ANCIENT SYMBOLS


Sorcerer of Les Trois Freres
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Sorcerer of Les Trois Freres

Paleolithic man was utterly dependant upon the animals he hunted. He regarded them as similar to himself, but endowed with supernatural powers. Early hunters often believed that the God or Ancestor of the animals he hunted must be sacrificed to, honored, and communicated with; hence, the Lords of the hunt were often personified, or conversely, the shaman/magicians of the tribe would become shape shifters, entering into the consciousness of the animal in order to commune with them and invoke their aid, powers, or to atone with them. Such may have been the Sorcerer figure found on the walls of an ancient initiation cave in France. To this day, Morris dances in which the male dancers wear horns on their heads are annually enacted in the Spring, embodying the fertile potency of the Stag king.

"The thrilling hybrid figure of a man with antlered head, round eyes, a long beard, animal (lion?) paws instead of hands, the tail of a wild horse, and his sexual organ placed beneath the tail seems to be a more important personage than a 'sorcerer,' as he is called.... Abbe Breuil was right to call him the 'God of Les Trois Freres'....[This Master of Animals and Forests is] shown moving, probably dancing."

Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess, Harper & Row, 1989


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