Art is intended to guide society. Our early development as a species was principally based upon art, language and imagination. To our ancestors there would have been no barrier between the real and the imagined.
In the first place ‘Art’ was our sacred science, and the guiding force of culture…
Let me explain….
Cave paintings are some of the oldest forms of art in the world. There are many beliefs as to what they represent; including ideas about hunting and ceremonial rites, to the depiction of contact with extraterrestrial species. However, I have had many remarkable experiences with cave paintings, megaliths and petroglyphs, and this has led me to a conclusion regarding the practical nature of these early means of communication.
While man was developing the power of speech and self-reflection – along side there would have been the development of a stronger need to communicate through other forms such as drumming. It is perfectly possible that cave painting developed out of verbalization
The early experience of man was ‘Band’ culture. This is the form of society that existed before tribal societies grew up. From the beginning these societies were hunter-gatherers, but primarily they would have been nomadic in nature. With the need to hunt comes the need to move around with your prey. In north-west Europe – it is a widely documented fact, that the tribes of the British Isles, had very pronounced migration routes. In particular between Ireland, the north of England and Scotland – the Picts, Celts and the Scots, occupying various different regions throughout history. The prehistory of Britain would likely have been no different. This idea of migration can be extended throughout Europe. During the period just after the building of Stonehenge, for instance it is documented that a culture arose of itinerant Magi. Travelling around Europe with brass conical hats (much like wizards hats) these druids, possessed information regarding the movement of the heavens – knowledge which prior to this point would have been built inherently into the megalithic structures. These events happened upon the entering of the agrarian age, where for the first time societies were focusing more on growing crops and as such had the need to settle in one place for the first time. Prior to this the tribes of north west europe would have been no strangers to migration. The megalithic structures that were built before this time were generally aligned with stars. In fact most ancient monuments have some connection with the heavens. But whatever the nature of the knowledge these Structures were a means of relaying information – art represented a means of communication. But communicating what exactly?
In the first place – the very earliest form of art were handprints on cave walls. These were dated to some 40,000 years ago. Hand stencils have been found in various parts of the world from, Timpuseng cave Sulawesi, Indonesia to Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals were at least 35,000 years old, these too found in caves in the district of Maros, located in Bantimurung district, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The earliest figurative paintings in Europe date back to the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000 to 32,000 years ago, and are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, and in the Coliboaia Cave in Romania.
There are also similar later paintings in Africa, Australia and South America, continuing until recent times in some places. There is a tendency worldwide for open air rock art to supersede deep cave paintings.
However these hand stencils, were more than just a means of self-reflection and self-identification. Rather they were a means of identifying yourself to others. They were a signature to allow others to know who had been present at a specific place at a specific time. People who knew you, would have also know your handprint, and from this your whereabouts. Keeping track of each others movements in this early age would have been of vital importance. This information could have been mapped by leaving these markings. Also the movements and quantity of availability of game – marked in codes known only to the other members of the tribe. This would account for animal depictions seen in some of the earliest paintings.
To some extent there would have been a link to the spiritual side of the existence for the tribe. In as much as these stencils and paintings were a description of their outer world – they would have undoubtedly been also a representation of the inner world. Perhaps visions of prey, hunting and actual places or event were depicted as the same reality. For our ancestors there was little or no separation from the spirit; very different from our postmodernist approach of seeing spiritual practice as something separate from the rest of your life. Early man would have lived in accordance with the spirit – an existence uncorrupted and undivided by the passage of time.
So knowing where your friends family and allies were – would been an essential strategy for survival. I have no doubt – that this ritual became quite a developed science and subsequently an “art”, to the people of the Neolithic period. It would have developed alongside the growth and development of their civilisation. Bringing in more elements of ritualistic practice into sacred space. Making it more a representation of the abstract rather than the physical world. The need to map the outer world becoming less important over time as the balance tipped towards the metaphysical, as man’s success was assured.
But for the early ancestors looking to the stars for guidance – was also a cause and inspiration for how they decorated their world – perhaps they imagined messages from the gods written into the code of the celestial bodies and mapped the heavens as a direct guidance for their well-being and development too.
