Shamanic Roots of Western Culture: The Odyssey & Tolkien
Robert Tindall is a writer, classical guitarist and inveterate traveler, whose work explores the crossing of frontiers into other cultures and states of consciousness. He is the author of two books on shamanism, The Jaguar that Roams the Mind and The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience, along with numerous articles on themes such as pilgrimage along the Camino to Santiago, the medieval quest, the Native American prophetic tradition, and the healing practices of the vegetalista tradition of the Amazon rainforest. Robert holds two Master’s degrees, one in English Literature and the other in TESOL and works as a professor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He and his wife Susana currently live in Tarapoto, Peru, and occasionally lead journeys into the Amazon rainforest to encounter the healing traditions there. In this interview Robert discusses parallels between western mythologies such as the Odyssey and the Illiad with indigenous cosmologies of the rainforest. He points out the shamanic aspects in western mythology as our western ancestors were also indigenous. Then, we’ll talk about their break from primal or indigenous mind into the modern mind. Robert explains its consequences. He compares this break to the Hopi prophecy of the emergence of two roads of humanity. In the second hour, we speak more about the shamanic aspects in the Odyssey, including its references to sacred consciousness altering plants. Later, we talk about J.R.R.Tolkien and what Robert calls the intensified trajectory of consciousness.