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The Gnawing

There is a Great Pole somewhere, a mighty trunk similar to the sacred sun dance pole, only much, much bigger.

This Great Pole is what holds up the Earth.

The Great White Grandfather Beaver of the North is gnawing at that Pole.

He has been gnawing at the bottom of it for ages and ages.

More than half of the Great Pole has already been gnawed through.

When the the Great White Grandfather Beaver of the North gets angry, he gnaws faster and more furiously.

Once he has gnawed all the way through, the Great Pole will topple, and the Earth will crash into a bottomless nothing.

That will be the end of all humans, of everything.

The end of all ends.

So we are careful not to make the Great White Grandfather Beaver of the North angry.

That's why the Cheyenne never eat beaver flesh, or even touch a beaver skin.

We want the Earth to last a little longer.

-told by the wife of Medicine Bull






axis mundi root

The Axis Mundi

also know as

lingam stone

World Tree

mystical core

Akashic Records

Center of the Christian Mandala

Lignum Crucis Singularity Point

cosmic axis, cosmic mountain or center of the universe

world axis, world pillar, world center or center of the world

represented in the human subconscious as

Soul of Earth, Gaia, or the Collective Consciousness

all of these symbols represent the connection point
between Heaven and Earth

The axis mundi offers means of travel and correspondence between the two realms of Heaven and Earth.

The axis mundi is also the place where the four compass directions unite, allowing treasure from Heaven to be disseminated throughout the world.

The axis mundi resides at the center of the world: at its omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning.

The axis mundi appears in all cultures and takes many forms.

The axis mundi symbolic image is both feminine (an umbilical providing nourishment) and masculine (a phallus providing insemination into a uterus).

The axis mundi may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire).

The axis mundi exists in the Hindu linga, or lingam, and is featured prominently in the most technologically advanced cultures - wherever the impulse persists to link a tower with the idea of a "world center."

The axis mundi's proximity to Heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagoda, temple mount, church) or secular (obelisk, minaret, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper).


A person naturally thinks of their own home, land, village and place of worship as "the center of the world" because it is the center of one's known universe.

sacred places

In ancient Mesopotamia the cultures of ancient Sumer and Babylon erected artificial mountains, or ziggurats, on the flat river plain with stairways leading to temples, the axis mundi, at the top.

Judaism has Mount Sinai and Mount Zion as axis mundi.

Christianity has the Mount of Olives and Calvary as axis mundi.

Islam has the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock) and Mecca, said to be the place on Earth that was created first.

Japan's highest mountain, Mount Fuji, has long symbolized the the axis mundi in Japanese culture.

Mount Kun-Lun is the axis mundi in China. The ancient Chinese recognized four mountains as pillars holding up the heavens. (Cultures sometimes had more than one axis mundi. In the ancient Chinese case the pillars resided at the compass points.)

In American Sioux beliefs the Black Hills are the axis mundi.

Mount Kailash is holy as the axis mundi to several religions in Tibet.

The pre-Columbian residents of Teotihuacán in Mexico erected huge pyramids featuring stairways leading to temples at the top - stairways to heaven.

The ancient Greeks regarded several sites as places of earth's omphalos (navel) stone, notably the oracle at Delphi, while still maintaining a belief in a cosmic world tree and in Mount Olympus as the abode of the gods.


altars

All sacred places constitute reality centers (omphalos) with the altar or place of prayer as the the axis mundi.

Altars, incense sticks, candles and torches help form the axis mundi by sending a column of smoke, and prayer, toward heaven.

The calumet, or sacred pipe, represents a column of smoke (the soul) rising form an the axis mundi.

"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?" - Song of Solomon 3:6


architecture

The architecture of sacred places often reflects the connection between Heaven and Earth.

The stupa of Hinduism, and later Buddhism, reflects Mount Meru.

Cathedrals are laid out in the form of a cross, with the vertical bar representing the union of Heaven and Earth as the horizontal bars represent union of people to one another, with the altar at the intersection.

