No 14: Summer Solstice
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by Patrick MacManaway
I drove the hour and three-quarters over to High Reach Farm last Wednesday morning, leaving the house a little after 6:00 am. It was a beautiful morning to take a delightful drive, especially knowing that I would be working on the farm the next two days, staying overnight and not returning until the following evening. I was able to relax into the anticipation of spending time with my friend Steve, visiting and exchanging new ideas and developing on old ones whilst spending long days out of doors engaged in the practical and satisfying work of tree farming.
In a way, these visits - weekly when I can manage them into my busy schedule - are an escape for me, an escape from the office, from computer and telephone, an escape from the responsibilities of my geomantic practice and the focus and demands of working with clients. It is also an escape from the urbanization that spills southwards towards my office from our nearby city of Burlington, Vermont. Sometimes too my farm trips can offer themselves as an escape from domestic concerns and from the difficulties and struggles that offer themselves in the growthful and challenging arena of marriage.
As I headed east down the interstate, the sun rising between Vermont's green mountains, a heavy steamy mist was rising all down the valley from the ponds and rivers winding their way to Lake Champlain, I felt my own spirits lighten and anxieties and emotional burdens lift from me like the water vapor rising up and dispersing into the morning.
The road to the farm is almost a mythical journey into a rural innocence, passing gradually into more and more beautiful and sparsely populated landscape, on smaller and smaller roads until the last nine miles from the nearest grocery store become unpaved dirt road through the ubiquitous regenerating forests that cover eighty percent of Vermont's landscape, dotted and interspersed with the dairy farms that keep the remaining twenty percent of the land open and grazed.
It strikes me very much on this particular morning that the nearer I get to my destination, the more my body relaxes. No office worries or anxieties of outstanding papers to push around my desk for sure, and of course I am aware of the pleasurable anticipation of seeing my friend, but I also know that we are now late in the season for the harvest of native trees that Steve digs from his woods and sells wholesale to landscape architects up and down the state, and the work is likely to be heavy - some of the trees in their burlap root balls weigh three hundred pounds, and we will be digging and moving these around by hand between the two of us. Heavy, sometimes grueling work that can leave muscles exhausted and aching and bring a person to be happy just to sit motionless for an hour at the end of the day and then take an early night.
Geomancy and Stress
Even knowing that the work today may be hard and heavy, I feel a peace and serenity move through me as I arrive on the farm. I realize that it is a familiar feeling, and not one that can be put down simply to putting myself beyond the reach of my fax machine. I recognize it clearly as the gradual deep release that comes when I am working with geopathically stressed land or buildings.
My work as a jobbing geomancer both in Scotland and New England is a delightfully varied practice working with places very large and very small, domestic and commercial, public and private, pre-design and post-build. I work with labyrinths, healing sanctuaries, shops and schools, estates and gardens, energy mapping and balancing in buildings sick and sound, and in homes both happy and sad.
The bulk of my bread-and-butter work is with Geopathic Stress, working with places where the energetic relationship between people and place has become toxic, often with a great deal of associated emotional trauma and dissonance held in the energy field, with or without the presence of disturbed and disoriented spirits.
This energetic soup of trauma and dissonance can be very disturbing to attune to, as one must as a dowser and healer of place, and I typically know how bad the problems are by how tightly I feel myself contract and tighten as I arrive on the site. The tension that develops in my body, most noticeable in and around my gut and abdomen, gives me a feel for how the people resident in that building feel most of the time.
As my work proceeds on site and the healing process goes along however, - earth acupuncture easing chi flow and restoring vitality, psychic intervention allowing the release and easing of long-stored hurts, the pain, dissonance and trauma are gently brought to a harmony of peace and balance, and a state of grace often descends upon the place.
The way I generally notice that my work is taking effect is that my body starts to relax and my mood to lighten. This is for me a most interesting phenomenon, and one that is so repeatable that it has become predictable. I never know which stage in the process of healing is going to bring the energy field into peace and balance, but I know that creeping feeling of ease that accompanies it, almost like the relaxing warmth of easing into a hot bath.
