Articles by Richard Leviton - Part 1

  1. Designing Your Pilgrimage-What You Need to Bring
  2. Travels in Another Geography: An Alternative Perspective on the Environment
  3. A Guiding Star Through the Apocalypse: A Perspective on the Millennium
  4. Tales from Underground. Life Inside the Earth
  5. Why the Stars are Shining in Santa Fe: A Reflection on the Mysteries of the Landscape
  6. A Marvellous Cosmic Mystery Upon the Earth
  7. Creating a Geomythic Reality
  8. Articles by R. Leviton - Part 2  (9 more articles)

  9. Articles by R. Leviton - Part 3

  10. About the Author

Designing Your Pilgrimage - What You Need to Bring

命ichard Leviton

"My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it." The English Christian allegorist John Bunyan wrote that in his famous inspirational text, The Pilgrim's Progress in 1678. Certainly I found it inspiring. Many was the night as a child when I read it furtively by flashlight under the bed covers when my parents were expecting me to be asleep. The idea of a pilgrimage-starting from your own front door, moving through all sorts of obstacles, delusions, and terrors, always confronted with danger yet somehow always protected, then finally arriving at the majestic Heavenly City-this was too irresistibly intriguing to pass over in favor of mundane sleep. Sleep! I didn't want to sleep; I wanted to wake up, get some answers, understand a few things, solve a certain mystery that wouldn't go away, even at that supposedly innocent age. What is my life all about?
"My marks and scars I carry with me, to be witness for me, that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder," Bunyan added, speaking words I would have given anything to hear by candlelight from my grandfather, my uncle, my father-anybody. Every pilgrim needs courage and skill and every pilgrim should expect marks and scars, Bunyan tells us, but there is a reward at the end of the journey. To me this means an answer, the mystery solved. We know who did it-"God" created the world as a live-in puzzle-but we don't know what God did. Pilgrimage is one way of finding out.
Should I ever have a grandchild and should he ever ask me, this is what I would say about what you need for designing your own pilgrimage. You need eight things. You need a body, an alms bowl, a star, a mirror, an apple corer, a sword, a notebook, and patience.
First, you need a body. But that's too obvious; of course we all have bodies to walk around with. I mean a body of land, a landscape, a sacred geography, a god's body, a deific terrain. About 1500 years ago a Chinese geomancer came to Tibet to marry its king. She observed the landscape and said most of Tibet is a supine demoness several hundred miles long and wide, a greatSrinmo, lying on her back. You must build twelve temples at her shoulders, hips, and feet to pin her down and make the land suitable for Buddhism. At Lhasa, the "place of the gods" and Tibet's capital, you must build the Jokhang, the holy sanctuary at the Srinmo's heart, she said. Walking across south central Tibet even today, you walk within the Srinmo's landscape body, across sanctified ground that is somehow a deity's body.
The motif of sanctified ground is repeated in many places.The Australian Aborigines speak of songlines, ancient tracks across the Outback made by their primal ancestors, the spirits of the Dreamtime who created the world long ago and now maintain it through these undulating pilgrimage paths across the country. Each clan has its special totem from Nature (the honey-ant or kangaroo, for example) that once emerged from the Dreamtime at a particular spot then made tracks and sounds across the land. The songline is the creation track of that life form. It's up to the clans to maintain the integrity of the totemic landscape by regularly following these tracks and honoring the ancestors by singing their unique creation songs. Clan members might be gone for weeks or months making good on this arrangement. For them, pilgrimage is an act of spiritual ecology.
Some landscapes, like India, seem to exist for nothing else than to wake you up. Some say India exists solely to wrench you out of the veil of difficulties and loft you into the splendors of the divine. One of its most venerable religious texts, the Mahabharata, describes 330 sacred places and rivers in a pilgrimage itinerary that encompasses all of Mother India. The practice of tirtha-yatra, "making pilgrimage," is among the holiest acts, considered superior, even in ancient days, to any other kind of sacrifice you might make to the deities. Sojourns in tirtha are meritorious and constitute one of the high mysteries of the sages, the book declared. India is a pilgrim's department store: there are itineraries for everyone.
You might make the grand pilgrimage circuit of the Ganges: tracing it on one bank from its source to its mouth, then returning on the other bank from its mouth to its source, all the while honoring Ganga Mata, who is both river and divine goddess, consort of both Siva and Vishnu, and source of the "mother's milk" of immortality. The gods need your pilgrimage; your caress, your prostration, your recognition is essential to "them;" it is how Earth retouches Heaven and how the endless knot binding all of creation, divine and mundane, is kept intact.
You might also follow the tracks of a great pilgrim who achieved something remarkable on the way. Homer left us a record of the Aegean journeys of the Greek hero Odysseus; he spent ten years travelling homeward to Ithaca, through the land of the lotus eaters and the porcine island of Circe. Some say his pilgrimage marks the geography of a great spiritual initiation and some have tried to retrace his steps.
How about that subtle poet of the deep north, the Japanese Matsuo Basho? In 1693 he wrote of his 800 mile adventure on foot (The Narrow Road to the Deep North) journeying through Japan's remote provinces in search of sacred mountains and religious hermits, writing haiku all the way. In a sense, the earnestness and purity of his pilgrimage sanctified this landscape, carving out an itinerary for later pilgrims, including the English writer, Lesley Downer, who retraced Basho's steps in the 1980s and wrote about it in her On the Narrow Road. "Above all, I wanted to walk along with Basho, see Japan through his eyes," she wrote.
Retracing the steps of a great one, walking the landscape with Basho, so to speak, you should be like a detective, your ear cocked for echoes and nuances from an earlier time-at least, that is the approach that appealed to me. An American, some years ago I set off for the British Isles looking for King Arthur. Some say he was a historical king, others that he was a pretty exciting but elusive myth.He left traces of his activities all over England, Scotland, and Wales. Hills, stone circles, wells, castles, prominences, caves, tracks are named after him; the landscape is redolent of Arthur. According to legend, he was born at Tintagel, became king at Winchester, established his headquarters at South Cadbury Castle, killed a giant at Michael's Mount, chased a wild boar all across Wales, had a stronghold in Edinburgh. The list of his geomythic attributions proliferates.
I say "geomythic" because the myth lives in the landscape, the terrain of Albion (Britain's ancient name) remembers Arthur. If I were to give my quirky style of pilgrimage a name it would have to be autogeomythics-myself living the myth in the landscape. It also means yourself living a myth in the landscape. There are so many geomyths; choose one that feels as if it's chosen you, then live into it. Because if your pilgrimage is about retracing famous, legendary, or sanctified tracks across the landscape, you begin to slip into the same kind of numinosity that enveloped your quarry in the first place, whether it's Odysseus, Basho, or Arthur. It becomes archetypal, done before but always fresh again; a well-cut groove in the world psyche that inducts you, as you walk through its circuitry, into an initiation.
So take lots of maps and guidebooks of the lands you'll travel through; read all the stories, listen assiduously to local tales, study place-names, fables, clues, insinuations. Take the minor roads, stay at local inns, ask people what they think of the legends today. Live into the story line; see yourself as its continuation, identify with the hero in question. This is the imaginal pilgrimage or what the mythographer Mircea Eliade called "the myth of the eternal return," the ritualized pilgrimage outside of historical time.
That's why you need an alm's bowl, the second item on the pilgrim's list. Often traditional pilgrims set off expecting the sympathetic public to support their aspirations with handouts. You needn't leave home without money; take lots, bring all your credit cards-that's not the point. Be receptive. Carry an empty begging bowl in your attitude. Be open to anything. Gather every last shred of evidence. Accept the world's charity, its gestures of pilgrim's grace.
Some call this bowl the Holy Grail. Most people think that King Arthur's knights went out seeking the Grail; on the contrary, I think they started with the Grail, which is an attitude of receptivity, interiorly visualized as a chalice, and the inner space that is empty enough to receive. Then they traversed the sacred landscape (which they called the Round Table) in search of adventures, insight, and illumination. They sought light for the bowl. What kind of alms should you expect? Synchronicities, fortunate coincidences, things suprisingly falling into place, sudden encounters, timely departures, unexpected epiphanies. Keep your schedule open and flexible.
Third, you need a star. The star is like a compass. The Three Magi of Christian legend followed a singularly bright star to find the Christ Child in Bethlehem. The 300 billion stars of our galaxy keep their celestial eye on Polaris, the pole star, that singularly important star at the top of the galactic tent pole, so that they don't lose their way in the immensity of space and the big jumble of the galactic wheel. The Japanese call this guiding star hara, the Chinese call it tan dien; we call it "keeping your center." In the body, it's the midpoint, the center of gravity, around the belly button.
Everything has a core, a center, a magnetic point that keeps the whole thing organized and stable. You will surely lose much on your pilgrimage, get wildly disoriented, lost, confused, spun around, bereft; you'll change your views, forget your old opinions, lose track of who you thought you were, feel dizzy in the amazing flux of the road. That's why you need to keep your center intact. Put Polaris in your hara. With every next step on your pilgrimage, give a little attention to that singular pole star burning brightly at your belly button. That's the one thing that even if it slips your attention, you'll never lose. It was there even before you were so you can't lose it.
Fourth, you need a mirror. Who are you, anyway? Look in the mirror. Your pilgrimage is a great mirror made of roads and inns, encounters and disappointments, revelations and vistas. Don't be fooled into thinking you are supposed to arrive at a destination. It's the going that is central, the you that is going.Your pilgrimage is really about yourself observing your own transit across the landscape. Every pilgrimage is self-reflexive and interior. You are the geography of the road. This isn't self-indulgent or narcissistic; no, unflinching self-knowledge is the key to waking up. Every step you take is like placing your foot on a mirror. Study yourself. Everything else is a tool, a skillful means for self-awareness. So pick a good route that will mirror you.
When you walk across sacred geography, whether it's the Tibetan Srinmo, the Indian Mata Ganga, the Aboriginal songlines, Arthurian Britain, or Basho's deep Japanese north, consider that it is yourself that you are traversing. Surely it is a mistake to construe yourself as separate from the world, as isolated from divinity. But before this becomes evident, you may need to shed some clothes.
That's why you need the fifth item, an apple corer. Many traditions speak of the apple of wisdom. In Celtic mythology, the hero often returned from the Otherworld bearing a golden apple. Many mythologists understand this to mean the fruit of wisdom, as spiritual insight. Think of yourself, provisionally, as an apple. Peel yourself; extract the core and its seeds. Turn the corer slowly as it dredges out the pith of your being.
Consider what you are made of: the five elements, the five sense organs, uncountable atoms, genes, cells, molecules-prodigies of intelligent matter. But if the Buddhist masters are to be believed, these are also prodigies of obscurations. Our personality is compounded of the result of innumerable sensory impressions and the outrageous desires they inspire. From the viewpoint of Heaven, it is outrageous to desire-and get-a world as sensorially lush as this; it is an unceasing feast for the senses. But sits the immortal Self at the dining table? Probably not; it's at the core of the apple.
Consider what your awareness would be like if you removed all the sense impressions, thoughts, feelings, volitions, all sense of yourself and world, all mental activity, even the process of removal, and just abided, wakeful. The apple corer-some call it the process of meditation-will do this to you, and so will the pilgrimage, if you're lucky. You may find one place, perhaps a cave, a grotto, a stone circle, a copse, that starts to turn the apple corer, peeling off the layers of your being. Then you can definitely say the trip is bearing fruit!
There are two other ways to make this point. I once made a small labyrinth on the ground; it was about thirty feet across and modelled after the traditional Cretan labyrinth which looks a bit like a two-dimensional cabbage. It could just as well be an apple. I used to walk it every day. It cleared my mind wonderfully. It was like walking from the realm of Earth and personality into the domain of numinous Heaven; as I threaded its convoluted path, I felt as if I were walking through my own mind and body, dropping both by the time I reached the still center. My walking the labyrinth was like coring the apple. You might think of the center of the labyrinth as the Self, pure and simple, the heart of everything, an imperishable seed at the core of the apple. The labyrinth is a mandala you can walk through, a concentrated miniature of the pilgrimage route across the landscape.
An illness is also a mandala or labyrinth if you approach it with a pilgrim's heart. Here is a pilgrim's report as transcribed by a homeopathic physician. A man had chronic digestive problems; he had wind, bloating, heartburn, and poor assimilation. Then he took a homeopathic remedy; that's when he began his pilgrimage to well-being. Underlying the digestive problems were headaches; underlying these, the strong emotion of resentment; underlying this, anger; underlying this, prolific night sweats, and beneath this, panic and anxiety.
First the homeopath treated each layer of the symptom picture (or labyrinth) as it appeared until she reached psychic and physiologic bedrock, a kind of seedbed which homeopathy calls a "miasm." Then she treated this miasm, which is like a deep, almost genetic tendency to exhibit certain mindbody symptoms. Like mushrooms sprouting suddenly in fertile soil, when he took his miasmatic remedy, all his symptoms returned, one after the other, numbering 15, but they were like ghosts saying their farewell.
It takes a little courage to heal. He could have ignored it and perhaps gotten cancer or gall stones in his old age. Following a course of homeopathic prescribing is like walking a labyrinth; with each convolution you peel off a layer of illness; in the center you find the Minotaur is offering you the key to your well-being.
Still, it's prudent to bring a sword, the sixth item you need for your pilgrimage. Should you expect enemies and muggers? Probably not, although don't be foolhardy. John Bunyan passed on his pilgrim's sword; this was akin to bestowing his insight to future generations. Think of the sword as a keen edge of discriminating insight, as the cutting edge of a mind that is vigilant. You will be transiting an awesome playing field of illusions. Devils and ogres will most likely spring at you from the shadows, seeking to ambush your better intentions. They are most probably your own, denizens of your Shadow or karmic debts from your past; dispatch them with insight, transform them with the cutting light of your sword. Beware the misrepresentations of those you encounter. The road is rife with salesmen hawking inferior goods, selling faulty maps. Do not be lured into the by-ways, into comfortable pull-outs, into the easy road. Traditionally, King Arthur's Knights travelled with both the Grail and the sword. You need to be both receptive and discriminating.
Seventh, you need a notebook. Take careful detailed notes; record everything. It is so easy to forget and you will be encountering so much. The act of writing it down not only records it for later study but it gives you a position of detachment and observation in case the lessons have been tough. And think of your grandchildren; they'll want to know where you've been and what you learned. To some degree your pilgrimage serves the entire world by adding to its share of knowledge and insight. Remember your mistakes so you need not make them again.
That was the brilliant lesson in Bill Murray's movie, Groundhog Day. He was an American television weatherman who brought his crew to a town in Pennsylvania where one day in February every year a groundhog would emerge from his hole in the ground and by his attitude inform people how much longer winter would last. Bill Murray found this a bit boring, especially when he found himself in a time trap. Every morning he woke up in his Pennsylvania hotel and had to live the same day over again, knowing he had done it all yesterday.
At first he despaired of the monotony; then eventually he got the hang of it, studied his behavior, learned what worked and what didn't work, make corrections, and started helping others get what they wanted-all because he had this special view of time. For a short while, he lived in eternity because each day for him was the same and tomorrow was today, but only he knew this.
This is a very Buddhist point: Groundhog Day is like the Wheel of Life, karma, and endless rebirths, the same scenario over and over until you get it right. So take good notes. Learn what works, avoid what doesn't, get it right, and get off the wheel.
Eighth, you need patience. When you master patience, suddenly it gets to be fun; even the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth can have its exhilarating moments. Think of your whole life as a pilgrimage. Ever since you first asked the question-What is my life all about, anyway?-you have been making the pilgrimage to an answer. When did you first ask the question? Childhood, adolescence, yesterday? It might have been even longer ago than this lifetime. Some say each of us has a particular purpose, an assignment, that may take hundreds of lives to achieve, like the Mahabharata's 330 pilgrimage sites. It may take even the life of an entire planet to accomplish it. A planet may be designed precisely as a body for pilgrimage. Our life on Earth, this life, and the thousands we may have undergone before-maybe they're part of a single pilgrimage we had in mind when we set out from some other home, somewhere else long ago. We may have designed this multilifetime pilgrimage with a rather grand aspiration in mind. Do you remember what it was?
It's certainly possible that all of this planet is sacred geography, presanctified by deities or the pilgrimages of primordial heroes. Their antique efforts made mandala grooves for us to tred in this moment. The scale of these things is holographic after all, as is any pilgrimage. That's what I would say to anyone, grandchild or friend, who would "succeed me in my pilgrimage."

