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Ladder of the Gods - AE Religion Rooted in Shamanic Ritual?

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posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:31 AM
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Hello ATS,

In Utterance 478 of the Pyramid Texts we are told:



As for any spirit or god who will help me when I ascend to the sky on the ladder of the God; my bones are assembled for me, my limbs are gathered together for me, and I leap up to the sky in the presence of the god of the Lord of the ladder.



As we know, it was the Goddess Isis (consrt to Osiris) who gathered together the dismembered body parts of Osiris and reassembled them.

We are further told:



A ladder is knotted together by Re before Osiris, a ladder is knotted together by Horus before his father Osiris when he goes to his spirit, one of them being on this side and one of them being on that, while I am between them.



In shamanism, certain themes are prevalent such as the ascension to the spirit world of the Gods upon a ladder. A common feature of the initiation process of the shaman often involves the initiate undergoing an out-of-body-experience in which the shaman senses that they are being attacked and that their limbs are being torn apart, their body dismembered and reassembled before they can ascend the ladder to commune with the spirit world.

This 'experience' (state of consciousness) is very reminiscent of the Ancient Egyptian story of Osiris in which Osiris is attacked, dismembered only to be put together again by his consort, Isis, before journeying on to the Afterworld to be with the Gods.

Could it be also that the 'Ladder' to the 'spirit realm' is symbolised in the Great Pyramid through the so-called 'Relieving Chambers' with the body of the initiate placed in the coffer below?




The Ladder?


Could it be - as many before me have theorised - that the Great Pyramid (and perhaps other pyramids) had another, more ritualistic purpose - as a Shamanic initiation chamber, a chamber whose very design would aid the initiate's journey into the 'spirit realm' to commune with the Hawk-headed and Ibis-headed Gods who would impart their wisdom upon the initiate?

Could it be, as others have hypothesised, that the true origins of Ancient Egyptian religious tradition is rooted in a shamanist tradition? Could this be how the Priesthood of Heliopolis attained their knowledge?

I welcome your thoughts on this.

Best wishes,

Scott Creighton

[edit on 29/9/2009 by Scott Creighton]




posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:43 AM
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Cool thread man, I do believe the Great pyramid was used as a psychedelic think tank.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:02 AM
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i did some research on the beginnings of osiris, which started at abydos. it's a long convulted thing but i'll simplify it dramatically by stating that he was the egyptian narmer, otherwise known as the akkadian enmerkar and the biblical nimrod. after he died his burial name was osiris. he was, prior to his death, the emperor of the post flood world. he made a big mistake at the ziggurat of babilu, which resulted in him being deposed and his empire divided by a council of 70 "gods". he fled to abydos, where he founded dynastic egypt and built what would later be called the osirieon

my current theory is that the osirieon had a pyramidal type structure, possibly even a ziggurat, built over it at the time. this was deconstructed and the stones used by isis (inana, etc) to fashion the various obelisks (this is recounted in the story of her fashioning him an artificial penis), which were then erected through out egypt, where ever she found a piece of his "body." she was actually part of the plot to have him deposed. he was then replaced by his son horus, which fits the story of inana to a "t"

inside the osirieon was the abzu/abyss/bottomless pit, gate, the ladder of heaven. i think it was an interdimensional portal, stargate or the equivalent.





[edit on 29-9-2009 by undo]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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This ties in with how the buddhists view spiritual realms, with their samadhi.
nice work btw (y)



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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Scott, I think your references on shamanism are incomplete.



In shamanism, certain themes are prevalent such as the ascension to the spirit world of the Gods upon a ladder.


Not true in Egypt, and not true in ancient forms of shamanism. It is found in neoshamanism (which emerges after 1970.)

Shamans don't deal with gods... priests do. Shamans deal with spirits: en.wikipedia.org...


A common feature of the initiation process of the shaman often involves the initiate undergoing an out-of-body-experience in which the shaman senses that they are being attacked and that their limbs are being torn apart, their body dismembered and reassembled before they can ascend the ladder to commune with the spirit world.


Ladders are a fairly modern tradition. In many cultures that I've studied, the shaman "rides" to the otherworld on sound or motion (dancing) and travels on or with birds (this is a belief of the Costa Rican (and Central American) shamans which continues today and is reflected in their tribal art of birds and other folk practices.) They also report flying to other worlds on smoke, rainbows, or riding on animals. It was common for Native American shamans to see the process as climbing a mountain. Travel below was accomplished by descending through hollow trees, caves, tunnels, and tubelike structures.

Sacred-Texts has a lot of old material on shamans that you may wish to read. You will notice, though, that none of the texts mention ladders: www.sacred-texts.com...


