The Celestial Birdman of the Ancient World


Many ancient cultures around the world have legends of the Birdman, which describe in various forms some sort of half-human, half-avian creature. These tales are possibly connected to our universal psychological yearnings for flight. In liturgical literature and visual art, for instance, the appearance of angels, or simply humans with wings, may be the result of our innate desire to soar above the Earth into the realm of God. The soul itself is sometimes portrayed as winging up to heaven. More archaic traditions conceptualize the bird as a psychopomp, carrying the soul to the underworld. The proto-surrealist painter Hieronymus Bosch may be been considering this darker role in his early 16th century “Garden of Earthly Delights.” His triptych shows the “Prince of Hell” as a Birdman with a chamber pot for a crown, who devours human corpses and excretes them on his “throne.”



Hieronymous Bosch, detail from “Garden of Earthly Delights,” c. 1500.


The Birdman is a particular type of therianthrope, a word that literally means “beast-man.” Myths of this crypto-creature are not confined to any one continent but are found in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Africa, North and South America, and Australia. Many people with even a casual interest in Egyptology are familiar with the falcon-headed solar god Horus, son of Osiris and Isis. Each pharaoh became the manifestation of this protector deity in life and Osiris/Orion in death. In addition, the ancient Egyptians recognized ibis-headed Thoth as the god of knowledge, writing, magic, and science. The ba, or “soul,” was depicted with a bird body and a human head.

The Birdman also played a key role in Mesopotamia. At the Assyrian city of Nimrud, bas-relief sculptures were found of a winged, eagle-headed genie that protected the people from diseases and evil forces. In his right hand he carried a pinecone sprinkler; in his left a purifying water vessel. He wore a feather robe, thong sandals, and a dagger in his belt.

The half-eagle, half-man entity from India was called Garuda, who also had the head and wings of a bird and the body of a human. He was king of the feathered tribes and adversary of the serpent race.1 The Chinese version of Birdman was a storm god named Lei Kung, who had a human body but the head and claws of a rooster. He carried a hammer in one hand and a chisel in the other, with which he produced thunder and lightning.2 In Hindu and Buddhist mythologies the male kinnara and the female kinnaris are half-bird, half-human creatures that were paradigmatic lovers that revealed in poetry, song, and dance.3



Left: falcon-headed Horus. Right: eagle-headed deity anointing the World Tree, neo-Assyrian, 9th century BC.


Members of the Dan tribe that inhabited Côte d’Ivoire were conceptualized as Bird-men. These beings with human bodies and birds-of-prey heads reputedly bequeathed all the arts and sciences of civilization to the native people of West Africa. Scholar Andrew Collins speculates that the Danite Bird-men may actually have been connected to the biblical Watchers, or fallen angels, who by their astral flights engaged in bird shamanism. “The idea of bird-men acting as bringers of knowledge and wisdom to mortal kind is not unique to the Middle East. An African tribe called Dan, who live close to the village of Man on the Ivory Coast, say that at the beginning of time, in the days of their first ancestors, a race of ‘attractive human birds appeared, possessing all the sciences which they handed on to mankind’. Even today the tribal artists make copper representations of these bird-men, who are shown with human bodies and heads supporting long beaks, like those of birds of prey.”4



Left: Garuda statue, National Museum, Delhi, photo courtesy of Hyougushi. Right: Wooden masks of Birdman, Dan tribe, Poro Society, Ivory Coast, left-female/right-male, 8” by 33”.


A similar creature with bird-head and human frame was worshipped by the bird cult on Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Atop a high precipice at the lip of the Rano Kao volcano on the southwestern tip of the island, hundreds of petroglyphs of therianthropes, depicted in profile with arched backs and curved beaks, have been carved in bas-relief into the rocks. Over 50 semi- subterranean stone chambers, mostly oval-shaped, were used to house the Bird-men, who were called tangata manu (literally, “man-bird”; note tan-/Dan similarity) as they waited for the return of the sooty tern (Sterna fuscata) to a tiny island a short distance off the coast. Graham Hancock claims that the Easter Island name for the sooty tern is manu-tera, literally “bird-sun,” suggesting the primordial egg of the phoenix in Heliopolis. He furthermore states that the word tangata- manu (he spells it tangatu) actually means “learned man of the sacred bird” and refers ibis- headed Thoth with his long, curved beak.5

The Maya manifested a seated Birdman in the form of the nocturnal Yucatan Screech Owl, or “moan-bird,” an evil therianthrope whose mournful, quavering cry signified death and drought.6 The Hopi of northern Arizona conversely portray the Eagle Kachina (or katsina, i.e. a spirit messenger) as a benevolent figure that assisted with the burgeoning of the agricultural cycle. In addition, the Mimbres tribe of southwestern New Mexico painted on a ceramic bowl one long beaked aquatic Birdman holding a string of large fish.