Travels in Another Geography
An Alternative Perspective on the Environment

命ichard Leviton


By now, acupuncture and its intriguing postulation of an invisible energy network enveloping the human body and accessible through points on the skin is familiar to many, especially in this town. Yet imagine for a moment that you are the planet Earth itself, that your physical body is as large as the globe. Imagine still further, that you, as the Earth, also have an energy body intricately interwoven with meridians and nodes. To nudge this speculation a little further yet, imagine that while the planet is your physical body, this complex skein of lines and points is the seat of your consciousness, as if, strangely yet beautifully, you wear your brain inside out and that your thoughts and awareness circulate through these scintillating meridians and innumerable points.
Ever since the Harmonic Convergence in mid-August 1987, a growing number of people have been intuiting this as more than an imaginary possibility. During that fervent week of millennialist expectation, untold thousands of people positioned themselves at sacred sites, power spots, and numinous locales around the globe in anticipation of-well, many different things.
But if the UFOs failed to descend in epiphanous glory and if the ultrareal Masters were a little less than revelatory in their transmissions, one thing of paramount importance did happen. Suddenly, the planet was seen afresh as floriate with another geography, with an occulted landscape of sites and connections, each promising a special exaltation not found in the ordinary places of our lives. This event revealed to us a vista undreamed of: a celestial Earth.
In other words, since 1987, the idea of a spiritualized, numinous landscape, of another geography under our feet, has been burgeoning in our awareness. By now, the idea of a planetary energy body or global informational field, complete with its own complex anatomy, has become an accepted proposition among many who took the Harmonic Convergence seriously.
Even if you feel less than confident about granting such an epistemologically outrageous idea as a planetary energy grid any validity, consider how slyly the possibility of such a reality nonetheless is with us in familiar stories and legends and hints from the esoteric tradition.
Let's start with an example no doubt familiar to many: the elusive trickster of Toltec sorcery, Carlos Castaneda. Did you ever wonder why Don Juan sent young Carlos out to particular, not randomly chosen, sites when he had a certain experience in mind for him? As an initiate in Toltec "sorcery," Don Juan evidently knew the inner energy secrets of the Sonoran landscape so intimately that he could match a local landscape's effect on consciousness with a desired experience he had in mind for Castaneda. Castaneda may have been chased by giant butterflies, but only at specific places.
In the Celtic mythos, there were the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table who journeyed for years in search of the Holy Grail. These weren't a clutch of macho guys whacking each other off iron-clad horses, but a group of young initiates whom Merlin, the Celtic Don Juan, dispatched very precisely to specific locales in the starry landscape of Avalon. Similarly, it is said that when the Knights Templar flourished in medieval Europe, they, too, were well versed in the secret geography between Paris and Jerusalem and sought to keep the landscape meridians-many call them ley lines today-open and full of Qi for the benefit of European civilization.
Naturally, esoteric knowledge regarding the presumed anatomy of the planet's energy field can fall into the hands of people for whom the advancement of human culture and enlightenment are irrelevant. There are esoteric writers today who assert that a key element in Hitler's Nazi war plans was to gain control of strategic geopoints throughout Western Europe as a means of subtly manipulating the thoughts, emotions, and biofields of the millions living in those regions.
Even more recently, while the mainstream media will never report such things, a fair degree of current geopolitical strife can be traced, according to this alternative view of the landscape, to a desire to control certain cities or locales because they occupy strategically valuable nodes in the planetary energy web.
Remember former President Bush's strangely egalitarian notion of 1000 points of light? Reread this as 1000 key points in this other geography and it suddenly takes on new, slightly sinister, meaning. Some call it "grid wars." Think of recent areas of intense political or military strife-Berlin, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Lhasa, Sarajevo. Each of these has an occulted geographic role-meaning, you won't see it unless you know how to read the maps of this other geography-that breeds strife among the power-hungry. For this is a hidden energy body that some seek to control, by whatever means. You could write a new version of history based on the Earth's energy body-etheric geopolitics, you might call it.
You could also use this insight to create an exciting gazetteer of the Earth's innumerable sacred sites. Suddenly you see that places of high numinosity-Mount Shasta, Chaco Canyon, Sedona, Mount Rainier, Machu Picchu, the Giza pyramids, Glastonbury-have their rightful place in this atlas of high Qi geopoints. I use the term Qi quite deliberately. Qi, as many know, is an acupuncture term to indicate subtle life force and etheric vitality. It's the energy (also called prana, orgone) streaming through our meridians that literally animates us, keeps us alive, healthy, and conscious.
Ever since the British atmospheric scientist James Lovelock quietly proposed the Gaia Hypothesis back in 1978 (that the planet is an automatically, self-regulating complex system), others inspired by Lovelock's bold insight have taken the notion much further, and proposed that the planet-personalized as Gaia-has a subtle energy circulation as well, tappable at any of its innumerable high Qi "power" points. What's the benefit to us in "tapping" into the high Qi available at many of the planet's nodes?
It elevates consciousness, makes us physically and psychically more healthy, more incarnate. Like the way you get permeated with negative ions by sitting at a waterfall or at the beach, when you spend time exposing your body and mind to the high Qi of a geopoint you feel more than refreshed. You feel exalted. This same quality of living exaltation is delivered to the entire biosphere every second of every day through this other geography.
The invisible "grid" or planetary energy body exists to enliven the physical planet and all its inhabitants-minerals, plants, animals, and humans. This other geography is the vitality wellspring for our ecosphere. If you penetrate the physical environment you will inevitably enter into this other geography, this energizing landscape.
The practical implication of all this is both inspiring and humbling: each of us can make a difference and it's our responsibility to try. The work of deep ecologists, Green Peace, and other Greens-style environmental activists is invaluable, yet the existence of another geography enables all of us to act as volunteer acupuncturists for the planet, to make beneficial effects at the energy level of our environment, to give some consciousness back to Gaia.
Let me amplify this point with a story. A few years ago I led a workshop about the energy body of the planet. I called it spiritual geomancy, as geomancy is a term now used to indicate the mysteries of the landscape. I based my approach on the concept that geomantic fieldwork and meditative focussing could constructively work together and were aspects of the same process. In other words, you, as a single human being, can add information-consciousness-to the information field of the planet. In fact, consciousness is the link between both geographies.
Here is the exercise I suggested to them:
Visualize a tiny single pinpoint of brilliant light scintillating two fingerwidths above your navel and a little inside-a little blazing star. Breathe to this tiny blazing star with a smile and with affectionate regard. Assume an angelic emotion and breathe as Love from Above to this star, as if you are watching over this star with the regard of angels. Bring to mind the familiar image of the Earth as a bluewhite globe as seen from space and depicted in NASA photographs. When this image is vivid, place the Earth inside the blazing star and breathe warmly to both. Holding this image in your warm, attentive regard, summon, if you wish, the presence of Gaia as the planetary spiritual being and ask Her where She has pain and where you might assist in its alleviation.Then see what happens....
For many people this can trigger an astonishing shift in perspective and identity. The exercise reverses your normal relationship with the planet; here is your home planet ensconced within your spiritual womb. With this inversion in imaging, you position yourself as a planetary parent-as a mother, in effect-maintaining the Earth within your spiritual concentration expressed as this star positioned at the center of your being.
The idea of putting the Earth inside a star at your belly button may strike many as ridiculous at best, yet consider these reports from people, completely fresh to this approach, who made their own inner environmental adventures for the first time.
One man reported that Gaia directed his attention to a subterranean fissure and asked him to flush the interior crack with the healing light from his star. As his perception penetrated more deeply, he saw that lower down in the fissure there were numerous barrels filled with toxic waste, and still further down, there was a massive puslike pile of exposed toxic waste in a state of poisonous exudation. This man, aware of the specific properties of color, visualized that he had a giant acetylene torch and inflamed the toxic dump with the transmutative energy of the color lilac until, as it seemed to him, the waste had been dissipated.
A woman reported that a fish spirit carried her to a site where toxic wastes are dumped into the sea. She noted the unexpected presence of angels and nature spirits as she was made aware of the hazards of this indiscriminate toxic dumping and the need to take remedial action.
A man said his attention was brought to the site of a potential earthquake. It was as if the tectonic plate were trembling. When he noticed a large long crack in this plate, he visualized that he was able to sew it up with some form of etheric needle and thread while discharging the unavoidable tremors off the planet.
A woman said when she became aware of Gaia, she broke into tears over Her condition. "I never realized before that I could send my love back to the planet, as if I were somehow a mother to Gaia, and that it could make a difference," she remarked.
You see, it does make a difference according to your intent and how you wish and will things to be. Especially on account of something that happened in this other geography at a recent summer solstice.
By grace or by accident I found my way momentarily into this other, truly magical landscape and witnessed a kind of preparation. First I saw an intensely brilliant golden bore or pin spinning inside a conical tower lined with hexagonal beehive cells. Outside the tower with its golden revolving inferno-it was as if the Sun had been ferociously condensed into the body of a needle-there were multiple layers of verdantly green sheaves, paper thin, packed delicately together like radiating fans in a carnation. The entire cluster of green sheaths was somehow packed into a globe set in a pale blue vastness. It rained, and as each drop of pure rainwater glistened momentarily on a leaf, it seemed that all the stars of the galaxy teemed inside it. And each leaf had dozens of drops, and there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of such leaves, each glistening with this cosmic dew.
Then it seemed the green sheaves became diaphanous curtains of light-lilac, pale blue, amber-that rippled like a multitude of aurora borealises. Yet they were also like immense frilled flowers of light, upon whose insubstantial veins danced a myriad of fairies. Then in the midst of this spectacle stood a solid cube of shiny grey-black matter, pockmarked with caves, tunnels, and labyrinths.
What did it all mean? I think that I saw in a symbolic picture the raw, pure materials for the recreation of the world. Somehow as a dispensation of sheer grace, the planetary energy body was given a massive infusion of Qi from Above, from which it could regenerate the elements of matter from their core-fire, water, earth, and air. The Sun was set to spin inside the Earth's energy core, there to reinvigorate the very structure of the planet and to inspire the elemental beings-the fairies and gnomes, among others-to cooperate in this grand project of planetary regeneration.
Perhaps my solstice impression was but a Celtic fantasy of nature spirits and spinning golden castles, but I think the spirit of the picture is valid. Maybe energy preparations for a new-born Earth, not so much literally and physically, but in terms of energy, information, and consciousness, have been made and await our astonished, grateful perception. If I'm right then all roads-all ley lines-lead into this other geography and may the single blazing star inside you guide you into this world of stars all around you for the benefit of your home planet.

