“Whoever does not believe in the intelligence of nature and things , who does not believe in the language of stones, wood and water , is a material being bounded in perceptions and subtle sensations ; he is irretrievably doomed to thick and out.”
Strong words. One might think the exordium of a Siberian shaman or Sioux sorcerer, but no, this is the intro of a chapter that Robert Charroux devoted to what he calls the petrimundo : a very old petrified world, where nature foreshadows the living beings through a profusion of animal and human forms.
The petrimundo is “the miracle of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic rocks in France, Peru, Brazil and Romania.” (Source)Robert Charroux , Le livre du mystérieux passé, p. 306-307 We can add Africa and India …
Truely some rocks may have singular forms, where the visitor can not fail to recognize animal or human heads, no one can deny the fact. We all played finding animal shapes in random clouds. This phenomenon is called a pareidolia.
A pareidolia (from the ancient Greek para-, “beside”, and eidôlon, diminutive of eidos, “appearance, form”) is a kind of optical illusion that consists of associating a formless and ambiguous visual stimulus with a clear and identifiable element, often a human or animal form. (wikipedia)
A famous psychological test, the test of the inkspot or Rorschach, is based precisely on the automatic capacity of comparing that leads us to recognize a familiar shape in a shape due to chance alone. Charroux did not ignored the phenomenon. He said chance is an easy escape, if it exists.
Chance alone can not explain the abundance of animal forms found in the rocks of a certain place.
“More than any other, the site of Fontainebleau is a zoological park with an amazing variety of animals. There are, in full freedom, but mineralized somehow, monkeys, rhinos, flying snakes, birds, dinosaurs, frogs, cats, sheeps, bears, hippos, turtles, whales , sea lions, owls, elephants, etc. And a sphinx and exquisitely carved human heads.” (Source)Robert Charroux , Le livre du mystérieux passé, p. 306-307 Agreed. I would say that wandering through the Val d’Apremont, the Gorges du Franchard (the higher spot of the forest), the Massif des Trois-Pignon, the Bas-Breau, or other places, such as the Mare aux Fées on the road to Bourron-Marlotte, is pure delight.
At each step, new rock piles holds your attention. Some rocks, perched on hills, seem heroic castles.
Others, abrupt and threatening the side of a steep slope, evoke the Titans of ancient myths.
But the most amazing rocks are gathered in a menagerie of immobile animals. Seemingly at random, they are in the most powerful spots – in geobiological terms. For several years, Edith Guerin studied and photographed the site: “Is it coincidence that these unusual rocks are grouped as if they belonged to ancient rituals centers , particularly in the gorges and chaos of Apremont ? “
Charroux attempts to answer :
“Two hypotheses may explain the petrimundo (see above) Fontainebleau: freak of nature and work of prehistoric man.
Undoubtedly, the second proposal must be eliminated, because the rock of hard sandstone, still bears its natural bark, when it solidified in the open air, about thirty million years ago. The first proposal, a priori, is not satisfactory …
… because the calculation of probabilities may explain the simplest zoomorphic representations as lions, snakes, turtles, but would not allow the design of three elephants with their trunks, their eyes, their tails, their bodies and legs.
It must therefore return to the thesis of the conscious nature of reproductive control, ie to try to draft future forms of its most elaborate creation. This is the most rational explanation, whatever its incredible and miraculous appearance. The petrimundo of Fontainebleau, in our view, signs the manifestation of intelligent matter.” (Source)Robert Charroux , Le livre du mystérieux passé, p. 306-307
The thesis Charroux seems rather strange, it was less so at the time (he wrote fifty years ago).
In the footsteps of Teilhard de Chardin, who saw in the mineral state the reddening of life, Robert Charroux deifies nature, giving it a mind, a desire to change, and even a creative gift. The stone would have taken specific forms, sketching animals. Nature would have made models of all these beasts.
The fabulous bestiary of stone in the forest of Fontainebleau triggered lyrical verve of this visionary of the last century. Charroux saw, smelled, felt a lot of things before anyone else.
I was not aware of his work until recently, thanks to a user who reproached me for not quoting him more. How would I do if had not read? I have since repaired this gap. Charroux is a genuine gentleman who has collected a huge number of facts in support of his innovative theses.
He lacks the overall view his time could not provide. The work of new archaeologists -perhaps inspired by the theories of Charroux- have permitted clear advances in recent years, which I can only rejoice of, even I am longing for a change.
A meeting such as Charroux through his books, that counts in the life of a researcher of my ilk. So I sincerely thank this Charroux’ admirer for his valuable info. Thanks to you all I can correct my mistakes, change my views or rearrange my shortcomings.
Really, Robert Charroux is great. Fontainebleau took him by heart and did not ever let him go. I have roamed for years in this beautiful forest, when I had my little house at Courances near Milly. The Trois-Pignons forest is a real wonder that deserves classification as a UNESCO World Heritage.
The forest of Fontainebleau needed a cantor like Charroux, a real bard, a troubadour. Relevant visionary, Charroux launches cheeky assumptions to awake and enlighten. The dear man had everything to please me.
Far from me to ridicule the re-enchantment of the world, which is in great need. But why refuse to imagine that men in the distant past, had the know-how necessary to cut these rocks ? It’s impossible because “the sandstone still bears its natural bark, dating from around thirty million years” said Charroux.
Few scientists are willing to admit that the man was already here thirty million years ago. Few researchers can imagine the level of technical, artistic, intellectual and spiritual development of the ancient inhabitants of the earth.
The time argument does not resist, especially since nothing tells us wether these rocks are so old. Developed peoples who preceded us here could do fabulous feats with stones. Much more fabulous feat than to give rocks an ancient and natural look!
Dolmens and menhirs show their taste for rough stone, for a natural look. It is also conceivable that these sculptures were carved so long ago that the stone is worn. This carved bestiary reminds me other animals, painted on the walls of caves.
I explained elsewhere how shamans have used the magical paintings of Lascaux, Chauvet and Altamira to compromise with the group-soul of each species. And could have held the domestication of major animal species there are about 10 000 years: with the help of sacred images painted in caves.
We can not exclude a priori that these sculptures have served the same purpose : a pact with the wild animals. Other authors saw propitiatory rites, dances like the Indians before going hunting, so that Wakan Tanka helps hunters to bring meat for the tribe.
When Europe returned to wild life, as it was at the end of the Ice Age, the thing is not inconceivable …
We see anyway that the weight of the stones did not seem to bother them much. Animals are collected in some places, and I will add in selected locations, particularly powerful geobiological spots. Thus I tend to prefer a shamanic hypothesis. The best thing to make sure is to go there yourself. Do not forget to see with the fairy eye.
What struck me at Fontainebleau has also attracted the attention of another researcher, Joel Szymanski, who take almost all the pictures illustrating this article. He kindly allow me to publish them, and I’m grateful for that more than I can say.
Keep on going safe, dear Joel !