IN12 Shamanic Dance
The early Celts were a people profoundly connected with the turning of the seasons, the natural world, and the creatures they encountered there. The beasts of the field and forests, the birds in the air and the fishes in the oceans and rivers were all significant to the Celts, not only in terms of basic survival, but also for their highly developed spiritual life and. It’s not surprising that the depiction of the nature became an intrinsic part of the complex designs of Celtic art. The Spirit of the Green Man and the Horned God embodies the energy of nature, and the creative force that brings Nature back to life each spring-time after its death imposed by winter.
Eagles and many other birds can serve as ideal spirit guides to and through the shamanic Upper world. The eagle has been regarded as the greatest of birds by many people. Its size, power, beauty, and apparent ability to fly right into the sun made it both a supreme Upper world guide and an obvious symbol of solar divinity. The bear is no longer indigenous to the British Isles or to Ireland and it does not appear in old Celtic stories. But we begin with the bear, be-cause its veneration is so ancient that the Celts received It from their European Stone Age ancestors in the forms of the goddess Brigid, King Arthur, London’s Artemis cult, and the site of Thomas the Rhymer’s abduction. Stone figures of bears from the pagan Celtic period were found in 1840 during the rebuilding of Ireland’s Armagh Cathedral. The bear also appears in illuminated manuscripts prepared by Celtic monks.