The piece here that is of interest however, is that while I am intensely aware of the tension and contraction that occurs when arriving at and entering a disturbed energy field, after quite a short time my attention shifts to interacting with my client and then beginning to assess the nuts and bolts of the situation and commencing on the work of the healing process. I am no longer conscious of the tension as I go about my job, only of the feeling of relaxation as the atmosphere actually lifts. Although no longer conscious of it, my energy field and accompanying emotional availability in that situation are literally "held back".
Steve Parker's Farm
Patrick in a Tamarac/Larch tree ring
High Reach Farm
For Steve, his farm is a shamanic landscape. Intimate with each of his eight hundred acres, his farming strategy is to balance the human ecology with a thriving and vital land ecology. Logging is performed in a fashion that improves the habitat for deer and songbirds. His organic, ecological and environmental practices have brought him state-level award and current status as "tree-farmer of the year". Much more profound than these outer practices however, is the intimate relationship that he has cultivated with the spirit of the land through meditation and inner journey, and through mindful presence in every minute of his work. It is this which guides his outer practices, and it is this level of intimacy and consciousness that has led him to engage in a deep healing of the spirit of that land.
Although I have been visiting his farm for fifteen years and talking healing and geomancy with Steve until long after the cows came home, I had never quite put those two pieces together for myself - the relaxed intimacy that I felt when on that land and the fact that he has given it so much healing attention at the level of pure spirit as well as in outer, material forms.
His is a landscape without pain. A landscape without either an underlying note or chord of dissonance buried deeply, or of pockets of trauma and woundedness to stumble into. It is literally safe to allow ones spirit to expand there, knowing that the edge of ones aura will not suddenly encounter psychic razor wire or emotional landmines.
How rare this is, and how little we notice - so much of our time we are in landscapes of place and of people that are woven with pain and fear, anxiety and hurt. We may notice the initial contraction, but once pulled in to ourselves, we no longer notice how small we have become - we have simply adapted to our environment, and in our adaptation, defined limits to our energetic and emotional availability - literally limits to our preparedness to be intimate there.
When encountering a new environment, our own subtle energies naturally expand outwards - until they meet trauma or pain - and then they contract a little, and stay there. The further out they go before meeting such pain, the more relaxed and alive we feel, and the more intimate we are becoming - the more open we are, literally to the energies of that place and the other people who are present there.
The healing of pain and trauma in place literally allows the experience of intimacy and the enchantment that draws us out of ourselves not to end in disappointment and disillusion as we so often experience.
For enchantment and intimacy and expansion to go on and on and on, we need to create safe landscapes for ourselves, landscapes without pain and hurt to our subtle senses just as we would create a playground for small children without broken glass to create pain in their bodies.
I have realized that anywhere in my life that I feel contraction is calling for my healing attention, calling for me to re-engage with compassion and intimacy.
I have arranged therapy for my fax machine.
Issue No. 13 >>
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The Jesus Mysteries: A Review
The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original Jesus' a Pagan God?
Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
Thorsons/Harper Collins: Hammersmith, London. 1999.
Reviewed by Sig Lonegren & A Clarification by Peter Gandy
I have long considered myself a gnostic. I will listen to everyone I can, but ultimately, I will decide for myself. To do this, I use a process I call 'gnowing,' consciously using equally both my rational and my intuitive abilities to find what is Truth - for me. It was this attitude that got the early Christian Gnostics in trouble with Rome where only one man, the Pope, got to speak with God. In April, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of a new book, The Jesus Mysteries, by Tim Freke (who lives in Glastonbury) and Peter Gandy. Over the years, I have immersed myself in the history, mythology, and spiritual activities of the Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Cannanites, Hebrews, and Greeks. I've studied Mithras, Marduk and Ishtar, Dionysus, Isis and Osirus, Astara and Bel, Jesus and Mary, and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Documents - a major collection of Christian Gnostic material with pieces from Plato, Hermes Trismegistus, and numerous books about Jesus that didn't make it in to the final cut of books that were accepted as the New Testament at the Council of Nicea.
