No 16: Winter Solstice
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by Sig Lonegren
Regardless of changes that might come as a result of the possibility that the there have been exactly two-thousand years (plus or minus) since the birth of the founder one of the world's religions, we are, at this particular time in the development of humanity, severely fouling our nest and eating ourselves out of house and home.
When I was young, I remember Jacques Cousteau saying that the oceans of the world were a limitless source of food. Not any more. At night, the lights from Japanese fishing fleets trawling twenty-four hours a day can be seen from space. Nature is in retreat from man in all directions - or is it man is in retreat from Nature? Urban people like to hear in weather reports that some good weather (read: Sunny and dry) will be here tomorrow. But when they report, "Some bad weather is coming our way," This means rain or snow - water. . .
Water is bad?
Several years ago, I was leading a workshop in the US where I asked, "How many people can name one kind of tree within one mile of here?"
Surprisingly, only about half put their hand up. Surprised, I said, "Oak? Ash? Maple? Pine? Apple? Birch?" Some more hands went up. But there was still a group of three whose hands had not yet gone up, so I tried the generic, "Evergreen?" Two relieved hands shot up. The remaining participant had a post graduate degree, and held a responsible position in a big mid-western city. But she couldn't name or recognise a single kind of tree.
Until comparatively recently, Indo-European man had seen Nature as essentially a challenge to be overcome. To be vanquished. An old artist friend of mine claims that Western Man did not see Nature as beautiful until around the Romantic Period of the 1840's. Certain aspects of Nature are beautiful - Sturm und Drang can indeed be beautiful. Now, it seems, many have lost touch with Nature completely.
The Old In & Out Thing
As some are going to sleep, some are also waking up to the reality of power of place and to Nature. At the same time as many urban people are forgetting about Mother N., there is a phenomenal rebirth of interest with geomancy - especially feng shui. I believe this rebirth of interest in geomancy will play an important role in humanity's (I really mean Western Man's) waking back up again to Nature that is critical is we are to survive.
I have found ways of tuning back in to Nature and hearing her sage advice. In my work, I use something I call "Day Signs." It's a simple trick, really. You don't have to know any more about Nature than you already know (although, I trust this will encourage you to learn more!). If you have something on your mind, next time, go for a walk, only keep the issue in mind, and pay attention what Nature brings you. Our ancient foremothers and fathers didn't make a distinction between what was going out there, and what was going on inside. (It's like "As Above, So Below" - only sideways.) Nature can talk to you, if you have eyes to see. As you think about your issue, see if something "out there" really catches your eye. Say you are having a fight with a friend, and as you think about it, a beautiful dove swoops in from the west to the east.
Dove = peace. Make peace with your friend. The west is the direction where the Sun goes down. It is a place of endings. This dove is bringing a peaceful ending to this conflict, and it is flying to the east - the direction where the sun comes up. This is a place of new beginnings - the offer of peaceful beginning of a new way of relating with your friend - should you choose to walk the path of peace now, and end this fight. Get the idea?
The names of trees, animals, birds, rocks, plants that catch your attention can all speak to you. Make associations. You're thinking of something to day to your friend to initiate this path of peace, and you see a dandelion. That sentence you were just using, that's a dandy line! Seriously, outrageous puns lead to outrageous clues. I promise.
Daysigns are especially useful to the geomancer when tuning in to the spirit of a particular place. What's going on in Nature can tell you a lot. Are there any birds? Why is the dominant plant nettles? What's getting nettled here? Using daysigns is a great way to wake back up to the reality of Mother Nature. And how do we, in our arrogance, dare to forget about Her?
The geological record is replete with evidence of species that disappeared almost overnight. Dinosaurs are but one example. I hear all kinds of stuff about we need to save Mother Earth! Baloney! Mom is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. While it may sound disrespectful, if we don't change our way of relating to Nature, She can just fart and blow us all away! She's done it before.
