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by Chuck Pettis and Bre Pettis

I received a letter in response to my book Secrets of Sacred Space that sparked my interest and intrigued me. This letter was from a young geomancer who had begun to feel the power of sacred space in her own life and was beginning the work of being a geomancer.

She wrote: "When I am in special, places, like mountain tops, churches, and most recently on my trip to Scotland, in stone circles, I feel a real sense of the strength and power in the landscape. I am drawn to walk the path of the geomancer. Although I have no experience in architecture or construction, I have begun to create a sacred place of power, peace, and beauty in my yard and I also enjoy building temporary sacred spaces in nature like Andy Goldsworthy does (but not as good as his!). My role as a geomancer is growing in my life, and questions are arising for me. First of all, what kind of future is there in geomancy and what advice would you have for a beginner. The bigger question is what kind of role does the geomancer’s have in contemporary society? Sincerely, A Young Geomancer."

This letter compelled me to write her back because while everyone has the potential to work with the powers of nature to become a geomancer, there isn’t much support for young budding geomancers. There are only a few people who teach "Geomancy 101" and no formal bachelor or graduate degrees in geomancy.

What follows is my simple overview of Geomancy in the 21st century. My goal is to give the young upstarts an idea of what great potential there is for geomancy in our wonderful time. There really is no better time to become a geomancer. For example, 25 years ago, the number of practicing geomancers was small, certainly under 100, perhaps under 10. Today, many people are beginning to practice geomancy and create their own stone circles and sacred places. Some people are beginning to learn how to divine the earth at ancient monuments and in their own homes. Imagine a world where geomancy is a respected art and you will be imagining a place of beauty, harmony, peace, and wonder.

Not everyone needs to get a business card with geomancer written on it to make a difference. The role, or archetype of the geomancer is waiting to be woken up in everyone. Many actions of geomancy can be done by anyone.

For all the young geomancer’s out there, and for all the people who feel the pull to be in greater harmony with their environment, I dedicate the following overview of Geomancy in the new millennium.

I see the geomancer’s mission growing and evolving in three areas:

  1. Strengthening the spiritual presence at ancient monuments.
  2. Designing and building contemporary sacred spaces.
  3. Designing and building enlightened ecologies that benefit all beings, as well as humans.

Strengthen the Spiritual Presence at Ancient Monuments

Millions of people visit ancient monuments all over the world to experience the sense of awe, wonder, and fascination that resides at these places of power. It is apparent to anyone who visits ancient monuments that the power and special sacredness of these sites is, in most cases, being depleted. It does not take a rocket scientist to observe that too much is being taken from these sites and not enough is being put back in.

Places of power take on the strong emotions of people who visit and experience them. The ancient ones put lots of spiritual feeling into their sacred places. Not enough is being done to maintain this feeling. If there are no positive spiritual thoughts and feelings being put into a sacred site, then the level of that site’s power gradually diminishes.

This decline in the power of ancient places needs to be stopped and reversed. There are many things that you can do to have a positive impact on a sacred space. Here are four simple things that you can do to help:

Build Contemporary Sacred Spaces

Visiting an ancient monument is one thing. Actually building a sacred space is another thing all together. Indeed, the making of a sacred space is special in and of itself; the archaeological study of Stonehenge shows almost continuous building and change over 2,000 years! When built over ley-line power centers by spiritually aware people, contemporary sacred spaces immediately have the same level of power experienced at most ancient monuments. With meditation, ceremony and other spiritual practices, new sacred spaces can have more power than ancient monuments.

New sacred spaces are important for many reasons:

Design Enlightened Ecologies that Benefit All Beings as Well as Humans

As I have built sacred spaces, I have become much more sensitive to and aware of the land around the place, as well as wildlife, and plant life. I see the role of geomancer evolving to that of "sacred ecologist." A sacred ecologist creates large-scale landscapes that combine places that improve the emotional and spiritual well-being of people with the preservation and conservation of land, wildlife, and plant life.

People need a way to escape to someplace safe, beautiful, and healing. A sacred ecologist designs and builds special landscapes that facilitate attitudes of love, kindness, compassion, and joy, while creating little "heavens on earth" for animals and plants. We do this by creating delightful hidden and revealed sacred spaces, located on places dowsed for maximum resonance. Pathways through woods follow water lines and ley lines, intersecting with naturally beautiful spots for rest, meditation and visual/auditory inspiration. We design for minimum ecological impact and maximum spiritual impact.

As sacred ecologists, we must expand our outlook and vision. We need to think bigger and, by our own actions, inspire a new kind of environmental ethic that goes beyond protesting environmental wrongs to creating stable, resilient, and sacred ecosystems that maximize the diversity and population of wildlife and plant life. Going beyond reading about sacred space to actually creating your own sacred space is a big and rewarding step. An even bigger step is to create sacred spaces and landscapes that are spiritually revitalizing and renewing for others–naturally healthy places for people to relax and reconnect with their spirituality and the spirit of nature.

The sacred ecologist’s approach is to let the land tell us everything. "Drainage and ponds will tell us where not to tread," explains David Rousseau, one of the world’s experts in this area and author of Your Home, Your Health, And Well-Being. "The energized landscape will be the painting, the canvas and the frame. The forest and rock will tell us where to mark trails, and the natural habitat will tell us how much room there is for human activity, building and dwelling. Furthermore, the subtle energies of the site, and the intention to reinforce them, will form the physical plan for the geometry and alignment of all built features and interventions."

In the new millennium, geomancers will expand their domain from the home, office or building site to the placement of sacred places within the sacred landscape. Geomancy, feng shui, and sacred space along with architecture, landscape architecture and urban/rural planning will merge. New, integrated and environmentally harmonious and beneficial ecologies will emerge. The subtle and poetic facets of design–the spirit of place and sacred space–will combine with the technical and esthetic, in order to achieve a true and whole approach to design. Rousseau emphasizes, "This is both the missing piece and the new frontier in contemporary design practice. Everyone who wants to truly ‘think and practice green’ must ultimately also think and practice sacred."

I encourage you to be a part of this movement and apply your specific skills and talents to create a world that works for not only 100% of humanity, but for all the plant and animal species, as well.

So all you young geomancers out there, begin work again and again. Let the land speak to you. You have chosen this work, and the Earth has chosen you to do it… The Earth welcomes all who wish to bring harmony and peace to the landscape. You have the power to literally make the world a better, peaceful, harmonious place.


©2000, Chuck Pettis. A section of this article is excerpted from Secrets of Sacred Space by Chuck Pettis (Llewellyn, 1999).

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