High Priestess/Mother&Lover/Consort/Son Who Dies and Comes Back
These archetypal truths were passed on through direct experience in the Mystery Schools. Freke and Gandy didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but they put these bits of information together in a way I certainly had never thought of, and just might be "true." Their assertion is that Jesus wasn't really here in the flesh. He was/is an archetypal spirit who Initiates had been taught to "see" for several thousand of years before the time of the Roman occupation of Israel. This archetype falls into the High Priestess and her lover/consort/son mythos, and it was found all over from the eastern half of the Mediterranean to the Tigris Euphrates. The authors first discuss these Mystery gods and then point out the incredible similarities between their mythic stories and the life of Jesus as reported in the Gospels. They report thirty similarities from Mithras' birthday, the 25th of December, and his followers interest in his blood, through Christ's healing the sick, **exorcising of demons and other miracles and Jesus is baptized (a ritual practiced for centuries in the Mysteries) to his death and resurrection which Osiris and Dionysus and many other earlier mythological deities followed.
Then the authors say that the Romans were well known for their record keeping; however, aside from what is found in the Bible, there is no contemporary evidence that a man named Jesus lived and did the things said about him in the kerygma, the earliest message of Jesus. Zero external evidence!
Who Actually Saw Him?
On top of that, it is now clear that not one of the authors of any of the books in the New Testament actually saw Jesus, Mark was written at least after 65 CE, and most came well into the next century. Many of them were been (badly) rewritten and added to in some cases, centuries after they had been initially written. The Christian Gnostics, painted by the Church to be a small band of early heretics, were actually the dominant arm of the early Church. One of the reasons why they didn't play very well in Rome, as I said above, was that they took responsibility for their perception of "Truth," rather than taking on faith what Rome told them.
But I remember something else I learned about the Gnostics in the late seventies, but it didn't come in to focus for me until this book: the gnostics claimed that Christ was never here in the flesh! So instead of a flesh and bones Jesus, someone, or a group of people, had a direct experience of this archetypal reality. And they taught others how to "see" it, and the message was passed on into an environment that was politically and culturally ready to hear it. It is in this section - where did it begin? - that I feel Freke and Gandy are at their weakest. They point to Philo and Alexandrian Egypt as the source, and while that is perfectly possible, you don't have to go that far. In the Old Testament there are numerous winges by the Patriarchs about how their women were off whoring after Astarte/Ashera. She was the Caananite High Priestess with her lover/consort Bel. The Hebrew people were well in to this concept, and this could be a very possible source of this non-incarnated Jesus story. Also, the authors don't really mention the Dead Sea Scrolls. In their Index under this topic, it says, "see Nag Hammadi texts."! I wouldn't equate these two myself, and it seems to me that one could rather easily build a scenario where this group of spiritual ascetics could well have found ways of contacting the numinous directly.
So, Who Done It?
Despite this area of weakness, Freke and Gandy present a compelling argument for their Jesus-wasn't-here-in-the-flesh hypothesis from the earlier myths to the firm take over of the Church in Rome. On my list, it is a must read. So What?So what does it mean to anyone today if some guy didn't really live two thousand years ago? It has to do with faith. I've never been comfortable with this concept. I know there are various meanings of this word, but it's the one that goes, "Heaven is like this, God is like that, and what I say is Truth for everyone - take it on faith my son."!! No thank you. I have been gifted in my lifetime with a momentary awareness of my Creator. I gnow S/He is real. I don't have to take that on faith, but I gnow it through direct experience. And there might well have been a group of people several thousand years ago who had similar direct experiences of this archetypal energy, and spoke about it as real. Their successors lost the skill of the inner mysteries and clung on to the factual historical Jesus. And that experience is available to us - especially when the place that the contact is being made is geomantically enhanced. Spiritual experiences are available to us today - especially in sacred space.
