No 18: Summer Solstice
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by David Purnell
At the last BSD Annual Conference, Sig Lonegren presented a talk entitled "Earth Energies: Why doesn't every Dowser find what I find?". Briefly, the general conclusion and way forward that he proposed is based on the concept that we all have our own ways of looking at the world, based on our own individual experiences and conceptual beliefs. Therefore, our dowsing responses are different when our concept of something as simple as "an energy line" is different. Indeed, my experiences have shown me that our individual ways of looking at and interpreting the same world, both physical and spiritual, vary greatly.
However, I am not totally convinced that this point of view is absolute in relation to dowsing. It cannot be denied that dowsing is a physical response in a physical world. Yet what we do not understand about our world is usually labelled spiritual, so dowsing (because it is a response to something not yet understood) can be called a spiritual activity. The line between the two aspects is often blurred and moving. I prefer to assume that each of the two views, the physical and the spiritual, separately encompass everything. The two views co- exist but cannot be mixed. This is the same as the quantum physics views of particles and matter; they can be described as either physical objects or pure energy, but not both at the same time.
So why am I so surprised when I get dowsing responses the same as someone else? Have they left their mark or somehow given me the response I am looking for? I would suggest that we are fortunate enough to be looking for the same thing. More precisely, our visualisation of the object of our questioning is the same. For example, having a common view of an Iron Age hut circle as the place where a few families are making their living by arranging the burials and cremations at the nearby barrow, busy looking after themselves, the barrow and the bereaved, has produced the same dowsing responses and answers as another dowser. For me, whether one of us transmitted the answers in some way to influence the other is not important. Likewise, knowing that standing stones have measurable a DC voltage according to the dowsing bands up the stone seems to provide a common perception which may assist many people to dowse the bands in the same place. It should be noted that the dowsing response is not a response directly to the DC voltage, which have high points in isolated places sometimes in the centre of the faces, sometimes at the corners of the stone.
When four members of Devon Dowsers where invited by the National Trust to see if dowsing could help determine the health of trees, our results were similar in many respects, even though our methods were different. When the two National Trust managers were taught how to dowse, they too got similar responses and results to ourselves. My experiences, especially with measuring and recording the dowsed positions of energy lines at the Hartland Stones, shows me that dowsers do, independently, get the same results. I cannot suppose that all these people had the same physical and spiritual outlook on what they were doing. Each would have had their own interpretations. The bridge between us, and therefore, between the physical and the spiritual, may be the acceptance (as in quantum physics) that both views describe the same thing. Thus, we shared a common vision although each of us would have verbalised it differently. Perhaps this is why it is still such a surprise and joy for me when my dowsing responses are the same as those of someone else, and why there is no disappointment when we are different, only more questions.
Issue No. 17 >>
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The Tomnaverie Experience
Ros, Jamie & Grahame camp it up in the Highlands!
This all started last August at the Oak Dragon eclipse camp, where Ros and Jamie were the 'facilitators' for our little western circle.
As part of one of the camp's geomancy sessions, we did a meditation where you visualised the earth spinning beneath your feet, and the energy grid linking sacred sites all over the globe. You then looked for a powerful spot from which you could draw energy. I got Glastonbury Tor, but Ros got a spot in Aberdeenshire. She didn't know where exactly, as she'd never been there. But after the camp, she did some map dowsing of the area, and identified a particular stone circle 'near Aboyne'.
When she wrote to tell me about this, I guessed she meant Tomnaverie (she did) and did some research in my library and on the net. I discovered that the circle was in a ruined state with many fallen stones, some even lost in an old quarry that had been dug around three sides of the circle, to within 3 feet of the stones in some cases. Still, Ros had felt strong energy in the place, and in January when she got my letter containing my results she did an energy-raising meditation and 'sent' it to Tomnaverie.
So now we fast-forward nine months to this May when Ros and Jamie finally made it north of the border, and the three of us drove northwards from Glasgow to see what had been birthed at Tomnaverie.
It was about 4.30 in the afternoon when we finally arrived at the stones. Driving along the road towards Tomnaverie, we could see a scaffolding tower erected on the hilltop where the circle is. The sort of tower archaeologists use when they are on a dig, so that they can get a plan view of the site. Something was clearly going on . It was with some excitement that we climbed the hill to get our first view of the circle.
We found to our astonishment that it had been completely restored! All stones re-erected, fresh earth newly raked over the circle, and not a footprint on it. This had just happened by the looks of things, and we seemed to be the first visitors. What a privilege. The energy felt very jumpy - it was all over the place, as though the circle was in shock at finding itself whole again after being ruinous for so long. I dowsed some very strong but chaotic energy lines and spots. These registered as 'unhealthy' (I don't like calling them 'negative' or 'black' as I think those terms are overly prejudicial). Jamie (who is pretty sensitive to energies naturally) went over to the recumbent stone to get a better sense of things.
I should explain about recumbent stones briefly....the Aberdeenshire circles are all of a variety called Recumbent Stone Circles, or RSCs. They feature a large stone in the SW, lying on its side with the top angled so that it is flat. Usually, it is set up to mirror the hills on the skyline in the background. On each side of the recumbent are two tall vertical stones, the flankers. It's not always clear, but the right-hand flanker sometimes is pronouncedly phallic, whereas the left-hand one has a more feminine aspect. This is very obvious at Loanhead of Daviot, where the LH flanker even has oval cup-marks where the 'eyes' of the Goddess-stone would be.