A Guiding Star Through the Apocalypse
A Perspective on the Millennium

命ichard Leviton


I don't believe our world will end in this decade, or the next. That already happened once-losing our world-long ago, on a planet called Maldek. The shattered remains of that planetary malaise now constitute the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. We are all here on Earth now in our second chance to make it through a perilous transformation, to endure the last, dark, painful squeeze before we birth the Golden Age, which, the angelic realm promises, awaits us. For a subject as mighty as millennial changes, a parable may well be our best resort for insight, and for this project I find the 19th century British mystical poet William Blake's vision of Albion and Vala most illuminating.
Albion, said Blake in his long poem, Jerusalem (1804), is the "Human Form Divine," an image of spiritual beauty expressed in human form as a giant who is the antecedent of all men and women. In Paradise, Albion was, originally, in God's view, "the Angel of my Presence" and "the loveliest Son of heaven." Then, entering incarnation on Earth, Albion gained selfhood but lost the vision of divine origins and purpose and began a time of suffering. "In a dark & unknown Night/Outstretch'd his Giant beauty on the ground in pain & tears," said Blake. The seven diseases of the soul settled upon Albion as he "groans in the deep slumbers of Death upon his Rock."
Like Prometheus in the Greek myths who was bound to a rock at the edge of the sea for transgressing against the gods, so, too, is Albion chained to matter, "sick to death" from "horrible falsehoods" spread by his sons and daughters. Albion is a prodigy of the spiritual worlds, yet so grievous is his forgetting that "the Starry Heavens all were fled from the mighty limbs of Albion." This is most unfortunate, Blake said, for two reasons. First, Albion is destined to marry Vala, who is his "Bride & Wife in great eternity;" and second, Albion has a gift for the world, a "lovely emanation" called Jerusalem. Albion shall arise again, Blake promises us. "The time will arrive/When all Albion's injuries shall cease, and when we shall/Embrace him, tenfold bright, rising from his tomb in immortality."
What might Blake mean by this vision of Albion? Here is one perspective, derived from personal reflection and hints from the spiritual world. Let us regard Albion as an expression over time of everything humanity has been on Earth since the beginning of time-our collective consciousness, both latent (unconscious), activated (ordinary consciousness), and potential (superconscious). Albion is the colossus of consciousness available to human beings. Albion is the divine image of Man-the archetype of humanity as a dual-gendered being "who thinks," as in Manas-incarnate on this planet. Each of us, female or male, is an expression of Albion, as the cosmic archetype of all humans. Each of us, and all our forebears since the beginning of the human race, has selfhood or individuality, but like Albion, most of us have gained this at the price of forgetting our celestial origins. So Albion groans in misery, chained to the rock in darkness and spiritual death. We might also see Albion as chained to a table in the pit of the Earth, similar to the way the Greeks envisioned Kronos (Father Time) exiled and jailed in the golden halls of Ogygia. Albion sleeps; in fact, he has never been lucidly awake since coming to Earth. So, too, we, as collective humanity, have not experienced full wakefulness in the context of Earth.
When Blake speaks of Starry Wheels in the limbs of Albion, I suggest he refers to the energy body of the planet, the subtle geomantic anatomy of Earth. Just as humans have a complex energy circuit as described by acupuncture, in terms of meridians and acupoints, so has Earth a living web of geopoints and ley lines, an energetic domain that once formed the basis of a spiritual geomancy in which human life and activities ritually interfaced with a sacred landscape. Native peoples, especially the Australian Aborigines, still acknowledge this "Dreamtime" topography in which divine intent suffuses the shapes and energies of the environment. By Starry Wheels, Blake envisions a landscape in which the energies and spiritual presences of the cosmos-the starry wheels of the zodiac or galaxy-are incarnate in matter. That they are "fled from the mighty limbs of Albion" means we have forgotten about them and live in chronic neglect of their energetic reality.
We have been terribly remiss in our environmental relations with the material planet as well. Many today feel comfortable in acknowledging the planet as a sentient soul in the cosmos, as a profound planetary being we call Gaia. For Blake, Gaia is Vala, and She is Albion's destined Bride, in a predestined marriage in which matter, Vala, weds spirit, Albion. With the achievement of this hieros gamos-the divine, mystical marriage of Sun and Moon, Earth and Heaven-Albion's spiritual gift to the world may be realized: Jerusalem. Here Blake did not mean Jerusalem in the sense of a geopolitical, ethnic city in the Mideast; instead, he wanted to evoke the nuance of "foundation of peace" and the "heavenly city," the archetypal, worldwide geometry of wakeful living across the human spectrum. In other words, the Golden Age.
That is where we are headed, even as we endure floods, hurricanes, droughts, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, political instability, economic fragility, appalling pandemic violence. Gaia is engaged in a necessary process of radical detoxification and energetic readjustment; Her frightening spasms are purgative, cleansing, a moving through toxicity into purity. Albion is engaged in a long-awaited process of apocalyptic awakening and self-awareness, shaking off millennia of disturbed nightmarish sleep. Conceive of the magnitude of this proposition: Albion, as the collective consciousness of all of us over time, the entire span of human life on Earth, will awaken into spiritual lucidity within matter.
The sheer prospect of such illumination, such blinding celestial light, is flushing the demons out of the Earth; it seems all we see is demons, crazed, evil, malicious, hateful demons bent on destroying the parameters of human civility. But they are wailing and thrashing as they dissolve; they cannot endure the Light. These are the "horrible falsehoods" that have poisoned Albion. We are on the verge of radical vision, a perceptual apocalypse, a stunning movement of the "assemblage point" of perception by which we construe the world, as Carlos Castaneda teaches. A new world will come shockingly into focus in this decade as we see more and differently.
But to keep our balance and our courage we must follow the guiding star provided for us. We might think of this star as the Polaris, or Pole Star, of Albion's mighty starry wheels. This Star is brought to our attention, providentially, by the angelic realm which forever acts as its guardian. It is a single, adamantly brilliant Blazing Star, a pinpoint of absolute light at the center of being, preceding all creation and manifestation. Various traditions speak of this Star, though sometimes obliquely, including Tibetan Dzogchen, Hebrew Qabala, Anthroposophy's Rudolf Steiner, and the contemporary teacher, Da Avabhasa, who calls it "the Divine Star, or the central Light of the cosmos."
This Blazing Star is present in many dimensions: in us, we find it two inches above the belly button and a little bit inside. It is not literally in the flesh at the solar plexus, but through this location we access the pinpoint of brilliant light at the center of our being. This is our point of apocalyptic remembering; this is the portal to the Divine Vision that Albion forgot. As such, Albion has a Blazing Star at the center of his being, and so does Gaia at an ancient stone circle in southcentral England called Avebury. This triple alignment of our guiding star is what shall make our passage through this moment of radical detoxification and apocalyptic awakening not only endurable but an unprecedented opportunity for epiphany, for the revelation in light of Blake's "Divine Vision."
Consider the scenario. Albion groans in a light sleep on his table in the pit of the Earth. Gaia moans in her agony of self-cleansing. We live in chronic apprehension of the floor of our material life collapsing underneath us. That's why the angelic realm reminds us of the Star, as a point of redemptive safety. In Blake's Jerusalem, Albion's savior is called Los; by reading Blake carefully, one deduces that by Los Blake means the "Elohim," that near mythic family of angels, called "God" in the English (mis)translation of Genesis, who created Heaven, Earth, and Humanity-and who remain throughout time our cosmic parents. Los, or the Elohim, brings us the guiding Star through which we may talk to Albion, as He awakens, and Gaia, as She cleanses. The Elohim may be our parents, but in a sense we are the spiritual parents of Gaia and Albion. We must tell them both what we wish, what we intend, how it shall be. The Star is our means of communication.
We must whisper in Gaia's Star: "I am here for you, dear Gaia. I send you my love." We must whisper in Albion's Star: "I wish for you a bright future, the best there is-the limitless luxury of light." We must give Albion an indication of how it will be when he wakes up. We must promise Gaia we will not transgress in ignorance again. The guiding Star-our Blazing Star-is the axis that joins the three realms. The Guiding Star reveals to us the secret of Jerusalem, the emanation of the Giant Albion. We hold the power of co-creation: as we wish it, as we intend it from the Star, so shall it be.
The future is a multiply contingent probability; it is mutable, adjustable, negotiable, yet inexorable. Gaia shall heal, Albion shall awaken, but the degree to which this is unbearably apocalyptic or startlingly epiphanous is our choice, our wish. Yes, we should prepare ourselves, not for a funeral but for a wedding.


