Born to the Land
The geomancy of your birth.
When does the soul enter the body?
At conception or first breath?
The philosophers of old taught that the animas or spirit enters the body with the pneuma or first breath.
Christians, depending on the denomination, believe that the soul is a part of the fertilization process, inhabiting the zygote at the moment of conception.
The profound emphasis on the first breath by the old writers and folk traditions of pre-Christian peoples led me down a trail of geomantic discovery.
Where did you draw your first breath?
The stars weren’t the only thing being read by the medicine men and women when a child was born into the clan. There were signs providing clues to the child’s role within the tribe all around in the natural world.
The Path of the Pneuma
The land your mother travailed to bring you into the world is sacred. I know it may not seem that way now, in our modern society of sterile hospital delivery rooms, c-sections and medical interventionism, but it is. Every birth is a sacred act, the welcoming of a soul into the material matrix.
The old writings wax poetically about the exact level of light in the sky, the genius loci (spirits of place) the shrubs, trees and animals that gathered close to welcome the newest member of their lands. They made note of any natural phenomena that occurred at the time of birth — wind, rain, the rustling of a deer in the bush — as these were all clues to the child’s role.
According to many old traditions, pneuma comes from the Sun or the region of the heavens called the “Golden Gate”, located around the Pleiades star system. It travels from the place of Source, passing through the Golden Gate and entering the body of the child with its first breath of air. Every creation story tells us that a god or gods breathed life into the first man, I don’t think anything has substantively changed since then.
It is our breath that defines life and presence in the body.
Astrology works because its focus is on the path of the soul through the stars. The positions of the 7 gods/planets exert a unique energy signature upon the pneuma passing through the heavens en route to the body. Think of it as charge particles infusing the soul with the purpose and passion of the gods.
But the course through the stars is only a part of the path. Eventually the soul breaks through into Midgard, entering the material realm of the Earth in a specific location. The pneuma passes through the influence of specific energy fields that differ with the geolocation of the birth.
The Land You Were Born On
Geology used to be the study of the effect the land had on the people, animals and structures. That was back when they understood the land to be a living being. Modern geology tells us that the Earth isn’t alive and it studies the mineral composition from a long-clock, slow change perspective.
Indulge me for a moment and assume that the ancients were right and moderns are wrong. Let’s look at how the location of birth can influence the life of a soul.
July 25, 1972 - Phoenix, Arizona
The day dawned partly cloudy with thunderstorms popping up in the late afternoon. Rain is a primary sign for the shaman, particularly a thunderstorm. Souls born during storms are charged with powerful, ionic particles. This is why we describe certain persons as a, “a force of nature.” We all know the energy, it’s an intensity that is perceptible by others, yet we never wonder why some people have this charge and others don’t.
Phoenix itself is the mythical bird rising from the ashes over and over again. She lends a piece of herself to every soul born in her territory. The city is located in the Valley of the Sun, an important link for everyone born here. It is also a part of the Salt River Valley. Phoenicians would be wise to form a relationship with this salt. I would counsel this person to explore the cell salts of the body in connection to any health concerns they might have.
We are told the name “Phoenix” came from Lord Phillip Darrell Duppa, (pay attention to the names in historical stories…they often tell us the truth..we are being duppa-ed or duped) one of the first to settle in the area. According to the City of Phoenix official history, he chose it because “inasmuch as the new town would spring from the ruins of a former civilization. That is the accepted derivation of our name.”
The former civilization they refer to is up for debate. There were hundred of miles of canals, ruins, grid like streets and the remains of grand buildings. The official history reads somewhat like that of the Hopewell — they are thought to be the ancestors of the historic Akimel and Tohono Oʼodham in Southern Arizona. In other words, they don’t have a clue who built the canals and ruins Phoenix was developed on top of.
Phoenix is located on the magical 33rd parallel, infusing every one born on this latitude with its propensities for spell craft. Its longitude of 112 degrees gives a value of 13, linking this line to the Moon and the threads of time keeping.
Origins of the Phoenix
The Phoenix or “unica semper avis” is the ever-singular bird. There is a strong motif of individuality and a solitary journey for the native Phoenician. There is also a strong association with the color red. It is not a coincidence that the land itself has a distinctly ruddy hue.
Phoenix entered English from Latin and French but is credit by Herodotus as originating from Ancient Egypt. There are strong associations with “griffins” and “madder” a red dye used in the Mediterranean (this word means Middle Earth by the way).
The constellation bearing its name was first called out in Uranometria, Johann Bayer (yes, he’s related to the pharmaceutical empire sharing his name) in 1603. It is only visible from latitudes 32 north to -80 south…in other words it is always in the underworld from the perspective of Phoenix, Arizona. The brightest star in the constellation is called “Ankaa” in Arabic, it also means the “phoenix.”
The Phoenix Phenomenon
The sages of the past chronicled an event that many call the “Phoenix Phenomenon” or a cycle of cataclysmic destruction that occurs every 138 years. The destruction is wrought by a cosmic force — a comet, meteor or some other heavenly destroyer. Notice that the numerology of this event = 12 (1+3+8), the months and signs of the zodiac. There is a mystery in this phenomenon that my intuition says is important for those born in its namesake. (Archaix on YouTube is the best, most understandable source of information about this cyclical event.)
Those born in Phoenix hold a golden ticket to access the underworld and have allies in the land they were born on.
Red - this is your power color. Wear it, paint your body with it, use it in your home.
Fire - the flames that both consume and revitalize the Phoenix should be a core part of your magical work. This sacred flame should always accompany your spiritual pursuits.
Ash - ashes should accompany all offerings. This pays homage to the sacrifice the Phoenix makes for mankind.
Sunstone - the Sun is the source of the flames that consume the Phoenix. This stone should be used to navigate through your life.
Ancestors of Place - we know not the names of all the peoples through time who occupied the land we were born on, but we can still call upon them for assistance. We can work with them to bring healing to our lives and the land of our birth.
Where were you born? What secrets does the land hold for you? Are you working with the energy of the land and the stars?
Let me know in the comments below.