At the Center of the World: Polar Symbolism Discovered in Celtic, Norse and Other Ritualized Landscapes

At the Center of the World: Polar Symbolism Discovered in Celtic, Norse and Other Ritualized Landscapes

by John F. Michell, John Michell
     
 

The powers of ancient rulers emanated from the ritual center of the tribal territory. This center was also regarded as the birthplace of the tribe and belonged to the people as a whole. Installed upon this sacred rock (the omphalos or "navel of the world"), at the polar axis around which all revolved, the king could survey his realm, ordered from the center according… See more details below

Overview

The powers of ancient rulers emanated from the ritual center of the tribal territory. This center was also regarded as the birthplace of the tribe and belonged to the people as a whole. Installed upon this sacred rock (the omphalos or "navel of the world"), at the polar axis around which all revolved, the king could survey his realm, ordered from the center according to the divisions of the cosmos itself, reflecting the harmony and balance of paradise. Akhenaten's city in Egypt, Megalopolis of Ancient Greece, the world-centers of Roman Gaul and Celtic Cornwall, all provide clues to lead John Michell to the geographical and sacred criteria for locating a center. From studies of symbolic geography, particularly that of Celtic and Norse territories, he has discovered the leading principle for the siting of the "Thing" places, the main centers of religious and state ritual in Shetland, Orkney, the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man. He considers the possible locations of the most hallowed centers of ancient Druidry and of the High Kings of Ireland. Finally, the esoteric foundation plan for these ancient societies is disclosed: the sacred geometry, the symbolic numbers. Symbols of the center are among the most persistent elements of myth and belief between cultures widely separated in time and space. Now John Michell traces their genesis, and suggests that their reflection of the ideal Platonic order of the universe can be relevant to the modern world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500016077
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
07/25/1994
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

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