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Books and Free Excerpts

Healthy GaiansGeomythic Earth. Readings and Field Notes in Planet Geomancy (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006)

The Earth has a great need now to catch our attention. Even a little of it. To a large degree in industrialized Western societies, the Earth has assumed the proverbial role of the “mad woman in the attic.” She’s crazy, the one up there, we used to think, and now we’ve forgotten even that there is an attic and mistake her cries for the creaking of the house. It is an old house after all, and old houses will creak. Violent storms, geological upheavals, altered weather and climate patterns, droughts, too much rain, too little snowfall, a strange tightening, even a rigidity, in our thinking and feeling, a growing dogmatism about everything, a defensive literalism—the Earth is pounding on the floor of the attic every day now and we still don’t get it. We don’t hear it. Won’t. Soon, the attic floor might collapse and we will be forced to get it.

Get what? That the Earth and humanity live in a web of reciprocal maintenance, of agreed-upon mutual responsibilities, of supportive feedback loops. That we have grievously neglected the planet, way beyond the callous negligences of environmentalism. I’m talking about neglect at a deeper level. The Earth nourishes us as physical, conscious beings, and we take that for granted. But we have forgotten what our end of the bargain is: we are meant to support the planet spiritually. Humans are not accidental residents on Earth, probationers, fortunate squatters. We’re meant to be here, and the Earth was designed for us—it’s a designer planet. But if we interpret this in the merely biblical, imperial sense, we miss the full picture.

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That the Earth is a designer planet does not mean that humans were put here to rule over it; the design is deeper than that. The Earth was designed for us because it comprises the same design principles as the human being. Sure, the Earth is round and we are walking rectangles, but we and Earth are designed from the same pattern. It’s an archetypal pattern, a cosmogony, a map of the structure and processes of reality, everything that is “above” comprises the human being and the Earth we live on. Above where? The spiritual world. The supersensible planes. Heaven. God’s realm. Everything there is down here, making up us and the planet. We’re identical.

The Mystery and initiation traditions of many cultures and philosophies once taught this fundamental correlation. They used terms like macrocosm and microcosm, the big picture is copied in the little picture, the cosmos is replicated in the human. For most native peoples, this correlation was an implicit understanding, and their ritual and ceremonial life honored it and their myths, legends, and folklore remembered it. The Earth is alive, even swarming, with the living pictures of the cosmos. The myths live in the landscape, in the hills, peaks, rivers, lakes, valleys, plains, and stones.

It is a geomythic Earth, they knew, a planet replete with a cosmogony of stories, gods, and events. A landscape whose soul is myth, the stories of what happened there, and why. It still is this way, but with the radical decline of native peoples around the planet and the proliferation of Western-style industrialized life and thinking, there are few left to honor it. It’s more than honoring, though; it’s not a reverential option, but a survival necessity. We must pick up the responsibility of knowing we live on a geomythic, designer planet whose health depends entirely on our regular interaction.

How do you interact with a planet? We have a word in Western culture called geomancy. It survives from an earlier day when more people understood the set-up. It’s still circulated in the Earth Mysteries field, an interest strong in Europe, and gaining some momentum in the United States, though through a different filter. Here when we think about the landscape, we tend to see it in terms of sacred sites. Earth Mysteries and geomancy are names for the descriptive discipline that seeks to inventory and model an entire planet made up of many thousands of sacred sites.

I use the term planet geomancy to indicate a stance that views the entire planet in terms of its sacred nodes and understands them as functional parts within a single organism and to suggest modes of interaction with this system that benefit both us and the Earth. I use the term geomythic to indicate the interpretive tool that explains the landscape. The myth is in the landscape, and it is an accurate map to its subtle features.

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We need to take up the slack left by the steady disappearance of native peoples who implicitly understood the set-up of a designer, geomythic planet. We need to start engaging our awareness, even our spirituality, with the planet using the sacred sites as a focal point because they are portals into the unsuspected but beautiful inner life of the Earth. We need to let the mad woman out of the attic. But first we need to remember she’s up there, that we put her there, that in fact she’s not mad at all, at least not mad in the sense of crazy, but angered, yes, losing patience, yes again.

I hate clichés, but this one is serviceable: we are way behind the curve on this. The curve is our understanding of how the planet works, what its function is, what our designated role on this designer, geomythic planet is, and how to fulfill it. Before we can become effective geomantic interfacers with our host planet, we need a “crash course” in the essential aspects of its geomantic mechanisms. What are the basic terms, the descriptions, models, myths? Who are the key researchers and big shots in this field? How do we get involved? What does it feel like? Is it easy or hard?

I was not born with this perspective. I didn’t get it in college. It wasn’t until almost my mid-thirties that I even thought about the planet, at least consciously. Religion and spirituality had eclipsed in me any awareness of the planetary environment; that’s typical, as nearly all religions and spiritualites, excepting shamanism, turn their back on the Earth, the environment, on matter itself. Then I relocated to England for a few years to research King Arthur and the Grail mythos, got involved with some very interesting angels, had my head spun around about one hundred times, and suddenly saw it. I saw her, and got it. I saw Gaia.
The Grail Quest, that quirky, semi-mystical preoccupation of medieval knights on horses in search of some strange but numinous golden chalice leads you directly into the wide-awake geomantic and geomythic reality of our planet. You can’t get to the Grail without engaging yourself in the planet’s geomantic terrain, or what I prefer to call its visionary geography. Looking for the Holy Grail you find the planet. Finding the planet, you encounter Gaia, the super-sentient master landscape angel or deva who holds the whole picture of the Earth, past, present, and future. She is the face of the planet, its heart, soul, inner feminine and masculine, spiritual essence. The Earth’s visionary geography features are like living, interactive tatoos on her spherical form.

