Basajaun – the Lord of the Forest

On my first visit to the Basque Country, I stayed in Zubieta, a small village in Navarre. The town is famous for the yearly carnival when the Joaldunak march to the neighbouring village, swinging huge cowbells to wake the world up from winter.  Zubieta is in a quiet river valley, and is surrounded by hills and mountains. On the slopes there are woods and pastures where sheep and cows graze.


Zubieta street scene

Bells in the Night

At night all is quiet, and very dark except for the occasional street light in the village itself. Every now and then you can hear the bells worn by the grazing animals on the slopes surrounding the village. Most of the time, the bells ring just occasionally, but sometimes there is an outburst of bells ringing. Something is happening up on the hill! Nothing can be seen in the dark, but the bells ring out. I was told that when this happens, it’s because Basajaun, the Lord of the forest, is walking among the animals.


Zubieta at night.

Baxajaun Legends

José Miguel de Barandiarán writes about Baxajaun (the x is used in Basque instead of an s) in his book on Basque Myths and Legends: [1]

“Baxajaun, lord of the forest, is the spirit that dwells in the deepest part of the forests or in caves situated in prominent places. It has a tall body in human form, covered with hair. Its long hair falls forward down to the knees, covering the face, chest, and stomach. It is the guardian spirit of flocks. It cries out in the mountains when a storm approaches so that the shepherds can move their flock into the fold. When Baxajaun is in the vicinity of the fold, there is no danger of the wolf approaching. Its presence is announced by the sheep with a simultaneous shaking and jingling of their bells. Then the shepherds can fall asleep peacefully, knowing that during that night or day the wolf, the great enemy of flocks, will not come around to bother them.”

Barandiarán goes on to say that although Baxajaun is sometimes represented as a frightening creature, of evil character, endowed with colossal strength and extraordinary agility, in other stories he is the first farmer from whom men learned the cultivation of grains and the first blacksmith and the first miller from whom man stole the secret of the making of the saw, the axle for the mill, and the working of metals. He retells some stories on this theme:

The Seeds of Wheat

“In Ataun, they say that the baxajaun grew wheat on Muskia mountain, situated in that town. A brave man—San Martinico—went to visit them in their cavern. Arguing with those spirits, he deliberately fell onto a pile of wheat that was there, filling his albarcas or Basque shoes with grains of wheat. Thus, on returning to his town, he carried in his shoes the seeds of the precious cereal. On discovering this, the baxajaun threw his axe at San Martinico, but he missed and could not prevent the growing of wheat from spreading throughout the world.”

San Martinico (or San Martin Txiki in Basque) mean “Little Saint Martin, and he is a trickster figure, like Prometheus, in Basque Mythology.

There’s a sequel to the story, that although Martin Txiki obtained the seeds of wheat, the villagers didn’t know when to plant them, so Martin went again to the cave of the basajaun, and heard them singing a song:

“Gizakiok balekite abestitxoa
aterako liokete etekin ederra.
Hostoa sortzean erein artoa,
hostoa erortzean erein garia
San Lorentzo garaian erein arbia”

“It simply came to our notice then
they would reap a beautiful return.
Sow corn in the leaf,
sow wheat when the leaf falls
Sowing turnips in the time of St. Lawrence “

So he knew that wheat was to be planted in the autumn, at leaf-fall.

You can listen to someone telling the story of Martin Txiki and the basajaun from a children’s book in Basque:

Making a saw

According to a legend from the region of Oiartzun, San Martin Txiki didn’t know how to make a saw, but he knew that the baxajaun had the secret. So he decided to trick the secret out of the baxajaun. He sent a servant to announce in the town that San Martin Txiko had indeed managed to construct a saw. On hearing this, the baxajaun asked the servant, “Has your master seen the leaf of the chestnut tree?”

“He hasn’t seen it but he will,” answered the servant, who later told San Martin Txiki what had happened. This is how the technique for making the saw was spread throughout the world.


Chestnut (image from Wikimedia commons)

The Secret of Soldering Iron

With the same trick, San Martin Txiki succeeded in learning how the baxajaun soldered two pieces of iron together, according to a legend from Kortezubi. He ordered the herald to announce that he had discovered the process for soldering iron. The baxajaun asked the herald, “Did he sprinkle the pieces of iron with water from potter’s clay?”