Tales from Underground
Life Inside the Earth

命ichard Leviton


Let me tell you a fabulous tale about the underground. It all happened in a dream. I was standing amidst a clump of hoary old beech trees on the edge of Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire, England, a place I have visited many times and always remember fondly. There was a gnome-Germanic cultures call this earth spirit, clad in breeches, leather vest, red cap, and sporting a puffy, wrinkled, genial face, a "dwarf," Zwerge, Erdm鄚lein, Stille Volk, or Kleine Volk-beckoning me to follow him.
The gnome leads me into what resembles a huge white golfball embedded in the landscape like a pockmarked egg. It must be 50 yards wide and 75 yards high. Inside the egg are innumerable chambers or cells within which a multitude of gnomes are busy with activities. The whole thing reminds me of a rabbitt warren or a college dormitory. Then the gnome leads me down a tunnel into the Earth.
This being a dream and not "real" life, I readily follow him. Gnomes, I must confess, are no strangers to my dream life and they have never done me wrong. The tunnel winds long and fast like a bobsled run down deep into the bowels of the Earth. Gnomes, after all, are the elemental spirits of the mineral kingdom; mines, caves, stones, tectonic plates, crystals, jewels, all the treasures of the interior Earth are their rightful domain. Now it gets suddenly very interesting, very mythological.
I find myself with this guide gnome inside a multicolored spherical palace of huge dimensions. Gnome kings in regal robes occupy privileged seats within individual concave niches as if in a gallery of ancients. I walk respectfully through this hall of gnome royalty not sure if the gnome kings are lifelike statues or real but sleeping gnomes-a paradox within a paradox because I don't even understand in what way gnomes are alive or real.
This gnome palace is the kind of long mead-hall the Beowulf poet had in mind, whose walls are decorated with the gnome king niches. A gnome king in ruby robes speaks to me, projecting into my mind the images of dragons, jewels, and precious crystals. He takes a large glittering emerald stone and instantly transforms it into a heart-shaped sword and hands it to me. Then I woke up, empty-handed. I must have left the sword underground, in the gnome palace.
The underground gnome palace is a recurrent motif in world mythology, especially in the old Germanic sagas. I remembered the story of Siegfried who slew the two princes of the Nibelungs then claimed their treasure horde of precious stones which had been borne out of a deep cavern. Siegfried also won the cloak of invisibility from the dwarf (gnome) Alberich, who was Lord Treasurer first to the Nibelung dynasty, then to Siegfried. In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic, the dwarves had their own kingdom, history, heroes, sacrifices, and folk destiny within the Lord of the Rings mythos. In the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, there is the infamous and irritable Rumpelstiltskin who has to be nearly coerced and cornered before he agrees to help out. And in C.S. Lewis' marvellous Chronicles of Narnia series, the nasty Ice Queen presides over a vast "factory of evil" deep underground where she and her minions holds Prince Caspian captive.
Can there be any reality to these fantasies of myth? Some of the wilder claims from esoteric writers suggest there might be. In the 1930s, German traveller Theodore Illion claimed to have stumbled upon an "underground city of initiates" somewhere in Tibet, except when he found out more about this subterranean settlement, he discovered they were all black magicians, as he reported in Darkness Over Tibet (1937).
George Hunt Williamson, the American psychic adventurer, claimed in The Chronicle of Akakor (1977) that long ago there were 13 cities deeply hidden inside the Andes Mountains of South America and that they were linked by a series of underground tunnels, large enough to accommodate five men walking upright. Except they weren't "men" as we take human males to be these days; rather these original inhabitants and tunnel-builders were the Els, or Cyclops, humanity's primordial mentors ("EL-ders") from afar. Elizabeth van Buren, another American esotericist now living in Rennes le Chateau in France, suggests in Land of White Waters (1984) that there are, even today, secret underground links (presumably tunnels) between the Andes and the Himalayas. And let's not overlook the wild claims from the fringes of the esoteric world that the Earth is actually hollow, inhabited by paradaisal communities almost completely unknown to humanity.
These are by all measures fantastic assertions, yet the idea of underground human (and superhuman) life doesn't end here. The cosmology of the Hopi,one of North America's oldest native peoples, says that Goyeng Sowuhti, Spider Grandmother, led all the native peoples from out of the Earth into the Upper World, or the surface of the planet, up a long bamboo road. Finally they reached the sipapuni, or doorway out into the sunlit world which they called Tuwaqachi, the Fourth World, the Complete World.
Once there, Spider Grandmother divided all the people into the different Indian tribes such as Hopi, Apache, Navajo, Zunis, Comanches, and others. But the important point here is that according to this myth, the First People were created deep inside the Earth, in Tokpela, the First World. They were all, literally, Children of the Earth, presumably livving down there amidst all the tunnels, subterranean cities, and walkways of the gods.
If you read through the ancient Irish myths, you find the gods themselves had a preference for living underground, or at least inside simulated subterranean environments. The megalithic mound near Dublin known as Newgrange (in Gaelic, Bru na Boinne) was once inhabited (so say the myths) by the Tuatha de Danann, the earliest of Irish gods, known as "Lords of Light." The narrow doorway to this Bru was specially oriented to the winter solstice sunrise which suggests, at least symbolically, the idea of the Sun penetrating into the densest level of matter, like a crack of light entering the darkest recess of a cave.
The landscape of the British Isles is studded with similar earth-mounds or barrows lined with thick standing stones. Many of these caves-above-ground have an uncanny resemblance to the outline of the human head and spinal column. Some researchers suggest that the design of the barrows and the mineral composition of the stones themselves may produce a stronger electromagnetic field that in turn has a beneficial effect on consciousness and human health. IN this case, the shape of the stone chamber and its energy-enhancing effects are thought to somehow accelerate human consciousness, inducing states of psychic perception.
In other words, if you want to meditate in a cave without, technically, going underground, perhaps these barrows are the ideal place. Archeologists still mistakenly regard these bru as burial chambers for megalithic royalty, yet in a strange way they may be on the right track. In Nikolai Tolstoy's Celtic epic The Coming of the King (1988), Merlin sits inside Wayland's Smithy, an enigmatic stone chamber in Wiltshire, England.
Suddenly he finds himself inside the palatial house of Gofannon mab Don. Wayland's Smith was but a stone doorway into this other, highly magical geography. I suppose Merlin was "buried" in the sense that he had an out-of-the-body experience, thanks to the energy field of the cave. Here was Merlin meditating in a cave-above-ground and he finds it miraculously opens out into what is in effect an otherworldly underground palace.
I say underground because you have to remember the sense in which the Greeks sexplained that in the beginning of Creation, there was Heaven (Ouranus) and Earth (Gaia). Most typically, Gaia is taken to be literally the planet Earth, but I think if you ponder this clue, you find that Gaia refers instead to the entire space in which material creation can occur, namely, the solar system and the space inhabited by all the fixed stars. All of this is "Earth," and it existed well before our planet was fashioned.
Remember the poignant tale of Orpheus and Eurydice? Orpheus was the master musician god who fell in love with the "mortal" woman, Eurydice, but failed in his quest to bring her out of Hades up into the world of light. Read Hades as another name for Gaia, the "cave" of the materializing cosmos, and you suddenly have a radically different way of thinking about what is underground. All of Earth is, cosmically speaking, underground; hence we all live inside the Earth and underground.
I was once deeply underground, about 156 feet down in Howes Caverns, a famous set of caves in New York State. I didn't get there by following a gnome down a bobsled tunnel; they have an express elevator and it takes about 10 seconds to descend into this utterly other mineral world. There is at least a mile of walkways down here and a subterranean stream down which you can take a brief guided boat ride. Down here it is silent, moist, dark where the spotlights don't penetrate, and stonily adamant. You are completely embedded in the densest, most compact expression of matter. Not a welcome place if you're vulnerable to claustrophobia, but a great place for gnomes.
I spent quite a while catching my breath (as much as I like tunneling with gnomes, being here in the physical body is a different matter than being conveyed airly in dreams) and not panicking about being (if it weren't for the elevator) trapped inside the Earth. Yet despite these thoughts, I knew my body and aura were actually energetically thrilled to be in this new environment. The electromagnetic atmosphere, if you can stay down here at least an hour, begins to invigorate you and fill you, paradoxically, with uplifting thoughts, despite your literal depth underground.
This is the second womb, the all-embracing cavernous realm of Mother Earth. Living underground, you live inside the Mother once again. As C. G. Jung would say, this is the primordial unconscious cththonically embodied; this is the mother-ground of human consciousness, the "devouring" whale-like stone-bodied mother from which we, as individual selves striving to realize our individuality, must wrest free. Yet for the brief time I was unescapably inside this great mother of stone, I tried to align myself with the poetic values of being underground. I tried to have what Gaston Bachelard, the great French poet-scholar of the elements, would call a "material reverie," taking my cues from what he wrote in Earth and Reveries of Will: An Essay on the Imagination of Power.
Earth. Here we have the domain of rocks, crystals, metals, minerals, mud, paste, bone, wood, images of refuge such as the cave,womb, and house, the interior of substances. In earth we have the dialectic of hardness and softness, of volition and repose, the immediate and consistent hostility of resistance of this densest of matter. With earth, we encounter the power of the working hand, whether it's the blacksmith's or the potter's, seeking to overcome, even defeat, the resisting substance. Imagination always dreams of dominating, so any reverie of earth strengthens our will power, our volition to change, modify, even exaggerate the earthy substance which is "the first dynamic form of existence of the resisting world."
Through the word hard, the world "tells its hostility and in response the reveries of volition begin." Rocks are hard, they are hardness embodied. Hardness is a wakener, an activity, an object of insomnia; do not muse on hard objects if you wish to fall asleep at night. All objects possess psychic energy, derived from our own mind, and through dynamic images this imaginal energy returns to us. Rocks impart reveries of solidity, resistance, courage, steadfastness, permanence; they make us forget our weakness, show us how to fight, how to withstand the blows and injuries of life.
Salt shows us the principle of concentration; precious gems invoke the stars; miners are underground astronomers; minerals germinate and mature deep within the Earth. In the bowels of the planet, "gold ripens like a truffle." In fact, in crystals you dream of all four elements; were you to classify all the crystals, you would have charted a general psychology of the material imagination, Bachelard suggests. Deep in his cavern, the miner sees "the very substance of celestial influences" hidden within matter; with the element of earth as his scrying glass, the miner is the most lucid seer.
The miner may be a lucid seer, yet the underground has traditionally been relegated as a place of punishment, even torture. In Dante's classic formulation of medieval religious belief, the 9 Circles of Hell lie most definitely underground. That little stream with the boat ride I didn't take in Howes Caverns was a noncommittal reminder of the real stream you're in no rush to take-the River Styx bearing souls into the Land of the Dead. It is the spectral world into which heroes like Aeneas and Odysseus must journey as part of their initiations. According to Dante in The Inferno, in the deepest part of Hell, far underground, stands Satan, bound in ice, his wings frozen immobile in the icy wind of Cocytus, the exhalation of all evil. Evil lives underground in the core of the Earth, says Dante.
Living underground is a kind of signature of non-identity, as Fyodor Dostoevsky implied in his noir novel, Notes from the Underground. It is about the outsider, the outcast, the unwanted, the pariah, the man you don't want to know. "I am sick. I am full of spleen and repellent," Dostoevsky's antihero writes. He considers himself a beetle and hates himself. "No hunchback, no dwarf, could be more prone to resentment and offence than I." He's living underground, socially, because profoundly he does not fit in; as a subterranean, he is even more irritable than gnomes. Yet perhaps he has a touch of that miner's cavern-seership; perhaps Dostoevsky's repellent antihero is an outsider only because he is ahead of his times and thus out of step with the conventions of the ordinary.
Remember the 1960s? Many of us now in our 40s and 50s were at that time proud members of a large political and cultural underground. In the case of America, we were underground on account of our opposition to the Vietnam War; in the case of an entire generation, we were underground on account of our mind-expanding experiences with psychedelics, sexual experimentation, and icon-breaking. The British writer, Colin Wilson, described this state of mind in his first book, The Outsider (1956): The Outsider's case against society is very clear because he stands for Truth, Wilson says. The outsider lives underground, and thus inside the Earth.
"All men and women have these dangerous, unnamable impulses, yet they keep up a pretence, to themselves, to others; their respectability, their philosophy, their religion, are all attempts to gloss over, to make look civilized an rational something that is savage, unorganized, irrational." Those who live underground are the bearers of dangerous, destructive impulses; they are chaos attractors, reorganizing large energy fields. They carry the contagion of social upheaval because they live the truth that society represses and sends back into the deeps of the psyche.
But like the First People in the Hopi Creation myth, this generational cohort of underground outsiders has now emerged in the upper world. We have climbed up the bamboo road, thrown open the sipapuni door, and stormed the sunlit world. What better example of this emergence from underground than the fact that the President of the U.S., Bill Clinton, was once part of this anti-Vietnam underground.
The generation-many now call it the precocious Baby Boomers-that was once deliberately on the margins of society is now, increasingly, deeply in the mainstream, at the highest realms of power, business, and culture. The treasure of the Nibelungs-whether it be a ring, a cloak, or the earthy secrets of the planetary Mother-once so assiduously guarded by the gnome Alberich and his colleagues and so fleetingly revealed to me in my fabulous dream, is now on the surface as we live above-ground yet inside the Earth, in an underground world turned inside out.


Why the Stars Are Shining in Santa Fe
A Reflection on the Mysteries of the Landscape