Left:Wooden statue of Birdman, 10.3”, Easter Island, British Museum. Right: Birdman, bas-relief petroglyph, Orongo, Rapa Nui.



Mayan Birdman, Yucatan Screech Owl (Otus choliba thompsoni), 1 & 3 from Dresden Codex, 2 from the Tro-Cortesianus Codex.



Left: Hopi Eagle Kachina Right: Mimbres Birdman on ceramic bowl



Left: Birdman Tablet, sandstone, Cahokia, c. 1200 AD. Right: Rogan Plate, dancing Birdman, copper, Etowah, Georgia.


Artifacts found at Cahokia near present-day Saint Louis, Missouri, and Etowah Indian Mounds in Georgia prove that the Birdman played a significant role for the Mound Builder cultures. During the mid-1st millennium AD in northern Peru, the Moche human sacrifice ceremony featured a Birdman figure. Equally brutal, the Aztecs also employed the motif.



Left: Moche Warrior Priest hands a goblet to the Bird Priest. Right: Aztec Eagle Man,clay statue, Field Museum, Chicago.



Bird-men, Nazca culture, 1-500 AD, textile, Peru. Did these Bird-men fly over the Nazca lines?


The continent of Australia is apparently replete with the Birdman figures, usually depicted as petroglyphs. Rock art researcher Rex Gilroy states in this regard:

“Carved into a large boulder at one end is a strange symbol: a human-bodied, winged, bird-headed figure. Similar winged, human-bodied figures are commonplace at open, flat summits of hills lying among the old terraced Uruan structures standing southwest of Sydney, in the Campbelltown district, and upon cliff tops and high tabletop areas throughout the nearby Blue Mountains. They also occur upon tabletop summits of hills and mountains across the Australian continent, including Tasmania. They are images of the ‘Bird-Men’ of Uru, the first humans to begin the conquest of the skies. Some Blue Mountains rock art shows there were ‘Bird-women’ too. These rock engravings show that, over 15,000 years ago, employing the simplest materials, the Blue Mountains Uru had taken to the air in the earliest hang gliders built on earth. It is significant that traditions of these ‘birdmen and women’ are preserved by Aboriginal tribes with Uru-sounding names Australia-wide.”7



Left: Engraving of Bird-woman (?) with pendulous breasts, Sydney area, Australia, photo by Angel John Gallard, courtesy of Evan William Strong, Right: Jewish seal of Yahweh with bird-head and snake-legs, Hellenistic/Roman, 2nd -1 st century BC.


Now I’d like to go out on a limb with a very old Birdman—perhaps the world’s oldest. In the Vézère Valley of the Dordogne region of southwestern France, four teenage boys as recently as 1940 discovered the incredible cave system known as Lascaux. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this subterranean wonder was dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistory.” The 2,000 or so figures exquisitely rendered in mineral pigments of red hematite, yellow goethite, and manganese dioxide were painted by Cro-Magnon artists on the calcite walls and ceiling in the Upper Paleolithic as much as 20,000 years ago. Animal pictographs included aurochs (Bos Primigenius), bison, equines, felines, ibexes, reindeer, a bear, a bird, and a woolly rhinoceros. Geometric iconography includes dots, hooks, crosses, and squares as well as rectilinear and nested figures.

A single human form haunts the walls of a section known as the Shaft, the deepest part of the cave, which was probably considered as a sort of sanctum sanctorum. Initiates would descend vertically about 15 feet by rope into this narrow cleft in order to take part in sacred rituals that most likely involved the spirits of the underworld.8



Birdman, bird-on-a-staff, bison, and rhino in the Shaft, Lascaux, France


Dr. Michael Rappenglück of Munich University claims that the images on the panel, which is about six-and-a-half-feet tall, represent the Summer Triangle. Specifically, the avian-humanoid inclined at an angle of 45 degrees corresponds to Deneb in Cygnus, the bird on a stick corresponds to Altair in Aquila, and the bull corresponds to Vega in Lyra. However, in a section near the cave’s mouth, a bovine with six dots over its shoulder had been painted, clearly depicting Taurus and the Pleiades.9 (See next page.) That would mean that a bull in one place represents Taurus, while in another place in the same cave it represents Lyra. Were the shamanic astronomers really that inconsistent?