Gaia is not a goddess who needs worshipping, genuflecting, or any of that. She needs cooperation, engagement by humans with the vast Light body she superintends. She does it for us, anyway, so let’s get with the program and contribute our fair share.

Aside from the fact the planet desperately needs us to get focused on our part of the reciprocal maintenance agreement, it’s fun, even illuminating, to do this. It’s a good antidote for atheism, ennui, apathy, despair, cynicism, materialism, literalism, and boredom. Why are we here? Why is there consciousness? How long is all this going to take? Want some answers? Try the Grail Quest. The Ofanim, my angelic mentors, once said, and maybe they were joking a little, the Grail Quest was designed to keep people from being bored. It’s like they deliver you lunch on a silver platter, except there’s only the platter and no lunch. The Grail Quest is when you go out and get your own lunch to put on the nice platter.

This may sound like whimsy, but the point is if you are lacking something essential and know it, feel it, if life is driven by a certain asymmetry between awareness and knowledge, that’s a good motivation to go out and do something about it, find it, figure things out. That’s the Grail Quest, figuring it out, restoring the pure symmetry. But not knowing, and knowing you don’t know, can be a good goad to get you moving. Find it, put it on your platter, eat lunch. And as I said, the Grail Quest unavoidably is also about fixing the planet. Your quest for spiritual illumination, conducted in Earth’s visionary geography, at the same time helps restore ecological and spiritual balance to the Earth. It’s planet food.

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So think of this book as a précis of the varieties of planet food. It’s about how to go out and get a good lunch on that silver platter and at the same time feed Gaia.

I mentioned the Earth is a designer planet made for us. The advantage to this is that when we go out questing in the visionary landscape, trolling among the geomyths, we start seeing a face, a very large, complex face, looking back at us. It’s ourselves written largely on the Earth, but not the self we lug around every day. The one we came from, always are, and will return to when we remember that’s us. I’m talking about the Self, the cosmogony expressed as a single figure containing it all.

 Many myths speak of this and give the figure names; the point here is that everything contained in this figure that comprises, let’s say, God’s idea of perfect, whole existence, is templated across the planet in the form of Light temples accessed through sacred sites and remembered in geomyths. You visit enough of them, you start putting the figure back together again, and when that happens, you start remembering it is yourself, who you are as a long-lived point of consciousness in the cosmos—your soul, if you like. Our geomythic Earth helps us recall this from the cosmic face imprinted in Earth’s design.

The articles in this book are drawn from a period of 22 years of my writing about and around the subject of Earth Mysteries, geomancy, and the sacred geography of Earth. I first got involved in the subject when I lived in England for almost three years and had my attention caught by a family of angels called the Ofanim who wanted to give me an education about the secret geomantic life of our lovely blue-white host planet. I took part in a fairly intensive training period with them for many years, as they introduced me to many features of the geomantic picture and showed me how to interact with all of them.

As most non-fiction writers do, you write to try to understand something better. I wrote many articles on the topic and peripheral to it as my understanding started to grow, always looking for new descriptive angles, metaphors, or myths that would illuminate it better. I was shown a gigantic elephant, but I could see only a few skin cells of the vast beast at a time, could only interact with a few at a time. Often I wondered if my assumption that it was an elephant had any merit. That it was monstrously, awesomely huge and complex was never in doubt. As a spiritual being with both physical and subtle aspects and occupying a position in the solar system, the Earth is as august and spiritually complex, even as recondite, as is the human being. In Geomythic Earth, I try to explain a little of that and why it’s important to know this.
You might consider these pieces as backstory, filling in the earlier phases in the biography of the discovery of a big subject. They also, I hope, will create a bridge to my more recent work which unavoidably, after more than two decades of research, goes into the subject more complexly. I always say, if you find the subject too complicated, the Earth too complex, don’t blame me: take it up with the Supreme Being.

Many of the articles included here have been previously published in a range of publications, from national to regional, well-known to obscure, still flourishing to defunct, in the U.S., and Europe, such as Yoga Journal, East West Journal, The Quest, The Santa Fe Sun, Echo, Life Times, Earth Star, Angel Times, The Gatekeeper, Timetrack, and Spuren. Some, the ones published in Spuren (in Switzerland), have never before appeared in English. Others have been used as hand-outs for workshops or are culled from my extensive field reports from many years of engaging myself with the geomythic Earth.

My intent in organizing them under the rubric Geomythic Earth is to provide an entry-level, “beginner’s mind” introduction to the big field of geomancy. An informal textbook, if you like, but with no study questions or tests afterwards. You can read it from front to back or jump in wherever you feel like; that’s what I would do. Follow the stories where they lead you, from gnomes to Earth circles to ley lines, or Ray Masters to James Lovelock to Nagas to the fun things you could do in a landscape zodiac theme park. Read the views of the experts, from geomancers to angels. Consider the field reports of people interacting with the Earth’s subtleties.

Get geomythic on your designer planet! It’s the biggest and best game in town.

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