Göbekli Tepe Shamans and their Cosmic Symbols – Part I
Göbekli Tepe is an ancient and significant site which has been pushing back the beginnings of civilization further than we previously assumed. As each temple, pillar, and engraving at the Neolithic site is excavated, the story of human history is rewritten, and the symbols and messages of prehistoric cultures are revealed.
As it is understood from previous research, Göbekli Tepe was utilized as a ritual center under the control of the Neolithic shamans. Klaus Schmidt, who was the head of excavations clearly referred that Göbekli Tepe had once been the ritual center of the region. According to Schmidt, shamanic rituals were carried out in Göbekli Tepe temples, located in today's Southern Turkey.
Gobekli Tepe archaeological site. (Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0 )
Some researchers like Andrew Collins also mention the possible shamanism in Göbekli Tepe with regard to astronomy and cosmology. He approaches the subject in terms of pole star belief which we know from shamanism. Pole star is the creation point of all the universe, according to shamans. Today in Asia, Turkish, Mongolian and Tungus shamans still believe that the sky-god Tengri Ülgen ascends the throne on the pole star, Polaris.
In my opinion, Göbekli Tepe was not only the ritual center of shamans, but also the initiation center of pupil shamans. When Pillar-2 is examined closely, we clearly see bended legs of the crane. On this basis, Schmidt explains that the body of this bird may represent the human being who transforms into the crane form. Afterwards, Schmidt suggests that this phenomenon is related to the shamanism concept.
Power animals are known as the protector souls of the shaman. In the eyes of shamans, all animals are the elements of shamanic practice. The soul protects the shaman from diseases and malignancies. The shaman who gains that soul no longer cures the illnesses and prophesizes. Power animals are an “alter ego” of the shaman. Shamans imitate his or her power animal and coalesce with them during the ritual. Shamans ascend to the sky – and vice versa on land - with power animals, as they are fellow travelers.
Siberian shamans have power animals like the bear, wolf, rabbit and owl; Yakut shamans have mostly bull, eagle and bear. The forenamed animals are quite similar to the animals found carved on Göbekli Tepe pillars.
Pillar 2 from Enclosure A (Layer III) with low reliefs of what are believed to be a bull, fox, and crane. Gobekli Tepe, Urfa. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Maybe these animals would have been the celestial constellations in the future.
In addition, a totem pole was discovered in Göbekli Tepe which we can connect with shamanism. Totemism is based on the belief of a connection between human and animals.
- The Secret of Gobekli Tepe: Cosmic Equinox and Sacred Marriage - Part 1
- The Secret of Gobekli Tepe: Cosmic Equinox and Sacred Marriage - Part II
- The Statues and Symbolic Gestures that Link Ancient Göbekli Tepe, Easter Island, and Other Sites Around the World
So, can we imagine that the symbols of Göbekli Tepe might have once been the symbols of shamans that were relevant to astronomy or cosmology. Was Göbekli Tepe an ancient observatory for shamans?
Some scientists (B.G. Sidharth, Giuglio Magli and A. De Lorenzis) and researchers (Joe Plegge, Andrew Collins) specify that Göbekli Tepe was used as a celestial observatory. I am asserting that Enclosure B of Göbekli Tepe was a kind of “medicine wheel” through which one can observe the birth of substantial stars or constellations.
Medicine wheels are circular stone patterns that allow us to observe astronomical objects. These sites seem to have been created with spiritual, ceremonial, and astronomical significance. Some sites are ancient, having been dated as more than 4,500 years old. In 1997, an astronomer named John Eddy from the High Altitude Observatory proposed that some of the wheels had astronomical alignments. Dr. Eddy suggested that some wheels had spokes pointing to certain stars at certain times of the year, and marked specific days of the year like solstices.
Göbekli Tepe pillars mainly have T-shaped forms. In New Mexico, one of the Hopi temples also has T-shaped windows, so-called Tau. As well, the Palenque Temple of the Mayans also has Tau-shaped windows. Besides, the Hopi earth-god named Masau'u has the shape of Tau. In Native American cultures, Tau symbolizes earth-bound spirits. As we can see, some of the petroglyphs of Native Americans drawn as Tau, emblematizes spiritual passageways. The “Tree of Life” represents as Tau in these cultures.