命ichard Leviton


It was during my first visit to Santa Fe, on the drive in from Albuquerque that I first saw the stars in the landscape. It was as if all of Santa Fe were set in a pale blue concave dish ten miles across and there, sparkling in the midst of its innumerable adobe homes, glittered a thousand stars. It was as if, looking into the landscape of Santa Fe from a slight distance, you could see the entire galaxy reflected, as if, somehow, the stars had been here first and were still twinkling through the developed terrain and through the lives of its 60,000-plus inhabitants.
The Earth has many mysteries and the possibility that you can find special places around the globe where through some obscure miracle the galaxy is imprinted in the soft ethers of a landscape no longer seems strange to me. It's true, I've seen the same pattern elsewhere, so like an acupuncturist recognizing an energy pattern in a human being, in a somewhat similar manner seeing stars in the landscape makes a lot more sense to me than it did years ago when friends and colleagues in England first introduced me to the mystery. I remember well how they explained the highly unusual idea to me.
We had all been students of meditation, had read some of the Western and Eastern esoteric teachings, had dipped into channeled material, and had pondered some of the archetypal questions of life. One of the paramount principles you come across when you look into almost any esoteric system, but especially Qabala, Hermeticism, and Gnosticism, is that the above is reflected in the below. This is the idea that the greater universe, the macrocosm, is expressed in the lesser universe, our world, the microcosm.
There is a famous axiom: As above, so below, which people usually understand to mean that if you comprehend the human being you'll fathom the mysteries of the cosmos, too. Rudolf Steiner once put it this way: "cosmology equals organology." He meant that the energies and intelligences of the stars contribute to the creation and life of all the organs, systems, and processes of our human body. If you want to understand the Sun, study your heart. After all, astrology has been implying as much for millennia, for how else could a planet or star influence a human being if there were not such an intimately organic connection between the two realms?
But I always felt something had been left out of this familiar Hermetic axiom. My English friends filled in the missing part. As above, so below, and in the middle, too. Or: Macrocosm equals the Microcosm and the Middlecosm, too. What is the middle? It's Earth, Middle Earth, our bluewhite host planet in between humanity and the cosmos. The missing element in the equation is that the same galactic pattern is expressed in the organization of the planet itself. We could say: Cosmology equals planetology equals organology.
After all, James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis had suggested that the planet is a self-regulating geophysiological organism with a kind of automatic intelligence. Others had since taken his materialist model into a more deific perception of the planet, seeing it as a self-aware, purposeful Gaia. The Chinese have always seen the landscape in terms of blue dragons and white tigers and have sited their pagodas with respect to a landscape's energy configurations. Still others, like British Earth Mysteries doyen John Michell, have suggested for years that the Earth's landscape is riddled with the remains of a vast energy network and that ancient megalithic engineering once sought to maximize this esoteric environment for human well-being. So when my friends took me to Glastonbury in Somerset, England, to see the famous landscape zodiac or what the local mystics called the "Temple of the Stars," the dust was swept away from my eyes and I saw the stars shining in the landscape.
Sweeping the dust away from your eyes of course is the secret. What do I mean by dust? Our habits of perception, our theories of how the Earth got here and why, our sense of what is possible and what isn't, our belief that we can make a difference. So I spent a lot of time dusting-a good ten years at least. At the time I was researching a book on the king Arthur legend and the possibilities of re-enacting the Grail Quest today as a legitimate spiritual path. I had a hunch the whole business had a lot to do with the landscape, with the mystical side of Glastonbury known as Avalon.
I was fortunate in having a chance to try it on for size, to put on the uniform of the Grail Knight and take a spin in the starry landscape. The Grail Knight was somebody, man or woman, who sought the Holy Grail, and in so doing, travelled widely across the landscape and had many strange and marvellous adventures. Once a year all the Knights assembled at Camalate, King Arthur's headquarters, sat about the Round Table and talked shop. Living in Glastonbury for three years and having excellent teachers helped me see another side to this very old story. I saw how these men and women, in the course of seeking initiation into the Grail Mysteries, traversed the esoteric landscape. That is, they walked among the stars in the landscape and had inner experiences to do with the energies and intelligences of the stars of the galaxy-while they were still in their bodies, still on Earth. I also saw how there was a wonderful reciprocity at play.
There you are, a Grail Knight, seeking illumination and grace, and you call in at a hundred star-points in the secret landscape. You follow the star map and meditate at the sites. You extend your spirituality to include the landscape; you seek the Grail on behalf of the planet itself. You have inner adventures with implications for yourself and Earth alike. At the same time and by virtue of this very act of recognizing the hidden sacrality of the landscape, you are helping to divinize the terrain itself. That's the two-edged meaning of the word geomancy: to figure out (to divine) the mysteries of Gaia and in the process of cognizing its esoteric side, to give it divinity (to divinize), which is our human responsibility. As spiritual beings, we are Gaia's parents.
Anyway, if there are innumerable stars hidden in the landscape, mightn't they need the breath of human spirituality to awaken them? I think so. It seems to me that the Grail Knight seeking enlightenment is also a kind of Grid Engineer, bestowing activation. The "grid" is a term people often use to describe the complex energy anatomy of the planet; an "engineer" is just a convenient analogy to describe a way of creatively interacting with this vast energy body. As above (that's the galaxy), so below (that's us), and in the middle, too (that's the stars in the landscape).
But there is another factor. There are no Lone Rangers in this business. When I used the word "activation" a moment ago, I meant it in a special way. Take the analogy of a dimmer switch. You turn the knob slowly and incrementally fill the room with light; it's not a simple on/off affair. When a Grail Knight, or a group of Grail Knights, are out in the landscape walking among the stars seeking illumination, they are in effect helping to turn the knob on the dimmer switch. But the switch won't move unless there are two other hands on it at the same time.
To turn the dimmer switch of a landscape zodiac you need the "hands" of the angelic kingdom and the elemental kingdom, most particularly, the gnomes. In the medieval Grail stories, the Grail Knights often travelled in the company of a somewhat grouchy dwarf; he was a short, and short-tempered, fellow who knew his way around and was usually quite helpful. When you see the name "dwarf" (as in Rumpelstiltskin orSnow White & The Seven Dwarves) you have to read it as meaning "gnome." Yes, there are gnomes in Santa Fe. As for angels-well, most people know about angels in the 1990s. I think it works this way: The angelic kingdom transmits the pure energies of the stars and of their own essence; this comes through the Grail Knight meditating in the landscape; and the gnomes take this energy, which to them is like a flaming torch, and light smaller brands and place them all over the landscape. Those are the three hands on the dimmer switch.
Another way of looking at this is to think of it in terms of architecture. You're building a temple or cathedral, except it's made of stars and invisible unless you remove the dust from your eyes. It is a zodiac temple, a sacred enclosure made of the seven classical planets, the twelve signs of the zodiac, and many dozens of other bright stars. Except it is a temple only in an analogous sense. It sounds strange but in a certain sense when you look up at the night sky and see the stars, which are only a handful of the billions that comprise a single galaxy, you are seeing an illusion. Or let's say you are seeing an incomplete picture. You have to connect the dots to see what the pinpricks of light all add up to. Some people call the webwork of stars a hologram.
Say you have an original object like an apple, then you make a holographic picture of it. This doesn't resemble an apple at all, but looks like the squiggles on a contour map, an "interference pattern." It contains all the information of the apple but the light given off by the apple is scattered in such a way that it seems to lose its form. Then when you shine a laser light onto the hologram, you get a virtual reality see-through image of the apple again. In this analogy, the original apple is "God's" perfect idea of the universe, creation, and reality; the interference pattern is the galaxy or stars in the landscape. Some mystical traditions contend that this perfect idea of existence took the form of the primordial cosmic Human, known variously as Anthropos, Adam Qadmon, or Phan瘰.
All the stars of the galaxy are parts of Adam Qadmon's massively magnificent spiritual body. Except when you see the stars you forget the original image; you can't see the Old Man for the stars. Then when you project coherent light (your human spirituality) through the starry hologram, you get a virtual image of this primal Human again. I think that's what the Grail Quest is all about. To restore the original image in the context of the Earth. You might also call this figure in light the Edenic Adam "fallen" into matter; or perhaps the Holy Ghost caught in Time. Or, following the English mystical poet William Blake, call it Albion, whose name I whimsically decode as A Light Being In Our Neighborhood.
