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There’s Something About St. Mary’s

Sacred Geometry and the Golden Proportion.

It’s not just St. Mary’s. It could just as easily be St. George’s, St. Michael’s, or any other church you care to name. Indeed, there is an indefinable ‘something’ about many of our older churches and cathedrals, especially the great Gothic cathedrals of the middle Ages. But what exactly is that ‘something’? What is it that makes a structure a good place for spiritual working? What gives it that numinous quality that leads us to define the space as sacred?

Any dowser will tell you that almost all of our sacred structures, from the megalithic to the Gothic, are sited over confluences of underground water flows and lines of subtle energy – rising vortices of earth energy called ‘power centres’. These natural telluric hotspots can be harnessed by the geomancer and used to power the space. But that’s just the start of the story. A suitable container needs to be constructed to shape and tune the energies, and the form and proportion of the final edifice can have a dramatic effect on the ‘feel’ of the space. Specific numbers and geometric ratios are employed to impart a subtle, yet palpable, resonance to the structure. These ratios are not simply human-made mathematical constructs designed to solve a particular problem; rather they are universal principles and natural constants, the very building blocks of creation that can be found by anyone who cares to look for them. Early philosophers discovering these numbers and ratios in nature believed they were seeing evidence of a divine hand in action; hence the study and utilisation of these archetypal patterns became known as sacred geometry.

The forms of sacred geometry naturally produce subtle energy fields that can be detected by dowsers. It makes no difference if it’s a chalk circle on your living-room carpet or the dizzying architecture of a Gothic cathedral; the principles are exactly the same. The spaces are designed to resonate on a subconscious level in such a way that the possibility of a spiritual connection is maximised.

At the heart of any structure incorporating sacred geometry is the principle of incommensurability. The irrational numbers generated by the geometric ratios employed in the construction are dimensions that can never be precisely measured but only expressed though geometry. By definition, an irrational number is one that cannot be expressed as a fraction p/q for any two integers p and q. Irrational numbers have infinitely long, non-repeating decimal extensions. Mathematically, it is impossible therefore to precisely measure something like the diagonal of a square; rather like Achilles trying to catch the tortoise in Zeno’s famous paradox, the decimal part recedes infinitely into the distance. This is why irrational numbers are so fascinating to the geometer; they cannot ever be expressed as a quantity, they can only be appreciated as qualities. They are the inner, esoteric face of number, their presence detectable only in the relationships between parts, like cracks between the paving stones of reality. They manifest the infinite in the finite, bridging Spirit and Matter via the Universal framework that is sacred geometry.

Chartres cathedral

To the masons who raised the great Gothic cathedrals and other places of worship, sacred geometry was also of paramount importance to the actual construction. Lacking our modern knowledge of materials science and load-bearing calculations, they relied on the use of harmonious proportions to build balanced structures that could support themselves without collapsing; so in a very practical sense it is this geometry that holds up the soaring vaulted ceilings of the cathedrals, not engineering science.

An impressive side effect of sacred geometry is that many of these structures possess extraordinary acoustic properties, a result of the inter-related harmonic structure behind both music and geometry. Certain types of music (e.g. Bach) were designed to be sacred geometry you can hear, so it is little wonder the buildings resound with it.

Golden Mean division of a line

Perhaps the best-known ratio of sacred geometry is the Golden Mean or Golden Proportion, also known as the Divine Proportion because it appears so frequently in natural systems. Mathematically, it approximates as 1.618033… and is represented by the Greek letter Phi (Φ). Two quantities are said to be in golden proportion if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. This sacred ratio has long fascinated artists as well as mathematicians, as it seems that we are genetically programmed to accept things that are in golden proportion relationship as most harmonious to our eyes – be it a building façade or a human face. Entire volumes have been written about the Golden Ratio, and in his book of the same name, mathematician Mario Livio explains it thus: “Early mathematicians assumed that, if you have two line segments, one of which is longer than the other, then you can always find some smaller unit of measure so that the lengths of both segments will be exact whole-number multiples of this smaller unit. For instance, if one segment is precisely 21.37” long and the other is 11.475” long, then we can measure both of them in units of 1/1000 of an inch, so the first one will be 21,370 units and the second 11,475 units. So in theory finding such a common measure is just a matter of patient search. But the discovery of irrational numbers and incommensurability means that for the two segments of a line divided in Golden Ratio, such a common measure can never be found.”