“He didn’t, but he will,” was the reply. And as a consequence of this new secret, the technique of soldering iron was spread throughout the world.”

The Mill Axle

A legend from Sara explains that the axle for St. Martin’s mill was made of oak and that when it was used to turn the wheel it burned up. But the axle of the baxajaun’s mill lasted for a long time. San Martín had it announced that his mill now functioned without any interruption.

“That means that he has used an axle made from an alder tree,” replied the baxajaun.

“He is going to use one,” replied the herald. And thus, thanks to San Martin Txiki’s trick, men were able to benefit from the use of the mill all over the world.

Listen in Basque

You can hear about Baxajaun in Basque here.

Who is Basajaun?

Some people see Basajaun as a Basque version of the Yeti or Bigfoot. There are theories that he might depict a Neanderthal man from tens of thousands of years ago when modern man and both Neanderthals lived in the area. [2]

Another possible connection is to the legends of the bears. Basajaun is wild and hairy, like a bear, and in another blog article, there’s a suggestion that there was a time when bears ruled men. Perhaps this was linked to the idea that men obtained the secrets of agriculture and metalwork from a more skilled race.

One other interesting connection is through the Cave of San Juan Xar, an old sanctuary near the village of Igantzi, in the Bidasoa river valley. [3] The sanctuary hosts three springs of healing water. According to Barandiarán, it was Basajaun who first presided over the cave, but today Basajaun is accompanied by a sculpture of a Saint Juan (St John) bearing a cross, turning the cave into a chapel. Every San Juan (23rd June), on midsummer’s night, locals gather here for an evening ceremony. St John the Baptist was a bit of a wild man himself, living in the wilderness, wearing clothes made of camel’s hair, and eating locusts and honey.  He was the archetypal ascetic, and he was sometimes called the forerunner, who prepared the world for the coming of Christ.

Modern Legends

Today it seems that Basajaun has taken on a role as a guardian figure for the countryside. There are films showing him sneaking up on littering visitors to the woods, and an interesting modern short film depicts him as a green man figure, defending the woods against exploiters:

Basajaun y las lindes de los Bosques (Basajaun and the borders of the forest).



[1] Mitología Vasca, José Miguel de Barandiarán (Txertoa), in Spanish. An English translation is available as part of Selected Writings of José Miguel de Barandiarán: Basque Prehistory and Ethnography. [available as a PDF file here: ]

[2] Article about Basajaun, and theories that he might originate from the proto-Basque interaction with Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago.

[3] Article about the cave of San Juan Xar

The Library

An article from the Sareoso Library, seemingly related to
Diagram 21: Liburutokia Handia:

There are basically three things Man is forced to do. The central stack deals with these three and is the general index:


Man deals with communication between the individual and the universe and covers; conduct, action, prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Liburutokia Handia has 7 stacks which we can index as follows:

|                       (6x-3) + (6x-2) + (6x-1) + (6x) + (6x+1) + (6x+2) + (6x+3)
| and label     (6x-1) + (6x+1) as MEMORY (yin yang – individual and general)
|                       (6x-2) + (6x+2) as CHOICE (4 trees)
|                       (6x-3) + (6x+3) as ACTION or REPRODUCTION (Maltese Cross –
|                       Consequential Origination)

Each stack has 9 shelves:

  8. SKILL

The Library has 7 stacks and each stack has 9 shelves.
The central stack is the index stack and its 9 shelves contain indexes to the stacks.
The stacks are divided to left and right.
All left stack contain individual or practical subjects, all right stacks contain general speculative or theoretical divisions of these subjects.
The six subsidiary stacks are labelled by Yin and Yang, Tree Left and Right, Cross Left and Right as follows:

LEFT             LEFT            LEFT          CENTRAL STACK         RIGHT        RIGHT          RIGHT
CROSS 1/9    TREE 1/9      Y/Y 1/9             INDEX 1/9               Y/Y 1/9       TREE 1/9      CROSS 1/9
6x-3               6x-2              6x-1                         6x                      6x+1            6x+2            6x+3

They have further divisions of shelves which are labelled as
6nx ± 1         6nx ± 2         6nx ± 3      where n is a series of numbers

The Y/Y series deals with all cyclical matters e.g. vibrations
The Tree series deals with all logical matters or choices
The Cross series deals with all actions of behaviour matters

|                                     -12                                                                  dual
| -9         -8         -7        -6        -5         -4        -3                   x = -1    unique
| -3         -2         -1         0          1         2          3                   x = 0
|  3          4          5         6          7          8         9                    x = +1   unique
|  9          10       11        12       13        14       15                                dual
|                                      18

You can get to -27 one way, but +27 several ways
-52 that would be in the future
x is any number index, n is integers

form    flow     force    field     force    flow     form

We need a group to work on all academic subjects under these classifications and to organise Liburutokia Handia.



