Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sig Lonegren and Geomancy

I ran across the Mid Atlantic Geomancy site while surfing the Web and was delighted to rediscover the mind, friends, and research of SIG LONEGREN http://www.geomancy.org/

I met Sig in 1982, when he serendipitously set me on a spiritual quest that ultimately defined my art's quest, and my religious affiliations. It's funny how we are led, in the most unlikely ways, to the teachers we need.

I was living at the time in Putney, Vermont. I had a little crafts business, and was specializing in bars, dancing, and drinking too much. One fine Saturday morning I headed down to the Putney Inn from my studio, and was amazed to see all kinds of interesting looking people wandering around the Inn doing interesting things.

Some of them had tables with books, and were from NEARA (the New England Archeological Research Association). Some had weird looking pendulums. On the lawn in the front of the building was a circle of people. I liked their energy, so I hung around, curious. Within 15 minutes or so, a van arrived, and a very energetic man in blue jeans with a pendulum (Sig) gathered the group, and without knowing I wasn't included, ushered me into the van with them, even though I had no idea what they were doing, or where they were going.

It seemed like fun, I thought Sig was cute, it was one of those beautiful Vermont days when the land was inhaling and exhaling an intoxicating, mysterious green breath, and I was hungover anyway. So I went.

For the next few hours we visited three different stone chambers around Putney, two hidden on Putney Mountain, one virtually in the back yard of a local resident.

If you've never heard of Barry Fell, or "America B.C.", or "America's Stonehedge" in New Hampshire, or read any books about ancient geomantic sites (like Earthmind by John Steele (who I later met at a symposium at Rutgers), or Manitou, by Mavor and Dix) - then you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

There are over 500 prehistoric sites, from cairns and underground stone chambers very similar to sites in Ireland and Great Britain, to astronomical sites marked, like Stonehenge, with huge stones to mark the positions of the solstices, equinoxes, and other celestial events, scattered throughout New England, many concentrated along the Connecticut River. Barry Fell and others believed them to be the remnants of a long ago Phoenician/Celtic colony that preceeded the European, or even Viking, visits to the "new lands". Others, like Mavor and Dix, argue that they were religious and ceremonial centers for native Americans, some of them still maintained until well into Colonial times.

But archeology wasn't what this little group was exploring. We were exploring earth energies, and Sig gave us all divining rods ("L" shaped coathangers) to determine the location of the leys* to see how each site was built on a place of geomantic intensity. I was absolutely flabbergasted even though I had never done this before, and didn't even "believe" in it. It just worked, the rods bent and swayed when they were in my hand. In time, a good dowser can experience his or her divining rods much as antenna, as sensors.

To continue my story, a year later a group met (I put it together) at one of these very sites to watch the Solstice sun rise through a chamber that was aligned with it perfectly. 13 of us gathered, and although we knew nothing about ritual, we did know that this was a powerful and magical place, that we were sitting where ancient people once sat to watch the sun rise over the green mountains, participating in the significance of the event. That was my first ritual, long before I ever heard of Gaia, pagans, goddesses, shamans, or anything similar.

Who would have thought a chance meeting would lead me on a life long journey?
But sometimes it works out that way.

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