Corona Anatine Lecture Transcript Feb 19

Today was Part 4 of the invention and evolution of magic, and likely the last in the series. All four transcripts can be found on either blogs and online in the cafe.

I left out all the discussion that occurred after the hour was up, even though it was really great. It will be in the transcript in-world, however, so if you want to read it go pick up the notecard (all the notecards can be found in the square world textured cube on top of the fireplace.

It was a great series, and I’m sorry to any who missed it. The last transcript can be found below:

[12:15] Corona Anatine: ok this week ui will hope to complete this set
[12:15] Corona Anatine: as i mentioned i will start back a short way
[12:16] Corona Anatine: D representative art
[12:16] Corona Anatine: Red ochre as mentioned was also used for cave surface decoration. Five main colours were available, as far as is known
Red [43.7%], black [48%], yellows /browns [5.3%] and white [rare]
Most cave art was single colour, and much is colourless incised lines.
Bi and polychrome only accounting for some 3% [Bahn P & Vertrut J 1988 p7.]
Because so many theories have been formulated concerning this art, all of which probably contain some element of the truth for some at least of the art, and because this activity spanned some 25,000 years starting circa 35k bp it is very unlikely that all of it represents ritual of a magico-religious purpose.
Certainly the earliest known in Europe [Chauvet in France of 35,000bp] is seen as purely decorative.
[12:16] Corona Anatine: Studies of Australian ethnic art reinforces this idea
[12:17] Corona Anatine: Some of the painting being full of sacred power and dangerous to touch [Smith C E 1991 p46] or even for some groups [usually = other gender to artist] to see, [Smith C E 1991 p48] while other art was just for its own sake. [Ucko P J & Rosenfeld 1967 p160]
[12:17] Corona Anatine: 11% of Palaeolithic art seems to have a clear ‘hunting magic’ connection so can be quickly passed by, as being fairly straightforward of interpretation of meaning.
[12:17] Corona Anatine: Other art seems to have deeper and probably magical symbolism possibly connected with ancestors/shamans and/or shamanic style religions and initiation ceremonies.
[12:17] Corona Anatine: Several facets of the art suggest magical symbolism and function.
[12:18] Corona Anatine: i) The overlaying of images suggests it was the act of painting which was important, rather than the image itself [Ucko P J & Rosenfeld 1967 p135]
Palimpsesting occurring even when nearby surfaces were left untouched’ [Laming-Emperaire A 1962 p145] indicating that the shape of the surface also had significance. Some surfaces being part of the depiction where natural shapes in the rock are used for eyes etc
[12:18] Corona Anatine: ii) the use of rock surfaces that are difficult of access. [Clarke G & Piggot S 1965 p79] Some being made on surfaces that would have been deep within caves.
[12:18] Corona Anatine: iii) The fact that ‘inner’ cave sites rarely show evidence of frequent visits. [Richards G 1987 p229]
Although the exact relationship between a site and the distance from palaeo habitation is difficult to prove because of possible changes in the cave systems and its access points.
[12:19] Corona Anatine: 1] The occasional examples of possible ‘notational’ decoration
Bahn P & Vertut J [1988 p80 & 182], Marshack A [1991 p24]. Possibly relating to lunar symbolism. The phases of the moon probably being the principal means of time measurement then available, [or it could mean something totally different of course] or perhaps the numbers are just the result of chance. Moreover the mere fact of lunar phase recording does not automatically mean there is any magical connection. However the connection seems likely given the associations.
[12:19] Corona Anatine: 2] The Presence of geometric shapes and designs
There is a vast amount of this sort of art, possibly as important as representation of animals, possibly even more important. Bahn P & Vertut J [1988 p44], These images are strongly reminiscent of the phopshenes mentioned earlier. Such entoptic impressions are suggestive of use of hallucinogens or transcendent states of perception, ‘trances’ which are a strong component of shamanic tradition.
[12:20] Corona Anatine: Eliade M [1964
[12:20] Corona Anatine: Alternatively or additionally, ‘the motifs of the serpentine/zigzag and the spiral could represent the concept of flow and continuity…of time, blood or water.’ Marshack A [1991 p27], imagery of ‘female power yet again.
