This is a carving of 2 swimming reindeer, in Ivory. It is 13,000 years old. It was found in a cave shelter in Montastruc, Tar et Garoone, France. It is currently in the British Museum.
Ont he British Museum's site, they speculate:
"Was the sculpture a group totem, a shaman’s wand or the focal point of a story based on a journey in or between real and supernatural worlds?"
It's been awhile since I posted Part I of this article. I have been very sick and it's been a difficult struggle. I thought I knew exactly what Part II of this post would say, but I had an uplifting dream recently that changed everything:
Larry (my husband) and I moved into a beautiful cabin, which we had purchased from the prior owner. The cabin was made of beautiful , highly polished wood, and was filled with luminous light. The master bed was on low wooded pedestal. I found little drawers all around the pedestal. I opened one, and discovered a wonderful secret: the women who lived here before was a gifted writer, and she had left me some tiny rolled scrolls. I pick one up, and I see that it has "Rennes-le-Chateau written on it. I unroll the scroll. The author tells a story about a very precious friend of hers, a female reindeer. I feel filled with joy when I read about this secret." Then I awaken and write the dream down.
Rennes-le-Chateau is a notorious place in France, filled with many mysteries and surrounded by myriad legends. The name is very curious: it literally translates from French into English as "Castle of the Reindeer". Historically, the Magdalenian Period (approximately 16,000-10,000 BC) was also refereed to as the "Reindeer Age". The land that later became France had reindeer herders since before the Magdalenian Period. There have been ancient reindeer artifacts (reindeer bones, and art depicting reindeer) found throughout France.
Rennes-le-Chateau was made famous in recent times by Holy Blood Holy Grail, and the Da Vinci Code , which both indicate a hidden Goddess tradition. Near Rennes-le-Chateau is Rennes-les-Bains (the Baths of the Reindeer), known for it's healing hot springs and legends of appearances of the Goddess. Often Rennes-le-Chateau is called the "Queen's Castle" and Rennes-le-Bains is called the "Queens Bath". "Queen" in French is "La Reine". How did "le rennes" and "la reine" become interchangeable? And is it a coincidence that a modern mystery regarding the return of the sacred feminine involves a place called Rennes-le-Chateau-, or Castle of the Reindeer? Quoting Elisabeth Van Buren in her curious volume on Renne-le-Chateau, Refuge of the Apolcalypse (page 177) :
"Rennes is the Goddess. Why is she portrayed as a reindeer?"
Very good question, and one that is not directly answered in her book.
I find clues to the answer to this question in many sources regarding the presence of an old reindeer/deer cult in Old Europe:
"The relationship between Finn Mac Cumail, his family, and the Irish Fiana, with the cervidae (antlered animals) is yet more proof that this very old clan was heir to the prehistoric occupants of Ireland from the era of the reindeer hunters." (Markale/1995)
Markale also repeatedly points out that the Druids and the Merlin tales come from the same tradition of the reindeer hunters. (Markale/1999).
Clarissa Pinkola Estes points out that: "In the sacrifice of the doe we see more of the hem of the old religion. The sacrifice of the deer was as ancient rite meant to release the deer's gentle yet bounding energy." (Estes/1992)
The myths of the Calleach (wise old hag) in Scotland are also found to be connected to an old deer goddess tradition (O Crualoich/2007, McHardy/2003). One of the oldest cultures in Scotland is the Picts, and they have reindeer artifacts, both art and bones. Reindeer were herded in ancient Scotland as well.
I've already quoted the works of Esther Jacobson and Linda Scherise Leonard in prior posts showing the Siberian clan connection to the Reindeer Goddess. I also talked about the possible connections of the Scythian, the Pazyrk, and the Bonpo to the ancient reindeer/deer cults. (click here, here, here, & here)
For me, the above mentioned dream confirms the path I'm on. Perhaps the writer who gifts me is my own ancestor. My genetic family has ties to the Scottish Tribe of Mar, Pictish descendants . My genetic family are also descendants of the French duchy of Anjou.
I have more work to do, more digging to do.... and more dreaming to do.
To see Part I of this post, click here.
Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes: page 443
The Quest for the Nine Maidens, by Stuart McHardy, page153
Merlin, Priest of Nature, by Jean Markale, page 162
Women of the Celts, by Jean Markale, pages 103-111
The Book of the Cailleach , by Gearoid O Crualaoich, pages 124-125
Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway to Other Dimensions, Rennes-les-Chateau, The Key, by Elizabeth Van Buren , page 177