Axis Mundi

The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world), in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning.

The image is mostly viewed as feminine, as it relates to center of the earth (perhaps like an umbilical providing nourishment). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagoda, temple mount, minaret, church) or secular (obelisk, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced "urban centers". In Mircea Eliade's opinion, "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all."

Read more about Axis MundiBackground, Modern Expressions

Other articles related to "axis mundi, axis":

Two Trees Of Valinor - External Significance
... Further information Axis mundi The trees are a manifestation of the axis mundi, a common mythological element where heaven and earth connect bringing the order ... The axis mundi is a compass that sets the rest of the world in order, balance, and direction ... While an axis mundi exists in nearly all mythological literature, the Two Trees are perhaps especially reminiscent of the tree of Yggdrasil in Norse mythology ...
Axis Mundi - Modern Expressions - Modern Storytelling
... The axis mundi continues to appear in fiction as well as in real-world structures ... The Dark Tower, serves as the axis of all the universes in the novels of Stephen King Orodruin, location of the creation and destruction of the One Ring, is one of many ... In Supernatural, the Axis Mundi was a road (or tunnel, or river — depended on the person's perspective) that lead through heaven to its center ('heaven's garden') ...

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