Aurochs, or wild oxen, painted near the mouth of Lascaux Cave with superimposed constellations. Horns of the male auroch at the right correspond to the horns of Taurus, and the six dots above its shoulder correspond to the six visible stars of the Pleiades. The dots below and to the left of this auroch’s nose correspond to Orion’s belt. The horns of the auroch on the center-left correspond to Gemini, its eye to Canis Minor, its chest to Monoceros, and its left foreleg to Sirius in Canis Major. The brown natural formation directly adjacent to Gemini may represent the full moon on the ecliptic. Note the hind end of Canis Major rests on the floor of the cave, which may represent the horizon. The bull on the right seems to be staring at the X-shape near Orion’s head (Meissa). In addition, the wedge between its lower horn (Zeta Tauri) and Orion’s upraised right hand may correspond to the two equinox points where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic. The red bison near the bottom of the panel facing the opposite direction is superimposed on the lower portion of the auroch, and thus is more recent.



Lascaux sky, April 21, 17,100 BC. The white cross shows where the celestial equator (blue) crosses the ecliptic (red). This point is also near where the galactic plane (orange) crosses the other two lines.


Since the auroch in the painting above most certainly represents Taurus with the Pleiades hovering above his right shoulder, I would like to propose for the figures in the Shaft an alternative to Rappenglück’s constellations.

The stick-like figure reclining at an angle of 45 degrees is called the Birdman because of his bird beak, although he has no wings. He does, however, have four fingers on each hand, which parallels the four claws of a bird. The relationship between this human figure (the only one at Lascaux) and the bull are proportional to that of the constellations Orion and Taurus respectively.10

Some have also called the human figure the Wounded Man or even the Dead Man. Admittedly, the figure certainly seems intimidated by the bull, although the latter’s entrails appear to be dangling down, so perhaps it was wounded in the confrontation. The figure also is ithyphallic, although it is difficult to understand how a person in this state could have an erect penis. Maybe the rigors of mortis have something to do with it. But seriously, male arousal is commonly found in dreaming and altered states of consciousness, so the erection may signify the shaman’s ecstatic journey to the spirit world rather than mere physical virility or fertility.




In fact, cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams rejects the notion that the panel is merely a description of a hunting scene created for the purpose of sympathetic magic. “So what we have in the Shaft is not a hunting disaster; far too many points count against so simple an interpretation. Rather, we have transformation by death: the ‘death’ of the man paralleling the ‘death’ of the eviscerated bison. As both ‘die’, the man fuses with one of his spirit helpers, a bird.” Lewis-Williams goes on to describe the function of Lascaux in general. “Those who descended the Shaft did not simply view pictures: they saw real things, real spirit animals and beings, real transformations. In short they saw through the membrane and participated in the events of the spirit realms. The paintings in the Shaft capture the essence of Lascaux shamanism in a compaction of its complex metaphors.”11 He is thus suggesting that the painted rock surface is a membrane or mystical veil through which participants could interact with the spirit world. This undoubtedly included the celestial realm, if the various images that the Magdalenian artists created do indeed symbolically correspond to specific constellations, as has been proposed.

The woolly rhinoceros at the left may represent the constellation Leo—the raised tail corresponding to the curved neck of the “Lion.” I also suggest that the bird on a vertical staff, which one source identifies as a capercaillie or grouse, represents Canis Major on the southern horizon, with Sirius being the bird, and the stick being the backbone of what we now call the Great Dog. Historian of religion Mircea Eliade comments on the perched bird motif.