This 'experience' (state of consciousness) is very reminiscent of the Ancient Egyptian story of Osiris in which Osiris is attacked, dismembered only to be put together again by his consort, Isis, before journeying on to the Afterworld to be with the Gods.


Dismemberment isn't part of the process for the shaman as a usual course of affairs. While it may occur in an initiatory phase (deoxy.org...), only a very inept shaman would let himself be attacked or harmed while journeying elsewhere. The Inuit shaman often sees him (or her)self as a skeleton: en.wikipedia.org...

The Shamanism FAQ has a number of good books that it recommends. deoxy.org... More advanced reading would include the Boaz books on Northwestern tribes. I am lukewarm about Harner, who is crafting his material to satisfy the needs of moderns and not relating ancient traditions.



Could it be also that the 'Ladder' to the 'spirit realm' is symbolised in the Great Pyramid through the so-called 'Relieving Chambers' with the body of the initiate placed in the coffer below?


Probably not. By then, then Ancient Egyptians were heavily invested in a religion (as opposed to shamanism) with a court of multiple deities and no shamanic-like practices in the worship ceremonies (priests didn't trance or drum or go on spirit journeys as part of their regular practices.) What is found in their writings is an ecstasy similar to the experiences of some of the Christian saints -- and both of those are very different from the shamanic practices: www.philae.nu...

(in short, shamans enter their trances voluntarily and are on an equal footing with the spirits. They choose the time and place. Priests/monks/nuns are captured by the spirit of the deity and given an intense mystical experience.) They do NOT choose the time and place.

Here's a nice link with a quick and readable overview of what priests did and where they came from (Pharaoh appointed them)
historylink101.net...

They were not a mystical or ecstatic religion (unlike, say, the Greeks) and did not use the pyramid for initiation practices (because there was no cycle of initiation for the priests.) The king himself was the High Priest and did not go through initiations or ecstatic trances (see Ancient Egypt: a social history
By Bruce G. Trigger).

[edit on 29-9-2009 by Byrd]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by Scott Creighton
 


yeah, good thread.

i take a more literal view. i think the great pyramid chamber maybe was used to LITERALLY transport the person to visit the 'gods' (aliens) in 'heaven' (Space). dont lie in the chamber.... i dont think they wud have bothered building such a technical construction wtih so much work/engineering if it wasnt necessary to serve a function. i have never thought it was a burial chamber. i think its a piece of functioning (or did function) machinery. like teleporting or something; when the atoms of the body are 'torn apart then reassembled' maybe thats what it feels like to be teleported somewhere. maybe the gp is a teleporting device...like on star trek.

i agree tho, i think the gp is 'the ladder'. (the ladder to :"heaven")

maybe the shamans out of body experience is like this somehow; maybve aliens 'beam them up' or beam hteir spirit body up using advanced technology so they dont need the gp; but for some reason pharoahs did...

actually akhenaton/nefertit were aliens themselves (they had massively elongated and alien looking skulls; so did their kids) and akhenaton was known as a 'living god' i.e. living alien. /real alien.

the same massively elongated skulls are found world wide; nazca; paracas; malta; egypt; siberia; marquesas islands.

im sorry; but skull binding doesnt change brain CAPACITY or VOLUME and these skulls have brain volumes half as much again as a normal human skull. also its obvious just by looking at them that they arent skull binding or human skulls. as malta archaeologists admitted: they are a different race.

humans did bind their kids skulls in imitation of htese aliens; but the bound human skulls look different to these ones and the brain capacity doesnt change.



[edit on 29-9-2009 by rapunzel222]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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Interesting idea Scott but I think Byrd had some good insights.. I don't
trust Micheal Harner as a source on shamanism either, Mircea eliade or
Joseph Campbell, yes. But you are not wrong about the spirit cord or
ladder being of the ancient shamanic tradition, that seems to hold across
most of the northern hemisphere. The inuits also believe that the
shamanic initiation was the experience of being devoured by a polar bear.
As much as they dealt with an upperworld, most shamanic work deals with
an underworld and the retrieval of lost souls to relieve sickness.

I do see your idea Scott, however I don't see any relevance to shamanic
practices as we know in that part of the world. However I'm not sure how
much we really do know about religious practice in Egypt at the time of
the building of the pyramids. The mystery remains and that's a wonderful
thing. it forever reminds us of just how small and silly we are all. I
sometimes think that was the purpose of all these great monoliths of the
ancient world - to teach future generations humility.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 

Hello Byrd,

Thank you for your detailed and insightful reply.


Byrd: Scott, I think your references on shamanism are incomplete.


