I came across the topic of "geomancy" whilst browsing something, what I thought was, completely unrelated. Before I had read about "lei lines", I only knew of certain places that I had been in the world where the ambience felt different or strange, and I had (have) a fascination with abandoned buildings. I remember visiting certain locations and feeling spiritual presences within these places, especially in derelict warehouses or castle ruins - it was like these places were trapped in time, along with all the energies that they carried before them. So I went and researched why I was feeling this way.
As it turns out, thousands of humans before me have been asking similar questions - why does it feel like the earth carries vibrations in certain areas? Does the composition of the earth affect who we are as people? Is it possible to contact or reach spirits using specific coordinates? How can it be that even animals prefer certain areas, where wildlife is more abundant? These questions have been part of the ongoing "science" of geomancy since the stone age.
To describe the possibilities of geomancy within one blog post would be impossible - to fully study this topic requires more than a spiritual mind; knowledge and skills in geography, geology, and ideally environmental sciences would be beneficial in this day and age. Our ancestors paved the stepping stones of our path, and with progress comes a more developed and intricately laid pathway. Unfortunately this means studying the earth's effects on humans requires more than some sticks, stones, and an imagination. But, that does not mean learning the basics is impossible...
Geomancy is recorded to have originated in Ancient China. Feng Shui is one of the methods of connecting with the earth's energy, and was created more recently as a modernized term, but it is an inspiration and development rather than the traditional geomancy, which focuses more on divination. There are also other recorded versions of geomancy, spanning from Europe to Africa and Asia; the Arabs used methods such as throwing stones or reading cracks in the ground and developed a table of symbols for interpreting the earth's messages. It is hard to categorize traditional geomancy, as it combines superstition with science and religion, which may be why it was so fully accepted by the Chinese, as whatever your beliefs were, it could work alongside them. In fact, geomancy influenced the Chinese civilization to the extent that, when British colonizers tried to build railways on the "Sacred Dragon" lei lines, the public were so outraged that Chinese businessmen bought the newly built lines and destroyed them, to avoid tainting their precious earth.
Professional geomancers believe that there are certain areas of the earth which carry different "qui" (spiritual energies), based on hidden underground "lei lines" which channel this energy. Similar to Thai massage with "Sen" lines in our bodies, and in Reflexology with acupressure points, the earth also carries its own energy - it is a giant living mass, after all! The idea is that building human structures such as houses, temples, villages, cities etc. should be placed upon more "favourable" lines which carry the positive energies. Certain lines are exceptionally sacred with spiritual energies, and so it is believed that human interference can disrupt or break these lines (hence the outrage at the Sacred Dragon). Furthermore, with growth of population comes more chances of negative human activity, and over time some positive lines can become disrupted, too. This can possibly explain why many natural areas of beauty around the world have, over time, degenerated and become uglier from direct or secondary human activity.
The way the earth is formed can also affect how our brains work; for example, people who live in areas with high levels of quartz tend to think more spiritually or religiously, due the powerful energy quartzite carries and transfers. You may notice you're more likely to be interested in herbal remedies or holistic health if you live above sandstone, or near a mountain, due to the content of quartz. People who live above chalk tend to be more artistic or creative - the great poet and writer Thomas Hardy spent his days in Dorset near the chalky cliffs. Gravel, granite, and limestone tend to be less favourable forms of rock, however this does not mean you should sell your house just because you have a gravel driveway. Instead look for ways to improve your area and bring positive energy to it - enough purification and filtration can overcome any poisonous stream!
Interestingly, I believe the fact that I am "well travelled" (that is, I was born in another country, I have not lived in any one location for a particularly long period of time, and have travelled abroad a lot) means the earth has affected me in a multitude of ways. This would explain why I feel so many different energies in different locations, and remain open-minded although I have never felt "at home" in a certain place. Instead, I feel a sense of "homeliness" from the energies of other people and where they choose to roam.
Traditional geomancers believe a favourable landscape to build within is shaped like a horse shoe with a flat basin, background hills (known as "dragons"), and the structure(s) must be sheltered, with a watercourse in front. This is because water is believed to be a physical block for the qui, which means all the energy that the "dragons" send you from behind becomes contained within your structure(s) and cannot escape past the waterline. Unlike a normal compass, a geomantic compass is intricately detailed and favours the southward direction. There aren't known to be many specific suggestions on colour schemes, however studying Ancient China shows that their people favoured excessive decorations and colours, and Feng Shui teaches of certain colour pairings for your home. Many large Chinese cities have been designed and planned to this traditional layout, as they grew from small villages when geomancers first discovered these "rules".
Modern day geomancy still remains a spiritual practice, but with the advancements of science and technology, we are now able to provide evidence of its existence and possibilities for use. In the 1920s and 30s, scientist Baron Gustav Freiherr von Pohl undertook extensive research on geopathic stress and its link with disease; he repeatedly found that patients who had died from cancer had been living in homes above "black streams" of earth energy. European researchers Hartmann, Curry, Wittman, Schneider, and latterly Schneck and Merz, made significant contributions to discovering geomagnetic grids across the earth's surface; these pinpointed locations of sacred sites as well as indicated areas of concern for human health. John Michael Greer produced the more recent teachings of geomancy in his book "Earth Divination Magic" in 1999, and there have been several cultural trends to "revive" the practice around the West since then.
Personally I think massage can combine really well with geomancy; as a therapist whenever I walk through an area with positive energy, I can pick this up and store it for when it needs using for a client. And, as a receiver of massage, you could choose a location where the earth carries good vibrations to relax and enjoy your treatment.
There are other forms of spiritual connection with the earth found globally, including cave drawings in Australia, runes used by Druids and in Norse mythology, sacred worship sites such as Stonehenge, Hindu and Buddhist temples, mysterious sites like Easter & Christmas Island, the pyramids etc. They aren't quite the same as Chinese geomancy, but indicate how humans have developed around the world in similar progression - we aren't that different, and maybe the earth really has influenced us in these varying ways.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel that certain parts of the world influence your mind? Who have you become as a result from the places you have travelled to?