Some articles on ‘Saroi’, ‘Saroe’ or ‘Sarobe’ – the enclosures or pastures around a shepherds hut,  octagonal stone circles found in the Basque country.

The name of the ‘Sarobia’ animation on the Sorginerratza page of the main Sareoso website may be related to ‘Sarobe’.

  • An extract on ‘Saroi’ from José Miguel de Barandiaran’s Dictionnaire Illustre de Mythologie Basque translated by Byron Zeliotis: Saroii pdf
  • The geometry of pastoral stone octagons: the Basque sarobe., Roslyn M. Frank and Jon D. Patrick. pages 77-91 in Archeaoastronomy in the 1990s, ed. Clive Ruggles.


A documentary about an old man farming and logging mostly alone throughout the four seasons.

Gogo and Haragi

This article is also available as a printable PDF file: Gogo and Haragi

GOGO and HARAGI: diagrams 22 and 23 in the Sareoso Series

Diagrams 22 and 23 can be amalgamated into a single one with twelve divisions, which is similar to the dependent origination diagram (diagram 29). The diagram is also similar to one in the 12th meeting of Worm Dragon Angel Seminars.

In the amalgamated diagram, the six divisions of the Gogo diagram 23 (Ezjakin, Nahimen, etc.) progress clockwise on the right hand half of the diagram. The six divisions of the Haragi diagram 22 (Herio, Jaiotze Dakit, etc.) progress anti-clockwise on the left hand half of the diagram.


Also shown on the amalgamated diagram is the Saros Octave of Man, illustrated below. For more information see The Octave of Man.

In the discussion below the names “Watcher” and “Sentinel” are used interchangeably, as are “I” and “Ego”.

The numbers shown on the amalgamated diagram are taken from the number of sub-divisions in each division of the Gogo and Haragi diagrams, and correspond to the Octave of Man.


Questions raised:

Why are the intervals filled by 4 and 7?
Why is Psyche the same as Will and why are they 4-fold?
Why is I the same as desire/craving and why is it 4?
Why is Mind Base the same as Watcher and why are they 7-fold?

The simple answer to the question of why 4 and 7 at the intervals is that they relate to Worlds and Cosmoses.
Perhaps it is not so with all octaves but specifically to the mind of man.
Are the intervals on the downward octave 4-fold and upward 7-fold? Or is it the other way round?!

The 12 is describing the whole of conditioning and how conditioning gives rise to consequences. Intervals are the points we can wake up.

One possibility for the question regarding psyche and 4 in Gogo is that it relates to Action, Memory, Choice and Procreative in the tetrahedron. In the diagram this corresponds to the 4 elements.

Why does Ego in the Haragi diagram correspond with a 4 based interval but the picture is 7 based? Why is Breath labelled 7 but has a 4 based picture? Might the 7 senses go together with Breath? The moment when a baby begins to take in sensory data from the world?
The Sentinel and Breath are present from birth. Ego is organised through life. Is Psyche developed through life or fully formed at birth?
Can the Sentinel be developed through life? The Sentinel and Breath generally operate mechanically but can become more conscious. In meditation we may learn to develop some control over the Sentinel in order for it to let us through. Both Breath and Sentinel are to do with the integrity of being. Being aware of the Sentinel is akin to being aware of Breath. As the sphere of I expands it encompasses Sentinel and Breath.
Will and I are to do with the creation of worlds.

The Mind Base is the precondition for perception. The Mind Door and the Sense Door are involved in the whole process of perceiving. 7 factors make up the Mind Base which translate from the Basque as Cause, Origin, Effect, Truth, Common Sense, Thought and Relationship. In Sareoso Mind is 7-fold.

The Gogo and Haragi diagrams are to do with the relationship between the Mind and Body. The unity and difference between mind and body perhaps. In this discussion we are approaching the whole thing from the point of view of mind so it is limited. To fully understand the diagrams we have to approach it from both.