So this rebirth of interest in Nature enhanced by people's awareness of the power of place is critical to our survival. And I trust that we will wake up in time to make a difference. This awareness of Nature leads to a different perspective on how we are using this planet with no thought to the consequences. I trust we will begin to better understand these consequences.
But Then, On In to Space
One of the clear movements of humanity in the new millennium will be out in to space. I trust we will pass the test, but will geomantic principals be relevant as we move out in to space? The "geo" in "geomancy' means "Earth." Will this awareness of power of place be relevant on other planets? As I write this, NASA has apparently lost its second Martian project in as many months. We heard about the feet/metric mismatch, but is there something else at play here? Are there energies on Mars that don't want us probing them? Are there energies on Mars roughly comparable to those dowsers find here on Earth?
I don't know anything about NASA's Martian landers; however, as a dowser, I do know that just as Earth is alive, so is the Sun and the other planets of our solar system, and by projection, all solar systems. This life comes from being part of this dance that goes on from planets around the Sun to electrons around atomic nuclei. My dowsing tells me that we will find similar energies on all of the planets of this solar system - the farther away from the Sun, the slower the dance. So they will be different from what we find here, but just as important.
Initially with the Greeks, and greatly enhanced by the birth of Rationalism and forces of Capitalism, Western Man has walked progressively farther and farther away from Nature. We are seeing the logical consequences of this today. I see geomancers helping others to rediscover Nature, our Earth, as a living being that we are an integral part of. It is a direction that we all must turn.
Issue No. 15 >>
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by Dr. Patrick MacManaway
Geomancy is the practice of creating right relationship between person and place. Both art and science, it honours not only the physical aspects of that relationship - the proximity of water, of food and shelter resources, aspects of climate and seasonal change, ease of movement through the landscape, considerations of the ecosystem and its' niche in the bioregion - but also it is honouring of the emotional aspects of our relationship with environment - how we feel in a given location, considerations of aesthetic beauty and the subtle residues of place memory - and of aspects of our intellectual relationship with place - its' history and significance geographically and politically for a community.
To a greater or lesser extent, either at a conscious or unconscious level, these aspects of our relationship with landscape and environment have never left the awareness of western culture. They surface over and over again in the art of the culture, in poetry and prose, in sketch and painting and sculpture. Here is the focus of disputes between the varying interests of local communities and commercial development, of pressures of tourism, of mineral resource extraction, of territorial disputes between peoples and nations the world over. The identity with place is the most primary and poignant of our identities - "where are you from" is one of the first questions that we ask of a stranger. We live, however, in a culture which has become estranged from it' spirit.
Organised religion has gradually become more and more remote from the everyday lives of many individuals and increasingly concerned with its' own politics and power structures to the point that for many, a relationship with spirit is something remote and transcendent - only accessed at intermittent places in time and space, very different from the ever-present witnessing of powerful, imminent and personal spiritual connection experienced in previous times. We consider people either to be more or less on their spiritual path, and judge this through the amount of time that a person spends in prayer or meditation, or involved in overtly spiritual activity. A shift in perspective from one of human beings walking a spiritual path to one of spiritual beings walking a human path reveals a different truth however, and bears witness to the inevitability of our spiritual presence, whatever we may be engaged in - work, family life, recreation, even sleep and the active life of our dreams.
A reclaiming of this ever-present and personal experience of the spirit in all things is reemerging however, in every part of our lives and our consciousness. The holistic revolution that is occurring in health care is a clear example of this, recognising the body-mind-spirit connection and the necessity of addressing each of those levels to create balance and vibrant health in our lives, and has echoes and resonance with more holistic thinking in every field from power generation to politics. The ecological movement has gathered great force and momentum, both at grassroots levels and at the level of national and international institutions. Yet it still lacks the incorporation of the spiritual component.
Geomancy - the reintegration of spirit into our relationship with place
The modern geomantic movement represents that reintegration of spirit into our relationship with place. At this level - and one may rightly argue that this is the most important of all levels - geomancy holds up the reality of the relationship between not only the spirit of an individual with the spirit of place, but also the relationship between the spirit of the community and the culture with the spirit of the wider landscape.