[12:20] Corona Anatine: Lewis-Williams D, [1993 p286-287] further points out,
[12:20] Corona Anatine: that with drug use or trance, the images take on a stereoscopic brilliance and depth. While in deeper trance the phosphenes can blend together to form images of animals and people etc, as is seen in the interblending of horse and phosphenes in Lascaux
[12:21] Corona Anatine: where they frong legs in the image sply out into phosphene dots
[12:22] Corona Anatine: as this example shows
[12:22] Corona Anatine: there are many similar
[12:22] Corona Anatine: Many cultures worldwide assisting trance states with vegetable materials. Stafford P [1992] and De Rios MD [1990].
In light of which it is interesting to note; “ excavations at Non Nok Tha in Thailand yielded in graves dated to 15,000 bce the remains of animal bones that appear to have had plant material repeatedly burned in their hollow centres”; McKenna T [1992 p151]
[12:23] Corona Anatine: [one of the few thigns Mc Kenna can be trusted on
[12:23] Corona Anatine: some of his writng being very strange to say the least
[12:24] Corona Anatine: 3] The predominance of horse and bison.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: These two species comprise 60% of animals seen in surface representations. Horses alone accounting for 25-30% of the art. However when it comes to actual faunal remains only 0.01% are horse. This shows that horse and bison are not what is being exploited as a food/use resource.
Therefore horses must signify something else. Attempts have been made to find locational and positional relationships within the cave art, [laming and Leroi-Gourhan]. But all failed, because too many exceptions to proposed systems were found.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: However a number of facts point towards a possible meaning. Which can ultimately only be speculative due to the nature of the material.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: i) There is long term continuity “ the only phenomena known which has such stability is religious symbolism” Richards G [1987 p300]
[12:24] Corona Anatine: ii) Laming’s pairing of bison or horse with women/female.
[12:25] Corona Anatine: iii) The association of fired clay animals and female figurines at Dolni Vestonice. Both types being designed to explode when fired in a hearth.
[12:25] Corona Anatine: [possibly of divinatory purpose]
[12:25] Corona Anatine: iv) The crescentric figures variously labelled as ‘vulvas’ or horse hooves.
[12:25] Corona Anatine: Perhaps both being correct the double symbolism being intentional. In the cave of Commarque many appear opposite a huge carved horse
[Although a horse image carving near images of horse hoof prints is not too unlikely]
[12:26] Corona Anatine: v) Two engraved horseheads above an apparent birth image from the Magdalenian site of Gunnersdorf, “may represent a symbolic sacrifice or some other type of relation of the horse to human birth” Marshack A [1991 p27]
[12:26] Corona Anatine: this is the second image
[12:27] Corona Anatine: so the ‘birth’ depiction is only an interpretation – others are possible
[12:27] Corona Anatine: vi) The association of multiple barbed ‘arrows’ with women bison and horses whose derivation is possibly visible in Azilian pebble stylisation.
[12:27] Corona Anatine: vii) [Single barbed arrows on the other hand seem to be arrows for ‘hunting magic’]
[12:28] Corona Anatine: Because of the association birth= blood= death/rebirth, it follows that
[12:28] Corona Anatine: If the horse is [as seems likely/possible] associated with birth
[12:28] Corona Anatine: Then it follows that the horse is associated with death/rebirth, and furthermore with magic and the ancestors.
[12:28] Corona Anatine: two peices of information reinforce this
[12:29] Corona Anatine: i) The carving of the triple horse lifestyle baton
[12:30] Corona Anatine: This “baton” is of reindeer horn carved into the shapes of three horse heads – two live horses, either a mare and stallion or a colt and adult horse – and a flayed skull of a dead horse
[12:30] Corona Anatine: [flayed horses are a whole feild of cave art in themselves – which is too vast to more than hint at here
[12:31] Corona Anatine: ii) When burying their dead in caves floors, the people of the Magdalenian are likely to have often disturbed Solutrean levels. Occupation levels which comprised “ human remains mixed with mostly bones of wild horse intermingled with worked stone tools” Trinkaus E and Shipman P [1993 p107].
[12:31] Corona Anatine: Marshack A [1991 p27] further points out
[12:31] Corona Anatine: “…they suggest a complex symbolic and mythological semantic for the horse with a relation to the feminine occurring in different forms”; and “ the horse is often associated with water related images: the fish, the zigzag the snake and the stream, [all of which have female association/symbolism]
[12:31] Corona Anatine: Moreover the cave itself probably constituted a female/womb space. Maybe even ‘vagina dentata’ in its aspect of initiation/danger/chthonic spirits [Eliade M 1958a]
[12:32] Corona Anatine: Horses are further clearly distinguished from bison when the shape of the surface decorated is considered.