SC: Undoubtedly – this is a fairly new line of inquiry for me. Much to learn and even more to understand.


SC: In shamanism, certain themes are prevalent such as the ascension to the spirit world of the Gods, upon a ladder.

Byrd: Not true in Egypt, and not true in ancient forms of shamanism. It is found in neoshamanism (which emerges after 1970.)


SC: I am not so sure of your confidence in this. In the Pyramid Texts (dating to c.4,300bce) we find the following Utterances:


Utterance 478:
As for any spirit or god who will help me when I ascend to the sky on the ladder of the God; my bones are assembled for me, my limbs are gathered together for me, and I leap up to the sky in the presence of the god of the Lord of the ladder.
A ladder is knotted together by Re before Osiris, a ladder is knotted together by Horus before his father Osiris when he goes to his spirit, one of them being on this side and one of them being on that, while I am between them.
(Emphasis mine)


I do realise, of course, that the ‘ascent’ by the shaman can take many forms – a sky ladder, rope ladder, vine, spiral staircase, rainbow, or even a stepped mountain. Many ways but clearly also a ‘ladder’.


Byrd: Shamans don't deal with gods... priests do. Shamans deal with spirits: en.wikipedia.org...


SC: Okay – I understand this and perhaps the term ‘Shaman-Priest(s)’ might be a better definition although even this may sound like an anthropological contradiction. Shamans interact or interface with ‘invisible entities’, an experiential practice the impact of which may well have been fundamental to and contributed to the origins of many ancient religions.

It seems to me that ‘organised religion’ (in the modern sense) may have lost 'sight' of its shamanistic roots and become ‘divorced’ from the very ‘real’ ‘religious enlightenment’ experienced by the shaman-priest in their altered states of consciousness. Modern religion in this sense is 2-dimensional, possibly having lost its true origins, indeed, even making the natural human desire to seek such origins a felony. In ‘primitive’ cultures/civilisations that are more in touch with nature such detachment from the source of their ‘religious experience’ is less likely to occur.


SC: A common feature of the initiation process of the shaman often involves the initiate undergoing an out-of-body-experience in which the shaman senses that they are being attacked and that their limbs are being torn apart, their body dismembered and reassembled before they can ascend the ladder to commune with the spirit world.

Byrd: Ladders are a fairly modern tradition.


SC: Ladders (to ascend to the Gods) are mentioned numerous times in the PTs (see example above). The PTs – as you know – are c.4,300 years old. Hardly modern.


Byrd: In many cultures that I've studied, the shaman "rides" to the otherworld on sound or motion (dancing) and travels on or with birds (this is a belief of the Costa Rican (and Central American) shamans which continues today and is reflected in their tribal art of birds and other folk practices.) They also report flying to other worlds on smoke, rainbows, or riding on animals. It was common for Native American shamans to see the process as climbing a mountain. Travel below was accomplished by descending through hollow trees, caves, tunnels, and tubelike structures.


SC: Agreed.


Byrd: Sacred-Texts has a lot of old material on shamans that you may wish to read. You will notice, though, that none of the texts mention ladders: www.sacred-texts.com...


SC: Thank you for the link.


SC: This 'experience' (state of consciousness) is very reminiscent of the Ancient Egyptian story of Osiris in which Osiris is attacked, dismembered only to be put together again by his consort, Isis, before journeying on to the Afterworld to be with the Gods.



Byrd: Dismemberment isn't part of the process for the shaman as a usual course of affairs. While it may occur in an initiatory phase (deoxy.org...),


SC: Regardless of WHERE/WHEN it occurs, it remains an indisputable fact that the ‘dismemberment experience’ DOES occur and the initiate is ‘reassembled’ in this altered state of consciousness – paralleling very well the 'myth' of Osiris.


|Byrd: ….only a very inept shaman would let himself be attacked or harmed while journeying elsewhere.


SC: It is my understanding that the dismemberment experience is essential to the 'journey' through the netherworld, a place full of all manner of obstacles, demons, fires and other obstructions such as described in the AE 'Book of What is in the Duat'. Only when the shaman has been 'reassembled' is s/he 'born again' and equipped with the wherewithal to deal with the ordeal of traversing the extremely tricky and often dangerous 'spirit realm' – in short, to overcome what is in the Duat. This is to say that without this 'rebirth' it is not possible for the Shaman to make the journey into the netherworld. And by bringing forth such knowledge and awareness into this realm – to the King – can the King then properly prepare himself for his own perilous journey into the Duat upon death. And because the shaman went before and brought back the essential knowledge – spells, passwords and so forth – can the King feel confident in this life of reaching the Afterlife.


Byrd: The Inuit shaman often sees him (or her)self as a skeleton: en.wikipedia.org...