Only when this piece of that relationship is returned can the circle of human experience again be whole, and the qualities of respect and reverence for landscape be present for us once again.
Without a reverence for the sprit of our environment we will continue to consider landscape as an exploitable resource, whether for aesthetic, recreational or material purposes. Without a recognition of the spirit present in all things, our ecological strategies will be based in the same paradigm of exploitation that has led us into our current crisis.
Why should it be that the spiritual component of relationship is the most important of our many concerns ? Why should this most subtle and least tangible of realities be the most defining element in the jigsaw puzzle of human consciousness?
The Spiritual Component
It holds this imperative because from this tiny seed grows forth all other elements, all other assumptions and their associated and consequent paradigms and behaviours. We can see this most dramatically and agonizingly in the conflict between industrialized cultures and the indigenous peoples that they displace, whether it be the divergent interests of the modern Australian population and their government with the aboriginal inhabitants of the Australian landscape, that between the modern American and the native inhabitants of that landscape, the loggers and rubber merchants of south America with those indigenous peoples - the list is long and reaches into every part of the world.
What these conflicts hold in common is the conflict of paradigm - the inevitable mismatch between cultures that hold their connection with spirit in abstraction and at arms length and those that move and live with an awareness of spirit as being as present and ubiquitous as the water of the ocean is to the fish that swim in and through it.
At the present time, geomancy represents the emerging wave of global consciousness that will return us to our holistic relationship with our surroundings, with both a concomitant simplification and sophistication within that relationship. As we reach towards the return of holism, we reach from a place of disintegration however, and here is the place where geomancy itself is most rapidly and necessarily in growth and internal evolution.
Much of the contemporary geomantic awareness is itself split and fractured. The seduction and engagement of our culture with Feng Shui holds the practice as a curiosity and abstraction, and efforts to explain or integrate those understandings often revert to a language of "common sense", of interior design or enhanced functionality, or otherwise come across as highly superstitious - this last intensified because of the foreigness of the eastern concepts to the western mind.
It does not serve the movement to denigrate or play down the spiritual nature of these teachings, but they must be seen to be real and grounded. This is hard in a culture that has lived for hundreds of years with suspicion and fear of those who would speak out of personal spiritual experience, and which has persecuted those who would allow magic to be part of their reality. The denigration of the imagination and the imaginal realty - that most potent and creative place of human dialogue with spirit - similarly serves to alienate us from the most powerful technologies available to us.
Difficulties and the disintegrated consciousness of separateness are present in much of the traditional western geomantic traditions also, where we have been taught to revere and hold sacred only parts of our lives - in the Christian tradition for example only Sunday is held sacred in the time cycle of the week, and only the church and its church yard is held to be the only sacred component in the landscape. This leads to a diminished and largely empty relationship with other parts of our lives and our landscape.
If we see the quality of the sacred to be a quality of relationship that we can carry with us and infuse into every part of our lives and our landscape, a rich vista emerges around us, and we can again glimpse and begin to reenter the golden age, which as we have been told, has never passed from the earth but only from the sight of men (a curious and perhaps apt gender comment !). This is not to overlook the enormous significance and importance of power centres in the landscape however, places where the earth's' energies are most intensely focussed and amplified, where the spirit of place and the tutelary deities are most available to human interaction, and where spiritual practices are appropriately focussed and which have been used and fine-tuned as temple sites for millennia.
Spirit of the Land
An understanding of the nature of different aspects of the spirit of the land and the spiritual energies that move and circulate through and around the earth is as essential to the geomancer as is an understanding of the nature and importance of the circulatory system of the blood for a physician. There is an important issue of context however. The heart as the central organ of the circulatory system serves to pump the vital essence of blood through major vessels and tributaries, but the whole system is present only so that the humble individual cells in all organs and tissues can be suffused and enlivened. Similarly with the circulation of earth energies - power centres and temple sites represent the vital heart of the system, lines of ley energy the channels of energetic distribution, and the capillary grid and the whole surface of the earth that it serves is the matter that gives the system a context and function to serve.
