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Esoteric Geography – The Desert

For thousands of years natural formations have been assigned often magical and spiritual meanings in various cultural circles. In this series we will examine some geographical terms through esoteric eyes. Now in our next part we will discuss the desert.

 

In most cases the endless desert, whether it is stone, sand or even salt, symbolises spiritual barrenness or loneliness in both art and literature. In addition it regularly pops up, most typically in films, as the metaphor for facing problems and seeking a path. The wanderer in the desert is unable to find their place among people, so through physical suffering and pain they will be reborn.

desert

The desert is an unfriendly place, often hiding deadly dangers which can capture prey. You cannot escape easily due to the visions caused by exhaustion, a lack of water and perhaps a Fata Morgana, the superior mirage phenomenon. Sometimes, however, these can be godly mirror images and divine guidance given to the parched wanderer to enlighten them.

Dream interpreters connect loneliness, in addition to a constant lack of love (sometimes unrequited) and a desire for something with the desert. Sometimes fear is associated with it too.

The word ’desert’ is associated by most people with sand and sand dunes, although the castaways on the sea (or ocean) also paint a similar picture as those who get lost in a desert. The situation is essentially the same, the only difference is that one of them succumbs to the water, the open sea, and the other is on the ground looking for a way to escape, hungry and thirsty. The so-called salt desert is even more cruel and dangerous. Here, in addition to the barrenness and lack of water, the greatest enemy is the thousands of tiny holes hidden underneath the salty surface.

In the religion of the South American Indians the desert is the place of ghosts which consume people if they go there. The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, stands out from the rest due to its uniqueness. Here, the more than 10 000 square kilometers of salt plain literally merges with the ground and the sky. Local legend says the goddess Tunupa’s tears were mixed here with breast milk after her husband Kushku left her. The goddess began to breastfeed her son, but she started crying. Her tears falling down and from the child's mouth the breast milk dropped down to the ground and created this amazing place where people who get lost may await an almost certain death.

 
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