No 11: What is Geomancy
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What is Geomancy?
by Sue Barnet
The Word Geomancy is described by The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: "The Art of Divination by means of lines and figures, formed originally by throwing earth on some surface, and later by jotting down on paper dots at random." Lets hope they update this soon!
Divination, or 'the Art of Relating to the Divine aspects of the Earth through her surface,' would be more appropriate for me. The Earth is something each one of us experiences every day of our life, and geomancy brings this into a conscious form. It is about learning how to 'see' or 'perceive' or 'know' how the Earth's Aura and Subtle Bodies live, so that I do not see myself as separate from them, but as a part of the 'Whole of Creation'.
Our Ancestors on these Islands (Britain) have left us many marks in the landscape; standing stones, barrows, cairns, stone circles, stone rows, souterns,fogous, mounds, tumulli to names but a few, denoting points on the Earth's surface of import. By marking their Sacredness they point to places in the physical where specific subtle energies may be found. For me the Earth has 183 Subtle or Energy Bodies. These form into 2004 Grids carrying the energies around, through, and in and out of the Earth. The marks in the landscape are denoting nodes, grid crossing points and places where there may be influxes or exhalations of these energies. Connecting us into Solar, Galactic and Cosmic grids as described in many Spiritual Teachings from around our World. Human bodies, like the Earth, have lines, meridians and grids of subtle energies running round, through and in and out of their bodies. These are described in many forms of medicine and healing. I would describe these energies as divine. So as our human energies flow they link in (become one) with the Earth's flow of energy, the divine.
Exploring and becoming a proficient geomancer offers a great opportunity to heal ourselves and learn new skills. I would put this into three sections:
1. Learning to Be at One with Myself. Taking the opportunity this life gives me to heal myself and allow myself to Grow into the Being Who I Truly Am, knowing my Soul Purpose.
2. Learning the technical data and tools needed to help me "see" what is happening at different places on the Earth. These tools include dowsing, working with the third or inner eye, opening the heart centre, focusing and working energetically (with subtle energies), geoastronomy, and others. The data includes existing perceived Wisdom through people of different cultures and through books. Being open to knowing rather than being told. Remembering the Essence of things known in other Lives here and in other Star Systems.
3. Integrating these and moving through needing the tools into Conscious Connection with self and place and energies = consciousness.
Now the EN-JOYMENT can really move - no more separation. For if individually I can relate consciously and can move WITHIN the energies then connection and growth can occur. I can manifest my purpose for having a Life on Earth, and do my work here.
Sue Sonara Andromeda Allendriel
AKA Sue Barnet
56 Chilkwell Street
Tel: 01458 831970
Issue No. 10 >>
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What is Geomancy?
by Steve Parker
As I think the question over, I am sitting at the top of the Schoolhouse Hill, here in Vermont, USA, looking at the mowing I've done over the past few days and the beautiful view across the valley. People are baling hay in the fields, spreading manure, raking windrows of mown grass. My definition of geomancy is based on a life of experience in a down-to-earth relationship with my place in a particular locale.
What comes to mind is the definition of the shaman as "mediator between culture and landscape" - the seeker of answers to his culture-s needs and dilemmas from the well of wisdom found in the landscape. The geomancer, too, fills this role of mediator between genius of culture and genius of place. The geomancer works and shapes the landscape. The skill of the surgeon, to a certain extent, is at work here. But the geomancer, like the shaman, studies the languages of the landscape. On a practical level he becomes intimately familiar with its productive capabilities, its ability to hold, support, and sustain people, its complexity in terms of the life forms and life systems resident upon it, and its life essence and intelligence in a spiritual sense; its genius.
The geomancer does all of this, however, not in isolation from his kind, but fully conscious of his membership in his own culture. He must be equally knowledgeable about his cultural genius - the needs, modes of behavior, aspirations and dilemmas of his people. What he seeks is a relationship composed of a series of complex adaptations of landscape to culture, of culture to landscape - in such a way that his culture can eat the material and spiritual food of the landscape, and in which the landscape not only retains its character but attains a heightened sense of intensified character, a vibrant kind of health.
The landscape - through relationship with the culture that lives upon it - achieves a self-awareness through the experience of human love and intimate human practice. The detection and enhancement of specific sites with intensified energies is part of this, but the entire practice of "landscape relationship" involves the study and practice of the sacred - the shifting of energy, matter, and form from one life system to another in such a way that all life systems party to this transaction retain their health and vitality and are energized through the experience. This would include the taking of a stag from the local deer herd for food for the tribe, the growing of corn and squash and wheat in cultivated areas, the extraction of minerals from the soil for the construction of tools and implements. These transactions take place in such a way that the material - the practical - is not divorced from the spiritual or the shamanic perception.
