Rolling on the ground, and especially wallowing in mud or swamp, form part of primitive therapy all over the world. The custom also figures in some rites involving rain or fertility, and is also to be found in magic practices where a man is required to roll on the ground in order to rise up again transformed into a wolf (51). The myth of Antaeus is connected with this belief. In all this, the supposition is that contact with the earth instigates certain latent possibilities either in the cosmos or in the individual or his spirit. The desire to be cured, or for metamorphosis or rain, corresponds to the general longing for ‘Inversion’— the upsetting of a given order so that it may be replaced by its opposite. To roll on the ground is, then, one of those sacrificial acts that are supposed to encourage or facilitate inversion, a change in circumstances or in the broad stream of life.
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