Expanding our Paradigm to a Fully Holistic One
As we look forward to the unfolding of geomancy in the new millennium then, there are a number of interwoven elements that will gradually find their context and relevance both in the system of geomancy as a coherent practice, and also in the holding of geomancy as an integral part of the cultural paradigm. Expanding our paradigm to a fully holistic one is the key for both of these growth areas.
Our culture is on a path, for many symbolised by the consciousness of the New Age, to reclaiming the connection between body, mind and spirit, and in that process will gradually become more relaxed and familiar with the integration of the spiritual component - the body mind connection has become accepted, the spirit still held a little awkwardly. As this occurs, this awareness will move increasingly outward from the experiences of the individual with themselves and others to include the experience of the individual in their environment. When this occurs, geomancy will have arrived as a component of the cultural paradigm.
Within the geomantic community, we can aid this in two ways - firstly by continuing to expand our own understanding of the system with which we are engaged, increasing our awareness of the connection between human experience and place, and also the impact that human activity has on the spirit of place - the relationship is a reciprocal one. As we do this, it is of importance that we create a geomantic paradigm that is contemporary, returning our attention over and over again to core and generic geomantic principles and seeing through the elaborate frameworks of established geomantic systems to perceive their shared and common threads.
Back To Nature
Start not by reading of foreign codes of practice but by sitting quietly and listening to what the trees and the spirit of place have to share with us. The second challenge for the contemporary geomancer is to evolve a language and framework of geomancy that can be embraced by the culture - if this is done elegantly, the relevance and impact of geomantic awareness can be embraced most easily by our community, the information slipping into the collective pool of consciousness seamlessly and without a ripple. This can be done by repeatedly drawing attention to direct and personal experience, by holding ourselves as part of the circle of our community rather than standing at a distance, and by telling mythic stories.
This is a time of great crisis and challenge, and with it we are offered great opportunity for deep and far-reaching change. Paradigm change is accepted as a current necessity, and both language and the assumptions about the world that it carries and conveys are rapidly changing and globalising. To offer a culture starved of authentic and personal relationship with spirit the reality that they have always already had it and that they need only allow an awareness of it into their lives is truly to teach a starving man to fish - the future of geomancy and its' place in the culture is assured - as geomancers our challenge is to strive towards excellence and bring forth a geomancy that is whole and beautiful.
Mystics and magicians serve their communities best when they can let divinity speak through them clearly and without complication. May we open ourselves to the transmission of spirit into the world through unconditional love and with purity of purpose.
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by Marty Cain
Noah Webster's nineteenth century definition of geomancy as "Divination by means of figures formed when particles of earth are thrown down at random" doesn't come close to explaining what is really taking place. I think of geomancy as the practice of consulting Earth Wisdom in order to live harmoniously with all life. Or more simply put, the art of harmonious placement. Were we to look more carefully at the way Nature actually works we would discover that intelligence resides in all things and the willingness to live in harmony predominates. This, I believe, is why geomancy works. It may seem odd, given our high tech methods of understanding the universe, to have to resort to the ancient arts of geomancy and dowsing, but the more we are bombarded by microwaves, satellite transmissions, higher levels of background radiation and toxins, the less our biological systems are able to tolerate the weight of stress caused by constant subtle irritation. We become sensitive and vulnerable and angry. Because so much of the disease and angst in our world cannot be explained through even the most subtle of man-made instruments, we are forced to turn to ancient methods in order to understand ourselves and our relationship to the Earth's subtle energies and superimposed man-made vibrations.
