About eighteen months ago, I asked Spirit to show me the true nature of the Universe. What then unfolded, in vivid and fluid panorama, made sense, to me, of all the motifs concerning the serpent and the egg across the civilised world during Neolithic times. It also showed me from where Karl Fabergé and Hieronymous Bosch got their inspiration.
This view that the Spirits gave me of the Universe was quite different to the one that Western material science theorises about. Unlike the latter’s models, it was not a stepped progression of unproven suppositions, each balancing precariously one upon the other and yet to be fully realised and redeemed, like a tottering tower of uncashed cheques.
I’m not saying that the cosmological theories of Western science are entirely useless. But I would rather get my information on the nature and form of the Creation from the loving entities that were here before it even began, and who do not regard themselves as separate from it. It is from the spirits or entities that they met while in the shamanic trance state that our ancestors got their information when making these sorts of philosophical and metaphysical enquiries.
This practice goes back even before our ancestors left Africa, 60,000 years ago. We know this from ancient Bantu mythology, which has been orally transmitted down the millennia, and from the hundreds of astronomically-aligned stone circles that have been recently discovered in that area of Africa, which are dated to 74,000 BCE.
“According to your religion, you were all heathens and pagans some two thousand years ago, and many of your people were heathens for many centuries subsequently. We can trace our religion, culture, mythology, legends and history back tens of thousands of years in the past, farther back than any known civilisation on Earth, to the later Stone Age. It is part of our culture — we did not learn these from recent archaeological discoveries ….
“Man’s environment is the world as a whole, and the latter’s environment is our solar system. ‘Man is part of the stars — and the stars, sun and moon are all part of Man!’ Thus believe the Fire-Worshippers of the Southern Bu-Kongo.
“Astronomy was not brought to Man in Africa by Western civilisation.
“We have our own theories on the origin of the solar system. These we have jealously withheld from foreigners for fear of being ridiculed. But I have compared our theories with those brought to us from beyond the seas, and the latter do not impress me.
“I do not fear ridicule and scorn, because it is said in our sayings of wisdom that ‘He that is the first to walk past the village of cannibals is the quickest to land in the cooking pot,’ an expression used for those who invite scorn and ridicule merely by being the first to promote a new idea…
The reason people from beyond the seas look upon the Black Man of Africa as stupid is that we have all along been too afraid to show them that we too can think, that we too have ideas of our own….”
You can read more about ancient African mythology and cosmology in Credo Mutwa’s book, Indaba My Children, which is available here.
So I will try to describe some of the experiences that the Spirits gave me over a period of about 36 hours after I’d made this intention for my shamanic journey.
“Please show me the true nature and form of the Universe.”
I journeyed up and up for ages, it seemed, and I think I must have reached the highest levels of the Upper World….certainly higher than I’ve ever been before, anyway. It went on for so long that I was beginning to lose my concentration, but I zapped back into presence very quickly when a man’s face came hurtling towards me, very fast, and very determined, and only stopped just short of ‘me’.
I almost pulled back and for the first time ever on a journey, I felt fear… or possibly trepidation. I was a tiny, insignificant ant of a human being that had possibly gone too far. If I’d had a voice, it would have wobbled. I thought to myself:
“Who are you to ask such a question?”
But then I realised that that was just my ego and to ignore it because we are in these human bodies to ask such questions.
The visions then began to unfold. Some were given instantly and some came in my dreams and one of them was given by waking me up in the middle of the night and showing me. The Spirits often do this when they want me to remember a dream.
First of all, I was shown a moving night-time celestial panorama that was latticed and studded with stylised stars which looked like beautiful, multifaceted and twinkling jewels. This detail from a Fabergé egg is quite good for showing the latticing, and all that’s missing is the stylised jewels to represent the stars which would be between the latticework. So you have to imagine those … and that the whole panorama is moving.
After a while, we zoomed out from this vision and then, of course, I could see that it was an egg, and just like a Fabergé egg.
Just before he died, Fabergé began to create what he called his Constellation Egg.
Karl Fabergé died before he was able to complete his vision for his Constellation Egg. But from a reconstruction, based on one of his drawings for it, we can see that it was inspired by the Farnese statue of Atlas who is supporting not the globe of the Earth, as is often commonly misunderstood, but the whole Universe.
The Farnese Atlas ~ a 2nd-century Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of Atlas kneeling with the globe or egg weighing heavily on his shoulders. Experts believe it to be the oldest known artistic representation of the celestial sphere or Cosmic Egg, although the Cosmic Egg is talked about at length in the Vedas and ancient Egyptian mythology which are thousands of years older.
Detail from the Farnese Atlas showing Faberge’s inspiration
I’ve love to be able to say that next, the egg cracked open, but it didn’t. The Cosmic Egg unfolded or unfurled like a Persian carpet. And then I could see the inside of the egg, and this will be almost impossible to describe, except that when I saw it, I realised where Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516) got his inspiration for The Garden of Earthly Delights.
It was like Bosch’s tryptych, but it wasn’t like that, and no artist, poet or film-maker that I know of has ever been able to express the beauty of this flowing, fluid, honeyed golden yolk, teeming with myriad life and all interweaving and interchanging along the golden flows that fell like waterfalls in places and were rushing and branching rivers of molten gold in others.
The Universal Tree
In another vision, I was shown how the branching of what we call the World Tree permeates everything from the smallest atom to the most gigantic cosmological system.
I like this modern interpretation of the Norse ‘World Tree’, Yggdrasil, because it also shows the Universe as an Egg.
And it is from the ‘World Tree’ or ‘Universal Tree’ that all the branching comes: the branching of rivers, the branching of lightening, the branching of nerves, arteries and veins in animal and plant life, even the branching of our own small Earthly trees, and right up to the web of galaxies forming our Universe.
