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Author Topic: Geography/location in magic  (Read 3670 times)
hyacinthine
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« Topic Start: September 09, 2008, 12:20:16 am »

I have long been fascinated by the way different places affect different people - not only because of something specific (ie the culture, architecture, weather, economy) but rather because of the place's specific energy. I wonder if anyone has any good information in any form - links, books, whatever - about such things. I mean, I know there's lots of stuff about compass directions and ley lines, but those aren't precisely what I'm thinking about. Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.
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thain
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« Reply #1: September 09, 2008, 12:30:20 am »

Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

Back when I was first on the board, Bob mentioned EM fields and how they can affect a location.  My parents live in a house wired by a paranoid Vietnam vet, so the EM fields are completely batshit, and there are times that house can make my physically ill (the EM interference is bad enough that a wireless router's signal can't reach from upstairs to downstairs, traveling a total of about 20 feet at most, without a high-gain antenna boosting the signal - for the uber geeky, it's also bad enough that an Ethernet cable cannot carry a signal from upstairs to downstairs if it passes by the rat's nest this guy called a fuse box.  They ran three separate cables before giving up).

That foray into geekiness to say: sometimes a place can have a man-made energy, and that isn't always a good thing.

I think Bob called it "House Sickness."
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« Reply #2: September 09, 2008, 09:35:19 am »

Back when I was first on the board, Bob mentioned EM fields and how they can affect a location.  My parents live in a house wired by a paranoid Vietnam vet, so the EM fields are completely batshit, and there are times that house can make my physically ill (the EM interference is bad enough that a wireless router's signal can't reach from upstairs to downstairs, traveling a total of about 20 feet at most, without a high-gain antenna boosting the signal - for the uber geeky, it's also bad enough that an Ethernet cable cannot carry a signal from upstairs to downstairs if it passes by the rat's nest this guy called a fuse box.  They ran three separate cables before giving up).

That foray into geekiness to say: sometimes a place can have a man-made energy, and that isn't always a good thing.

I think Bob called it "House Sickness."

but a good energetic clearing followed by the appropriate rewiring, and if necessary, remodeling can cure that. I live in a 96 year old shotgun shack at the top of a hill, and it was redone quite crazily several times, usually without permits, by the various owners. It's  relatively free from EM goofiness at this time, but it has some weird energetic sinkholes here and there, mostly b/c of the remodeling efforts of one previous owner in particular.

But to address Hyacinthine's question...there are lots of spirits of place and geographic energy no matter where you are. You can attune yourself to them in various ways, just as you can attune yourself to any other kind of energy. I learned how to do it from my ex and the circle we were in together a few years ago, but I don't really have any reading to recommend, or any one-post type  of advice, but if you know how to do elemental attunements, it's basically the same thing.

Also, studying up as much as possible about what the NA culture believed about my area has been helpful in understanding and working with the Fae presence around here.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #3: September 10, 2008, 01:03:20 am »

I have long been fascinated by the way different places affect different people - not only because of something specific (ie the culture, architecture, weather, economy) but rather because of the place's specific energy. I wonder if anyone has any good information in any form - links, books, whatever - about such things. I mean, I know there's lots of stuff about compass directions and ley lines, but those aren't precisely what I'm thinking about. Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

Try searching the term "genus loci", you should find lots of info. 

Other than that, I can't say much that will be of help to you.  To find the spirit of a place you really have to go to the place and feel it for yourself. 
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Garnet
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« Reply #4: September 26, 2008, 04:33:09 pm »

Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

I work with place a *lot*, and have for a long time before I was aware it was part of my practice.  I haven't found any useful books on it so far, although my favorite fictional take on it is C.J. Cherryh's Fortress series.  (And yes, I've pulled some ideas from it.)  I saw a book recently about pagan sacred places, which definitely listed a lot of nifty places.  (Think Stonehenge and places like that, if I'm recalling correctly.)  The places I see as sacred and work with tend to be much more modern and urban, which is partly because of my sensibilities and partly because of where I live.

I like to walk around and "listen" to get to know a place.  In this context "listening" is almost a synaesthetic concept - listening not just with my ears but with my aura and my feet.  (I'll also describe it as "sight in the feet", referring to a line in the Bornless Ritual.)  Basically, being aware of the place. I like to look at architecture, various living things around (including people), patterns of transportation... (are there bus/train lines around? how are the roads?)  Is there water present - rivers, lakes, streams, canals...?  What is the place used for?  Are there "set apart" places - courtyards, campuses, gardens, parks, islands?  What's the neighborhood like?   Are there crossroads, doors, gates, archways?

(You can probably tell that I do most of my work with place in urban contexts.  Something similar would definitely work in more "natural" areas.)

I also find it useful to learn about places, both their history and current aspects.  I tend to do this especially when I can't visit the place easily, but it's good in general.  I've also been known to make Livejournal icons of places (hence my avatar).

