUFF UTAH in the midst of the NAVAJO Nation but is a remnant of the ANASAZI prehistoric culture. This isolated view represents perhaps 18 inches by maybe 30 inches sliced from a rock art panel on a 150’ cliff beside the San Juan River. Most of that 150 foot cliff is rock art, this is simply a paragraph.
It appeared to me as very cool having a Mountain Goat playing the flute, like Kokopelli, so I pulled this in with a 300mm lens and thought no more about it until one day when I visited Edgar Perry, a White Mountain Apache Medicine Man and described the panel to him from memory.
Is there a crack between the two groups of sheep? he asked. Yes, I said. “That line represent the real world (topside) and the supernatural world (beneath),” he said. Topside you see two sheep walking on all fours beneath the crack you see two sheep — one standing on two legs and playing a flute and the other on all fours with a bird (raven) appearing from its head the Navajos call this, skinwalkers or shape–shifting. The Medicine Man points out the White Sheep becoming a black Raven characterizes the battle between good and bad, right and wrong. Imagine if that much meaning can be taken from a fraction of the entire panel, imagine what else, we could learn everywhere.butlercanyon.tiff