The Serpent and the Egg
So which came first, the serpent or the egg? The answer is: how can one come before the other in a place where time doesn’t exist?
Ohio Serpent Mound showing Egg
But along with all the branching of honeyed molten flows, I was also shown the spiralling of the creative forces, from the hugely macrocosmic spiralling Universal forces to the tiny microcosmic spiralling strands of DNA. And from this, I could see from where the ancient Greek philosophers derived their imagery for their Caduceus.
The ancients associated the Creation with fertility, and so would we if we weren’t so prudish about sex. To our scientists, Creation of the Universe was a once-off event, began by the Big Bang or something like it.To the ancients, though, Creation was is and continues to be an ongoing act of fertility through eternity and beyond.
So quite openly and without any silly tittering behind their hands, our ancestors would use sexual imagery to express their understanding of how vital and intrinsic fertility was to the important matter of Creation.
For centuries, anthropologists have told us that ancient fertility rites were all about praying for a good harvest. The narrowness of that vision only reflects the obsession of our own society – consumerism. These so-called fertility rites took place tens of thousands of years before man had any crops to pray over. And those ancient fertility rites were about nothing less than the whole Universe generating and regenerating itself – through the act of sex and represented by the serpent eating its tail.
In the Vedas, these fertility rites were known as the ‘asvamedha’, and the Egyptians called them ‘maithuna’. The sex act which took place within these rites was a microcosmic enactment of the macrocosmic act that guaranteed the ‘covenant’, in other words, the continuation of the ongoing creation of the Universe.
As above, so below.
I once read a critique of Carlos Castenada ~ that he must have made up his Mexican nagual shaman, Don Juan, because Don Juan never appears to say anything new or original and his teachings were “so derivative of shamanic teachings worldwide.” But isn’t that just the point? Spirit doesn’t change its message according to time and place. This is a timeless vision because it exists outside of Time.
When I asked the spirits to show me the nature of the Universe, they gave me a very similar vision that they’ve been giving to shamans, seers and mystics for countless millennia ~ and which is evident in their mythology and iconography ~ involving the serpent and the egg.
So similarly, with this post, I haven’t brought anything new or original to a subject.
One extra realisation I had, though, is that this might be partly why Faberge eggs are so desired by the rich. Apart from their beauty (which even then, doesn’t come anywhere close to the real thing) they are probably also subconsciously regarded as power objects, given that they are a symbol for the whole Universe.
Apart from Fabergé’s, all that’s left to our collective rituals around eggs is when we give each other chocolate eggs at Easter. Few realise that this festival was previously celebrated for thousands of years at which coloured and painted eggs were exchanged to represent the regenerative time of Spring and in dedication to the goddess Oestre/Ishtar.
Also as a side note: Scientists complain that shamanic practises are not repeatable and thus not testable. As is shown by this post, they are eminently repeatable and they are recounted over and over and over again in the stories, monuments, artwork, rites, rituals and ceremonies of the ancients throughout millennia.
But what artists and storytellers can never adequately express, and neither can I, is the tremendous and almost overwhelming Truth, Goodness and Beauty that permeates it All.
Shamanic Earth Magic
When the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, the word on everyone’s lips was Sovereignty.
But what is Sovereignty?
There were some who tried to convince the British people that Sovereignty didn’t really exist, or that if it did, it was over-rated. A few self-styled experts claimed that Sovereignty could be extended or pooled; others insisted that Sovereignty was merely “the ability to get things done.”
All of those pundits were wrong – although they were hardly to blame for their errors. Sovereignty actually starts off life as a spiritual transmission from the spirits of the land, but this is no longer taught to the general populace.
However, a few mystic types did know about Sovereignty, and so they weren’t at all surprised when its spirit rose up from the land on the Summer Solstice of 2016, and infused the hearts and minds of the ordinary people of Britain.
In this book, Reclaiming Sovereignty, you will learn all about the spiritual source of Sovereignty – and how to find it and reclaim it in your own life and on your own land.
Buy Reclaiming Sovereignty: Shamanic Earth Magic here
YES, again. I have seen the lattice and the world-tree views, and Ningishzida once told me, “The egg is in the serpent, and the serpent is in the egg.” Typically for my _ilu_, the implications were “left as an exercise.” I didn’t ever get the unfolding part, but it rings true.
Scientific/material models are useful, and “true” within their constraints (where “true” means the math works, at least until a harder test case comes up, like lightspeed for mechanics). I don’t know if there are enough people who can see both ways yet, to have a chance of combining them and make sense in both realms.
This description sounds very much like my experience when drinking ayahuasca. Were you also taking ayahuasca when experiencing these revelations?
Thank you Ishtar, beautifully described.
Scientific explanations for the existence of the parts of the universe they can observe are governed by ‘project’ type thinking that believes everything must have a start point and an end point. Scientists quote the repeatability of their results as proof of their veracity; but when pursuing the same end with the same tools within the same constraints, repeatability is a given. One wonders what scientists would come up with if they were freed from the need for ‘a start and a finish’ and realized that time itself is a man-made construct that has no relevance?
Cat had a nice sleep, the box was cozy, but time to go hunting, push open the lid and slide out. Now will the cat be alive or dead when we open the box. Just loved the idea of uncashed cheques as an explanation of supposition. The idea of an ‘unfolding’ seems apt.
i had a partly similar experience to your ‘lattice’ except the intersections werent stars but presences/enlightened beings/thought forms of wisdom/discrete intelligences, including myself and anyone who cared enough to look and provide good energy. the network of brahama someone said it was, in hindu mythology