The rest of the stones in these circles usually diminish in size, with the smallest stone opposite the recumbent. From there, the major and/or minor southern standstill moonsets occur over the recumbent, between the 'horns' of the flankers. RSCs are only found in the Aberdeenshire area, as it's the best location in the UK for observing these lunar events because the moon appears closer to the horizon at the standstills.
After dowsing a little more, I spent time checking out the astronomical alignments of the stones with my compass, and was pleased to find that they seemed to check out. Lunar standstill rising and settings, equinox sunrise and set, winter solstice and possibly Beltaine/Lughnasadh rising and settings too. I couldn't be completely accurate as I wasn't compensating for elevated horizons, but each alignment of two stones across the circle appeared to have some corresponding skyline notch or ridge.
As the evening was getting on, we went on a short distance in the car and investigated a nearby wood Ros had picked from the map, with a view to making a campsite. We soon found a spot not visible from the road and next to a fairly new-looking waymarked footpath.
After setting up the tents and a cup of tea, we walked back along the road to the stones to watch the sunset, which sank into the side of a conical hill Morvern, and almost in alignment with two of the stones. It would have been correct a Beltaine a couple of weeks beforehand. Jamie played his didgeridoo to the recumbent and flankers, its pulsing drone echoing across the fields as the sun slowly set. Our vigil was briefly interrupted by a husband and wife photography team, who drove up hurriedly almost at the last minute, and rushed up the hill with cameras and tripods, before frantically snapping away trying to catch the last rays of the sun through the stones. At this point we had Jamie sitting on the recumbent didging, Ros right in the centre of the circle, facing the sun with eyes shut and arms raised overhead, singing softly; and me walking round the circle dowsing with my aurameter. Still, they could have asked us to move out of the way so I guess maybe they liked the 'colour' in the shot!
The energy calmed down a lot after sunset; I dowsed several times, and little spirals emanating from several spots within the circle replaced the chaotic energy spots. This was a new dowsing reaction for me - I'm still getting used to using the aurameter. I would get a small clockwise reaction from the pointer at one point, and then an anti-clockwise reaction at another point about 9 or 10 inches from the first, but at a higher or lower level. I tried this several times, and eventually came to the hypothesis that I was dowsing a rising spiral vortex of energy. The circle also had a strong circumferential energy line that had been lacking earlier. We stayed long enough to watch the moonrise, and walked along a section of the same waymarked footpath that led into Tarland, the local village, where we eventually found the bar at the Aberdeen Arms Hotel. Here they were selling an excellent new real ale from Perth that was called 'Thrappledouser'! It means throat-quencher, but the 'douser' part seemed quite appropriate so of course we had to have a couple of pints of that before staggering back along the road to our campsite. The locals were very friendly, and knew where we were camped (obviously we'd been checked out already!) but weren't bothered; indeed they were quite excited by the fact that we were working on the stones.
Next morning we returned to the circle by walking along the new waymarked footpath running past our campsite which, we'd discovered, actually led to the stone circle! Two locals in Historic Scotland overalls were half-heartedly raking barrowloads of soil over the circle, prior to sowing grass seed. We'd come at a good time, they said, as it had just been finished and the scaffolding tower was to be dismantled the next day. One of the two was a real old pixie type, bushy white beard and twinkly eyes; he was very interested in the dowsing and energy work we were doing, telling me that he'd been round with his 'copper rods' and had dowsed lines radiating out from each of the stones. His mate was quite taken with Jamie and his didg, and we learned a fair bit about the archaeology team from Reading University that had rebuilt the circle, led by Prof. Richard Bradley. They had begun with an excavation trench, then Historic Scotland decided that, since they were digging it up anyway, they might as well rebuild the circle. The reconstruction work had started in February...shortly after Ros's energy sending, it appeared! (N.B. I've since corresponded by email with Prof. Bradley who told me that the positions of the stones had been very clear from their socket-holes and packing stones, but that no attempt had been made to check stellar alignments. I'd like to see a more rigorous check made on those at some point.)
After this visit, we returned to pick up the car and spent the rest of the day driving to as many sites in the area as we could fit in. First up was Culsh Souterrain, which is basically a fogou by another name. The blurb says 'an underground cellar next to a roundhouse, probably used for storing roots and grain for the community....' Bollocks! If that's the case, why is the entrance so low that you have to really crouch on your knees to get in (difficult carrying a sack of grain), and why is it aligned to the major southern standstill moonrise? The passage is lined with large stone blocks, getting smaller towards the top, which opens to about 6 feet as it curves round to the far end. The whole thing roofed with even bigger stone slabs. Mostly granite, but at the entrance and at the end of the chamber they seemed to be porphyry, an aggregate stone. Energy-wise it was very pokey; mind you on this visit none of us had light so it was done mostly by feel. Marked this down for a return visit. We checked out another souterrain in the area, but it was collapsed and overgrown.