This is something I struggle with in my farming. I experience a duality between intuitive or shamanic perception and my expertise in a technical sense - my practical knowledge of how to get things done on the land. If I suspend one of these, then my performance is incomplete. When working in a field through communication with the devic energies - the genius of the landscape - I have to loosen my practical sense, which is accustomed to too much control and tends to be a little "fascistic". In order to make room for my shamanic sense, I have to consciously subordinate the other side of my perception a little. As a result it tends to go into eclipse and I start thinking I can grow this field of Christmas trees just by asking the devas to help me. The results are not what I want them to be. It has been a real challenge for me in the development of my practice of geomancy to integrate these different kinds of perception and knowledge.
Geomancy, for me, is in large part about farming - a practical, utilitarian treatment of landscape designed to produce commodities and goods that humans require, done efficiently and sustainably. But if this was all that farming was it would be dull and somewhat lifeless. Farming for me is also very much about energy - not simply that contained in the produce I grow and harvest, but the energy inherent in my relationship with the landscape and in the flow of energy through the landscape, some of it resulting from my practices. Farming for me is very much about spirit as well as product. It's very much about relationship between myself and the specific places on my farm, very much also about art and beauty and my sense of aesthetics - what I see as beautiful in my landscape and what I do that I see as beautiful in its effects upon the aesthetics of the landscape.
My relationship with landscape involves not just the present but the past as well; the past and its consequences. The fields I work are fields because the trees were cleared from them 200 years ago by my ancestors. The woods I manage are woods because they were abandoned by human beings who became discouraged with that ground as open field and allowed the forest to return. I'm able to cross streams because bridges were constructed, to move from one portion to another because a road was constructed. These are profound shapings of environment and I continue those; I construct roads, I install stream crossings. But I am also involved in healing various injuries which have occurred as a result of past practices; scarring of the landscape through abuse, depletion of nutrients through over-farming and returning too little fertility to pasture or crop land. There also have been wounded energies alive upon the landscape - stored, painful memories which I-ve been involved in healing to the extent that I have been aware and able. There may well be more such energies not within my perceptual range at this time.
Geomancy for me involves the continual practice of being close to the landscape in a relationship of husbandry that involves active work on my part, productive of a continual harvest of products required by the culture. The frame of mind which I attempt to maintain in this work is both executive - the carrying out of tasks that require concentration and skill - and at the same time receptive, an openness to the messages of the landscape; where the nesting birds are, whose nest is in jeopardy as a result of my presence, and how to avoid it.
Looking at part of this hillside where a great many small trees and woody shrubs remain, I watch a pair of king birds battling with another species for nesting space. I realize nesting is still going on in this area and so make the decision to postpone the bush hogging here for another few weeks. This is part of what geomancy is for me, the sensitivity to the life systems upon the landscape other than my own. In general I try to tailor my practices to the needs and requirements of the landscape, and in doing this the life systems are sustained and my awareness is heightened.
Geomancy, then, partakes of the practical skill of land husbandry and also the sensitivity to ecology and ecosystems found in biology and the sciences. Without this wide body of information, geomancy may become as abusive of landscape as much of our traditional farming has been in the past. In constructing a landscape which "feels good" to humans we may damage greatly the residence of other life forms upon it. Geomancy must define landscape not simply in terms of the human response to it and the human needs from it, but from the perspective of as many of the residents upon it as possible.
If we take this seriously it begins to move us into new levels of shamanic perception; the ability to feel, for instance, how a coyote or timber wolf or white-tailed deer experiences landscape. We may be able to enter the genius of the wolf or the deer, to receive its energy and insight. In doing this we experience our landscape from a very different footing, from which we can reflect on our own activities and the possible harm they may be causing. To do this shape-shifting practice is corrective of destructive tendencies which result from too limited a perspective, too human a frame of mind.
The practice of geomancy performed in this way gets us into the habit of viewing things from outside of our familiar, customary perspective. Through this exercise of expansion of perception we come to know ourselves in a more profound way. The expansion of outward perception creates space for a deeper and wider inner perception of who we are as well.
There is some way in which everything I do on this landscape, all of the shaping, the surgical procedures, the cultivation and location of plants in the landscape and the tending of them, the harvest of them, serve multiple purposes. As I do the design and reconstruction of portions of the landscape for practical reasons from the point of farming, they are also shaping a landscape designed to receive humans who are on a journey of transformation. This is much of what gives my farming its geomantic quality - a rather hazy perception of the possibilities for human fulfillment and spiritual nurturance and healing through the experience of this place. A journey through landscape and through time spent upon the landscape engenders a spiritual journey of growth and insight. These are as unique and particular as the people who experience them.
