3.6 Tribal Faiths: Shamanic Animals and the affinity to
the Spirits of Nature
The mammals, birds and fish which dwell in this series are inspired by Nature and Myth. The four elements of the world are envisaged through the versatility, complexity and beauty of the creatures. Earth, water and air are populated by the infinite richness of bustling life. Fire or energy is here suggested by the continuous ebb and flow of the tides. The sharp senses, instinctive power, endurance and splendor of the animals’ skin, fur, feather and fish scale – all serve as the concrete reminders of the Infinite ingenuity of the Great Creator.
The animal icons stands in tribal belief for a Nature Spirit, accompanying the human being throughout his life also functioning as a bridge between men and the Great Mystery (The Supreme), who knows the creatures’ vast spectrum of dynamic languages.
Such a sumptuous knowledge is full of vitality because it has to consider the object of sight in a perpetually changing context within space and time. The iconography depends on both the activity of the particular animal and the scenery of that activity. Such an effort, on the part of the Shaman, accrues his focus, as well as, an amplified perspective. Thus, the Shaman cultivates the animal power, as the eyesight of the eagle, the swiftness of the falcon, the wakefulness of the savage cat…
By polishing the communication with the rich population of the creatures, the Shaman
gradually increases his own senses and inner vision, establishing the inner gates leading to invisible, ample channels of Infinity.
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