I am often called to the homes of people who are sensitive to almost everything. Some are so weak they can no longer lead a normal life. They have to avoid perfume, electrical appliances, synthetic fabrics, cigarette smoke, upset people, anything that causes stress. The first thing I do is check for lines of force, which define the detrimental earth energies occurring naturally in our environment. These provide a necessary stimulus for some forms of life, but not humans. They mean no harm to anyone. Unaware of these forces, we build our homes over them. I then begin to locate man-made energies that may be causing stress. I am finding that microwave and satellite transmissions are effecting normal earth energy lines, causing those that are beneficial for humans to become detrimental. The discordant vibration of these transmissions are also being carried by water. It is not the water itself that is causing a problem, but the vibration the water has picked up.
I speak in my mind directly to the detrimental energy, holding it to be alive, intelligent, and deserving of respect. This in itself takes a leap of faith. The detrimental energies have consciousness as well as a willingness and ability to cooperate. After years of obtaining verifiable answers to my questions and requests, I have come to trust the responses of my dowsing rods. In my experience, the natural energy has a solid-feeling intelligence and will respond with integrity, keeping any promise it might make. The man-made energies are less integrated and feel scattered, yet they too will do what they can to contain their harmful influence. In the past, once the home was clear of detrimental energy, unwanted entities and negative thought-forms, the people would be able to slowly build up their resistance to disease and toxins. They could handle whatever else was upsetting them.
Today there is much more to living a healthy, harmonious and vibrant life. Our food is manipulated to such an extent that our digestive systems may not even recognize the stuff as food. The water we drink is carrying poisons such as chlorine and fluoride or is dead from traveling for miles in straight pipes or from being stored in plastic bottles for weeks. Pesticides are sprayed over most of the crops. Cows are riddled with growth hormones. So much of what is grown in this country is radiated for long shelf life, and food and herbs from abroad are radiated to kill anything living that might come in on them. Laws governing labeling are being attacked by members of congress and soon you may not be able to find out the condition of the food you are buying. It is important to read the fine print, as even the bedding we sleep on is sprayed with a fire retardant that is a form of poison. Dish sponges are now soaked in the active ingredient of agent orange and advertised as preventing germs in the sponges. The fine print says not to use on aquariums. It seems the fish die, when the tank is cleaned with one of these sponges, even after many rinsing. Are geomancy and dowsing needed in the next millennium?
I became a geomancer through dowsing and became close to the Earth through creating environmental art. Eventually I came to find dowsing extremely helpful and an important communication tool which bypasses visual cues. Dowsing empowers people to find the life force of the food they buy, and determine if something has been radiated, bio engineered or sprayed with poisons. I want people to know how to build their homes in safe places and to be able to work with Nature to right the mistakes made by others. The health of our spirits is as important as that of our bodies. Love, joy, wonder, respect, humor, compassion, imagination and wisdom all reflect healthy spirits.
Geomancy for me addresses this bigger picture, as it emphasizes the spiritual side of life. Sacred and healing sites can be co-created with Nature for the benefit of all life, seen and unseen. Labyrinths, one form of sacred site, are placed with Earth's blessing, connecting those who walk them to heaven and earth. Walking a labyrinth centers each walker in his or her heart in a moment in time. I teach geomancers, when making a life decision, to practice asking, "Would it be in the highest good for me, for all concerned, and for all life in the Universe if I were to……?" This bigger context and heightened respect for life is an attitude to take into the future and even into the next galaxy, as we attempt to communicate with other enlightened beings.
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The Dynamics of Space Revisited
by Nicholas R. Mann
In my previous article for MAG, entitled "The Dynamics of Space: New Approaches in Geomancy," I asked for geomancy to include in its analysis a focus upon the actual experience of the human body in relation to place. I asked that the present moment, kinetic, four dimensional experience of the body with all of its sensory capacities and perceptual abilities in relation to a site - especially ancient ones such as Stonehenge or Avebury - be a basis for understanding the site's meaning and usage. To give an example: if the site presents a closed appearance as you walk up to it then it generates a very different set of meanings than if it were open. The cool thing is that most everyone can understand these meanings. Compare an experience of a church to a stone circle.