High Reach Farm
North Danville, VT
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What is Geomancy?
by Sig Lonegren
In a word, "connection." Geomancy is about creating the space in which the chances of a conscious connection between the physical world and other less tangible realms can occur. Geomancers work either to diminish or enhance this connection. Many times in secular space, intangible energy that is adversely effecting the inhabitants is neutralized or diverted. In sacred space, the function of a geomancer is to enhance the possibility of connection by concentrating and harmonizing the Earth energies that are found there.
The reasons for this interest in connection are varied. On one hand, sick houses benefit from less of a connection with things like the yin energies of flowing primary underground veins of water. On the other, with an enhanced possibility of connection in sacred space, practitioners can expect as a result to be better at seeing and communicating over long distances, or to divine the future, or to do physical healing, but most importantly, geomancers create sacred spaces to assist each of us in our individual and communal search for the Numinous, the One.
geo - the Earth,
mancy - divination of
Geomancy means "Divination of the Earth"
In contradistinction to the normal path of "specializing," geomancers are generalists. Instead of knowing more and more about less and less, geomancers must know less and less about more and more. It is a wholistic rather than linear path.
Geomancy is spiritual ecology
Spiritual Geomancers are spiritual stage designers. They set the stage and create the atmosphere for the ceremony to come (though there is nothing to say that they wouldn't take part in the ceremony as well). In order to set the stage properly, geomancers must know both about power places in time, and power places in space.
The Meaning of the Word "Geomancy" Has Changed
One of the problems with the question, "What is geomancy?" (and undoubtedly a source of some of the confusion here) is that the word "geomancy" has undergone a significant transformation in meaning in only the last twenty years or so. This comes from a lack of words on the English language to describe things that Western Man has called dead for hundreds of years (and indeed are dead to the totally left-brain approach used by the establishment in our culture) - words like chakra and kundalini come to mind. In traditional Western Occult books, geomancy had specifically to do with divination of the Earth - using the Earth to yield divinatory readings. The Reverend Eitel, who wrote "Feng Shui" in the last century, used the word "geomancy" to describe the work of feng shui practitioners.
But things have changed. As we have become more and more aware of our own European and Native American geomantic roots in the last thirty years or so, we have needed a word to described the various aspects of the construction and uses of both sacred and secular space that our foremothers and fathers practiced in Europe and that Native Americans practiced in the United States. As with a true Native American Medicine Woman or Man, there are a number of different skills a European Geomancer must have. Primarily, one needs to be both awake spiritually and actively on the spiritual path. Then, one needs to be able to consciously access both hemispheres of the brain. Then, after these two, one needs to know (in roughly diminishing importance) about Nature, water and dowsing, astronomy, sacred geometry, healing techniques for the Earth, animals and humans, ritual technique and flow, herstory/history, chaos theory, anthropology, geology, archaeology, the list goes on and on. So the word geomancy has expanded in meaning in the last fifteen years to encompass all of these areas and more.
Divination of the Earth requires us to function differently in our relationship to this planet. I remember pictures of Cavalry officers watching a Native American Indian Scout who is down on his haunches, "reading the signs." Was it the hoof prints of the escaping banditos the Cavalry is chasing? Broken blades of grass indicating direction? Or was it something else? I would now vote for the last one.
Nature yearns to speak to us if only we would open up our ears. Dowsing can provide some assistance here, but I have found a more direct tool. At night, we communicate with other realms through dreams. In the day, this can be achieved through daysigns. (A term that first came up for me when I was running a school for the construction and uses of sacred space. My thanks go to Joe Farrell for the term.) These are natural events that can speak to the question at hand as if it were a dream. Using tools one would use in interpreting dreams - and a growing knowledge of the Natural world (names of plants, stellar constellations, trees, types of rock, the animal world from the creepy crawlies to the winged ones) - one can receive messages from Mother Nature concerning what you are working with in your internal life.
If you are wondering about buying a specific new house, and an owl swoops by, that is wisdom brushing you on the shoulder. And, depending on which direction it came from, that can add more meaning, and so on.
The above is based on the assumption that you equate owls with wisdom (the wise old owl who spoke in Athena's ear). Some Native Americans see the owl as unlucky, in which case the answer is that they probably will not have good luck in that house. Each of us reads the signs with our own tool kit.
