Transcript of Disc I, Chapter I: Invocation
© 2013 Max Dashu

Baja California rock art
Invocation Invoking Invocando (Spanish), Zaklinnanie (Russian), qidao (Chinese), (Arabic)

LaPalma, Baja California
Women who invoke, which means “calling in,” calling up spirit ...            

Aïr, Niger
Women raising their arms, connecting, entering in, embracing, receiving         

This women, and the preceding image, are deeply engraved into a cliff in Aïr, Niger. [There are five female figures in this petroglyph. The Amazighen (Tuareg) people leaving cloth and other offerings beneath when passing through. ]

Rock art often shows women’s invocation, a female gesture repeated across continents – here at Najran, south Arabia

Neolithic figurines in many places show invoking women, like this ceremonial group from Ovcharovo, Bulgaria

A parallel altar group from Netafim, Canaan, dates to about 5000 bce

And these invoking women persisted over the millennia, here in south Arabia

Beit Nassif, Palestine
Even into patriarchal and imperial times, when official religion was increasingly marginalizing women...

they continued very old ceremonial ways among themselves, and in cultures outside the powerful states.

Soddo Lake region, Zuwai                       
These invoking women have a vast range. They’re carved into stone monuments in southern Ethiopia                       

Condor on woman's head
They’re painted onto wooden keru, offering vessels, in Perú. [Quechua culture]

Poppy-crown Goddess
They’re modeled in clay in Crete, the Aegean islands, and Greece

Ukraine vessel
Chased in gold in the Greco-Scythian Ukraine

Germanic bronze
Cast in bronze in ancient Germany, suffused with curling energy

Hohokam carved shell
They’re carved into shell by the Hohokam, ancestors of the Tohono O’odham in Arizona

Edeley maiden with arrows
In the Benin bronzes of Nigeria, women are calling in

Chancay painted clay
Chancay women in Peru, faces painted up for ritual – calling in.

Zimbabwe clay figurine
clay figurines from Zimbabwe, invoking spirit to flow in

Haniwa miko
ceramic mikos from old Japan, calling in the kami

Miko carving
This is consecration, this is receiving, this the transformative power

predynastic figurine with upraised arms
It is this gesture of potency that pervades the oldest Kemetic art, before the pharaohs.

women's boat ceremony
The invoking woman appears often in predynastic Egypt. Rock art shows her in a ritual boat drawn up the Nile by a line of female devotees

Ritual riverboat
Numerous petroglyphs depict ceremonial scenes on riverboats; here three women are clasping snakes or serpentine staffs

Boat goddess
Variations on this theme -- invoking woman in ceremonial boat -- is repeated in countless ceramic paintings and petroglyphs

3450 bce
They reveal the prominence of women in early Kemetic ceremony, in the 4th millennium bce

Amratian vessel
and often emphasize the collective nature of these ceremonies, with women in pairs, threes, or fours.

Nekhen mural
Kemetic female invocators with boats were also painted in a protodynastic tomb mural at Nekhen [Hierakonpolis to the Greeks, a name preferred by Euro sources].

While the central figure has attributes of a Goddess, she is not a statue but an enactment, a presence embodied by an inspirited woman, or several women.

Veracruz - Remojadas style
In eastern Mexico also, countless clay sculptures show women invoking

El Tajín, Veracruz
They’re shown journeying deep within, gathering essence           

Totonac ceramic statue
entranced, transformed and transforming, filled with the sacred

El Tajín, angled arms
chanting, dancing, and moving into exaltation.

Woodeaton, angled arms
We see gestures of power: a British priestess whose other hand once held a staff

Ojimi, Gumma
a Japanese miko pulling down spirit with one hand, and directing it with the other.

Or, a neolithic Moravian maiden receives essence into her upturned palms, gazing skyward.
[possibly in a womanhood initiation ]

Vetulonia, Italy
An Etruscan woman with her palms curving toward each other, in the classic qigong stance of gathering vitality

Benin bronze
As this woman of Benin fills up with spirit, intent and yet open, relaxed

Illinois figurine
and the profound interior recollection of this clay woman of Old Illinois.

In northern Argentina, a stone supplicant raises hands to her upturned face

Suplicante, stone
gazing into the beyond, with spirit flowing through her

In Jalisco and Colima, ancient Mexican tomb sculptures show women chanting or crying out, reaching a hand out toward the beyond.

western Mexico
They may be medicine women who conducted the dead to the Otherworld, or who communed with them.

Jamacoaque, Ecuador
In ancient Ecuador, women cup their hands, gathering and holding the power.

Jamacoaque  fancy headdress
In all these gestures of invocation, women approach spirit, going deep

Tomb reliquary of a Kadake, Sudan
they fill themselves with Essence, wisdom, foreknowledge, and healing power.


Woman Shaman: the Ancients © 2013 Max Dashu




Suppressed Histories Archives |Woman Shaman: the Ancients dvd