Driving onwards, we saw Pictish carved stones and many other stone circles, some of which were reduced to just the recumbent and flankers, like Ardlair (left). Stunning views from here towards the sacred hill of Tap O'Noth, which many of the sites seem to be focused towards. The weather wasn't all that favourable to us today, with some heavy showers interspersed with sunshine. We managed to time things so that we got 20 minutes to half an hour at the sites, then you could see the rain sweeping in so we'd dash back to the car and drive to the next place.
There isn't much left but the huge recumbent and flankers at Aulton (left), but note the phallic-shaped RH flanker. Aulton has a stunning view of the other sacred hill in the area, Dunnydeer. This is a very prominent Tor reminiscent of Glastonbury, an old hill fort with some remnants of vitrified stone walls and a forty-foot high ruined wall of a later castle on top. The wall has a large gothic-arched window in it that from a distance looks remarkably like a dolmen and makes the hill look smaller than it actually is. This hill is also very prominent from many of the other sites in the area. Julian Cope, in 'The Modern Antiquarian', provides a very good overview of the sacred landscape of the region and shows how these two hills are at the heart of the whole layout.
Perhaps the most isolated site we visited that day was Candle Hill. The circle was located in a dense wood of rowan and gorse that covered a hilltop. A dry-stone wall surmounted with barbed wire enclosed the whole hilltop. Access, and then finding the stones in the dense undergrowth and uneven terrain was not easy, but the very isolation gave the one or two remaining stones an ethereal, almost fairy-like feel. By now we were all feeling pretty drained, and headed back to our campsite.
That day was full moon and Ros had wanted to do a rite at Tomnaverie, but the weather wasn't going to hold out. By the time we got back to camp the sky was completely overcast with dark clouds. So we spent a far more productive evening in the pub again, where Jamie was asked to play his didg (which went down a storm), and found out some more information about the dig at the stones. An old local with a baseball cap and about 3 teeth, whose accent was so strong even I had trouble understanding him, chatted up Ros. Ros just smiled and nodded a lot, although nearly got herself in trouble by doing this after he'd just asked her "to be sure and give me a wee treat before ye leave tonight"! He was actually asking here if she would give them a song, but it was quite funny when I told Ros what he'd said!
Lots more sites the next day, including some of the showpiece ones, Midmar Kirk (left), Sunhoney, Easter Aquhorthies and Loanhead of Daviot. These have all been restored and all are worth visiting. Very different energies at each one - this was something we all noticed; how different they all felt.
Midmar Kirk felt very "domesticated", as it was well tended and in a churchyard. One or possibly two of the stones had been removed, but it still felt pretty strong. I tried dowsing for positions of missing stones, and got reactions in three places. However, the third one wasn't a point but more of a line, and closer inspection of the ground revealed a buried electrical cable running from the church! It wasn't connected though, so I guess I was picking up on the copper wiring?
Sunhoney was in a more natural and slightly overgrown state surrounded by trees, and its recumbent, although fallen, was covered with cup marks. However, there was a set of overhead high-tension electricity lines running past right outside the circle, and consequently the energy felt a bit strange - 'buzzy' to say the least. It was also harder to check alignments here due to the trees, but there was a particularly interesting alignment to the equinox sunrise, where the easternmost stone of the circle was shaped with a little shoulder to mirror the hills on the horizon skyline. It also had one stone that I noticed was slightly magnetic, although I don't think this was the only circle where this happened - possibly just the only one I noticed. An outlying stone appeared to mark the northern major standstill moonset.
Easter Aquorthies was quite funny in that a herd of cows in the next field all came over to the fence when Jamie started didging - apparently cows really like the sound. They were all lined up with their heads bobbing about as they listened. Here an older couple, who Ros tried to talk to, joined us. Apparently the woman was pretty open-minded, and told us they had a son who was very into ley-lines. He had OS maps covered with pencil lines that he would work on. The husband was a different story, however. He only came to these sites to photograph them, which is what he was busy doing. Clearly not impressed with our dowsing and didging! The woman told us that they'd been to Avebury a few months ago, and he was disgusted that there were people actually HUGGING the stones! Still, he clearly felt drawn to visit these places, even if it was only to take pictures
This is a well-restored site, and some of the stones are quite striking. A spectacular red porphyry stone in the SE seemed to align over an opposing, diamond-shaped stone to mark the northern minor standstill moonset. Dry-stone walling containing a raised earth bank, almost like a henge, surrounds this circle. Jamie and I both felt that this possibly contained the energy better and certainly I could dowse strong concentric energy bands within the circle and radiating out from the recumbent. A small stone in the bank outside the circle marks the equinox sunset (this seems to be a feature of many of the sites - at Tomnaverie a small pointed stone just next to the RH flanker serves the same purpose).
Loanhead was strangely anomalous to the rest, as the main circle was filled with rocks like a cairn, apart from a small area in the centre. I've already mentioned the God and Goddess flankers, but the most striking feature is the recumbent, which is split in two lengthways.This created an interesting resonance when Jamie played his didg into the space; so much so that Ros and I joined in humming and toning. After this there was a noticeable increase in the energy field given off by the recumbent. After this, Jamie commented that the RH flanker had a higher resonance than the recumbent, with the LH flanker lower still. He continued checking this at other sites after this, and they all seemed to have this property.