Pagoda structures in Asian temples take the form of a stairway linking Heaven and Earth.

A steeple in a church or a minaret in a mosque also serve as connections of Heaven and Earth.

Palaces and castles, unlike the pragmatic engineered foretess, had towers serving the axis mundi connection function.


dwellings

Dwellings also serve as centers of reality - the axis mundi of family life.

The hearth participates in the symbolism of the altar and a central garden partipates in the symbolism of a primordial garden paradise..

In Asian cultures dwellings were traditionally laid out in the form of a square oriented toward the four compass directions - east, west, north and south.

A traditional Asian home was oriented toward the heavens through Feng shui, a system of geomancy, just as a palace would be.

Traditional Arab houses are also laid out as a square surrounding a central fountain that evokes a primordial garden paradise.

A common shamanic concept, and a universally told story, is that of the healer traversing the axis mundi, the connection between Heaven and Earth, to bring back sacred mystical knowledge from the heavens.




one_tree

World Tree

Bodhi Tree

Iboga tree

Drvo Života

Yggdrasil, World Ash, Thor's Oak

Tree of Life, Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Structures such as the maypole, derived from the Saxons' Irminsul, and the totem pole among indigenous peoples of the Americas also represent the axis mundi.

The Bodhi Tree is also the name given to the tree under which Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha, sat on the night he attained enlightenment.

In some Pacific island cultures the banyan tree, of which the Bodhi Tree is of the Sacred Fig variety, is the abode of ancestor spirits.

An Oak tree can serve as the axis mundi.

The Oak tree provides an axis mundi that unites three planes: its branches reach for the Heavens, its trunk meets the Earth, and it roots reach down into the underworld.

Other examples include Jievaras in Lithuanian mythology and Thor's Oak in the myths of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples.

The Yggdrasil, or World Ash, functions in much the same way in Norse mythology; it is the site where Odin found enlightenment.

The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis present two aspects of the same image.

Each is said to stand at the center of the Garden of Paradise from which four rivers flow to nourish the whole world.

Each tree confers a boon.

The Christmas tree, which can be traced in its origins back to pre-Christian European beliefs, represents an axis mundi.



human form

The human form can function as a world axis - an axis mundi.

Some of the more abstract Tree of Life representations, such as the Sefirot in Kabbalism and in the Chakra system recognized by Hinduism and Buddhism, merge with the concept of the human body as an axis mundi between Heaven and Earth.

Disciplines such as Yoga and Tai Chi begin from the premise of the human body as axis mundi.

The Renaissance image known as the Vitruvian Man represented a symbolic and mathematical exploration of the human form as axis mundi.

World religions regard the body itself as a temple and prayer as an axis mundi uniting Heaven and Earth.


concept of ascension

Astrology in all its forms assumes a connection between human affairs with the orientation of heavenly bodies. This connection can be seen in the Mithric Mysteries and the ascension of the Age of Tarus and later in the ascension of the Age of Aquaris both directly paying off the position of Earth relative ot the star field of the Milky Way.

This concept of ascent always involves a dichotomy as what goes up to Heaven must descend back to Earth. The story may also be reversed as one may descend through Dantes' nine levels of hell in the attempt to find a way out ot the labrynth by following the Golden Thread and acsending the Ivory Tower (phallic) stairs. These themes can be readily seen in the stories from Odin and the World Ash Tree, Garden of Eden, Jacob's Ladder, The Gnawing, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.

It is the essence of the journey described in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. The epic poem relates its hero's descent and ascent through a series of spiral structures that take him from through the core of the Earth, from the depths of Hell to celestial Paradise.

Anyone or anything suspended on the axis mundi between Heaven and Earth becomes a repository of sacred mystical knowledge.

A special status accrues to the thing suspended: a serpent, a victim of crucifixion or hanging, a rod, a fruit, mistletoe.

