Spirit of place:
- Invoking intuitive awareness
- trusting the process
- personifying place as genius loci
- The calm at the centre of the storm…
- omphalos, zikr, axis mundi and other forms of practical madness!
Just like people, places have memory, and characteristics of their own which make them unique – even within the dull samenesses of suburbia! Those subtle differences and literal ‘eccentricities’ provide the anchors or levers around which change becomes possible: change from people’s perspective, that is, rather than necessarily the place itself.
Most geomancers will know the experience of places seeming to resist change, or sometimes welcoming change; most geomancers will know places which have attracted the same kind of people, time and time again. So whether or not it’s literally true, it’s certainly useful, and probably wise, to act as if each place has a mind of its own, a spirit of its own – a genius loci – and choices of its own, too. But personifying a place in this way means that we can converse with it – in imagination, of course, though it may not feel that way – and ‘ask’ the place for advice, or to ‘show’ us things we’d otherwise have missed.
It’s an intuitive process, providing us with a manageable handle on the Tao, the wyrd, ‘the everything’. There are many techniques to reach this weird one-pointed awareness of totality, such as the Sufi ‘turning meditation’ or zikr, or the classic meditations of self as axis mundi, the point around which the cyclone spins. Another technique, popular with geomancers in Victoria, is to dowse for a ‘balance-point’ or omphalos within a client’s site, and use that as a place for meditation on or with the ‘spirit’ of the place as a whole. Yes, it’s weird: but it works – and with practice, can work very well indeed.