This High Priestess & Lover/Consort/son archetype, this Osirus-Dionysus story is an Indo-European story. There was a time before - when Goddess reigned supreme; however, this myth comes from the time when there was an interface between the older Matrifocal times and the new Patriarchy. The woman was still a high priestess. Only one woman gets to be that in the Church today. This was a Patriarchal story of the man/God. Not of Goddess. I want both. I need a new archetype that incorporates both Goddess and God. While The Jesus Mysteries doesn't give me this (although the concluding chapter certainly does point in that direction), it does confirm that the initial wonderful impulse of the energy that we know as Christ truly came from the spiritual realms, AND, while there has been an ongoing attempt to deny us this connection, as so many early Christian Gnostics did back then, we can also perceive these realms for ourselves today. This book is a must read both for Christians who need to know what actually might have happened, and also for those of us who seek the New Magic.
I had the good fortune to meet Tim Freke & Peter Gandy at the opening of their book here in Glastonbury at the Growing Needs book store, and have corresponded with both of them by email. I sent them a copy of the above review, and Peter responded with the material below. I can only marvel at the detective work they have done.
Peter Gandy's Response:
"You point out that we are at our weakest around the subject of 'where did it begin?' This is certainly true, but the first century is a black hole when it comes to hard evidence about the Jesus cult. This is the material that was most embarrassing to the Roman literalists, and it came in for the most abuse following the Christian triumph. As R. Grant noted about Eusebius' church history, apart from the gospels, it fails to cite from any text written before 150 CE. I suggest that this was because there was no literal or historical Jesus before this time. Alvar Ellegard in his recent book, Jesus - One hundred Years BC, has made a through study of the earliest Christian texts, the Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabbas etc, none of which (like the letters of Paul) is concerned with an historical man. Jesus is a being of light, a cosmic figure experienced as the saviour.
"About all we can say with tolerable certainty is that there appears to be no cult of Joshua amongst Jews in the first century BCE, but from the second half of the first century CE we are dealing with a movement which is popular and spreading fast. Tim and I went looking for 'the smoking gun' in this period. For the creator(s) of The Jesus Mysteries - a new Jewish cult based on a synthesis of Joshua and the Mystery godman. This is not an easy task, speculation has run rife but evidence of any kind is hard to come by.
Alexandria and Philo
"In the book we suggest that the following fragments of evidence belong together.
"According to the earliest Christian legends, Alexandria was the first city of the diaspora to be evangelised. Mark's gospel, now accepted as the earliest and most primitive of the gospels, was widely held to have been written here. Eusebius went to bizarre and extreme lengths to prove that the Therapeutae of Alexandria were the first Christians. A ridiculous idea but one that was believed for centuries - until it was revealed that Philo's text on the Therapeutae (De Vita Contemplativa) was written circa 15 CE. As the Therapeutae are said by Philo to have numbered many thousands, and could be found in Greece, Asia Minor and many other places, they must have been in existence for many years.
"Philo is full of respect for The Therapeutae and may have been a member. They are clearly practising a way of life modeled on the Pythagorean communities. They interpret their sacred texts allegorically, men and women study together as equals, their curriculum is modeled on the quadrivium of the Pythagoreans, music, geometry, mathematics and astronomy, etc., etc. Philo likens the divine intoxication experienced by these Jewish ascetic recluses to that of initiates of the Bacchic mysteries. Clement of Alexandria calls Philo simply 'the Pythagorean'. The Gnostics, the heresiologists, and even the book of Acts itself, all trace the beginnings of the gnosis to Simon of Samaria. The evidence presented by Dr Eisler that Simon was a Samaritan who received his education in Alexandria where he was directly influenced by the Jewish Pythagorean Philo would therefore seem to be particularly attractive. (Eisler R, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist (The Dial Press 1931).
"When we come into the second century the evidence becomes more firm. The first Christian school, the Catechetical school is in Alexandria. It is important to note that the Catechetical school existed before it became Christian under Clement's authority. In Runia DT, Philo in Early Christian Literature (Fortress Press 1993), Runia questions Eusebius' account of the history of the school and writes Eusebius' words definitely imply that the school existed before Pantaenus took charge. Why then does he only mention it here for the first time? Is it because he lacks information, or is he - from his own apologetic viewpoint on behalf of orthodox tradition - engaged in a cover-up?