~ Toltec Warrior
The Shaman has no interest in Politics – Politics is a different system, a different matrix… The shaman practices being one with the Earth Matrix and as such has no time for such things. Which is not to say they cannot look and discuss. But when politics encroaches upon the viability of their livelihood this discussion ends and its time for action – Other than that, what else is there to consider ! ~ Toltec Warrior
A warrior hesitates by means of strategic necessity ~ knowing that he must retain his awareness through sobriety and detachment – in order to regain his balance and to determine his direction ~ a warrior considers the path with heart…
~ Toltec Warrior
A warrior is never without reason!
to live by reason alone is what makes the average man.
…But to abandon reason altogether and to rely solely on will is pure folly…
To live a balance between these two elements – through judgement of the heart is excellence!
…living a heart centred life – Key!
~ Toltec Warrior
The word nagual (nahual) is derived from the ‘Nahuatl language. The common Mesoamerican definition was one who had the ability to transform themselves into an animal. They also had the power to harm or heal depending on their disposition. The nagual is a personal guardian spirit believed by some Mesoamerican Indians to reside in an animal, such as a deer, jaguar, or bird. In some areas the nagual is the animal. Nagualism was linked to the Mesoamerican calendar system and used for divination. The Nahuatl word ‘tonalli’ meaning ‘day’ or ‘day sign’ from which the word Tonal is derived was used to refer both to a day and to the animal associated with that day. Much like the system of the Totem, all humans were thought to have an animal counterpart to which their life force was linked. The nagual would be distinguished by virtue of his birth; powerful sorcerers would be born on a specific day. And just as the Tonal was thought to be the spirit of the day, the nagual was said to be that of the night. So the Nagual or sorcerer would possess an animal spirit that would be linked to his ‘tonal’, and this relationship would last as long as both existed.
The person who is to receive his nagual traditionally goes to an isolated spot and sleeps. The animal that appears in his dreams or that confronts him when he awakens will thereafter be his particular nagual. Among many modern Mesoamerican Indians, it is believed that the first creature to cross over the ashes spread before a newborn baby becomes that child’s nagual. The belief in nagualism varies from region to region. In some areas it is believed that only the most powerful leaders (usually men) can transform themselves into this animal form to do evil; thus, the word derives from the Nahuatl word nahualli or (“disguise”), applied to the animal forms magically assumed by sorcerers.
The word nagual also has the connotation of “knowledge”. In the Nahuatl language, a number of derivatives from the same root exist, all of them pertaining to “knowledge.” The early missionaries to the New World often spoke of the nagual, as a ‘master of mystic knowledge’.
This is precisely the way in which Don Juan describes himself to Castaneda, as a ‘man of Knowledge’ or as ‘One who knows’.
Don Juan’s Benefactor the ‘Nagual’ Julian Osorio, he cites as a being a diablero. He defines this as one who is capable of transforming themselves into an animal or bird. He describes the world of the diableros or that of the sorcerer as opposed to the world of the average man. This is a place where unfathomable mysteries are glimpsed and all things become possible.
Don Juan is also quoted as saying about his benefactor:
“Do you know that to this day it’s hard for me to visualize him? I know that sounds absurd, but depending on his needs or the circumstances, he could be either, young or old, handsome or homely, effete and weak or strong and virile, fat or slender, of medium height or extremely short.”
Over the course of his apprenticeship Don Juan described the nagual to Castaneda in detail.
The Nagual is a double being to whom the “rule” has been revealed.
The nagual comes in a male and female pair – the pair becomes the nagual only when the “rule” has been given to each and it has been fully understood by both.
A Nagual is a teacher, a leader and a guide.
The Nagual is said to have extraordinary energy, sobriety, endurance and stability.
The nagual acts a conduit between the spirit and the world – channeling peace, harmony, laughter and knowledge to his/her companions.
The maneuvers of the nagual are based on artifice and subterfuge, but they cannot plan their course of action but instead follow the dictates of the spirit.
A nagual is also capable of moving their, own assemblage point and the assemblage point of others.
With the nagual there is no assertion of self
Throughout the works of Castaneda the nagual is also considered to be the world of the second attention – the unknown, the other, the darkside, the left side of awareness, the world of dreaming, this is the battlefield of the warrior, and the training ground for the third attention, the world in which they make their stand. It is both the individual and the world he occupies.