Introduction / Using ARAS: The Symbolism of the Cross

  The Tree of Life is the Axis Mundi, the centre of the cosmos, with various forms in many cultures. The totem poles of the North-west coast Indians of British Columbia and Alaska are the pillars on which the shamans move between the worlds aided by their tutelary spirits which are carved in relief on the poles (VASTAKOS 10). The stupas of the Buddhist countries are reliquaries representing the planes of reality. They are three-dimensional mandalas. These may be small roadside shrines
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