Albion is one of many possible names for this great mystery lying in our midst, made of stars. Perhaps you remember the story of Gulliver in Lilliput. An ordinary human anywhere else, in Lilliput he was a giant, so the fearful Lilliputians strapped him down on the landscape, pinning his arms and legs. He was so big he frightened them. It's like that with Albion. When you see all the stars in a landscape zodiac at once, you might get a shocking glimpse of Albion, the giant of light lying in our midst.
In the Grail stories they called him the Rich Fisher King. He lived in the Grail Castle and was attended by Grail Maidens every day who brought the Holy Grail before him as a sacrament. Unfortunately it did him no good on account of his wounds. He had injured himself years ago and was basically an invalid; he was rich because he had the Grail, but he was wounded because he couldn't partake of the Grail and remember his divine origin. And because of his condition, the landscape became a Wasteland. It is the Grail Knight's job to heal him, to restore memory to the King and life to the land.
All of this is a wonderfully timeless allegory about our own human condition. It also gives us clues about how to approach the secret landscape. We all know that the land today is grieving, that it is in large measure wasted and spoiled, and that the Fisher King within each of us is similarly in pain. Illumination is literally within our reach yet we cannot manage it, and so, like Anfortas, the wounded Fisher King in Wagner's Parsifal opera, we suffer like beggars amidst spiritual riches. The man of inordinate strength cannot lift even his own arm.
One of the most astonishing things my English mentors shared with me is the idea that working with the esoteric landscape, with the stars twinkling inside the land, is the key to revivifying both planetary ecology and human pscyhology. In one sublime gesture, you-a single person-can help heal the Fisher King and restore the Wasteland. How is this possible? The stars in the landscape underlie the health and well-being of both psyche and environment. It's a kind of celestial star magic and you are the magician. The "magic wand," if you will, is a tiny, brilliant pinprick of absolute light that twinkles at the center of every human being, young and old, good and evil, Christian and Jew, believer and atheist-right there, two inches above your navel and the same distance inside.
It is a single Blazing Star that shines with adamant perdurance at the core of our being-a tiny, tiny pinpoint of brilliant light that opens the door to the starry landscape. In fact, in a mystical sense, this single star that each human being carries actually wrote or "mothered" the myriads of stars in all the galaxies. That's why when you wield this simple pinpoint of light you position yourself at the first point in consciousness that precedes all of creation. You might think of this Blazing Star as the Pole Star or Polaris of the galaxy. With this star you're able to reiterate all the steps by which the world was generated. And that's how you can work with the stars in a landscape and help the esoteric temple rise up amidst our everyday life.
It sounds very peculiar, I know: stars in the landscape, pinpoints at our navel, Fisher Kings. Think of it as one of many possible analogies that can help orient you to a great mystery living in the landscape. The Grail stories are really archetypal and describe basic energy relationships regardless of culture. Here's how my august friends first explained it to me: "The Earth was made in the human image. It is a designer planet created expressly to make higher consciousness possible while living in a human body. It is a mirror image of what a Human is. Look in the mirror, which is the stars in the landscape, and you will remember where you came from and why. Then you can help the planet remember, too."
It took me a long while to understand what they meant by "designer planet." Eventually I saw the wisdom of their ways. Think of it this way: The Earth is a big place. You'd have to walk about 25,000 miles to circumambulate the globe. If there were only one sacralized landscape, it would be hard for most people to get there. That's why there are many locations where you can find the stars twinkling in the landscape, something short of 500 worldwide.
Like flowers, they're all different sizes, ranging from 1/2 mile across to over 100 miles in diameter. The one in Santa Fe is 9.8 miles wide. Size isn't important, because the contents are always the same: a miniaturized, holographic presence of the galaxy. And consider this: if the human being is made in the image of God's perfect idea of the cosmos, and the planet is, too, then the planet can help you remember your celestial origin by constantly mirroring it. You just have to wipe the dust off the glass.
You might think of this worldwide system as akin to the human body. We have organs, bones, systems, processes, all arranged in an orderly interconnected fashion. Similarly, these 500 landscape zodiacs comprise a hierarchy of energy and interconnected relationship; they each have their lawful place in a complex energy system, a kind of global totem pole of zodiacal faces. The star map in Santa Fe has something to do with the planetary "head."
If you think in terms of dimmer switches, only a handful of these star temples are meant to be "turned on" at any point in time. Still, in our time, too few have been illumined, although there are people-Grail Knights, if you like-out there in the "grid" working with the angelic and elemental kingdoms to slowly turn the lights up. Why bother? Because our "Mother" needs more consciousness so that She can reflect more pristinely our own divine origin so we might remember and be happy while we're here.
As a zodiac starts to gradually shine from within a landscape, life takes on a different tenor. People have insights, the physical terrain gets recharged, innovations happen, culture flourishes. And things get stirred up. When the Light hits the shadows, all the shadowy things run amok, looking for cover. Things may seem weird for a time, even seem to take a nose dive for the worse.
The recent "crime wave" and gang conflict in Santa Fe is arguably an expression of this response. The same with Sarajevo, Jerusalem, and Baghdad, where there also are landscape zodiacs. You see the same reaction in homeopathic treatment: at first, the patient gets worse as all the symptoms return. But for the homeopath, this is the best sign that the remedy-which is a kind of spiritual light derived from the plant kingdom-is working. It stirs things up, precipitates a healing crisis, and pushes the deep-set symptoms up to the surface, and out. Despite the momentary turbulence, healing is the ultimate outcome.
When Grail Knights are out in the "grid" using only their Blazing Stars as tools, their presence acts a bit like a homeopathic remedy. The work may shake things up, in themselves and in the community. It's all energy and connectedness, remember, and some things take a while to percolate into the physical sphere and sometimes the effects are indirect and not easy to trace back to their "causes." But the long term prognosis is very good: the stars are starting to shine from within Santa Fe. But don't just take my word for it.
One of the elegancies of the once and future Grail Quest is that each Knight has to verify the the reality of the Grail and esoteric landscape on their own. King Arthur was no guru; he was a mentor, as was Merlin and some of the other well-known legendary figures. This is a collegial business; everybody is self-employed. The paradox is that you have to prove it to yourself. The epistemology is self-serve. Seeing is believing, but, paradoxically again, believing is seeing. It helps to know that there might be a majestic star imprint in your landscape if you then want to prove to yourself that it's true or false.
I mentioned the idea of "grid engineering." There is a certain amount of engineering involved in this work when it comes to plotting out the approximate starfalls for a given landscape zodiac. Various disciplines such as geometry, astronomy, astrology, Qabala, mythology, Tarot, estoeric traditions, and mathematics all seem to be implicated. You find the stars packed into layers or Chinese boxes, starting with Canis Major, the great Dog whose throat is Sirius, and on to the exotic outer stars of the Southern Hemisphere such as Fornax, Columba, Puppis, and Ara.
You find it's a complex nest of stars arranged in a fascinating hierarchy of generation and relationship. It's not at all what you expected and you spend half your time thinking all the published star maps are wrong. Things just are not what they seem. If you are trying to illumine a landscape zodiac, you start in one direction, from the Great Dog on the downward path of incarnation. If you are trying to illumine yourself, you start in the opposite direction, at the Southern Hemisphere gateway and work your way carefully upwards on the path of redemption. Either way, you're bound to meet the Dog at some point, either at the beginning or end of your adventures. Be nice to the Dog; it's the temple guardian and initiator and your life is in its hands.
In case you'd like to experience Sirius, our galaxy's brightest star and the Dog's own, you will find it anywhere in the Plaza del Sol Shopping Center off St. Michael's Drive. For the energies of Sagittarius, try St. John's College campus, especially the hills behind the school. For Canopus, the galaxy's second brightest star and the rudder for the great ship Argo Navis, visit Moon Mountain. If you want to check out Megrez, one of the seven stars of the Big Dipper in Ursa Major, and if you want to gain an insight on Saturn, visit the Plaza, skateboards not required. If it's Aquarius you'd like to experience, spend a little reflective time at Fort Marcy Ballpark where all the streams come together. For Regulus, the heart of Leo, spend a few moments in the large open field just on the northwestern edge of Santa Fe Community College. If Pisces is your inclination, try the Cross of the Martyrs.
The worst that can happen is you'll prove me wrong. The best is that you might be touched by the stars in the landscape of Santa Fe and in turn, you might reach out and touch them as well. Faith, after all, is believing something might be true until you can prove it to yourself that it is. In this City of Holy Faith, that's an attitude that could cover a lot of ground, whether it's about the nature of Divinity or the possibility that stars are shining under your feet as you walk through town. In any event, it presages a bright future.