Geomancers can use daysigns to read the land they are working on. One example is simulacra, or natural likenesses, which can be found everywhere - in branches, walls and in clouds. Is this the right piece of land for your client? You look in to the sky and see a cumulus nimbus that has the shape of a four-leaf clover. That's propitious. Nature is talking to you.
I am feeling more and more that skill with daysigns is a very important tool in the geomancer's bag of tricks.
One immediate difficulty comes because each geomancer ends up with a slightly different list and slightly different priorities. We all see everything diferently - from our individual sacred points of view.
But What Use Is It?
Each geomancer has the same intent, but uses slightly different procedures, and may well focus on different manifestations of these energies, and deal with them (enhance and/or diminish the connection) differently. Even with these differences, people are using geomancers on the secular level to have a more harmonious home, alleviate symptoms of degenerative disease like arthritis and cancer as well as sleeplessness, for many other forms of disharmony in the home, and many times with very positive results. This is especially true with poltergeist activity. Everyone seems to do this job slightly differently, but it is required in this work on a frequent basis.
Of course, a geomancer can best be employed to do Earth divination BEFORE the house is even built. This will avoid all kinds of problems that come from inappropriate site location.
On more intangible, spiritual levels, a geomancer can create an environment where any healer - especially those who work with the body's energies - can get their work done more effectively. Geomancers can also create spaces where creativity can be enhanced, and spiritual pursuits can be more easily achieved.
For me, it all comes back to that word connection…
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What is Geomancy?
For me, geomancy is the term I use to describe the means by which I attempt to tune into, absorb, utilise and feed back into the energy-grid of the Earth's sacred psycho-spiritual body. For it seems to me that the body of the Earth is like our bodies in that it also has a network of lines, along which the various forms of energy flow and that there are nodal points on those lines where energies are more obvious and accessible.
I believe that the folk of older times were less divorced from the intuitive awareness of such energies. They were drawn to mark these nodal points, and indeed, I have felt this same urge in myself, to provide some sort of marker as a permanent reminder to myself of the power of particular places.
I certainly see geomancy as a process; first, to tune in, to sit and be, and feel the particular type of energy at a place of power, and allow myself to open up to it. This is linking my body with the Earth.
Next, I bring these feelings into my mental awareness in order to see how I may use them e.g. for healing, or recharging my own energy body.
Lastly, and to my mind most importantly, to then to try to feed back into the grid some of my energy, or that of fire, water, air, or earth, e.g. fires on beacon hills, pools at sacred springs, incense burning on high places, and cairns of rocks at tribal sites. It feels as though humans have in recent times done a lot of damage to the Earths's lines of power, so this final phase of the Geomantic process is the most important of all.
So, Geomancy is the name I give to the dance I dance with the Earth, as our energies come together and interact with each other, leaving us both more fulfilled and powerful.
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What is Geomancy?
An Inquiry into the Realm of Relationship
In its narrowest definition and its most literal sense, the term geomancy means "divination of the earth".
One might expand this by saying that it is to enquire into or attempt to perceive the subtle or spiritual nature behind the physical appearance and presence of our surroundings and environment.
For many, such a definition might arouse casual interest, seeming perhaps a little exotic, a little new-age, a little abstract.
Those whose interest was sufficiently stimulated might go so far as to read some books or take some classes, perhaps discuss the ideas with sceptical friends.
Even amongst practitioners, many hold their study of geomancy as something of philosophical interest. It something which adds a rich layer of meaning to a world which otherwise seems sadly and barrenly devoid of magic or dialogue with creative forces, something which gives a sense of linking to ancient history and primal cultures, to the notion of a more wholistic and wholehearted lifestyle. Perhaps it is a technology that can open doorways to an otherwise remote or absent sense of divinity.
Very few would consider geomancy in terms of the daily and inevitable meeting of immanent and essential survival needs. My assertion is that geomancy is not only a core part of our daily survival both individually and culturally, but that it is also the single most fundamental defining factor in the psyche of the culture as a whole.
The late twentieth century sees western culture emerging - perhaps painfully slowly but nevertheless in a steady and progressive fashion - from the bondage that it has experienced to the materialistic world view of Newtonian science.
Unfair perhaps, given that Newton is know to have been a member of a Druid order and may reasonably be supposed to have inhabited or at least been familiar with and friendly toward Druidical philosophy. It is necessary to attach Newton's name to the disregard of spirit and psyche which became inherent in the increasingly zealous study of isolated physical forces apparently acting on isolated material substance.
Nevertheless, the separation through cultural, political and economic forces of the philosopher / priest / priestess archetype, and the rationalist, materialist scientist is causing great concern. It is increasingly being seen and understood to be not only a phenomenological error as demonstrated by Heisenberg and elucidated in his Uncertainty Principle, but also as a source of disintegration and disease of health in the human individual.