Next to the circle is another stone ring, identified as a 'cremation area', and other intriguing stones in the corner of the field which almost feel like they could be another circle. These certainly dowsed energetically enough. Here again, an outlying stone marks the equinox sunset.
Our final site that day was another ruined RSC at Kirkton of Bourtie. Many of these circles have been destroyed in the past to make room for crops, and here only a massive recumbent, one flanker and two other stones remained in the middle of a ploughed field. Attempting to dowse the circumference of the missing stones, Ros and I dowsed as we approached the circle. We both got reactions at the same points as we walked towards the stones, and repeated dowsing indicated five concentric bands of energy outside the original ring. We hadn't tried this before, but it also occurred at other sites when we repeated the experiment. I got reactions for a possible five missing stones, but of course it is impossible to confirm these without excavation.
That evening, Ros decided to do the postponed ritual, but we all thought that the souterrain would be a better location; so about 21.45 we left the camp as it was getting dark and set off into the gloaming. We took the footpath to the circle, but instead of turning off to the stones, we carried on another track round the back that would take us eventually to the road the other side of the circle. In places the track was hard to find in the near-dark and it seemed to take ages to get there - Ros said the pixies were definitely out that night! We had another bovine encounter when a herd of cows decided to come and investigate these strangers walking along the edge of their field, and the entire herd started galloping over to us in a huge cloud of steam that glistened in the moonlight. I wasn't too worried as we were fairly close to the gate by that point, until I noticed there was another herd of cows in the next field, and they had access to our field by the gate and yes, they were coming over to see what was going on too! However, they weren't that threatening and stopped about 10 feet away. Jamie played a bit of didg to them, which calmed them down.
Having finally reached and crossed the road onto what was a clearly marked path on the OS map, we soon ran into trouble in the form of a big barbed-wire fence with a four-foot nettle-filled ditch behind it, and a further fence after that. It looked like the bridge over the ditch had long gone, and the farmer had decided just to cover the gates either end with barbed wire and forget about it. Jamie takes this sort of thing as a personal affront, so very gingerly we negotiated the obstacles and found ourselves in a ploughed field with no sign of the path. However, we were at a corner of the field at this point, so followed the edge until we got to the next stream, somewhat wider than the last one. Luckily the old bridge was still there where the path should have emerged, so we got across that to find ourselves in someone's back garden...clearly a few more houses had been built since the OS map was printed.
But after this the going became easier, mainly as we stuck to lanes and minor roads. The moon was rising higher in the sky - actually casting pretty strong shadows - and pretty soon we were at the souterrain.
Here, we lit candles and incense, set up a little altar, and Jamie led a guided visualisation where we each contacted the guardian of the place, received a gift, and were shown something of what the place was used for. My guardian looked somewhat like an extra from Braveheart with straggly hair and strange, diamond-and-line blue patterns on his face, like woad or tattoos. I was given a wand with two bird feathers on it and a bird's claw affixed to the end. My guardian then led me into the souterrain, where a similar wand was being used to tattoo a Pictish-style bird design on the left shoulder of a young boy. I wasn't very clear what bird it was; I thought eagle at first but it didn't seem that big. Jamie suggested it might have been a curlew, as this had been the most common bird we'd seen on the trip so far. I'll have to look out for a Pictish curlew design and consider getting a tattoo.
I had also felt that the rituals in the souterrain would be timed so that one would emerge to see the rising moon, and then process down the hill to Tomnaverie to watch the moon set over the recumbent. There is a clear alignment on the map that runs through Tomnaverie and Culsh souterrain, and not coincidentally this is also the line of the solstice sunrise/sunsets. Still visible are the remains of a processional pathway on this line on the hillside below Tomnaverie. The exposed rocks have several cup-marks.
It was therefore disappointing to find the return of the dark clouds and no sign of the moon when we emerged from the chamber of the souterrain. However, as we were walking down the road towards the village, two long gaps opened up in the clouds to our left. The lower gap revealed a bright star, and the top one showed us the moon, which illuminated the distant landscape eerily, making it look like a misty sea with rolling hills popping out of it. Simply stunning, like a view of Annwyn, Jamie said. Further on, as the moon had dived into clouds again, we could see isolated patches of landscape lit up, and could actually see the moonbeams through the clouds. I'm not sure if I can remember actually seeing moonbeams before - it was quite breathtaking. It was a little difficult walking whilst looking left all the time, but somehow we made it, and it was with a strong reluctance that we forced ourselves on into the suddenly horrible sodium streetlighting of the village. Once past the village we were at the start of our waymarked footpath, and I felt a strong pull to go up to the stones again. We still had work to do there. As we turned to walk along the footpath, the moon again revealed herself directly in front of us - it's like she was beckoning us towards the stones.
It was very peaceful when we got there. I placed a large quartz crystal (bought in Florence) on the recumbent, and it positively glowed in the moonlight. Since I'd carried the didgeridoo from the souterrain, Jamie let me make the first noise with it. Not easy on his didg, which is quite short, but I managed a good long note after only two squeaky moments! That was the first time I'd played a didg, and it was quite entrancing and empowering. It really is an energy instrument. That's something else I have to get now.