“Because shamans can change themselves into ‘birds,’ that is, because they enjoy the ‘spirit’ condition, they are able to fly to the World Tree to bring back ‘soul- birds.’ The bird perched on a stick is a frequent symbol in shamanic circles. It is found, for example, on the tombs of Yakut shamans. A Hungarian táltos ‘had a stick or post before his hut and perched on the stick was a bird. He sent the bird wherever he would have to go.’ The bird perched on a post is already found in the celebrated relief at Lascaux (bird-headed man) in which Horst Kirchner has seen a representation of a shamanic trance. However this may be, it is certain that the motif ‘bird perched on a post’ is extremely archaic.”12

Less certain are the representations for the three pairs of vertical dots at the hind end of the rhino. The two on the right may correspond to Canis Minor (the brightest star being Procyon), the two in the middle may be a couple stars in the constellation Cancer and/or the star cluster M44, while the two on the left may be two planets on the ecliptic. Alternately, these latter two might instead represent Regulus and Algieba in Leo. (On the other hand, the two marks might merely be rhino feces, which is as good a guess as any when it comes to rock art interpretation.) The atlatl-like weapon lying at the foot of Birdman may correspond to the constellation Lepus, while the pair of dots at the top of the panel may represent the Gemini twins. The oblique line at the hind end of the bull also suggests the celestial equator.




The problem with this scenario is that the paintings at Lascaux have been radiocarbon dated to 15,500 BC—not 19,000 BC as the sky chart shows.13 In fact, Sirius was not even visible at the later date but hovered just below the horizon during the passage of the constellations across the night sky. Sirius was a recognizable bird on a staff in about 19,000 BC. Due to the celestial motion of the precession of the equinoxes, however, by 16,000 BC it had sunk until it rested just one degree due south above the horizon, and by 15,500 BC it was gone. If the bird on a stick really does correspond to Sirius, then either the dating of Lascaux is inaccurate or the memories of its artists were very long. But perhaps they did indeed remember intergenerational stories of the brightest bird in the sky that perched on the belly of the Earth Mother 500 years before, and then inexplicably flew to the underworld.

A number of carved sandstone lamps were found in the Shaft, one of which contained charcoal radiocarbon dated to 17,500 (± 900) years before present.14 If we assume the earlier limit of the dating, that would bring us back to 18,400 YBP, or 16,400 BC, in which case Sirius would have been clearly visible – though low– on the southern horizon.

However, a newer technique for dating called uranium-series disequilibrium was recently used on 50 paintings in 11 different Paleolithic caves in northern Spain, including the UNESCO World heritage site of Altamira. Uranium isotopes were measured in the thin calcite layers that began to form above the paintings. The tests determined the ages to be 5,000 to 10,000 years earlier than previously thought. According to team leader Dr Alistair Pike of the University of Bristol, UK, this opens up the possibility that the artwork may have been executed not by Cro- Magnons (i.e. European Early Modern Humans) but by Neanderthals! “Evidence for modern humans in Northern Spain dates back to 41,500 years ago, and before them were Neanderthals. Our results show that either modern humans arrived with painting already part of their cultural activity or it developed very shortly after, perhaps in response to competition with—or perhaps the art is Neanderthal art.”15 If this earlier dating is possible for the Paleolithic caves of Spain, the same might hold true for Lascaux in France, in which case Sirius as the bird on the staff would have been certainly visible on the southern horizon.

As we have seen, the Birdman motif can have either a positive or a negative connotation, depending on the exigencies of the particular culture. In any case, it is a potent archetype throughout the world and in every period of history or prehistory. At Lascaux the ichthyphallic Birdman and the bison may both be wounded and as a result are in the process of jointly making their transition to the underworld, assisted by the spirit-helper of the bird on the staff. Bovine and bird could possibly signify the dual nature of life: physical and mental, body and soul, blind Eros and visionary Psyche. Despite the wounded state of the bull, it nonetheless has tremendous power over the Birdman, who seems to be fainting or falling.

Some researchers of the Lascaux panel interpret the dual figures as the First Man and the Primordial Bull of the cosmogony. In the Zoroastrian tradition the deaths of both the Primal Man named Gayomart and the Primal Bull by the evil demiurge Ahriman assures the fertility of life on the earth.16 According to author Barbara Hand Clow, “Many scholars believe that this painting is the death of the divine twin when the world was created… because twin kingship is a core shamanic archetype in world mythology.”17 In the first epoch as well as in all succeeding ones, “kingship” was considered to be kinship. However, in this case the twins were not two identical humans but a twining of two strands: Birdman and Bull. The Indo-European peoples believed that in the Golden Age the divine regal twins were born.

