SYMBOLIC LANDSCAPES - A Dreamtime Earth & Avebury's Open Secret
By Paul Devereux, published by Gothic Image at £12.95. 184pp. ISBN: 0-906362-19-9
In Devereux's own words, Symbolic Landscapes is something of a complement to Shamanism and the Mystery Lines and, to a certain extent, covers much of the ground dealt with in that book though with a specific focus on the states of consciousness common to pre-modern peoples.
Starting from an in-depth examination of Dreamtime consciousness and thought patterns and how they are crucial to understanding the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and their landscapes, Devereux discusses the processes by which such landscapes become mythologised and take on a life of their own which is felt and responded to by the people living in them. The book is well illustrated and the chapter on The Shamanic Landscape provides a useful summary of the material covered in more depth in Shamanism and the Mystery Lines.
In the second half of the book, he sets out on a systematic examination of the Avebury complex of megaliths and monuments, to show the the Neolithic builders and later Bronze Age users of Avebury are currently believed to have put into practice the ideas which were examined earlier. While there is still work to be done at Avebury in this context, anyone who visits (or plans to visit) the complex will gain a better understanding of the Avebury monuments as an interrelated sacred system and will find their future visits enriched by reading this book.