“Our early ancestors were much more fortunate than we are. Their camps were very close to the great silver birch which stands at the very centre of the universe and holds up the sky; whose roots lead down to all the halls of the underworld and whose branches stretch up to all the seven heavens. Since it was but a short walk to the Tree, it was a simple matter for anyone and everyone to climb to the heavens or follow its roots to the realms below. The marvels of heaven and the underworld weren’t hidden from our ancestors. Compared to us, they were like gods.
One day , however, a terrible thing happened. A man vowed to cut down the Tree. Perhaps he wanted to prove that he was as powerful as the gods. Perhaps he had learned something in his travels up and down the Tree which had turned him against the gods. No one can quite remember,· it was a very long time ago. Anyway, he took his axe, and, summoning up all his strength, struck a great blow at the base of the Tree.
At this blow, the entire universe shook, and all the inhabitants of all the different worlds were thrown into consternation. At the second blow, a tiny crack appeared in the Tree, and the gods called an emergency council. The chief of the gods declared that man had been given too much power and was now threatening the very order of the universe. If the Tree were to be saved, it would have to be veiled from human sight and sense. So the mighty gods combined their wills and, uttering spells of great power, they removed the Tree from the circles of the world. Even the paths that led to the Tree were hidden.
Since that time, only the dead and the shamans can find the paths that lead to the Tree.”
The Decadence of the Shamans [Alan Cohen]
This is perhaps allegory but also it is literal as well, I do believe it was easier for all our ancestors once and so yes they were fortunate. And the axe that was used by man to cut the tree was Ego and the veil the gods used was to trick man into believing he is separate from everything and master of all was the over-rational mind and its belief that we are separate. (form everything.)
BUT the skills the shaman uses are still available to us, on a physical level I choose to live very close to pristine forests, rivers, mountains & caves. Here I am able to commune with spirit. I am also able to access the Mythic World Tree to visit the very heavens and the Underworld! How? By the archaic arts of shamanism, by the use of the shamanic drum to alter my consciousness, so as my helping spirits may guide me “there”. The shamanic drum is also called the spirit horse. The beat on which one rides into these realms, riding the sonic push of repetitive rhythm, quieting and subduing the rational mind, opening the spirit to allow one to climb and descend. Giving access to other ways of perceiving our varied worlds, opening the sacred gates to the multiverse.
If you would like to learn these methods, I can arrange to teach you. Anthony Ashworth