The name of the supreme Persian ruler Yima (Sanskrit version = Yama and Norse version = Ymir) is yemo, which literally means “twin.” (As previously mentioned, a possible correlation to the constellation Gemini, the Twins, is located at the top of the Lascaux panel in the form of a pair of dots.) According to the scholars Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, the ruler of the first peaceful age that the Persian Avesta identifies as Yima was also called Saturnus and Kronos in Latin and Greek respectively.18 Anthropologist Francis Huxley in turn makes a direct correlation between Saturn and the constellation Orion. “He [Saturn] is also to be found in the constellation Orion, who wields that sickle-shaped sword called a falchion and which farmers call a billhook…. For the Egyptians Orion was associated with Horus and the soul of Osiris; in the Hindu Brahmanas he is seen as Prajapati in the form of a stag; several nations in the Middle East refer to him as the Giant, or the hunter Nimrod mighty before the Lord; and he was Saturnus to the Romans.”19 In he Egyptian case, the soul of Osiris was located in Orion, and thus the former’s son, the falcon headed Horus, was also implicated in the genealogical lineage.


Yima was commanded by the supreme deity Ahura Mazda (or Ohrmazd, who was frequently depicted with wings and tail-feathers) to build a subterranean stronghold called a var. In some ways Yima parallels the biblical Noah, filling his underground fortress with sundry species of plants and animals. The threat, however, is not from flood but from “vehement destroying frost.”20 We recall that during the time the Lascaux paintings were created (circa 18,000 BC – 15,500 BC), much of the world was locked in the Last Glacial Maximum of the Ice Age. In essence, the underworld cavern system of Lascaux was a refuge from the harsh elements and a sanctuary that parallels the Persian var.

In addition, the specific angle of the Birdman apparently has universal significance. Ms. Clow goes on to describe the work of one anthropologist who studied the ancient technique of assuming various physical postures in order to initiate a trace or altered state of consciousness.

“Anthropologist Felicitas Goodman was intrigued by the angle of First Man as well as the odd position of his arms, and she thought it could be a ritual posture. She compared it with a similar Dynastic depiction of Osiris with the same angle and arm positions, which depicts Osiris rising toward the heavens, most likely to Orion. Goodman also links this painting with divine twinship mythology, and by linking the Lascaux painting with Dynastic Egypt though posture analysis, she spans 12,000 years and links the pre diluvial [i.e. antediluvian] world with Dynastic Egypt. Osiris was dismembered by his twin brother, Seth; he was put back together again by Isis so he could procreate and ascend; and his son, Horus, is bird-headed.”21



Either Osiris or Min, resting on the earth that is surrounded by a world-serpent, papyrus, Egyptian Museum, Cairo, but also found in the tomb of Ramesses.


The above drawing on papyrus shows ichthyphallic Osiris (Orion) reclining at an angle similar to that of the Lascaux Birdman. At the position where the Lascaux Taurus bull is located, we see in this case the sun-god Ra near the tip of the phallus, as well as the scarab that moves the sun across the sky. On the other hand, this figure may instead represent Min, the black deity of procreation in men, beasts, and plants. He was also god of rain, and was associated with the white bull—his shrine being crowned with bullhorns. The harvest festival, “Festival of the Stairs of Min,” consecrated Min’s center of creative power at the Primeval Mound, or the axis mundi of the cosmogony. This festival concluded with four birds being released to the cardinal directions. Min was thought to be the son of Osiris, thereby assuming an alternate of the falcon-headed Horus.22



In the round Dendera Zodiac, c. 50 BC, Osiris/Orion holds a staff much like the one the Lascaux Birdman has dropped. The bird-on-the-staff is depicted as Horus, not Isis/Sirius, who is depicted as the cow Hathor behind the vertical axis mundi.


Poet Clayton Eschleman, who experienced first-hand a number of the painted caves of the Dordogne region, writes about the somatic/psychic condition of their artists. “I felt I was witnessing the result of the crisis of paleolithic separating the animal out of their thus-to-be human heads, and that what we call ‘the underworld’ has, as its impulse, such a catastrophe behind it. Which is to say that Eden, which most people regard as the primordial image, from the viewpoint of the paleolithic art is the end of a truly primordial condition in which what is human and what is animal are bound together. It is possible to follow their separation as it is recorded in imagery.”23 In other words, paradise lost, which subsequently initiates the enduring human condition summed up by the title of Clow’s book, Catastrophobia. Thereafter, the therianthropes are severed: the theri- “beast” divided from the anthrope “human.” In regard to the Lascaux panel, the human is removed from both the avian and the bovine.