88.6% of horses being on concave surfaces, while 78.7% of bison and 82.6% of cattle occur on convex surfaces. Bahn P & Vertut J [1988 p176].
[12:32] Corona Anatine: These facts strongly suggest that the horse represents ‘feminine’ power and ancestor power, or perhaps simply ‘magic/power’. If so then logic would suggest that bison/bovines represent the opposites, of ‘masculine/mundane world’
[12:32] Corona Anatine: [Always assuming of course that the artists worked within such a mental/conceptual framework].
[12:33] Corona Anatine: 4] Female/venus figurines.
[12:33] Corona Anatine: These are well known enough to need little discussion, other than to mention
[12:33] Corona Anatine: and could supply a months worth of presentations at least
[12:33] Corona Anatine: i) Over 60 are known from across Europe [as of 1994 when this was written]
[12:33] Corona Anatine: ii) “ A universal religion based on a specific female ‘Goddess’, is unlikely in a society such as that of Palaeolithic Europe” Ehrenberg M [1989 p73]
[12:34] Corona Anatine: Certainly Goodison L & Morris C [1998] show that the whole concept was far more complex than to allow such a simplistic interpretation of a ‘universal mother goddess cult/religion.
[12:34] Corona Anatine: And “ small scale societies, such as [are presumed] to have likely existed then, typically focus on general spirits and forces rather than on personified individual deities, let alone priestesses with specialised task functions, which imply a political and social organisation far more complex than is likely to have existed” Ehrenberg M [1989 p74]
[12:34] Corona Anatine: A priest class was also unlikely before the rise of more complex societies, as a study of early literature such as the bible indicates there were two classes of individual concerned with supernatural entities.
[12:35] Corona Anatine: Shamans, who were those who had the dream/trance etc ability [however acquired or owned]
[12:35] Corona Anatine: and priests, who were more in the way of assistants to the shaman, being their to ensure the correct rituals etc were observed, lore keepers in a sense.
[12:35] Corona Anatine: A point highlighted by GE Swanson, who, in a statistical study, showed that there are positive statistical correlations between the social complexity of a culture and the nature of the entities in a cultures belief system. [Swanson GE 1966, p 96-7, 107, 120 & 178]
[12:36] Corona Anatine: iii) Many female figures display a ‘wrist ornament’ which Marshack suggests are illustrative of a garment worn of perishable material, although the zigzag pattern could also be symbolic
[12:36] Corona Anatine: iv) It is “probably suggestible that all images of the abstracted female torso symbolised the potential fertility” Marshack A [1991 p20]
[12:36] Corona Anatine: Which is fairly reasonable, although possibly as valid as saying that christianity was a death centred funerary cult by examination of its iconographic.
[12:37] Corona Anatine: In a similar way to Burgess describing Stonehenge as ‘a place of death’ because bodies were buried there.
The same is true of a modern christian church on that basis.
So female figures indicted female fertility does not get much further. In view of the rest of the earlier discussion further emphasis is likely redundant.
[12:37] Corona Anatine: 5] Non –female images
[12:37] Corona Anatine: These are of two sorts
[12:37] Corona Anatine: ‘dancing’ figures with horns,
[12:37] Corona Anatine: and the Lascaux shaft scene.
[12:38] Corona Anatine: Based upon the evidence given above it can be concluded that it shows a scene of symbolic magic.
[12:39] Corona Anatine: in my origina essay i put together an interpretaion of the scence which went into complex detail
[12:39] Corona Anatine: however
[12:39] Corona Anatine: yesterday [while looking for a shaft scene image to upload] I found this, which may indicate a cosmological aspect.
[12:39] Corona Anatine:
[12:40] Corona Anatine: Which relates the shaft scene to a constellation pattern
[I have not had time to read the article as yet so cannot comment further]
[12:40] Corona Anatine: but does match the idea behind a lot of other studies
[12:41] Corona Anatine: regardless – it does seem to have had some magic-religious meaning
[12:41] Corona Anatine: Other ‘shaman’ images are very doubtful as being shamans [with one exception] because of misinterpretation of palimpsested engraving [which I covered in an earlier presentation a few weeks ago]
[12:41] Corona Anatine: Even if it is generously accepted that some at least are shamans after all
[12:42] Corona Anatine: then another problem immediately arises,
[12:42] Corona Anatine: in that none of the images, even if of humans, score very well on the ‘five definitions of shamanism set by Glosecki
[12:42] Corona Anatine: , at least three of which are required for a system of beliefs to be classifiable as shamanism.