Acknowledging the reality and the inevitability of the body-mind-spirit connection and reclaiming the awareness and the tools to address human health by working with the subtle energy fields that inform and determine the embodiment of matter is generating the emergence and proliferation of philosophies and practitioners of holistic healing. To understand the nature and role of geomancy is simply to extend this philosophy outward from the relationship that we have with ourself and the way in which we create and mould our emotional and physical experiences through the weavings of spirit and mind, into the realm of the interaction between our energy field and the larger energy field of place.
By their nature and their form, energy fields create and define a field of potential and opportunity.
The vast majority of people spend the vast majority of their time reacting to external forces of circumstance. These may be perceived as absolute imperatives, but are a consequence of the interaction between the individual human energy field, the energy field of the cultural psyche, and the energy field of place.
For the African Bushmen and the Australian Aboriginal, the knowledge of the energy field of place and the material embodiments of that potential is the very thing which allows their survival, placing them in available and sustainable proximity to their needs of food, water and shelter. Interacting directly and intuitively with the energy field of the place itself allows the meeting of material needs, and their mythology encodes for them the manner in which material form follows psychic perception.
What we might retrospectively define as geomancy is so central and inevitable to such people that it would be hard for them to perceive it as a thing apart from the rest of their cosmology.
Geomancy as a separate, definable entity only occurs when a culture moves from a nomadic lifestyle to a settled agrarian one. It is at this point that geomantic technologies become necessary, and the manipulation of the energy field of place to create the possibility of sedentary occupation is sanctioned and can begin.
Interestingly, this shift appears to be one of philosophy rather than one of expedience or necessity in the first instance. As a culture became increasingly established and the nature of the Genius Loci more intimately known and increasingly taken for granted, the role of geomancer first emerges as being of central importance and then progressively declines as the footprint of the culture becomes increasingly firmly established and taken for granted.
Only when economic, political or cultural forces change to a significant extent can the role re-emerge, as the relationship between culture and place is once again called into question and re-explored.
This is happening in our culture and in our time.
I assert that the energy field of place is typically much larger and holds much greater inertia and psychic mass than that of an individual human. If the person is primarily living in reaction to external forces, their lives will be largely dictated by the energy field of place.
The realm of the Geomancer is to explore the consequences and ethics of this interaction, and to make this visible to the culture in an empowering and relevant fashion.
The contemporary expedience for this to occur is daily visible in the destructive dysfunction that presently exists between our culture and its landscape, and it is of wonderful paradox that this very destruction liberates the psychic energy now available for the art and science of geomancy to re-emerge.
Patrick MacManaway can be contacted at:
Whole Earth Geomancy, "Healing in Common" 2031 Shelburne Road Shelburne, Vermont 05482, USA
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What is Geomancy?
For me Geomancy is not a profession but a way of life; an Art if you will. It is the art of placement in harmony with the Earth , with each-other, and with all life in the universe. A tall order for the rational mind but a natural condition when one comes from the heart through the intuition. We must learn to communicate with the consciousness of all life, including rocks, water, land creatures, air creatures, water creatures as well as the unseen living essences we call spirit or angels or God.
Many disciplines have addressed parts of this knowledge, such as Astrology, Sacred Geometry, Dowsing, various religions and ancient myths as well as Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies, Ecology, Geology etc., etc.. Each of these will benefit the Geomancer.
Like any art, the more you know the tools, in this case the workings of Nature and the Spirit realm, the more skilled you become. Skill alone is not enough; however, there is something more, that something which makes the difference between a skilled draftsman and a true master. Can this be defined? If so, can it be taught?
Once we understand the workings of Nature and can talk to the rest of the universe we must also have the humility to shape our actions in accordance with the wishes of the rest of our world. We must also drop our clutching to rules as each moment in time is different than the last and each situation is unique. This looks nearly impossible for the EGO and its need to be right is rampant in our culture. Perhaps courses in Taming of the EGO, Creating Trust, Living in the Moment, and Attitude Adjustment along with Music, Visual Art and Creative Writing would be prerequisites to the above mentioned.
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What is Geomancy?
Geomancy means literally "Divination through the medium of the Earth". When I use the word "geomancy", I mean something like "bringing into awareness and working with the invisible forces of Nature". The invisible forces of nature could also be described as "The spirit of the land".
I think of the relationship between "Geomancy" and "Geology" like that of an iceberg. The volume of ice below the surface of the sea (the hidden, unseen forces) are huge compared to the ice showing on the surface.