I sometimes offer to the spirits of places - not the land spirits, exactly, because to me the spirits of place also include/are connected to what humans have done.  Water is a usual offering, but the first time I ever did this I offered a bit of coffee drink and scone to the spirits of my college's campus.

Place spirits strike me as very specific sometimes.  Sometimes after offering (or simply acknowledgement), I get a sense that the place knows me, and this sometimes diffuses out into the surrounding area.  I'll sometimes offer to or address "larger" place spirits - the spirit of my city, or a neighborhood as a whole.  I'll often address the place directly.

I've asked spirits of place for help finding my way around, and at one point I asked them for a job.  (The latter idea I got from skimming Urban Primitive, and I'm surprised I didn't think of it first.)

Oh, and it's entirely possible when working with place that you'll end up fascinated with public transit, or knowing a ridiculous amount about a single county in New Jersey.  YMMV. Wink

(Actually, I know about a bunch of small towns because I used to design covers for maps, and really enjoyed researching the places.  Bonus points if there was cryptozoology involved.)
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rose
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« Reply #5: September 26, 2008, 07:14:57 pm »

I sometimes offer to the spirits of places - not the land spirits, exactly, because to me the spirits of place also include/are connected to what humans have done.  Water is a usual offering, but the first time I ever did this I offered a bit of coffee drink and scone to the spirits of my college's campus.

Place spirits strike me as very specific sometimes.  Sometimes after offering (or simply acknowledgement), I get a sense that the place knows me, and this sometimes diffuses out into the surrounding area.  I'll sometimes offer to or address "larger" place spirits - the spirit of my city, or a neighborhood as a whole.  I'll often address the place directly.


There is a park near my house (I've posted about it before) that is very active, magickally. I always try and bring a little something w hen I am there, or offer a service (ie, picking up more than just my own dogs poo), it just seems wise to be polite. I generally have packets of sugar in my purse for place offerings, b/c you just never know. One time, i brought a small amount of scotch, just for fun and as a general honor to them, and they offered to do me a favor (have not verified that they delivered this, with the person that I asked them to contact yet, though, but it was nice of them to offer)
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
hyacinthine
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« Reply #6: September 27, 2008, 07:37:18 pm »

I like to walk around and "listen" to get to know a place.

I do pretty much the same thing. I live in Boston, and I like to walk and/or take public transport as often as possible. It depends what I'm trying to learn about the city. I'm lucky because Boston is a pretty geographically small city, so it's easy to walk from almost anywhere to almost anywhere else here. Walking around a place is such an intimate thing really. It makes you familiar with things you simply would not ever notice in a car. I feel like so many people only know a few big things where they live - like they know the places they often visit, and they know their front yard, but anything between the two is lost to them.

Quote
I also find it useful to learn about places, both their history and current aspects.

You totally get what I was trying to express in starting this thread. And you should see my Boston-centric book collection.

Quote
I sometimes offer to the spirits of places

Does throwing a tea bag into the bay the first time I visited count? ;p Okay, I know it's littering. But I couldn't help it. It's historical littering.

Quote
Oh, and it's entirely possible when working with place that you'll end up fascinated with public transit, or knowing a ridiculous amount about a single county in New Jersey.  YMMV. Wink

For me, it's public transit. And local universities, though I am interested in universities and their energy no matter where they are. But there's something I find thrilling about waiting for the train, and then hearing the very low rumble on the tracks until finally it's in front of me and so loud it's overwhelming. I am in the process of taking every line and getting off at every stop so I can know exactly what's what as far as the T goes. Just for the heck of it.
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Garnet
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« Reply #7: September 27, 2008, 07:59:19 pm »

I do pretty much the same thing. I live in Boston, and I like to walk and/or take public transport as often as possible. It depends what I'm trying to learn about the city. I'm lucky because Boston is a pretty geographically small city, so it's easy to walk from almost anywhere to almost anywhere else here. Walking around a place is such an intimate thing really.

True that.  I live in Chicago, and currently walking, transit, and other people's cars are my options.  Once I get a car, I still think I'll take transit and walk for exploration purposes.  Although driving (or being driven) along Lake Shore Drive is really neat.  There are definitely roads that have their own magic, and that's one of them.

I was in Boston *very* briefly on my way to Salem, and there was a sign up about "America's Walking City" which I thought was really cool.  I'm a big fan of walking and having neat things in walking distance.

Quote
You totally get what I was trying to express in starting this thread. And you should see my Boston-centric book collection.

Excellent!  I don't think I have any books on Chicago or really any books related to spirit of place - alas!  I'll have to work on that.  I did used to have a CTA card on my altar, and now I have the necklace I made for a Smashing Pumpkins concert and a tag with a picture of the Sears Tower on it.  Smiley

Quote
Does throwing a tea bag into the bay the first time I visited count? ;p Okay, I know it's littering. But I couldn't help it. It's historical littering.

*grins*  That's a neat idea.  I think that's a very appropriate offering.

Quote
For me, it's public transit. And local universities, though I am interested in universities and their energy no matter where they are.