Runia proposes that Pantaenus took over the school from earlier members who had a more Gnostic orientation. Eusebius would then have a reason for denying real continuity. Another scholar records that Pantaenus' teacher was a Pythagorean. In a footnote Tim an I put all this information together to suggest the following scenario for the growth of Christianity in the second century. Developing from Jewish/Pythagorean groups like the Therapeutae, and basing themselves on the work of Philo, a school of Jewish Gnosticism develops in Alexandria. During the 1st century its teaching spreads widely in Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Roberts (1979) considers it likely that If Valentinus and Basilides taught in Alexandria, the obvious place for their teaching would have been this school. Following the destruction of the Alexandrian Jewish community in the first quarter of the 2nd century there is a period of chaos. Out of this emerges the school run by Pantaenus and finally the Christian Gnostic school of Clement.
"More information about the growth and spread of Christianity in the first century would be much appreciated. I very much hope that as a result of The Jesus Mysteries we will make contact with other researchers who can flesh out this meagre information."
For me, if Jesus did not exist in the flesh, the question then becomes, "Then, who first "saw" Christ on the spiritual level as Jesus? Freke and Gandy have done a marvellous job approaching this question from the present and going backwards. As I wrote to them:
"I gnow what you mean about the first century black hole out of which Jesus immerged, and I have nothing but respect for the Alexandrian connection you have developed. You are describing the time just AFTER the first one/group experienced that Christ energy. I was talking about the time just BEFORE - in Israel. The Hebrew womens' attraction to Ashera and Bel runs deep, and the Essenes could be to be part of the trunk of those roots as well.
"It's a bit like our medical skills with the unborn. Doctors are able to save earlier and earlier premature babies. At the same time, other Medical Researchers are finding ways to keep fertalized eggs alive for longer and longer periods exutero. There will come a time when these two meet. (For all I know, perhaps it's already here.)
Perhaps this was a Politically Incorrect inept analogy, but it is precisely that point where the past and the future meet where the initial impetus for the Jesus Mystery comes. I felt and feel more strongly as a result of your informative letter that you have tied down the earliest tangible evidence - after. I was suggestion that I would have liked to hear more about that time just before. To seek for that point where they meet."
New Age thinker and philosopher William Bloom spoke about his experience of getting booed in Norway. He had been asked to be the New Age representative to a United Nations gathering of religious representatives from around the world to discuss Human Rights. When it was his turn to speak, William said that in addition to being free to think what one wanted, there needed to be a basic human right to experience the spiritual realms as one chose. It was at that point where he got booed by clerics from the Mid-East who were Moslem, Christian and Jewish representatives! To this day, with all of the millions of connections we have in cyberspace, how can anyone claim that theirs is the ONLY correct view of the Spiritual?
In any event, The Jesus Mysteries is a most important book. Not only could it cause traditional Christians to reevaluate how they relate to the phenominon of Jesus, but also it gives us today the encouragement to seek the One within ourselves. This is self-empowerment and awareness on a major level. We can do this too. But the Church is based on faith not personal experience. No wonder the early Church fathers were so anxious to put down the "heretical" Gnostics - who, very probably IMHO, were the first Christians who actually experienced the reality of Christ.
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There is research evidence that dowsing zones, an area whose perimeter is defined by dowsable energy, attract heat and can become permanently hotter than their surroundings, only a few inches away. The temperature difference is around 2-4° F. This is significant and the zone can involve a large area of land. It has been used to promote the earlier growth of bulbs and help protect them from the cold. Other potential applications will come to mind and if the temperature results can be more widely substantiated, the effect of the zone would seem to herald a revolutionary discovery that will confound science and attract interest in the subtle energies involved in the dowsing phenomenon .
The Original Research Work
The research information has been extracted from the very informative private publication entitled "Solar Energy and Dowsing" by A.P. Tabraham, Isles of Scilly 1982. Tabraham was an enthusiastic horticultural researcher who was intrigued by the early flowering of the narcissus, Soleil D’Or. He took careful daily measurements of ground temperatures over a three year period. His conclusions are therefore based upon extensive data, not just an isolated occurrence, and this is why I consider his results deserve serious consideration.