A Marvellous Cosmic Mystery Upon the Earth

[Excerpted from The Galaxy on Earth- A Travelers Guide to the Planets Visionary Geography, 命ichard Leviton, 2002, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Charlottesville, VA 22902]


Not only are there a great many sacred sites on Earth, and not only are they distributed uniformly around the planet, but when seen as a whole, they express a pattern. That pattern is a template of the galaxy. More accurately, that pattern is an edited, condensed version of the galaxy. The galaxy, astrophysicists estimate, contains perhaps 100 billion stars. That's too many-too rich an infusion-for a planet, or at least, for our planet. So we have a smaller amount.
The number may seem fantastic or improbable, but there are about 85,000 different stars represented across the surface of the planet. These stars correspond to the Earth's many thousands of holy sites and they are made present by way of large energy canopies called domes. The stars are selected on the basis of their magnitude (or brightness), from Earth's vantage point, and in terms of their function and status in the galaxy.
Ironically, the entire Earth is by definition extraterrestrial in nature. There are many doorways built into the fabric itself through which Pleiadians, Sirians, Arcturians, Vegans, and other fabulous or inimical beings from the ET pantheon can rightfully have egress to our planet. I say "rightfully" because it was designed that way. This is just one feature of the complete model, what some call the planetary grid, the sacred sites matrix, Earth's energy topology-or in this book, visionary geography.
But let's stop, take a step back, and consider the big picture. The astonishing fact is that to account for Earth's visionary geography you need to explain the origin and design principles of the planet, and to do that you need a spiritualized conception of the galaxy, one that may differ from that of conventional astrophysics. You need a conception that relates the structures of the galaxy to the structures of human consciousness using the Earth as an interface. I refer to this triple-layered model as the galaxy on Earth.
The representation of thousands of stars on the planet's surface is only one feature among many in the planet's energy body. It's one of the 20 basic design features I mentioned above. Also present are many of the structures, "places," and processes found in the spiritual worlds and often described in the world's various religious, spiritual, and mythic traditions.
I've already alluded to the Grail Castles, but let's mention a few more. Not only are the individual stars represented, but there are miniaturized versions of the galaxy templated in the landscape, a bit like interactive celestial theme parks. The Celtic myths referred to this star-mapped landscape as Avalon and the Summer Country.
Hindu mythology talks of the cosmic mountain called Mt. Meru and its eight celestial cities arrayed around it. These eight celestial cities are present on the Earth, and so is the one archetypal Mt. Meru. The Persian mystics spoke of the cosmic mountain, Mt. Qaf, which is the same and different as Mt. Meru: that is here, replicated many times. Homer and Virgil recounted their heroes entering the Underworld and Land of the Dead through certain portals in the landscape; Vergil's Aeneas, for example, went through the caves at Cumae near Naples, Italy, to get into the Underworld. Hercules descended to the Underworld at Taenarum in Laconia in Southern Greece. These Underworld entrances are present on the planet, and there are almost two thousand of them; if you have the pluck you can pass through them and find out what's inside.
Both the Greeks and Norse myths say the major gods dwell in a special place, called either Mt. Olympus or Asgard; the Hindus called it Indra's City of Amaravati and the Sumerians knew it as the Ekur. These homes of the gods are present in multiple expression in the planet's grid system. The Greek, Chinese, and Vedic myths say the world originally emerged from a cosmic egg; there are cosmic eggs on Earth. The Chinese, Norse, and Hindu stories say that the world was generated from the body of a primordial giant, P'an ku, Ymir, or Purusha. Representations of this primogenitive cosmic giant or Universal Man are found in the planet's energy topology.
The Norse myths describe the massive Midgard serpent wrapped around the base of the Tree of Life; other myths claim dragons lurk in caves, grottoes, hills, glens, lakes, inside mountains. These stories are factual: dragons are present in the sacred sites matrix, though they aren't quite what you would think. The variously described ten "families" or choirs of angels are associated with the various features just mentioned.
There are even wormholes or "quick ways" by which you can travel almost instantaneously from one site to another across the planet. Many more correlations between the galaxy and Earth could be listed.
But by this time you are probably wondering: how did all this galactic stuff get here on the Earth? Was it brought? Did somebody come with a giant cookie cutter or stamp? Did people make their temples in imitation of these mythic archetypes? The full answer to this and many related questions will be given in my next book, The Emerald Modem, which is meant to accompany The Galaxy on Earth. But the short answer is no, no, and no. The energy topology was here before the Earth was. It is in fact more the true Earth than the Earth we know is. It's the mold, the armature, the plan, the organizing field.
Imagine a transparent skin around the planet, like an aura. In this auric skin are all the features I've mentioned, and many I haven't. It is a multidimensional matrix teeming with galactic life. From out of this auric matrix emerges the physical planet, as if the galactic matrix births it. The planet retains copious birthmarks, imprints of all this teeming life of the galaxy.
In fact, the galactic matrix and the physical planet are one and the same, occupying the same space, but in different dimensions. Think of the Earth's visionary geography as lying close to the physical skin of the planet the way heat waves ripple just a bit above a hot summer landscape.
It isn't even correct to say the galaxy is imprinted on the Earth. It is present, to borrow a phrase from the Australian Aborigines, as a Dreaming in the Earth-as the Earth. Where there is a physical mountain, there is also a star; where there is a human settlement, there is an Avalon, or miniaturized galaxy; where there is a rounded hill, there is also a dragon sitting on a horde of gems; where there is a physical temple, there may also be the home of the gods.
It also is misleading to see this galactic skin as only situated on the Earth's surface. If you could see this with double vision, you would behold a galaxy and a planet occupying the same point in space. The globe of Earth is a miniature galaxy, brimming with stars and pulsating with lines of connection. Everything that is in the celestial worlds is here on Earth as part of its visionary geography.
The planets and stars are here; the constellations are here. The residences-the "celestial cities," as the Mahabharata calls them-of the gods, the temples of spiritual beings and the angelic hierarchy are here. The processes that they supervise, that is their essence, are here. And everything that's in the human body is here too. The organs, the chakras, the nadis, the myriad strands of connection popularly called ley lines. In fact, this is the whole point.
All of this galaxy on Earth is but a mirror of the spiritual organization of the human. It's all a magnificent planetary mirror. It's us, projected outside to make a world around us. Ironically, it's highly solipsistic: everywhere you go, it's you; you're walking in yourself; seeing yourself; catching yourself at yet another unexpected angle. However, as I said earlier, the you you're watching is the Big You, the cosmic you, the Self you always are, before you ever came here.
Henry Corbin, the marvellous scholar of Persian mysticism, put this revelation elegantly when he said a moment comes when "the soul discovers itself to be the earthly counterpart of another being with which it forms a totality that is dual in structure." These two parts are "the transcendent celestial Self and the earthly Self." The soul came from this transcendent Self in the original days of creation and long before coming to the Earth, but of course as souls we forgot all about it. "This Self had become strange to it while the soul slumbered in the world of ordinary consciousness."
Remembering the Self is what the Earth's visionary geography facilitates for us. That's why it's here: to help us wake from this long slumber of forgetting and, once awake, to not feel like a stranger. This is a crucial consideration. When you start to wake up, and sense a pre-existence in a spiritual realm, when the soul at last starts to find itself, it "experiences itself as exiled, terrified, and disoriented by and among the common norms," says Corbin. The soul discovers itself to be "alone in a world formerly familiar," he adds.
The soul feels itself to be a stranger in the world and starts looking around for a way out of here. That's where visionary geography comes in; that's where it is an act of grace. The way out of here is here, the world within the world, the holy terrain behind the mundane one.
Remember the meditative image earlier of the Earth spotted with many points of light. Think of the sacred sites you are familiar with, ones you have visited, seen in photographs, or read about. These are all parts of the large picture, but the large picture, I think you'll agree, is startlingly bigger and perhaps stranger than anything you might have thought the parts would add up to.