Oh, ditto.  The place in my avatar is Princeton University, which I *highly* recommend visiting.  The town of Princeton is cool too - one of those "set apart" places.  (And why yes, Mercer County is the one I know a lot about, originally because I have relatives there.)

Hyde Park and the University of Chicago is another neat "set apart" place inside a "set apart" place.  Chicago's neighborhoods are good to explore because they're pretty distinct.  The Loop, River North, and Magnificent Mile are very close to each other, but they all feel different.  For that matter, I think the area right by the Chicago River around there is its own distinct corridor.

Quote
But there's something I find thrilling about waiting for the train, and then hearing the very low rumble on the tracks until finally it's in front of me and so loud it's overwhelming. I am in the process of taking every line and getting off at every stop so I can know exactly what's what as far as the T goes. Just for the heck of it.

Sweet.  I haven't done anything like that, but I am glad I can find my way around.  One of the things I miss about my last temp job ending is taking transit.  Go figure.  But I've got various places I want to explore now.  (Apparently there's a "New Chinatown" neighborhood.  Neat.)

I like hearing trains approaching, and I also like when they speed up between stops, especially when I can feel it when standing.  Whee.

A lot of CTA stops have compass roses in the pavement - I'm a huge fan of compass roses in general.  To me, they're a kind of axis mundi and an important image of way-opening.

(I'm devoted to a number of deities associated with travel and way opening, as well as one associated with architecture.  Might be kinda obvious... Smiley )
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« Reply #8: October 04, 2008, 07:30:08 am »

I have long been fascinated by the way different places affect different people - not only because of something specific (ie the culture, architecture, weather, economy) but rather because of the place's specific energy. I wonder if anyone has any good information in any form - links, books, whatever - about such things. I mean, I know there's lots of stuff about compass directions and ley lines, but those aren't precisely what I'm thinking about. Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

I have had experiences on both ends of the spectrum.

My very first house as a young child was wonderful. I almost felt as if it was real and helped take care of and protect me. Kind of maternal. Maybe there was a spiritual presence there. I don't know, but it was very warm. The house that I am currently in also has/had that feel; however, many things have happened over the past 15 years that we have been here that have clouded the good feelings from the house and land. Nonetheless,I still have a real attachment to this property and house and it is a really good place. I guess I sort of mourne for what once was. I may be faced with a job possibility that would mean moving to another area and leaving this house is really really a problem for me. I love it here. I love what used to be.

I also have had really good feelings about places in N. England. There is an island near Martha's Vineyard that is just magickal.

My trip through Europe last year was amazing. I felt I belonged there and like I had come home. The energy from the thousands of years of civilization was just palpable.

On the other side of that, the house that I lived in from the ages of 12 - 18 was horrific. There will never be any doubt in my mind that there was something horribly wrong with that area. Tons of really negative and destructive things happened for the time I was there and then later when my parents were there alone. It could have been a Steven King novel.

I also think there is something wrong with the land where I work. Everyone there is on edge and angry all of the time. Something is very toxic there which is why I am thinking of taking the other job.

So, I seem to be able to really tune in to feelings in geographic areas and have run across all types.
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« Reply #9: October 21, 2008, 11:01:14 am »

I have long been fascinated by the way different places affect different people - not only because of something specific (ie the culture, architecture, weather, economy) but rather because of the place's specific energy. I wonder if anyone has any good information in any form - links, books, whatever - about such things. I mean, I know there's lots of stuff about compass directions and ley lines, but those aren't precisely what I'm thinking about. Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

Bits and pieces run through my mind so forgive the scattered thoughts as they come. They all relate to a specific energy in zones and areas.
*must be my disbelief that it is snowing hard outside right now.... shakes head*

I see layers of below, on and above the earth ... grids and flows. Find that they can have great affect on the energy.
Geopathic Stress Zones, Hartmann Net or Hartmann Lines - Hartmann Grids, Geopathic Zones,  Electromagnetic Fields, Interference Lines.
Different degress from below up to the atmosphere.

Tectonic plates and the shifting of the Earth itself.
Curry Lines, a global grid network of electrically charged lines of natural origin. These lines run diagonally to the poles.
Schumann Waves naturally occurring, beneficial electromagnetic waves that oscillate between the Earth and certain layers of the atmosphere.
Black Lines, said to be 2 types, one as black and depressed, the other as shiny, black, hard and sharp. Said to be of the negative, orgone-type or Sha.
I've read some believe Lay Lines are made by man. Sacred Circles, Stone Hedge. Personally I believe it is more we found these... hot spots and made use of them. *though energy can certainly be changed in an area with the construction of a Sacred Circle*

For me Earth Energies can greatly affect an area and the people that live there.

Needles of Stone, by Tom Graves would be a book I'd recommend. Though a dowsing historical book type, standing stones and other sacred sites. It gives at least 3 points of view by "expert's" in the field. *smiles* So it's not really a how to book nor is it... written in stone. Cheesy
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