I am a pragmatist. Speculation and theorising about the nature of things will only turn me on if, by the conclusions reached by such ruminations, real and useful manifestations are the result. Much of my work involves harmonising myself to the energetic properties of particular sites on the surface of this beautiful planet, "listening" to guidance about what is to be done there, and doing it. My work involves simple actions such as visiting sites, considered either "sacred", or normal, and acting spontaneously such as playing my flute, meditating, or ripping my clothes off and screaming.
My other work includes working with the spirit of a particular place with large groups (up to 300 people), setting up gateways to different realms, and undertaking magical adventures together; I also build small, medium and large stone circles. I treat my interactions with the spirit of the land with great respect; I feel very honoured to be "chosen" as an agent of change. I am at the same time highly irreverent and spontaneous, causing at times disruption and uncomfortableness to those of a more conservative bent.
Another important aspect of geomancy is the recognition and interpretation of omens. This I take very seriously and although figuring out what the hell they actually mean is a bit dodgy, their existence alone makes me aware that Great Spirit is present and the sacred is blessing my way.
My interactions with the spirit of the land tend to follow a pattern:
A summons. This happens either by a dream, a strong gut feeling, or contact by the owner, or guardian of piece of land. Do I want to get involved with a particular piece of work on the land?
Tuning in. What does it feel like? A little bit of research here does a power of good. Who are the people involved? How serious are they? Three-quarters of potential projects turn out to be definite no-nos.
Spending time on the site. If it feels right and I need to follow it up, the site will quickly tell me what it is all about. Whether instructed verbally by the guardian, or brought to a site by intuition, it is important I stay at the place in question until I receive clear guidance of what I have to do.
Open communication. Frequent communication between all concerned is essential in order to keep ideas moving and maintaining contact with reality.
Decision. When all the major pieces of the jigsaw are in position, and all involved (i.e. owner of the land, the spirit of the land, and my feelings) are in concordance, a decision can be made as to course of action.
Action. The work manifests. If this results in large changes to the physical environment, the guardian of the land is usually involved. Mostly this is not necessary, if the action is playing the flute, or rearranging a fallen stone, etc.
Maybe it is time for an Ivan-eye view on life, the universe and everything, so brace yourselves…
I see the planet Earth spinning majestically through the heavens, mostly bright blue with areas of white, brown and green on her surface. An intense deep blue aura envelopes her with healing, evolving lifetides. Inside her I see blackness, the absence of light, until I move towards her centre.
As I glide through her body in my imagination, it becomes hotter and hotter and the rocks start to glow. Further in, the heat becomes intense, and the brightness climbs through reds, golds, whites, blues, and eventually to a transparent, blinding crystalline radiance. This is her crystal heart which is intimately connected through space and time to her sister planets across the universe, with which she shares a common destiny. This heart is also her connection to the stars, for our magical planet is actually a star that, due to her size and the conditions at her birth, didn't fully ignite.
This miracle of existence is no accident. Seen from an intuitive and 'hands on' perspective, it is plain to me that the Earth is an intelligent, sentient Being who is vital and alive in her own right. All that lives over, on and inside her is an integral part of her Being as are organs, bones and individual cells in the human body. Balanced in her motion around the sun in the optimum position for life, she dances with her siblings, the planets, around their great parent.
The sun is her guide and god, and he shines the life-giving rays of light into her heart. Although she seems hard and dense, she is made of light vibrating at a slower speed than that of the sun. Throughout the ages, the sun shines at the perfect vibration for the stage of evolution the Earth embodies, and changes whenever appropriate. It is said that recently, in 1992, the sun altered its rate of radiation preparing the Earth for a greater rate of change of consciousness, resulting in the "eye of the cyclone" effect in 2012.
I call our planet 'she', as only an abundant mother can provide such an unconditional and all-embracing, loving environment for her children, all living things, which are created from the substances of her body. Her body is in turn created from the bodies of exploding stars, her stellar ancestors which whisper their eternal stories of the dawn of existence through the vast reaches of the universe. Her offspring (us) are given the optimum conditions for life, with fair climates, abundant food, fresh waters, sweet air to breathe, and are integral parts in the workings of her nature. I recognise her not only as alive, but as having a personality and destiny of her own, understandable only in the context of the cosmic scheme of things.
These matters I cannot hope to grasp with my intellect, yet I know that the collective experiences and evolutionary journey of the human race have an important role to play in the fruition of her destiny. This influence has something to do with our roles as bridges, consciously connecting her crystal heart with planetary, stellar and interstellar forces which are flowing through us all of the time.