On dowsing, the circle seemed very settled and the energy was pulsing nicely from the recumbent, so we held hands in the centre of the circle and had a bit of an "ommm" to finish things. During the silence afterwards as we still held hands, the most amazing cacophony of birdsong started up, circling around us. There must have been over a dozen different birdcalls; it was like a dawn chorus except this was about 3 in the morning and still dark. As we released our hands and broke apart, the birdsong faded away. Satisfied, we declared the circle officially open, and went back to camp, getting to bed around 04.30.
Bit of a late start the next day, and we only went to two circles, Craigevar and North Strone. Craigevar was marked as a full circle on the OS map, but when we got there not much was left. One big stone left standing (one of the circle stones) had a drill-hole in the back of it, as though someone had tried to break it up but failed. One of the flankers remained, lying down - it had cup marks on it - and the recumbent lying broken in two in the hedge nearby. A couple of piles of stones were all that remained. Still, it didn't feel bad energy-wise; it had more of an old and tired feel. A retired circle, we thought.
The other one we went to because it was described in the Burl book in positively lyrical terms like 'elfin'. The stones were a stunning mix of white quartz and red porphyry, with a few red granite ones. But the whole thing was on a smaller scale, as though fairies or errant children had built it...and it was set in a rowan wood. However, we knew something was wrong as soon as we parked the car beside a JCB at the bottom of the hill. Walking up, we could see that the entire wood had been devastated, either by blight, fire or humans wasn't clear. There were very few trees left, and they looked stunted and barren; all the way up the hillside we passed huge (20ft+) piles of grubbed-out tree roots. This was what the JCB was doing. A foreboding sense of desolation infected us all.
The circle too felt very dark on approach, and on entering the circle we all three of us got instant headaches. Only 3 stones remained upright, the rest were fallen. Four of them looked recently trashed - we could see the socket holes and packing stones underneath the stones, and they weren't overgrown at all. Ros immediately wanted to start putting them upright again, and if we'd had some ropes and levers with us I dare say she'd have tried. I didn't do much dowsing as I didn't feel like spending much time in the circle, but instead walked around the outside checking alignments as best I could with my compass. Jamie played some didg to the recumbent, but this rape of the hillside and the stones visibly upset him. He went off for a while, returning with a piece of wood on which he'd carved a very strong protection and blasting rune, which he left propped against the recumbent as safeguard against further vandalism. Quiet and slightly depressed, we made our way back to the car.
Interesting that both the sites we did that day were completely opposite to the ones we'd seen before....it was like a reminder that there was still much for us to do in that area, although clearly we'd done good work on Tomnaverie and the other sites. I feel strongly that we'll be going back there soon.
Grahame is a professional lighting designer and production manager. He is also a witch and budding Geomancer. He lives in Glasgow, but tries to get down to Glastonbury as often as possible, and is planning to attend the MAG European Geomancy School.
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by Sergey de Rocambol
Labyrinth built by a traditional scheme is the first cartographic opus of the mankind we know and is a fundamental module of nowadays' cultures.
The traditional labyrinth formula appeared earlier than all contemporary time scales and all contemporary notions of space.
Labyrinth built by the traditional scheme is a universal, and a kind of four-dimensional map of the Universe, correlated with three basic fields, in which human and the humanity lives and acts:
- with field of light (electromagnetic field);
- with language field (field of archetypes);
- with the Earth’s field (gravitational field).
Labyrinth is a strikingly perfect mandala with all the features of fractal and hologram — and moreover it is a mandala, which simultaneously exists in many times and many spaces.
Once having been built, the labyrinth starts an active presence in three basic fields, in which human lives: in the gravitational field, in the field of archetypes (actually, a field of myths and linguistic field), in the electromagnetic field — any actions and events held in the Labyrinth have consequences not only for participants of those actions but, though it may seem strange and fantastic, for the whole planet too.
These three fields (the three worlds) are fundamental factors determining and forming operational spaces, in which the humanity exists and any particular human lives and acts.
All the objects of our culture are the result of interaction of these three worlds, which have many names though usually they are called:
- sky (high world);
- earth (middle world);
- underground world (low world)
Basic levels of human brain may be considered as follows:
- neocortex — in fact, that is what makes human a human - parts where doors into speech and music, into creative energy open;
- limb formation - animal brain - horse, deer, ox, bear, wolf, lynx, tiger, puma, etc;
- reptile complex - dragon, snake, lizard, iguana, eagle, falcon, hawk, etc.
The brain is just a part of complete human presence - and basic levels of brain correspond and resonate with different sensor systems - and with different fields of attention; with different levels of human being-realization, where the main ones are:
- gravitational field (basic localization is a center of gravity of human body);
- field of archetypes (by Carl Jung’s definition, "archetype is an organ of soul" - the basic localization is a region of heart and throat);
- electromagnetic field (basic localization is a heart, throat and a center of gravity of human head) - one of its manifestations is the play of the Solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere.
