People have used symbols for millennia, as charms for luck, protection, health and inspiration. A symbol has its own energetic vibrations nad this is what influences the spirit. In the rock art of the ancestors, there are certain symbols that appear in many ancient places around the world, and from many different periods, indicating their fundamental unniversal importance for the human spirit. Among these powerful signs, are the spiral and the circle in their various forms.
I have talked about some of the symbols used in shamanism, symbols that have been present in the human history for almost 40.000 years, with powerful meanings, and today some of them are still used and most people don’t even know where those symbols came and what they stand for. Most of the Shamanic symbols have been so deep into the humans’ everyday life, that is something “carved” in the DNA of each person, and we born drawing or painting those same symbols, without even knowing them, such as a spiral or circles with dots in the middle, the symbols for the sun and its rays etc. But today i will talk about Rock Art and the symbols that came to help us understanding the world, the first drawings and paintings in caves, their meanings, and how people lived with them.
All over the World, from Europe to Africa, the Americas and Asia, we can find lots of paintings in caves, on cliffs, under overhangs, etchings and boulders, pictures that span a great length of time, so far, the oldest of this painting that was found is dated about 35,000 years old. These symbols have inspired the cultures that they are related to, in a time before writing was developed, important information was passed on orally, but our ancestors used symbolic representations of the aspects of their lives. By this way, paintings and drawings of hunting scenes, helped out ancestors to visualize these happanings, and to learn how to do it and succeed in the outcome of a hunt. Also these paintings were a record of an event, an important celebration, as well as honouring the animals and their importance. Paintings of crops, were also positive visualizations of good harvest as well as a recognition of the gifts that the Earth can give to us. Certain symbols, such as masks or totems, were boundary markers for a particular group of people or tribe.
Some rock art scenes show human figures with animal characteristics such as antlers and wings, these are representative of shapeshifting in shamanic journeys, where a shaman would adopt another form for learning, healing, or communication with the spirits or gods. As i have said, some cave paintings show the day-to-day activities such as hunting, fishing, working, cooking and praying. These paintings show the antiquity of shamanism.