[Excerpted from The Galaxy on Earth- A Travelers Guide to the Planets Visionary Geography, 命ichard Leviton, 2002, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Charlottesville, VA 22902]


Creating a Geomythic Reality

[Excerpted from The Galaxy on Earth- A Travelers Guide to the Planets Visionary Geography, 命ichard Leviton, 2002, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Charlottesville, VA 22902]


All of the different types of temple structures we encounter in the Earth's visionary geography are building blocks for creating a reality that makes sense. You could think of the variety of features as elements in a light pattern library. Numerous patterns in light work together to create our reality; they are its blueprint. They are also the mark of the creator, a bit like the manufacturer's seal, enabling us to divine a few of the thoughts behind the spiritual beings that created our world.
Even better, and what makes the system relevant to humans, is that the light pattern library that comprises Earth's subtle body is the same that structures our consciousness. This puts us and the Earth in resonance, and it puts us both in resonance with the galaxy, the even grander expression of the light patterns. This demonstrates the marvellous principle of As above, so below, and in the middle too.
Even though these features are discrete temple structures offering different types of experiences, they are all part of a larger unitary being or reality. The trouble is that unitary reality is too big for us to experience in a way that would make sense to us. It would be like trying to read all the books in a library at once.
The human brain and psychic apparatus have great cognitive range, but this challenge would probably prove overly formidable to most of us. So we read one book at a time, which means, we walk the Earth's geomythic landscape and encounter and assimilate one type of temple after the next depending on the type of mystical experience we are seeking. A knowledge of the types of experiences each geomantic feature can produce helps us fine tune our use of the geomythic landscape, making it a bit like a smorgasbord (See Table 1).
Three examples vividly make this point. Say you have sustained a near-death experience and are struggling to integrate its baffling details of encounters and events in the spiritual worlds. You can use one of the Earth's 1746 Underworld Entrances as a way of deepening your NDE, of bringing more of its contents to consciousness, and of using these remembered details as a foundation for going further into that realm but without having to have another NDE to get you there.
Another possibility with Underworld Entrances has to do with making contact with deceased family and friends or ancestors. The Hindus have a ritual called shraddha, in which they make sacrifices to honor their ancestors. It is a tradition at least 2,000 years old and which finds particular application at the Hindu side of Gaya (as in Bodh Gaya) in India.
Pilgrims to Gaya perform various rituals, do fasts, make prayers, and beseech Yama the death god to treat their ancestors well and to bring them peace. The shraddha, one of the most extensive of Hindu pilgrimage rituals, is also used "as a means of warding off their fear of ghosts and of spirits."
Or say you have had a brush with the angelic world, and would like more of that wonderful, exalted state of being. A Three Star Temple can provide this. All you need to interact with this temple is a Blazing Star, which every human already has as birthright.
There your own Blazing Star interacts with one already template in the landscape, and it also interacts with two other versions of itself, in the purely angelic and elemental realms. You get to experience what it's like to fuse the three stars and three realms within consciousness. You get to experience how the human is the balance point between the angelic and elemental realms.
Third, say you like the natural world, or maybe you remember a secret childhood interest you once had of being interested in the Little Folk, the fairies, gnomes, or other seemingly magical denizens of some mostly invisible realm. Maybe you remember the fun of the interaction. That's how it was for me when I re-encountered the gnomes as an adult and remembered the grand times we had had when I was young and suitably impressionable.
If you want to renew your relationship with the elemental world, then a gnome egg is the way. There are plenty to go around, some 10,600 on Earth. The gnomes, which are the elementals or Nature spirits for the earth element, are the beings who mostly closely work with people engaged in geomantic activities.
If you immerse yourself in the geomythic landscape you will inevitably encounter them, and to your advantage, because they know their way around and can be excellent guides to the minutiae of local geomythic domains (See Table 2 for locations of these and other features).
Let's take this a step further into the mystical possibilities. Say you are an astronomy buff or are familiar with the star myths from the Greeks or perhaps other cultures, such as the Persian, Vedic, Native American, or Chinese. What is a star, really, you ask yourself. If you would like a direct experience of a star, unmediated by textbooks, astronomers, or anybody else's opinion, visit a dome. You may be surprised with what happens.
I once had an experience at a dome that pertained to the Pleiades (in the neck of Taurus) and Orion, the Great Hunter. In the Greek myths, Orion was said to be perpetually chasing the Seven Sisters of the Pleaides so as to, presumably, ravish them, as the male Greek mythic characters were wont to do. I discovered that the myth had it backwards. Orion protects the Pleiades from ravishment by other star beings or inimical energies.
Orion as a celestial being can also heal karmic wounds sustained by Pleiadians within the human incarnational stream. I learned this firsthand by spending some time in meditation at the grounds of Mount Palomar, near San Diego in Southern California. That mountain is the dome for one of the stars in Orion, and by being there, I got to experience a little of Orion's nature.
How do you access these light pattern library features? The easiest way is to follow the meditation in Part One involving the Earth in the Blazing Star. Instead of the Earth, put the specific site in the Blazing Star. If you are at Lourdes in France, put the cathedral, grotto, and whatever else you can picture from the site inside your star. This reverses your relationship with the site, and by extension, with the Earth. You are now assuming the rightful human role as geomantic interface between galaxy and planet, spiritual hierarchy and matter.
Focus your attention on the Lourdes within your star and breathe as Love from Above to this image. Let things develop from there. If you consciously work with spiritual beings, guides, angels, or subtle plane teachers, ask them for assistance in clarifying your vision and facilitating appropriate visionary information or experiences to enter your awareness.
If you are conversant with the gnomes, ask them for help; their observations can be surprisingly useful. When I was focussing my attention on Sedona, Arizona, for Part Three, for several days running the gnomes told me about different aspects and problems with this site, all of which I used. Probably your best and most reliable guide to the geomythic terrain of any site is the star itself. It knows the pattern well; if you're open to it, let the star show you.
Remember two things: First, you may have a deep visionary experience yet not see anything or even remember any of the details that day. It doesn't mean the contents of the experience were not registered in your subtle being bodies. They will eventually percolate into your awareness, perhaps through dream images or sudden daytime inspirations or pictures. Carlos Castaneda always said it took him years to remember all the wild and crazy things he did while in the "second attention."
Second, whatever happens, whatever you are aware of, or not, the moment you put the site in your star you are benefiting the Earth, giving some angelic light back to it. As Woody Allen once quipped, showing up is 90%. When you breathe as Love from Above to Lourdes within your star-and of course, to any site of whatever size or scale-you are helping to heal the planet.
If you know something in advance about the site's geomantic features-say you are at Montsegur in the French Pyrennees and know it is a Grail Castle-then after you have done the preceding exercise of putting the site in the star, you could allow your mind to form the generic image of the Grail Castle, using some of the conceptual and perceptual references in this book.
Be prepared for your Grail Castle looking altogether different from what is described in The Galaxy on Earth; on the other hand, it may be similar. It is not too important; focus on the energy essence. Things are in form, after all, only for the purposes of illustration. When you get the point, the form doesn't matter.

[Excerpted from The Galaxy on Earth- A Travelers Guide to the Planets Visionary Geography, 命ichard Leviton, 2002, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Charlottesville, VA 22902]



About the Author:

A journalist in the field of health, alternative medicine, natural healing spirituality, metaphysics, geomancy, and Earth Mysteries for 25 years, Leviton has published more than 400 feature articles in national magazine and served as Editor for two national magazines. He has conducted seminars and field trips on sacred sites and spirituality, in the U.S., England, and Norway. He is currently senior editor for Hampton Roads Publishing Company in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Richard Leviton, the author of many books, including, The Emerald Modem: A User's Guide to the Earth's Interactive Energy Body
(Hampton Roads, 2004),  The Galaxy on Earth: A Traveler's Guide to the Planet's Visionary Geography (Hampton Roads, 2002), and What's Beyond That Star. A Chronicle of Geomythic Adventure (Clairview Books, 2002), regularly conducts workshops and field trips on the subject of myth, sacred sites, and landscape spirituality. He is also establishing a "cosmic mysteries think tank" in Santa Fe, New Mexico to offer seminars and training, and to conduct research in these topics. 
His newest books, Signs on the Earth and Encyclopedia of Earth Myths: An Insiders Guide to Mythic People, Places, Objects, and Events Central to the Earths Visionary Geography, will be published in 2005 (find more about these two books here>> ).

To contact: blaise@cybermesa.com, or care of Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 1125 Stoney Ridge Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22902.

Check out the books by Richard Leviton available on Amazon.com.



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