The impetus for the research work came from the realisation that ground that had been burnt over by a layer of straw around mid-summer’s day each year, remained warmer throughout the whole year. This induced the earlier flowering (approximately 6 weeks) of bulbs, like narcissi. The ground caused a dowsing reaction from L-shaped rods and this observation initiated the search for another means of creating a dowsing zone over the ground without the need for burning straw.
|Fig 1||Fig 2|
Fig 1 shows the max day temperatures (three inches down) for burnt-over ground and ordinary ground for each day of 1979. Fig 2 shows the additional warming more explicitly.
The best method established for creating a dowsing zone over a wide area was simply to walk around and mark out a pentagon shape. This did not have to be a regular pentagon, but the important thing was to mark each of the 5 corners and to make certain of exactly re-touching the original starting point. The marking could be done with wooden stakes or just touching the ground with a finger. It was not necessary to have any real physical line marking out the whole pentagon.
Reapplying the pentagon increased the effectiveness of the dowsing zone. Over ground, the highest temperatures were obtained by re-applying at 14 day intervals. There was no noticeable improvement after the application of 4-5 pentagons. Extraneous litter and other objects were removed from the dowsing zone for the most favourable results. Application was best performed on bright, sunny days and redone every 6 months. A particularly favourable time was near the longest day of the year ie. late June.
|Fig 3||Fig 4|
Fig 3 shows the max day temperatures ( three inches down) for pentagoned ground and ordinary ground for each day of 1980. Fig 4 shows the additional warming more explicitly.
Effect of Iron
Beware the effect of iron. Do not use iron implements to disturb the soil after bulbs have been planted and the pentagon marked out. Iron seems to absorb and remove the dowsing zone, together with the warming effect. If a field is traversed by a tractor with an iron plough or ridger, then the whole field reverts to normal. Similarly, do not use iron posts or angle iron to mark out the corners of the pentagon as this will be detrimental to the dowsing zone for up to a 6 foot radius.
A metal frame placed over a dowsing zone containing freesias, absorbed the dowsing zone both from the ground and the freesias themselves, as demonstrated by their lack of response to dowsing rods. The dowsing effect was subsequently transmitted from the frame by galvanised metal wire to an iron pipe, which now reacted to the dowsing rods. The daily temperatures inside the iron tube were found to be 2-4° F higher than those inside an identical (unconnected) iron tube only a few inches away.
|Fig 5||Fig 6|
Fig 5 shows the max day temperatures inside the two adjacent iron pipes each day of March 1979. Fig 6 shows the additional warming more explicitly.
In addition to the increase in temperatures connected with dowsing zones mentioned above, Tabraham observed another example in his kitchen.
Transfer of Heat into a Dowsing Zone Involving a Microwave Oven
He noticed that the magnetron inside a microwave oven will give a dowsing reaction, even when it is unplugged. If a heat source (fire, hot ring, kettle etc) is left on, then a dowsing channel will be found to extend from the heat source to the magnetron. A thermometer placed on the microwave will register up to 6° C higher than another one placed nearby.
Things to Try Measuring for Yourself
- Heat transfer down a dowsing channel between a Microwave oven and a heat source
- Temperature of jars of water both inside and outside a dowsing zone e.g. a pentagon.
- Temperature of ground both inside and outside a 6 ft radius from an iron peg or post.
- Try other electromagnetic waves to see if any interference is minimised by a dowsing zone eg. a pentagon, and the electromagnetic waves are more ‘efficient’. For example, does a pentagon affect radio or TV reception? Try several pentagons.
If you do carry out any tests/experiments, I would be extremely grateful if you would let me know your results, either for or against. I feel that the research, if confirmed, is extremely valuable in demonstrating subtle energy effects that can be measured by scientists. It could have a profound effect upon their attitude towards unexplained phenomena like dowsing and give Mr A.P. Tabraham, the original researcher, the credit he deserves for an amazing discovery.
A dowsing colleague of mine in Dorset has written to confirm that three pentagon circuits around his house raised the temperature about 2° F. A friend of his treated part of her lawn and one frosty morning no frost appeared inside the treated area, although the outside was white with frost.
A final comment. I believe it is important in this work to have the intent that the pentagon dowsing zone should get hotter. Please try it yourself.