[12:42] Corona Anatine: The five indicators of shamanism being [full reference not supplied with source for this]
[12:42] Corona Anatine: 1 animism 2 healer 3 trance state 4 animal helper 5 initiation
In which the shaft scene gets 2.5 while all other images score 0
[12:42] Object whispers: sorry, you are not permitted to change fire settings
[12:43] Corona Anatine: This is less than promising as evidence that the images are actually ‘shamans’.
[12:43] Corona Anatine: This leaves circumstantial evidence, for which there are, three main threads:
[12:43] Corona Anatine: i) The similarity of ethnographic evidence for groups at a similar technological phase to that found in the early upper Palaeolithic.
[12:44] Corona Anatine: ii) Slight evidence of Palaeolithic drug use, involved in both shamanism and initiation.
[12:44] Corona Anatine: iii) The worldwide similarity of details of shamanic practice, which are even more unlikely to have such universal form as found ethnographically, purely from common perception/experiences.
[12:44] Corona Anatine: Therefore if not common experience, it must stem from common origin, and at an early enough period to permit the diffusion found.
[12:44] Corona Anatine: [ a copy of that phoot would be gratefully recived]
[12:45] Corona Anatine: A further indicator of possible initiation practices is the presence of Palaeolithic objects often coated, perhaps consecrated with red ochre. These are very similar to bullroarers used in initiation in many ethnic groups worldwide.
[12:45] Corona Anatine: Initiation in the Palaeolithic is also suggested by
[12:45] Corona Anatine: a) The footprints in cave, which are of a size belonging to younger individuals.
b) The frequent use of caves for initiation, found in many ethnographic accounts.
[12:45] Corona Anatine: In conclusion
[12:45] Corona Anatine: There is positive evidence for belief systems in the upper Palaeolithic at least, and probably in the lower back to circa 60,000 bp.
[12:46] Corona Anatine: This took the form of shamanism/animism based upon natural experiences, drug use and ‘female’ magic, a related idea being clearly behind subincision/circumcision. [Knight C 1986 p16, Shuttle P and Redgrove P 1978 p67-68 7 73].
[12:46] Corona Anatine: [native australiains after performing subincision
[12:47] Corona Anatine: being known to hit the mangeld remains against their thigh declaring ‘we have male menstraution
[12:47] Corona Anatine: The practitioners also apparently performing acts of initiation in the depths of caves.
[12:47] Corona Anatine: This then is the ultimate origin of ALL religions; drug and trance induced hallucinogenic fantasies and altered states and/or dreams. Even as late as around 2,000 BCE there were few religions of the sort we know today.
[12:47] Corona Anatine: All the main modern religions do however reveal extensive evidence of their origins in primitive shamanism.
[12:47] Corona Anatine: The bible in revelations and 1 Samuel 29:24. Islam in the descriptions of Mo’s revelations and trances.
[12:48] Corona Anatine: i sam = naked he was as the prophets of old
[12:48] Corona Anatine: not somethign often seen today in for example imamas and tV evangelists
[12:48] Corona Anatine: Islam in the descriptions of Mo’s revelations and trances.
Which include:
i) Voices heard in a trance state.
ii) The wearing of female [Aisha’s] garments by Mo to help induce the trance state.
[12:49] Corona Anatine: [Which in passing suggests the marriage to the 6 year old had a basis in her magico-religious value rather than sexual desire. Perhaps Aisha had some unrecorded visionary ability?]
[12:49] Corona Anatine: iii) The removal of Mo’s internal organs and their washing in special zamzam / holy water by the angel Gabriel [ a dream of Mo’s]
[12:49] Corona Anatine: A motive, which is extremely shamanic,
[12:49] Corona Anatine: as one of the frequent mentions is that shaman, would die for three or four days, during which their internal organs would be extracted by nature spirits and replaced with new magically improved versions.
[12:49] Corona Anatine: [ loads of literature on that aspect
[12:50] Corona Anatine: Other aspects of all the modern religions can be easily traced back to their origin in primitive superstition and animistic belief.
Perhaps something for another session.
[12:50] Corona Anatine: ok questions
[12:51] darcon Xue: encounters with gods (ancients) astronauts?
[12:51] Corona Anatine: this of course only touches the surface of much of this stuff
[12:51] Corona Anatine: ok
[12:51] Bryce Galbraith: Really interesting material! I also appreciate the visuals too…
[12:51] RobertDuke Drascol: Do you see the modern view of the immanence of God as similar in any way to notions of animism
[12:51] Corona Anatine: i see no evidence in the modern period for alien which has academic verification
[12:51] Chraeloos: Great job Corona!