The human race has increased its knowledge of the material universe, the so-called 'apparent world', phenomenally during its brief span of existence on this planet. We are also technologically competent to implement changes which will improve the quality of life for all those at present incarnate on the Earth, and to prepare for all those who will come after.
Unfortunately this has not happened. In fact, so far we haven't done very well at all.
I know that the answer lies within ourselves, and that we have the power to change the world.
I used to believe, and now know through my own observations and experience, that the problems outside myself will fade as I heal myself, for my perception of the outside world is a consequence of my individual energy level and state of awareness. I can only trust that, in turn, everyone else on this wonderful planet comes to their senses and decides to change. For the secret of a happy, healthy individual is directly proportional to the internal health of that person. Internal health, both physical and psychic, depends on our relationship with life, the sacred, and with our Selves.
I believe that the way we can contact the sacred in ourselves is by taking responsibility for our own lives. When we search for and then follow the individual star which illuminates our life's path, we will find our own answers, or enlightenment. When enough people do this, it becomes just a little easier for those following. Eventually a critical point will be reached, the 'hundredth monkey point', when the momentum created by all those incarnated self-realised beings is enough to change the balance of awareness on the entire planet. Everyone will then have the opportunity to experience the Truth, and the Life, in their lifetime.
My task is to discover, enhance and refine my healing energies, and walk the highways and byways of my mother planet. I am in service, and wait in an appropriate manner until I am called. Whenever I feel I have something to contribute, I act in accordance with the spirit of the land using my geomantic skills and do my job without fuss or distraction. I give myself as much time as is needed, and am careful not to make it into a race. I trust that I will be at the right place at the right time for each stage of the healing journey, and that the appropriate guidance will appear. I knew that any pressure to complete within a rigid time scale will ruin everything.
If the planet is a living, integrated Being in her own right, there must be channels that act as conduits for her life-force, eventually touching and nourishing every last cell of her body. I have a detailed picture in my minds' eye of the acupuncture points on a human body connected by meridians and governed by the major chakras. I can see the same image in light surging across the planet's surface, glowing and pulsing in incandescent life. There in front of my eyes is the Earth, enveloped by a luminous aura, with light beams of varying intensity criss-crossing her surface. The intersections are her acupuncture points, which vary from the faintest glow to pulsing little stars shining brilliantly through her energy body.
Each intersection or nodal point corresponds to a specific physical spot on her surface, identifiable by a feeling of heightened energy, or a sense that something special is going on there. These places I call 'sacred spaces', or 'power points', and depending on what sort of meridians they are on, they radiate a certain quality of energy, or atmosphere. One would find there maybe open land, a special tree, a crossroads, a stone circle, a well, a spring, a cathedral, a castle, a military base or even a prison.
As specific acupuncture points on a human body are stimulated to balance the organism and to allow vital energy to flow more efficiently, I liken my healing energy and the crystals I sometimes use to needles that enter the earth's skin and cause changes in her flow of life-force. Again, when someone undergoes a course of acupuncture, the practitioner diagnoses a particular imbalance, plans the treatment, then stimulates certain points. Not every possible point on the body is manipulated, only those relevant for the return to health and harmony of the organism.
I feel like a magical child roaming the body of his Great Mother, on a wonderful adventure to learn the secrets of life itself with other like-minded beings. Along the way there are situations, places and people who are sick and in need of healing. I carry with me a collection of crystal and energetic acupuncture needles, and do my best to stay receptive to the whispered instructions of the Great Acupuncturist in the Sky. I travel from one acupuncture point to another along her meridians, inserting them as it feels right.
Theories and understandings aside, my task boils down to enjoying myself to the fullest, remaining receptive to the whispers of the geomantic spirit, and following its guidance. Ho!
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What is Geomancy?
by bobcat x
a.k.a. Emma Restall Orr
Primarily it seems appropriate to say that I would not describe myself as a 'geomancer'. The terms we use that classify ourselves into various categories of person and practitioner are not necessarily helpful, other than to allow another person to contextualize us and our perspective. From that standpoint, I would call myself a pagan shamanic Druid, a priestess of the land and of the deities whom I revere. Yet having said that I would not classify myself a geomancer, my considered understanding of the word 'geomancy' - being the art of divining by clearly sensing the earth - brings me to a point of realizing that the practice of geomancy is deep in the heart of my spirituality, both in attitude and in practice.
The art of divination I like to distinguish from that of prophecy, though the two words are all too often used interchangeably. The divine element is important. Divination is the act of reaching for the highest truths, for an understanding of the laws of existence with a grasp unmuddied by human self-consciousness, of reaching for the most extreme reservoirs of power that we can perceive or tolerate, for the sources of creative and destructive energy, for the clarity of pure potentiality. The geomancer looks to the planet on which we live, delving into its realities, its patterns and tendencies, its currents and tides in time and space, in order to reach the divine as well of vision, teaching and inspiration.
