Will Hunt’s “Secrets of the White Shaman” Tells of the Power of Ritual

"Secrets of the White Shaman" by Will Hunt

Will Hunt writes the story of archaeologist and artist Carolyn Boyd’s quest for the key to unfolding the mystery of the ancient rock paintings in the caves near Dead Mans Pass near the Rio Grande. This director of SHUMLA (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art) has “developed a system to understand this enigmatic art.” He elaborates: “Working like a detective, she discovered a symbolic code that reveals narratives in the paintings, which she believes can be read, almost like an ancient language.” Of course, she has her detractors, but her narratives seem very plausible and, at least, very telling of our fascination with man’s drive to understand his reason very being on the planet.

Boyd refused to believe what Harry Shafer writes in his Ancient Texas, “‘The meanings [of a culture’s symbols] are lost when a culture comes to an end.'” She struck out to undercover connections between then and now. The human narrative woven into all symbols. And she succeeds in a remarkable way.

She said she was “reading a story that hadn’t been read for thousands of years. ‘I was looking at an account of the formation of the cosmos . . . with multiple levels of meaning. It is a creation story, a prescription for ritual, in a sense, a cosmological map.”

What cave paintings are you leaving behind? Do you have a creation story, a prescription for ritual, a cosmological map? Is is decipherable? Will it survive thousands of years? Is there enough life in it to embue with enduring meaning? Where does our culture stand at the moment? How do you stand in it?


“My Favorite Parenthetical Thought”

within cosmic
laws is the energy of grace,
which animates
what we call higher motivation
when a universal law
emerges in our psyche
during a decision making moment,
it comes
as a messenger of grace,
as well as psychic motivation.
In contrast,
traffic laws on the highway
are not ‘grace-filled.’
They are order-keepers
of the mundane
world that lack
the animation of grace.
an intuitive ‘hit’
to slow down
for no conscious reason,
which then turns out
to be a life-saving act
because another car
was out-of-control,
is an act of grace
operating in the mundane

Carline Myss, April Salon (Year not recorded.)