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…