[12:52] Corona Anatine: proving them in the remote past would be even more difficult
[12:52] Corona Anatine: not saying they could not be there
[12:52] Corona Anatine: but we have to work from what is known
[12:52] Corona Anatine: and
[12:52] Corona Anatine: an advanced civilization in the remote past is a degree more likely than aliens
[12:53] Chraeloos: Interesting point Corona, how advanced do you think they could be?
[12:53] Corona Anatine: which is what i feel is sufficient to account for the mystery material
[12:53] RF Axel: Is the Jungian Collective Unconsciousness relevant to the commonality of shamanic systems?
[12:53] Corona Anatine: perhaps 1950
[12:53] Corona Anatine: for several reasons
[12:53] Corona Anatine: one
[12:54] Corona Anatine: they have to have known of nukes to have been able to have a nuclear war – even on a small scale
[12:54] Corona Anatine: on the other hand
[12:54] Corona Anatine: not mor ethan 1950 ish
[12:54] Corona Anatine: so that advanced plastics were not developed
[12:55] Chraeloos: that’s impressive. i can see that happening
[12:55] Corona Anatine: so i still think that the current levels are the highest known
[12:55] Chraeloos: Perhaps they would have matured technologically in different ways?
[12:55] Corona Anatine: yes
[12:55] Corona Anatine: we cant just take our civilization and drop it wholesale into the past
[12:56] Corona Anatine: they would have had their own way of approaching knowledge
[12:56] Corona Anatine: and the resultant technology would likely be different
[12:56] Corona Anatine: but
[12:56] Corona Anatine: if we took our current civ
[12:56] Corona Anatine: and removed everyone
[12:56] Corona Anatine: and went back farther 12000 years
[12:57] Corona Anatine: we would only see stone
[12:57] RF Axel: Alchemy as a route to nukes?
[12:57] Corona Anatine: yes quite possibly
[12:57] Corona Anatine: AL kemi anyway
[12:57] Corona Anatine: but that is a topic for a whole presentation
[12:57] Rhiannon of the Birds: That would be a great one, Corona
[12:57] Corona Anatine: as the chaion of inference is long and has many strands/threads
[12:58] Corona Anatine: and like much is only inferrable
[12:58] RF Axel: I liked the quote that distant archeologists would only find ceramic toilet bowls left from our civilization – and probably take them as objects of worship. 🙂
[12:58] Corona Anatine: but that is the nature of archaeology
[12:58] Corona Anatine: is possible
[12:58] Corona Anatine: however one would hoe they had access to residue analysis
[12:59] Corona Anatine: which might indicate there true use
[12:59] Rhiannon of the Birds: So did I hear you say, Corona, that the name of God “I am” means naked? Cool
[12:59] Corona Anatine: unless they saw defecation as a divine ritual
[12:59] Corona Anatine: 1 sam
[13:00] Corona Anatine: as in 1 samuel the book
[13:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: 1 sam?
[13:00] Bryce Galbraith: So Corona, where besides Europe do we have cave art that survives from the upper paleolithic?
[13:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: oh, ok
[13:00] Bryce Galbraith: are there sites in parts of Asia, Africa?
[13:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, I lot of peopple in that book ened up in a cave area, drinking the water, stripping naked and prophesying
[13:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: I hear that Evain wanted to market that water but was prevented by thegobernment
[13:00] Corona Anatine: i wil include the verse qoute in the refs for you rhi
[13:01] Rhiannon of the Birds: Corona, thank you!
[13:01] Rhiannon of the Birds: I appreciate that
[13:01] Corona Anatine: cave art is mainly europe
[13:01] Corona Anatine: but also seen in the sahara
[13:01] Corona Anatine: and in australia
[13:01] Corona Anatine: however it was probably everywhere
[13:02] Corona Anatine: what we have is what has survived
[13:02] Chraeloos: that’s the hour…
[13:02] Chraeloos: If you are interested in keeping up to date feel free to check out our blog, new topics will be posted before the events:
Our website is also a great way to stay up to date:
Event Calendar:
If you want an invite to the group let me know 🙂
Thanks for coming everyone! Feel free to stick around and discuss, we’re always open.
[13:02] Corona Anatine: mainly in deserts as there is no moisture to destroy the images
[13:02] Bryce Galbraith: Thanks Corona!
[13:02] Corona Anatine: which is why its mainly caves in europe


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