One can find a similar metaphor after an attentive consideration of the Image of Saint George the Victorious. In the canonical Image of Saint George the Victorious:
dragon - reptile complex (notably a dragon isn't killed, but only wined, defeated - subordinated);
horse - limbic system - animal brain (a horse is white and reined by the man, that symbolises purity of an animal nature and its union with a human one to win and co-operate with a powerful dragon);
human - neocortex (in two aspects: male - west, right hand, left brain hemisphere, logic, rational dominant - Saint George, and female - east, left hand, right brain hemisphere, music, irrational, emotional dominant - Virgin Ekaterina);
In the world knight tradition the Image of Saint George the Victorious symbolises the victory of high emotions over low ones, the victory of Love and Fidelity over the pseudo — spiritual and spiritually — materialistic).
If to consider labyrinth as a conceptual fractal, it will illustrate a non-linear and hyper symmetrical nature of time in the best way; and if to consider labyrinth as a module of conceptual hologram, it will perfectly illustrate a multidimensional and multilevel nature of personal space, and denote its transpersonality in a clear and easy way.
Labyrinth, as a sign of overtime meta-code, as a module-hieroglyph of initial hypertext, joins together a massage of ancient Tradition and tendencies of contemporary art; possibility and desire to overcome the limits of binary language axiomatic with all its consequences for a person.
Thus the Labyrinth is not only a symbol, but also a catalyzing factor, attractor, which gives a possibility to see, realize and correlate many levels of human attention and presence, many levels of human, planetary and cosmic play.
All the Labyrinths are the one: an entrance into a Labyrinth is an entrance into all the existing Labyrinths, but everyone finds his own way out - authority is renewed and renewed - the ancient overtime formula actualizes in forms of contemporary art…
Labyrinth built by the traditional formula can serve for an attentive person as a library of great many volumes. Moving in labyrinth human being has possibility to consider of anything by means of whole personal planetary presence — including into the process of consideration not only this planet but the Solar System planets, the Sun, and even some constellations.
© 2000 Sergey de Rocambol
© Translated by Peter Kocharov
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by Diana Griffith
The past two years are what I have come to know as "Transition Years". My daughter left home and the need to keep the family housed was no longer relevant. It has been a time of refinding myself, getting to know myself alone after 20 years of parenting. Asking those wonderful questions of "Who Am I", "Where am I going", "What do I want to do with my life…" Having spent 30 years immersed in Native Traditions, both in America and Australia it felt like a good time to pack everything away and go "walk about"!!
Isle of Glass - Glastonbury Tor in Flood
We’ve spent the last 18 years living in the orb of Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, England I have come to know and love the landscape of this strange land of Myth and Legend. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table made this their summer land with legends of Camelot existing at Cadbury Castle about 10 miles away. Glastonbury also claims the seat of Christianity in England, the place Joseph of Arimathea arrived from the Middle East and drove his staff into the land. It now stands as a Holy Thorn tree leaning against the winds on Wyrryal Hill. The Abbey, once the wealthiest in England, lies in ruins after the destruction of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Every year it hosts both Catholic and Church of England Pilgrimages. Once an island surrounded by water, a sanctuary of great mysteries, myths tells us that it was the place of Gwynn Ap Nudd, Lord of the Underworld and King of the Faery.
However, I have come to know Glastonbury as a place of the Goddess, in all her forms. The Lord of the Darkness, as in Greek and Roman Mythologies, was formally the realm of the feminine. As the Patriachy took control the dark mus/goddess was replaced by a male counter-part. To come to know the Goddess one must meet her in both her dark and light aspects in order to understand the balance in all things. The Power/Spirit of Place is constant and multi-leveled in Glastonbury and I have grown to honor and respect the many aspects as they have been reflected back to me during my time here. I have spent many months facing my own shadow and delving deep into my own inner darkness to find the light. By travelling this path I have come to know and love myself. And I have come to the conclusion that Glastonbury is a place of Pilgrimage, no matter what your belief system, and that living here permanently is not what the place is about.
Time to go "walk about".
Anasazi site Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, USA
I began my journey in New Mexico where the landscape is vast and the skies even more enormous. The arid rocks and sagebrush go on for endless miles. I felt totally exposed and vulnerable in the high mountain desert. But the land is alive with Spirit and the Ancestral energies. The Hopi and Navajo peoples have scratched a living for what seems like eternity with very little change in their lifestyles to this day. To do ceremony and a Vision Quest in this landscape was a powerful experience. And I have come to love the place and respond to it with great respect and feel, like Glastonbury, it is a place of pilgrimage.
My journey lead me further north and east in the United States into Vermont. Abounding in trees, mountains and rivers, the place is alive on a very visible level. My intention was to spend a winter under snow - something I had never experienced before. I was looking to spend my birthday (winter solstice) in retreat and total silence.
I first visited this part of the world in 1985. I had a dream which was to become manifest when I spent time learning from a Seneca Indian Grandmother - Twylah Nitsch. The time spent with her was to lead to a significant change in my life. Up until that moment my spiritual teachers had all been men, teaching from a man’s point of view. I was becoming a great warrior but not a very happy woman!!! It was becoming obvious to me that men and women have different paths to follow and I needed to find the wise women to help me with mine.
I learned that I had to move away from the ‘doing’ and into ‘The Silence’.
Using my physical and feeling body to dowse with rather than a pendulum.
