The discovery of the Venus of Hohle Fels pushes back the date of the oldest prehistoric sculpture, and arguably the oldest known figurative art altogether, by several millennia. The 35,000 to 40,000 year-old ivory carving of a woman with ‘ballooning breasts and elaborately carved’ vulva was found in a German cave in 2008. The figurine was sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk and had broken into fragments, of which six have been recovered, with the left arm and shoulder still missing. In place of the head, the figurine — which probably took “tens if not hundreds of hours” to carve has a perforated protrusion, which may have allowed its owner to wear it as an amulet.
We received two reports last month about this sculpture with interest to see if it is indeed a ritual posture. Cynthia Devlin brought a Smithsonian magazine article “Truth and Beauty” which lead us to experiment after the Hero Journey Workshop conducted at the Institute. Four of us journeyed using variations of the Venus posture on the auspicious day of the Venus transit of the sun. Belinda Gore also forwarded information to us from Gabriela Muntenbruch, whom she met in the Masked Trance Dance in Germany in October 2011.
Gabriela Muntenbruch has begun to focus on researching the Venus of Hohle Fels as an ecstatic posture and invites others around the world to join with her and share their findings. To begin the exploration, she asked the Tennessee Diviner for guidance and suggested that is a good beginning for others as well to better understand the rituals and meaning of this posture. With her groups she has found that the experiences are very intense, similar to our findings with the Venus of Galgenberg, previously the oldest representation of a human form prior to the discover of the Hohle Fels Venus.
From another angle, Bettina Duesmann reports many members of the Institute in Germany experienced it as a ritual body posture inducing trance and some still focus their studies on it’s impact. Others reject exploring it as ritual body posture for at the spot where the head would be expected is just a nob with an eyelet. In their view head, hands and feet must be recognizable to consider it as potential ritual body posture. However, there are published postures without heads such as the Priestess of Malta.
At the Institute in Santa Fe we also did an experimental session using this posture. Some experiences included:
Physical sensations – numbing strain on right shoulder and arm.
Vision 1 – Image of newly born baby from the womb
Vision 2 – Image of women with weaved grain basket sorting out grains
Vision 3 – Jet black skinned female, she had painted herself with unusually jet black skin dye. She was a leaned bodied young woman between age of 15 – 20. She turned into a even muscular warrior like figure, standing at the edge of a mountain looking down at the plains.
Vision 4 – A movie scene – My whole right shoulder and arm sliced out from my body
It was then offered to a grosteque monster like creature. -The arm was fed to the creature, its giant mouth opened and swallowed the arm
vision 5.- A scene of a screaming female figure throwned into burning molten lava, much like the sun. A sacrifical ceremony.
Vision 6 – Streams of bodies lined up, walking into a crater of a exploding volcano
Voice – A voice shouted to me
I asked how. There was no answer
I first kneeled, then, there was a pull to squat
Heat experienced from upper body to lower spine L6
Black void, there was just nothingness
then a stream of stars and galaxies came out, it was as if I had given birth to galaxies and planets.
After the posture
Physical aspects of the body
Later in the afternoon, I had experienced my period, it was early and unexpected and was unusually heavy for the next 3 days. something I have not experienced before.
This posture had a cleansing effect on my physical body.