This contextual, real-time, experiential, whole-brained and somatic(of or relating to the physical body) approach is, in my opinion, preferable to abstract, ideal and two-dimensional (e.g. site plan) analysis. It is by focusing on the common human experience of our bodies in space that is it possible to arrive at a common set of shared meanings. Now that our editor has asked whether geomantic approaches can extend beyond the experience of the body on earth and specifically whether earth energies can extend into space, it is time to assess the nature of our experience, if any, beyond the geospecific.
The presence of the body with all of its perceptual abilities presupposes an awareness of self and the presence of consciousness. I may argue for somatic experience as the standard for shared understanding and meaning, but of course, it is the self or consciousness that is the "experiencer" I am not separating body and consciousness - that is our modus operandi - but point out that the nature of consciousness suggests it has the possibility of spatial experience beyond the earth and the body. We may be reminded here of some classic geomantic ideas, for example: ley lines being "astral corridors" for out-of-body, shamanic experiences, megalithic dolmens being "dream incubators," and there is a suggestion that the song lines being some of the aboriginal dream time ancestors extend into extra-terrestrial dimensions.
Before I go into space, let me mention that sending our bodies by mechanical means out from the earth can result in a very bad experience indeed: remember Apollo 13? The Apollo program was essentially an attempt to provide an environment in which humans could exist beyond the earth. I question whether the astronauts ever had an experience of space or the moon at all. They had an earth body-consciousness experience transferred into space. The dramatic moments of the movie,""Apollo 13" such as docking or maintaining life, focused precisely on the difficulties of transferring the co-ordinates of the earth body-consciousness into space. This displaced environmental experience was fragile to say the least.
Our bodies, consciousness and sensory abilities are geospecific. They arise from a long-standing engagement with life on earth where we as objects have conditioned the subject and vice-versa. Natural selection means we do not have the ability to live among energies outside of the spectrum made perceptible by our physical senses. Life in other contexts or dimensions is simply incompatible with and imperceptible to our body-consciousness. Furthermore, the machines we build to look beyond our sensory spectrum produce singular, ideal, and two-dimensional views. Radio-telescopes, quantum accelerators and so on, put us back into non-experiential, part-brained perception with an accompanying huge problem of interpretation and meaning.
Carl Sagan made this point in the text used by the movie "Contact." The heroine's - Jodie Foster's - view into space was two dimensional and questionable, until she actually had an experience of contact. Then there was no doubt of its veracity; although, naturally, she could not convince her analytical colleagues it actually happened. The mechanical device which made contact possible, Sagan made clear, was not even necessary. It was merely a stratagem to convince humans the contact was valid and authentic. The movie furthermore made the point that although the contact experience was conscious it was also conditioned by consciousness - in this case, by Jodie's. We are discovering wherever we go in the universe there is no separation of observer and observed. Yet, imagine the experiential possibilities (and some of you may already think this) if Jodie's body was composed of light...
It may be that it is through the inner transformational possibilities of consciousness, however conditioned, that we are capable of experiencing energies beyond the range perceived by the physical senses. Putting to one side whatever perceptions dowsing may open us up to, and staying with the topic of light, the phospheme experiment for example suggests experiences of pure colour beyond those seen by the eye-brain combination. 1 This is supported by those who have had OBE's (out-of-body experiences), are experienced meditators, or those who use psychotropic substances, such as those used by the Huichol Indians. As the alchemical adage, "as above, so below" suggests, it is extremely likely that all the energies we currently experience exist in analogous structures or forms beyond the earth, and consciousness is the vehicle by which we can perceive them.
I propose that the best means at our disposal for exploring in space what we experience on earth as geomantic qualities or energies is the transformation of our consciousness.
