Symbolic “forms in movement” at Gavrinis

In this article M.Guillaume introduces some of the AAK’s work on understanding the Gavrinis chambered cairn. It appeared in the first volume of Etudes et Travaux, May 1977, pages 45-51.

It has been translated from French as best I can, in three parts with links between. It was first re-published on the web between 2010-2012 to honour the fact I was given copies of the magazine when visiting Carnac in 2004.

Whilst my interest was site interpretation using numbers, the notion of a vision quest within Gavrinis as an experienced structure is appealing.

What especially strikes one on entering Gavrinis is the extreme  homogeneity of the whole work.

The organization of the monument and particularly the stone carving is probably the work of a team – the working mode of each blending in a unity of remarkable style. It is as if a single hand, from stone to stone, writes, in the process, a single story.

It seems indeed that the interior of the dolmen is animated by two movements that are transmitted stone by stone on the interior walls to right and left. These movements would meet in the end chamber by both the bottom slabs, begun in a episodic manner in the hall, to give a perfect continuity in this chamber. (See our exploded view of  the chamber below)

The dotted lines indicate how the patterns have a sense of continuity, stone to stone

The Dynamic Forms of Movement within Gavrinis

On entering, the feeling of motion running along the inner walls of the tunnel calls forth a holistic perception and generates a certain impact. The impression received is so strong that it prompts us to enter into this movement. Our attention is constantly engaged by the details and likes it; however, these moving forms lead us on and, as with life’s journey, engender and transform the passage to the bottom of the crypt. We can try to reveal the principles behind these flowing lines by comparing their arising and loss here with similar symbols found in later, written traditions, so as to approach their meaning.

A stone by stone study of this monument is impossible when too many elements remain completely mysterious and, anyway, it would be largely descriptive and overlook the overall principles. We therefore proposed to develop the study further through the structure of the passageway as a whole.

At the very entrance, two principles clash .   (see panel below)

The Confrontation of Two Principles

This notion of confrontation is common to all traditions in Egypt and this principle is illustrated in various modes:

Fig. 4 The two lions guarding the world of darkness are, by turns. the sun’s rise and set.
Fig. 5 The two-headed snake, encircling the solar disk, surmounts the head of Pharaoh.
Fig. 6 The six snakes and two vertical sections on this stele. are the principles of the Goddess of Nature Mersegert.
Fig. 7 The double pavilion ceremony of the Pharaoh’s rejuvenation that unifies yet distinguishes  Upper and Lower Kingdoms
Fig. 8 This single snake, with its meandering, is much like the “wandering” that punctuate the kingdom of the dead
Fig. 9   In Colombia these two snakes are from the two sides of the head, left and right (‘Archéoiogia’ # 13 – Nov Dec.66 – P. 57) – Disc from The Province of Santamans

The Principle of Duality in the Passage

This confrontation takes place in a movement that begins on one of the orthostats. The movement which animates the passage arises in this same duality.  We must therefore continuously confront the left and the right to follow this path.

The AAK Plan of Gavrinis from before monument was reconstructed

We can immediately see that the right side seems both more complete and more structured in its articulations than the left side.

On the right, in fact, the movement started at the third stone grows up to just before the entrance of the inner room in ten carved stones arguably in a complex arrangement having three articulated segments

It is interesting to note that the hiéroglyph indicating the “track” or “path” present three parts marked on the right and left

The Life of Christ responds to the same ternary rhythm in the cycle of his earthly life ii has lived thirty years (3 x 10) before joining his heavenly abode. In the cycle of his death, three days elapsed before he resurrected his celestial gifts

Goto next part

NOTE: Most of the ideas and drawings included in this study were drawn from:

— Isha Schwaller de LUBICZ: HER-BAK Pois-Chiche, and HER-BAK Disciple, Flammarion

— RA. Schujaller de LUBICZ : Le roi de Ia théocratie pharaonique – Flammarion

— A CHAMPDOR: Le livre des Morts  – Editions Albin Michel

— ENEL: Langue sacrée – Editions P. Moisonneuve et Larose