Druidry is a spirituality which reveres, above all, the powers of nature. Although it exists now as a critically modern philosophy, it does so only because it has continuously evolved in tune with the clearest visions of humankind, and has done so with its roots spread deeply into the soil beneath our feet, around the rockbase of these islands on the western edge of Europe. Honouring the earth and the ancestors it is the indigenous spiritual tradition of our land.
The path of becoming a Druid, which is an ongoing process with no clear endpoint, one which I would perhaps describe as a journey of self-location. In Druidry we search for our self. We learn of the earth, of nature, of the stars, studying the elements of creation and of destruction, slowly reaching a profound consciousness of where it is we are. In honouring our ancestors, those of our bloodline, of our spiritual heritage and of the land beneath our feet, and acknowledging the cyclicity of live that exists in each day, in each moon tide, in each solar year and stellar revolution, in each life time after life time, so honouring our descendants, we come to a consciousness of where we are in time. This act of locating ourselves in time and space guides us into perfect presence, with an understanding that it is only in that momentary gap that exists between the past and the future, here and now, that we have power, the power that offers us freedom of soul and body.
Yet to reach this point is a long journey and fraught with challenge and adventure, grief and bloodshed. In Druidry then we also learn the craft of creating sanctuary within which we are able to explore every moment, to find its potential, to break through the barriers, to face the shadows, to dance our rage and glory, to learn of intimacy and trust, that we may progress along the way. That sanctuary, the "nemeton", may be within a circle of stones, a grove of trees, a line marked with a finger in the mud or sand, or it may simply a circle created through intention and ritual. A Druid may habitually create her sanctuary in one way in one place, or she may adapt to each moment, making sacred time and sacred space in countless different ways. Either way, she will be always learning how to take that place with the minutes or hours spent there deeper into a sense of perfect sanctuary, lifting it with reverence closer to the source of pure power and potentiality that is her deity.
The circle sanctuary is the container within which the Druid intensifies and progresses along his path to perfect presence. Yet there is another key element to Druidry without which the faith would have lost its essence many stellar tides since, and that is the focus on flow. "Awen," meaning "flowing spirit," is the heart of the Druid tradition that has been pumping life energy through its being for these millennia past.
Some would define "awen" as meaning divine inspiration, for it is that act of reaching into the source of creative/destructive energy, of touching the gods in sacred communion, that floods us with inspiration. That inspiration may be felt in many ways, from a mental clarity to a physical ecstasy, but its nature is holistic, flowing through every part of our being which is able to take it. Blocks of illhealth, in mind, body and soul, will slow up or stop the flow, unless the connection is strong enough to blast through the barricades. The more often the Druid makes that connection with his deities, receiving the "awen", the better able is he to use the inspiration, to allow it to flow through him, and to express it through his living.
This flow of divine energy is ever moving through the web of spirit connectedness which is our reality and that of the worlds we live in. We may find a moment of divine communion as we take in the beauty of a exquisite moonrise, as we walk into the ocean, as we sit under an old tree sensing it holding us gently. If we understand that every element of creation is animate with its own spirit, its own spark of divine energy, we can understand the flow to be about communication, about relationship. There is awen in the interaction between the rocks and the waters of the stream, there is awen in the touch of the birdsong on the wind in the leaves of the tree. Yet too, where there is ill health in the natural world beyond the human psyche, where there are blocks, where there is friction, the flow of spirit energy is staggered or damned. The result is continued disease, disorientation, dislocation and perhaps death.
The sanctuary of the Druid, the "nemeton" which is a place of learning perfect presence and the powers of "awen" is not always closed to the reality of shared worlds beyond the temple ritual. The Druid who has learned how to create sacred space learns too the ways in which the flow of spirit energy pours from that sacred space, integrating and inspiring, as she learns how to express the inspiration received in a way that is as true to spirit and as close to potential as is possible.
Geomancy then, from a Druidic perspective, is about location and flow. It is the art of finding where and when we are, of seeing - with all our sensory receptors - the flows of spirit connectedness, of divine inspiration and shimmering "awen", that run through the here and now. And as we step forward, from this moment to the next, conscious of relationship, conscious of self, geomancy is about the responsible and appropriate placement of each footstep, each sound and move of the hand in creation and destruction, aware of the flow, spirit to spirit.
May we be guided by the old gods to do it well.
Emma Restall Orr (bobcat) The British Druid Order
Blessings of the Season