Basque (People of Atlantis?)

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The Basque Region is today found inside two countries France and Spain separated by the Pyrenees mountains and bordered to the West by the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean. It is like other places mentioned in the book such as Pashtun tribe lands currently divided by an artificial line created by modern politicians in this case French and Spanish.  Oddly, the Basque language called ‘Euskara’ is a linguistic anomoly belonging to neither the African or Indo-European language families. It is simply older than the languages that surround it such as French, Spanish or Arabic. Similarly the culture is stubbornly preserved and appears to much older than neighbouring countries too. The national symbol of the Basques is the four-fold cross or Basque cross. Wandering around the region one can find the Basque cross on buildings and churches or in coats-of-arms etc, the four-fold cross is synonymous with the Basque peoples.
The Basque culture is a mystery but not as much as one would imagine. The dances of the mutxikos (the young men) are a give-away to any trained folklorist for they belong to a much earlier Prehistoric culture. These dances equate to the Pagan dances found inside England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland and possibly to Brittany. Upon closer inspection there are direct paralells to the English morris with young men holding short sticks and clashing them together before turning around to dance once more. The special Basque dance called ‘the 7 Steps’ is roughly equivalent to the Cumbrian Witchcraft practices in Northern England to make corn grow by leaping up in the air to symbolise the height of the plant at harvest – an agricultural wish fulfilment ceremony. However the Basque dance is more esoteric still as it appears to be symbolic of the initiations towards higher realities of which there may be 7 in total. JG Bennett and Gurdjieff visited the nearby caves of Lascaux and had a similar conversation about the stone age paintings of figures seen there. The cave paintings believed to be at least 10,000 B.C. show figures bearing antlers which according to Gurdjieff represented the spiritual development acrued by various characters depicted. Of course all of this is at odds with our preconceived ideas of peoples in times past who as viewed by current historians as savages could not possibly have had such insights.  Other quite separate dances performed by the Basques happen at special times of the year to coincide with the celebration of the Catholic Saints, although there is no doubt that these practices are firmly rooted in Paganism of yesteryear, before the time of Church persecutions.
The Basques traditionally held wild orgiastic parties in caves in the Pyrenees called ‘Akelarre’ meaning in the Euskara tongue the ‘he-goat’. These practices were performed by whole communities worshipping together and may have been the last vestiges of the Old Religion or Witchcraft. To the Church authorities of the time such acts were simply viewed as sorcery and the goat soon transposed for Satan. In 1609 Church authorities from Rome noted the Old Religion in the area with particular disgust as local Catholic Priests seemingly turned a blind-eye to the activities. During 1610 over 300 Basques were arrested and tried by the Holy Inquisition. Over a century and a half later Spanish painter Goya captured the traditional view of the Basque witches meeting in his painting entitled Akelarre featuring a witches circle consorting a huge goat under the light of the moon. Goya was inspired to paint two such paintings featuring the Basque Akerlarre Today a museum of Akerlarre Witchcraft  exists at the Zurgarramurdi caves in the North Basque found in Navarre, Spain.
DNA tests have been conducted on the Basques and these have found the race to be unique also, quite distinct from either Spaniards or French although some say there is a link to the Berbers of Morocco but that remains unsubstantiated. The strong oral traditions of the region along with the storytellers allowed the language to continue through incursions, Catholic persecution and the encroachment of modern life, aided of course by the remote countryside and mountainous terrain. This isolation has resulted in a unique blood type which shows among the Basque people as the highest concentration of RH bloodstock anywhere on the planet.

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