A link to the Spheres of the Tetrahedron animation on the Moldatu website, describes the tetrahedron in terms of 3 layers, the endosphere, mesosphere and exosphere. The volume of the exosphere is equal to the volume of the central endosphere, plus the equivalent of 11 of the mesophseres. Since the tetrahedron itself is formed from 4 mesopsheres, this leaves the remainder of the exosphere as consisting of the equivalent of 7 mesospheres. The diagram includes a mathematical proof. (This description and proof is available on the Sareoso blog here.)

The amalgamation diagram has the octave going clockwise in Gogo diagram (i.e. between 1 (4) 3 2 7 (7) 1) and anticlockwise in Haragi diagram 1 6 (4) 12 21 (7) 1. The amalgamation is clockwise only. The diagram in the Worm, Dragon, Angel booklet for the 12th meeting, which includes dependent origination and the mega octave, has both clockwise and anticlockwise directions. Is this relevant? And might the Adam/Gaia counter-directions relate to Gogo (Adam) and Haragi (Gaia)?


At a previous meeting we discussed:
4 = Materiality
7 = Impressions
Can you have a body without impressions to make it out of?
How can you receive impressions without a body?
Cosmoses make the Worlds but there can’t be Cosmoses without the Worlds.

When associations arise, feelings arise (relevant to dependent origination).
Feeling is a package of energy. When it is triggered, energy is released. The trigger can be an internal (new feeling) or external (new perception).
The impression produced is referred to sentinel and thereby to an organised level of self (Big I). New impressions don’t trigger conditioned associations. They need to be digested. Big I forms a new association after digestion. It is the job of Mind not body to do this.
Seek stimulation to be organised. Able to use more potential. To be able to become more of what you can (be?)

Taken from notes made at a SAREOSO meeting, October 7th 2019

Spheres of the Tetrahedron

In the Moldatu animation (see below), results are shown about measurements of the tetrahedral shape, in particular, the ‘endosphere‘, a sphere located in the central space of the tetrahedron, and the ‘exosphere‘, the sphere containing all four ‘mesospheres’ which make up the tetrahedron itself:


The main result is that the volume of the exosphere is equal to the volume of the central endosphere, plus the equivalent of 11 of the mesospheres. Since the tetrahedron itself is formed from 4 mesospheres, this leaves the remainder of the exosphere as consisting of the equivalent of 7 mesospheres.

Here is the document showing the proof of these measurements.


The Moldatu animation:



Creating the Dymaxion

Here is a PDF file with some notes on creating the dymaxion. It’s an attempt to relate some of the Sareoso diagrams with one of the animations.  It’s definitely a work in progress, and I hope it will be developed further. Comments are welcome.

Creating the Dymaxion

This is the animation I’m talking about:



Dymaxion and Zodiac

In a previous post I published some notes on the dymaxion. This is a bit extra, about relationships between the dymaxion and the astrological zodiac.

The dymaxion is a shape made from 12 spheres surrounding a central (13th) one. Interpreting the 12 spheres as the 12 signs of the zodiac seems a possibility, but the signs of the zodiac have relationships to each other. They are grouped into elements (fire, air, water and earth) and qualities (cardinal, mutable and fixed), so each sign belongs to one element and one quality. For example Aries is cardinal fire. There are four cardinal signs and three fire signs, spread evenly around the zodiac.


The surface of a dymaxion has triangles and squares so it seems reasonable that these groupings of threes and fours should be mirrored.

One way in which the relationships can be represented on the dymaxion is to make each of the four triangular groupings represent a single element, containing a cardinal, mutable and fixed sign. In this picture I’ve coloured the qualities as red, green and blue, so here you are looking at a triangle representing the three signs of one element (perhaps the fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius).


The way each triangle is coloured should allow the groups of four to also be seen. By turning the dymaxion to look at a square side we can see the layout – here a square of blue spheres (representing perhaps the fixed signs).


There may well be other possible arrangements of the zodiacal relationships on the dymaxion, but this seems to be one possibility. It’s also worth remembering the close relationship between the dodecahedron and the dymaxion. Putting signs of the zodiac on to the dodecahedron goes back to Plato in ancient Greece, but it’s not clear how they were arranged. The relationships of threes and fours are not at all obvious on the dodecahedron, so perhaps we can use the dymaxion to understand this.