Looking back 17 millennia or more, we are confronted with a numinous mindscape at the crucial point of this schism, or just before it. Mythologist Joseph Campbell remarks on the non- naturalistic character of the animals that populate the labyrinthine passageways of the caverns— despite their anatomically correct renditions. “Such, then, were the animals selected by the Paleolithic master artists from the bounty of their environment for depiction in the galleries of their subterranean corridors and chambers, as being in some way significant of a mystic dimension [italics added] of their landscape perceived by the eye of the mind, not the eyes of the physical look of things.” He concludes: “…the magnificently conceived grotto of Lascaux… is, namely, of an ordered system of metaphorical reflections preserved from an age beyond our horizon of time in the pictorial script of this truly amazing Stone Age testament. It is certainly not a mere mindless arrangement of accurately observed animal forms, expertly delineated by a school of accomplished artists striving for decorative optical effects. The sense of an intelligible metaphorical statement is incontestable.”24 This mystical dimension of which Campbell speaks undoubtedly included the sky realm with its myriad stellar portals and wormhole bridges. The Birdman of Lascaux, along with all the other Bird-men of the Earth’s diverse cultures and histories, once served as shamanic intercessors between the chthonic, terrestrial, and celestial planes linked by the axis mundi, or vertical World Tree. Now, for the most part, we can only gaze wistfully as skylark or vulture ascends to become a black dot in the infinite blue, while gravity and mortality intersect in the grave of our age.

And a short subway stop from Bosch’s naked mansion is our concentration camps. Again, the poet Clayton Eschleman:

“Bird spirit flew into Apollo—animal spirit appeared in Dis. What was sky and earth became life and death, or hell on earth and psychic depth, and I wonder: how has Hades been affected by Dachau? In the cold of deepest bowels, does a stained fluid drip? Does pure loss now have an odor of cremation, a fleshy hollow feel of human soul infiltrating those realms Hades had reserved for animals? Are there archai, still spotted with this evening’s russets, stringing and quartering an anthrobestial compost? Or are there zeros, of which we are increasingly composed, folding out the quick of animal life? Is that why these outlines, these Hadic kin, take on mountainous strength, moving through the shadows of these days?”25

Author Gary A. David
Copyright © 2014


1 W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology (New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 1991, 1882, pp. 449-456.

2 E. T. C. Werner, Myths and Legends of China (London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1992), p. 20;


4 Andrew Collins, From the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company, 2001, 1996), p. 58.

5 Graham Hancock, Heaven’s Mirror: Quest For the Lost Civilization (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1998), pp. 243-244.

6 Herbert J. Spinden, A Study of Maya Art: Its Subject Matter and Historical Development (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1975), pp. 79-80; Alfred M. Tozzer, Ph.D and Glover M. Allen, Ph.D., Animal Figures in the Maya Codices, Papers Vol. IV, No. 3 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1910), pp. 337-340,

7 Rex Gilroy, “Australian UFOs Through the Window of Tine,”

8 Take a fantastic video tour:

9 David Whitehouse, “Ice Age star map discovered,” BBC News, August 9, 2000,

10 Alternative researcher Wayne Herschel has made a similar observation,

11 David Lewis-Williams, The Mind In the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art (London: Thames & Hudson, 2002), p. 265, p. 266.

12 Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press/Bollingen Series LXXVI, 1974, 1951), p. 481.


14 Lewis-Williams, The Mind In the Cave, op. cit., p. 263.



17 Barbara Hand Clow, Catastrophobia: The Truth Behind Earth Changes (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Co., 2001), p. 89.

18 Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time (Boston: David R. Godine, 1977, 1969), p. 146.

19 Francis Huxley, The Way of the Sacred: The Rites and Symbols, Beliefs and Tabus, That Men Have Held in Awe and Wonder Through the Ages (New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., Laurel Edition, 1976, reprint 1974), p. 212.

20 Collins, From the Ashes of Angels, op. cit., pp. 289-290.

21 Clow, Catastrophobia:, op. cit., p. 90.

22 Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press/Oriental Institute Essays, 1978, 1948), pp. 188-189.

23 Clayton Eschleman, Preface, Hades In Manganese (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1981), p. 11.

24 Joseph Campbell, Historical Atlas of World Mythology/Way of the Animal Powers: Mythologies of the Great Hunt, Vol. I, Part 2 (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988), p.viii.

25 Eschleman, title poem, Hades In Manganese, op. cit., p. 40. Copyright © 2014 Gary A. David. All rights reserved. Email: Website:

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