Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sorcerer

I know this picture is tiny but I couldn't help sharing it once I found it. This tattoo comes from the Just the Life of a Wiccan Mom blog. This is the first tattoo of this kind I've ever found. It comes from "The Sorcerer", an image from the Trois Freres cavern in France. It dates from approximately 13,000 BCE and may be the precursor to later Horned Gods like Cernunnos and Pan. I would share an image of the actual cave art but it is so degraded that all we have to go on is a modern drawing of it. The Sorcerer is a fascinating bit of history as it could be a vision of the earliest shamans in a state of ecstatic communion with the gods. It could also be an image of a hunter preparing for the hunt, or both, as hunting for survival and early shamanism would have likely been closely intertwined. Note the human feet and genitalia, bear like paws and what some people consider a bird-like face. This is a perfect example of therianthropy which features in nearly every ancient culture on the planet.

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