In going ‘within’ I had to pass through many obstables that made being still an impossibility - old childhood experiences and patterning, no longer serving me and difficult to face. The more I faced them, the more inner peace I discovered and the more I could trust in my own inner guidance.
Vermont is lush - in summer it’s green and vibrant, in autumn flame red and vital, in winter white and quiet, and in Spring brown and muddy. It abounds in forests, mountains and glorious rivers. The Earth Mother Goddess is alive and well. The nature of the seasons and circle of the year I could see and feel in a way which lives deep inside of me. Nature is disappearing fast from England as more and more houses are built and towns expand out into the green fields. Our wilderness has almost completely disappeared. Our lands are steeped in histories and cycles of time, over and over on the same spot. The natural nature of place lies buried deep beneath them. To climb a mountain in Vermont and to know that no human has ever ‘lived’ or ‘changed’ that place brings an extraordinary connection with nature. And the natural cycle of things, rather than the human cycle of things. The Spirit of Place is huge and strong.
In England the energy of Place was recognised by those who built the stone circles (maybe they saw our future better than we see it ourselves…!) They laid down the cycle of things. They understood the movement of the sun, moon and stars in relation to the Earth and built these alignments into their Circle. Over the years I’ve spent many a long night in stone circles throughout England and Ireland experiencing these very alignments and taking into my own being the energies of these times.
To experience these energies in the Wilderness of Vermont has taken me deeper into other realms. The elemental energies are more alive and the sense of celebration resounds through the landscape. The sense of sharing nature with more realities than the one we see on this physical level is present. The trees themselves speak, the wild animals are ever present and the elemental/faery world is within grasp. My world expands and I feel energised and held.
I have learnt that Spirit of Place exists everywhere and that being in Sacred Space is a state of being.
There are always helpers seen and unseen to help us along our way, it is just a question of being still enough inside to feel them. Being in the wilderness reminds me of this and teaches me to look within and find that stillness, especially when my ordinary mundane life is so busy and filled with every day noisy activities.
My journey has taught me to live lightly upon the earth. To recognise that wherever I am, there are helpers and guides - I just need to be still enough to receive their help. I am part of the new as I am also part of the old. To connect with nature is tapping into the grid; it gives energy and nourishment and is vital to good health and well being. Especially now when our culture is moving faster and faster and conspiring to cocoon us from every nuance of nature, be it rain, sun or wind.
It’s good to take time out and go walk about, explore this amazing planet we live on and the treasures that abound if we just put ourselves in the right state of being - The Silence.
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Orienting From The Centre
by Michael S. Schneider
One indication of the transition of a people from nomadic wandering to a settled society is the founding of a permanent temple. Another is a switch in interest from the number seven to the number twelve, from lunar to solar calendrics, the 7-note diatonic panpipe to the 12-note chromatic scale, and other symbolic activities which informed every aspect of the culture. But actually founding the temple, city or civilization traditionally began by locating the point on the ground of its sacred center. This was done by trained individuals including the original Chinese feng shui and hing fa masters, the Roman augur (who inaugurated the process), and those trained for this specific task in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere around the ancient globe. Modern geomancy relies, in part, on some of the ancient sciences required for this task, including dowsing, astronomy, surveying, geometry and geology.
After locating the sacred center, the Earth energies which naturally wander through this point are fixed in place to serve as a reliable fountain of fertile energy above which the central temple's inner shrine is built. Just as meridian currents of the body are encouraged to flow with strength in their proper course by upright acupuncture needles, the naturally wandering earth energies were guided by standing stones and other structures, and incorporated into an organized, symbolic landscape in which their mythological tales took place. These earth currents were known in China as the "dragon current", or lung-mei, and exist in two forms: the yin, or negative, current represented by the white tiger, and the yang, or positive, current, represented by the blue dragon.
Worldwide mythologies of the dragon-slayers Horus, Cadmus, St. George, St. Michael, St. Catherine and others include the founding of societies by the spearing and fixing of an "earth born snake" who usually guards sacred springs, wells and rivers. For example, the crocodile was the totem of pre-Christan Copts, and a famous Egyptian carving depicts an equestrian Horus lancing a crocodile, his adversary uncle, known as Set or Typhon
The mythology of the founding of Thebes by Cadmus tells of his lancing the serpent and sowing its twelve teeth which become warriors which spill blood to fertilize the land and grow into the family/tribes which populate the society.
The fixing of the wild dragon current is symbolized by the placing of a "gnomon", an upright shadow stick or sundial into the earth at the sacred center. Sometimes the spear or stick is slanted towards the North Star and is called a "style", its angle revealing the angle of the site's latitude upon the Earth. The shadow stick is often described as a world-axis, the cosmic pole symbolically stretching between Heaven and Earth, around which the twelve-tribe society, or "amphictyony", turns, as the zodiac surrounds the sun. It is this cosmic pillar which properly orients the temple, and the society, outward from its sacred center to the sun, moon, planets, stars and entire cosmic order.
From simple poles to Egyptian obelisks, the gnomon is a deceptively simple device positioned at the interface of time and space. It "squares the circle", marrying astronomical cycles of time, marked by the moving shadow of the sun, with the square of space, the four cardinal directions and solstice-equinox "corners" of Earth. Thus, it was ultimately the proper marriage of Heaven with Earth which transformed chaos to cosmos and served to synchronize society and its organs with the Divine Architect's ideal construction.