Buddhists speak of the outward appearance or the "signs" of things being conditioned for us on earth by the "manas." When we are able to see beyond the outward appearance of something for example, we may realize it is formed by the constant interaction of the "six elements." These are earth, air, fire, water, space and perception. Science may prefer to describe these in terms of a far larger table of elements that in different combinations produce different forms, but in coming to understand relativity and the role of the observer in the quantum realm, it amounts to much the same thing. We may gain the insight that the phenomenal world is impermanent and interacting. "Nothing can be by itself alone." 2 The different schools of geomancy also recognize the interplay of certain basic elements in forming observable patterns in life on earth, and have developed tools to discern their essence. I remember threading a fire labyrinth last Lughnasadh, and having an experience in which I profoundly realized the interpenetrating and interactive nature of all things.
In my previous article, I suggested the "signs" of things could be described by a small number of relative factors. These present themselves as polarities. Apart from the obvious: large and small, before and after, up and down, right and left, light and dark etc., there are the more subtle: interior and exterior, entrance and exit, center and periphery, surface and mass, light and matter, silence and sound. These also gave rise to more subjective factors such as inclusion and exclusion, formal and informal, active and passive. Buddhists would also include birth and death, form and formlessness. Science may like to add attraction and repulsion, strong force and weak force? gravity and ...? (anti-gravity has not yet been found). We may imagine these factors apply equally well to the experience of any kind of body: animal, human, cellular, molecular, quantum, planetary or stellar, even a body of light.
Yet in contemplation or meditation we learn that it is possible for consciousness to go beyond these contrasts and realize the state of "signlessness." Here consciousness is not conditioned by the elements, the manas, or the polarities of existence. We come to understand how these qualities appear in different ways throughout every dimension of the universe. In deep meditation it is possible for us to enter into "perceptionless perception" and bring the self into the realization of its unified existence with all things. At this point, following Buddhist terminology, the experience ("illusion") of the separate self dissolves and there is simply the presence of pure consciousness.
Geomancy — The study of the dynamics of form which shape and are shaped by the experience of consciousness.
My experience of these states have persuaded me that what we call geomantic qualities or energies running through life on earth, extend into every dimension of existence. These dimensions include the smallest quantum realm and the vastnesses of space - even the mysteries of the first stages of the creation of the universe. I am convinced that what we call geomancy is, in fact, the study of the dynamics of form which shape and are shaped by the experience of consciousness. These spatial dynamics operate throughout every realm in the universe. A fractal pattern infinitely expanding or contracting in the space of our computer screens dramatically illustrates - albeit in two dimensions - this dynamic.
Although we can observe these patterns from without, through our physical senses or those of our probing scientific instruments, I believe it is of far more value to experience them from within. The multi-dimensional vehicle for experiencing this dynamic in its entirety is consciousness. Ultimately, as we go into space through the transition of death, I am of the opinion that the same spatial dynamics that have determined our experience in life will shape the experience of the dimensions we then pass through.
Do we know the way? Do our earthly temples - spiritual and scientific - currently contain maps for the journey into space? Is the passageway through the outer courts of the temple - neither deviating to either side - and through the gateway into the Holy of Holies, analogous to the transition of consciousness through the bardos into the realm of formlessness? Is the attempt by science to see far enough through space-time to the very moment of creation itself analogous to the experience of consciousness approaching realization? Will we build physical or virtual temples in the new millennium that will assist in the realization of the true nature of our being? Will the journey be taught to us - as in Kubrick's incipient and probably highly prescient "2001" - on our electronic media? Or will this millennium be marked by our turning again to the earth, to nature, and to the keepers of traditional wisdom as our guides?
 The phospheme experiment: Closely watch the reflection of the sun (NOT the sun) in still water for as long as is comfortable, ideally a minute or more. Then close the eyes and observe the after image of light upon the retina. It may help to cover the eyes with your hands to exclude external light. By maintaining concentration on the after image of light you will watch it go through various colour transformations. These transformations are affected by consciousness, especially by the quality of your concentration.
 Thich Nhat Hanh, "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" 1998, p.107.
© N.R. Mann, November 1999