SC: Indeed – hence why the bones must be reassembled. Anthropologist, Felicitas Goodman, has studied the various ecstatic body postures of Shamans from present hunter-gatherer cultures around the world and notes that:


”The very precise angle [37*] was a hallmark of spirit-journey postures performed by hunters [like the birdman of Lascaux], especially for journeying to the sky world... This same posture turned up twelve thousand years later in Egypt in a drawing of Osiris [who] underwent a typical shamanic initiation in which his body was dismembered and the reassembled by his sister [consort] before he made his spirit journey to the Upper World”




Even although the 'Birdman' is obviously dead (charged down by the bison) and Osiris is dead (mummified) both, nevertheless, clearly display prominent erections. Such an ithyphallic state is frequently experienced by shamans entering the trance state. Felicitas Goodman concludes:


”Osiris was a shaman... the figure [above] seems to point to the fact that shamanism in this form once predominated the Mediterranean, from southern France all the way to Egypt. What is remarkable is that these elements were preserved in northern Africa over such an enormous time span [12,000 years], especially in light of the fact that we are dealing with two different cultural types. The shaman of Lascaux was without doubt a hunter, like everyone during that period. Osiris, on the other hand, changed into a god of the much more recent agriculturalists on the Nile without, however, losing his original character. Nor indeed did the Egyptians lose the knowledge about the correct posture, expecially about the proper angle of ascending to the sky world.”


Continued....



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 

Continued from previous....

Of course, the realm of the spirit world is beyond time and place. Anyone with the desire and the wherewithal can access this realm and the knowledge it holds in any place and in any time. Such knowledge need not be consigned to the written form – it is within us all.


Byrd: The Shamanism FAQ has a number of good books that it recommends. deoxy.org... More advanced reading would include the Boaz books on Northwestern tribes. I am lukewarm about Harner, who is crafting his material to satisfy the needs of moderns and not relating ancient traditions.


SC: Thanks again – I shall take a look.


SC: Could it be also that the 'Ladder' to the 'spirit realm' is symbolised in the Great Pyramid through the so-called 'Relieving Chambers' with the body of the initiate placed in the coffer below?

Byrd: Probably not. By then, the Ancient Egyptians were heavily invested in a religion (as opposed to shamanism)


SC: And yet what is truly remarkable is that we find strong parallels in Mayan religious practice with that in Ancient Egypt whereby – in both cultures – the Milky Way is flanked by two figures, the dead King and his heir apparent whose role is to ensure his father's rebirth in the spirit realm. Two cultures separated by time and space and yet with very similar religious practice – a practice both cultures perhaps learned independently through shamanistic ritual. With so many parallels and correspondences with shamanism, I do not think it can be discounted that the ROOT of AE religious tradition stretching far back into prehistory, is in the shamanistic tradition.


Byrd: ...with a court of multiple deities and no shamanic-like practices in the worship ceremonies (priests didn't trance or drum or go on spirit journeys as part of their regular practices.).


SC: Look at the temples. In particular look at the flowers and plants that adorn the temples. Are these just for decoration or do the plants depicted – the blue water lily, the poppy, the mandrake – have other qualities the AE shaman-priests might have utilised? With such an abundance of hallucinogenic plants available no rhythmic dances or drum-beats would have been necessary. Also, such would have been a very closely guarded secret by the shaman-priests lest they lose the source of their knowledge and power.



Byrd: What is found in their writings is an ecstasy similar to the experiences of some of the Christian saints -- and both of those are very different from the shamanic practices: www.philae.nu...


SC: I can't comment since I have never had such an experience in either camp. Have you?


Byrd: (in short, shamans enter their trances voluntarily and are on an equal footing with the spirits. They choose the time and place. Priests/monks/nuns are captured by the spirit of the deity and given an intense mystical experience.) They do NOT choose the time and place.


SC: We do not know all the triggers that might induce a commune with the spirit realm. We do know, however, that the highly potent halucinogenic '___' is produced naturally in the body in small quantities. That such 'spernatural experiences' can occur randomly in particular individuals may be down to a higher than normal production of '___' in the individual and should in no way invalidate the fact that there are some people who - with the skilled use of plant substances - can induce such 'religious experiences' at will.


Byrd: The king himself was the High Priest and did not go through initiations or ecstatic trances (see Ancient Egypt: a social history By Bruce G. Trigger).


SC: The king had no need to enter trance himself – he had shaman-priests to go into the spirit realm for him and bring back the necessary knowledge that would ensure a safe (future) passage for himself upon death.

Regards,

Scott Creighton


[edit on 30/9/2009 by Scott Creighton]



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