In pre-biblical times serpents acted as guardians of, or guides to, sacred mystical knowledge. The caduceus, a short herald's staff, first carried by the Greek god of commerce Hermes and later by the Roman god Mercury entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix, is used as a symbol for medicine in North America. This begs the question of whether or not the position of medicine in North America is one of healing or commerce? The traditional medical symbol, the rod of Aesculapius, has only a single snake.



space cadet mario

entheogens

Entheogens (psychoactive substances) are often regarded as failitating the connection between Heaven and Earth:

Fly Agaric mushroom among the Evenks of Russia.

Peyote Buttons among the tribes that populated the Chihuahuan Desert through the South Texas Plains, on either side of the middle and lower Rio Grande River, southward to the Mexican state of San Luís Potosí. These groups include the Aztec, Zacateco, Tarascan, Cazcan, Guachichil, Huichol, Lagunero, Tepehuan, Tepecano, Cora, Acaxee, Tamaulipeco, Coahuilteco, Tarahumara, Opata, Akmiel O'odham (Pima), Tohono O'odham (Papago), Yaqui, Jumano, Julimeno, Lipan Apache, Carrizo, Tonkawa, Karankawa, Mescalero Apache, Caddo, Otomi, and Tlascalan (Hrdlickla 1908; Shonle 1925; Stewart 1987). Extensive stands of peyote occur on the low, rocky hills in Starr, Zapata, Webb, and Jim Hogg counties of southern Texas.

Psilocybin mushrooms have been part of human culture as far back as the earliest recorded history. Ancient paintings of 'mushroomed' humanoids dating to 5,000 B.C. have been found in caves of Northern Algeria. Central and Southern America cultures built temples to mushroom gods and carved "mushroom stones", dated to as early as 1000-500 B.C. Psilocybian mushrooms were used in ritual and ceremony among the Aztecs, served with honey or chocolate at some of their holiest events. The experience of ingestion is typically inwardly oriented, with strong visual and auditory components. Visions and revelations may be experienced, and the effect can range from exhilarating to distressing.

Salvia divinorum is native to certain areas in the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico, where it is still used by the Mazatec Indians, primarily to facilitate shamanic visions in the context of curing or divination. Shamans crush the leaves to extract leaf juices; they usually mix these juices with water to create an infusion or 'tea' which they drink to induce visions in ritual healing ceremonies.

Ayahuasca, "vine of the souls", is a medicinal and spiritual drink incorporating banisteriopsis caapi and psychotria viridis. An entire medicinal tradition specific to the Amazonas capable of producing profound shamanic effects. Ayahuasca is mentioned in the writings of some of the earliest missionaries to South America.

Iboga, native to western Central Africa, has a long history of tribal use. The Iboga tree is the central pillar of the Bwiti spiritual practice in West-Central Africa, mainly Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo

Artemisia absinthium grows in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and northern Africa. The religious association with this plant began with its strong association with the Ancient Greek moon goddess Artemis.

Piper methysticum is still used at social gatherings to commune after work. It has great religious significance and is used to obtain inspiration. The effects of the drink (it is also occasionally chewed) are slight tongue and lip numbing; mildly talkative and sociable behavior, clear thinking, calming effects, relaxed muscles, and a very euphoric sense of well-being.

The cannabis plant has an ancient history of ritual usage as a trance-inducing drug and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. In India, it has been engaged by itinerant sadhus (ascetics) for centuries, and in modern times the Rastafari movement has embraced it. Some historians and etymologists have claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews, early Christians, and Muslims of the Sufi order. Elders of the modern religious movement known as the Ethiopian Coptic Church consider cannabis to be the Eucharist, claiming it as an Oral Tradition from Ethiopia dating back to the time of Christ.

Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids which produce mental and physical effects when consumed. As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried buds or flowers (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively known as hashish oil. The psychoactive effects of cannabis, are subjective and can vary based on the individual. Some effects may include a general change in consciousness (altered perception), mild euphoria, feelings of well-being, relaxation or stress reduction, lethargy, joviality, enhanced recollection of episodic memory, increased sensuality, increased awareness of sensation, and occasionally paranoia, agitation or anxiety.

Coca

Tobacco



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