Two Borneo tribesmen measure the sun's shadow at summer solstice,
the longest day of the year, producing the shortest shadow.
As the sun rises and sets at shifting points on the horizon, the vertical gnomon casts its shadow in different directions on different days of the year, while the length of shadow also varies from day to day through the year. When the stick is slanted towards the Polestar, the direction of its shadow will remain identical at identical times of the day regardless of the day of year, and only the shadow's length will vary. The path of the shadow's tip was carefully traced to glimpse the beautiful order of the world.
This center was the starting point of a geometric plan of society which was delineated architecturally on the ground, the world's largest drafting table. A famous instance involves the founding of Rome by Romulus, who, following ancient ritual, selected the site, purified himself, dug a pit (Latin: mundus "the ordered world", equivalent to the Greek kosmos,) and built a fire altar above it. Then, with white and black bulls, he chanted as he ploughed a circular furrow around the Palatine Hill. The earth broken by the plough was directed inward so that no portion of the sacred earth fell outside the enclosure. He lifted and carried the plough over what would be the gates or portals (portare, to carry — “portable”) and that's why a door is called a portal, because in the sacred ceremony the plough was portable and carried over that gap. It was strictly forbidden to cross a sacred ploughed line, which his twin brother Remus did. And it was because of this impious act by his brother that Romulus slayed Remus and founded Rome alone. Related Latin words which reveal this relationship between ploughing and society include Urbs (city), Orbis (round), Urvum (plough), Urvo (“I plough around”). Of course, the Big Dipper is still known many places as "the plough" constellation circling the North Star in the great cosmic amphictyony.
The construction plan of the temple was done not with large divider compasses but with a loop of string, cord or rope with twelve equally spaced knots, or markers thrust into the weave. This is the method of the "rope stretchers" (Greek harpedonaptae, and Hindu sama-sutra-niranchaka) described in literature and depicted in art. The benefit of a twelve-knotted loop is that it easily produces circles as well as the indispensible three-four-five sided right-triangle, in addition to regular polygons including three-by-three square, equilateral triangle of side four, regular hexagon of side two, and in combinations form other useful shapes including regular pentagons and decagons, without having to actually know how to "do" the construction with traditional tools. And it only takes a loop with thirteen equally-spaced knots to construct the elusive 7-sided heptagon (see Keith Critchlow's "Time Stands Still: New Light On Megalithic Science" or "A Beginner's Guide To Constructing The Universe" chapter 7).
In my workshops, participants learn these knotted-rope geometry techniques for the timeless, worldwide traditional constructions which orient structures to the solstices and equinoxes, along with an understanding of the geometric language which develops the theme of each creation. Here are the steps for the quadrature of the horizon around a center. It is the traditional temple-foundation construction which orients a site in time and space, described in texts like the Hindu Shulba-Shastras and evidenced since prehistory on every continent since time immemorial in mandalas, monastaries and other sacred arts, crafts and architecture. It is so simple that we need not construct any polygons, but merely need to turn circles which you may wish to replicate with a compass or length of string, or outdoors in a field with rope.
Around the shadow stick, turn a circle whose radius is twice the stick's length (reduced here).
Observe where the stick's shadow crosses the circle at sunrise and at sunset, and mark those points.
Connect the two points with a straight line. This line points directly East-West
Draw (construct) a diameter through the circle's center parallel to the East-West line
Open a compass (or stretch your rope between two stakes) to span the circle's diameter.
Turn a large circle centered around the diameter's Eastern end point.
Reverse the compass and turn another circle around the diameter's Western end point. This is the construction of the Hindu mandorla ("almond") and Western "vesica piscis" ("fish bladder"), the birth canal through which the geometric cosmos emerges.
Use a straightedge, or stretch a rope, to create a line between the points where the two circles intersect to indicate geographic North-South.
Place the point of the compass at the northern point of the original circle and turn another circle. Repeat this centered around the southern point of the original circle and turn a fourth circle. We see two intersecting vesicas pisces indicating the four cardinal directions.
Connect the four points made by the innermost crossings of the circles to reveal a square. This interplay of circle and square orients or weaves the site outward from the symbolic center of the universe into the cycles of time and the spread of space.
The square and its diagonals indicate the general direction of eight significant locations on the sacred horizon where the rising and setting of the sun and moon at Solstices and Equinoxes will occur. (Finding solar azimuths this way only works in a small window of latitudes -ed.) This diagram is the traditional quadrature or "crossed-circle" of the year, the crystallization of space and time upon which the both the towns, calendars and guiding philosophies of many cultures are structured.
More accurate observations made over time from the site refine the directions of risings and settings of the sun and moon at different latitudes, here adjusted for Latitude 40 degrees North. Due to the moon's Saros and other rhythmic cycles, observations over long periods of time will reveal the moon's eclipse pattern, and it's subtle, wobbling, varying extremes on the horizon. It was in this way, by marrying circle and square around the sacred center, that ancient peoples began the oriententation of their society with a vision of their integration into a sacred landscape within the great harmony evidenced in the handiwork of the Great Architect.