The Golden Proportion usually manifests in nature as a numerical sequence called the Fibonacci sequence, where each term is the sum of the two preceding numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… etc. Dividing each term by the one before it approximates to the Golden Mean number of 1.618…, and this approximation gets closer and closer to Φ the higher the numbers become in the sequence. If you plotted these numbers on a graph, you would get a wildly oscillating waveform that would fairly quickly settle down to a smaller and smaller wiggle around the line of Golden Mean.

The Fibonacci sequence is the governing factor of natural growth systems and can be found everywhere; from the distribution of leaves on plants and trees, growth patterns in a nautilus shell, the breeding patterns of rabbits, the spacing of atoms on the DNA molecule, the proportions of the human body – even the orbital distances of the planets.

Perhaps this explains why the Golden Proportion is so favoured by artists and architects; because of its ubiquity in both plant and human biology, structures involving this proportion naturally provide the perfect container for the harmonious integration and enhancement of the living systems within.


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Machrie Moor landscape for Stellarium

After visiting a client on Arran a couple of weeks ago, I took the opportunity for a quick visit to Machrie Moor, which is about the closest thing Scotland has to a megalithic theme park. There are at least five sites in the complex, all very close together but of very different designs, as though the builders were experimenting to find out what worked best. One of the sites in particular has some spectacularly tall megaliths of a wonderful red sandstone – you can see some of these in the distance if you look to the north-east in this Stellarium landscape – while others are positively elfin by comparison.

This is Machrie Moor 5, to use the official nomenclature; I don’t know if it has a more poetic name. It’s the first site you come to when visiting the main complex, and is a lovely double-concentric ring of grey-white stones with some beautiful views over towards the Mull of Kintyre in the West.

MAchrie Moor 5

Normally when taking a panorama for a Stellarium landscape, it is best to establish a long baseline using GPS fixes so that you can later calculate an accurate azimuth to get the panorama lined up properly. In this case, I had forgotten how long it takes to walk to the complex from the road (a good half an hour) and by the time I got to the stones I was worried about having enough time to get back to Brodick for the last ferry, so I settled for taking a reading for East with the trusty Suunto compass, shooting the panorama, and beating a hasty retreat to the car. No time for any dowsing, nor time to visit any of the other circles. I did remember to take a GPS fix in the circle however,  so the latitude, longitude and altitude settings are accurate.

Consequently, this may not be as accurately aligned as my Callanish landscape, but hopefully that won’t spoil your enjoyment of it. As always, you can download it from the Stellarium landscapes page (you’ll also need Stellarium, of course), or from a selection of other stone circle landscapes over at The Geomancy Group.

If you use this, or my other Stellarium landscapes, I’d love to hear what you think of them. Please leave a comment.


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Dowsers hope more people will twig the ancient art

Dowsers hope more people will twig the ancient art.

A very positive report on the British Society of Dowsers’ annual conference from Geoff Ward:

A new scientific investigation into how dowsing works should help to raise the profile of the British Society of Dowsers, its annual conference heard

Dowsing has moved a long way from the forked hazel twig and its traditional roots of water and minerals divining to tracing earth energies – its biggest growth area – improving health and well-being, locating archaeological remains and even to archaeo-astronomy.

Two hundred aficionados of the rods and pendulum attended the British Society of Dowsers 2010 conference at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, at the weekend (September 10-12), travelling from all over the UK, and from the USA, Australia and Holland.

Founded in 1933, and now with more than 1,600 members, the society has moved with the times and, as the title of the conference, On the Right Lines, suggested, it is fully confident of its new directions since the 1990s.

Read more at Suite101: http://news.suite101.com/article.cfm/dowsers-hope-more-people-will-twig-the-ancient-art-a285651#ixzz0zX6JUPun

Callanish landscape for Stellarium

Ever since I saw the major southern standstill of the moon at Callanish on the Western Isles in 2006 (see my article The Song of the Low Moon), I’ve been wanting to recreate it using  the open-source astronomy program Stellarium. It’s taken longer than anticipated, but that dream has now been fulfilled.

Earlier this year, I was working on a show in Stornoway, and took the opportunity to drive out to the stones one morning when things were quiet. Nobody was about and I had the site to myself. I took GPS readings at the northern end of the avenue of stones and the top of the Cnoc-an-Tursa, the little outcrop of rock to the south of the main circle, so that I would have a baseline to work from. I then positioned myself at the very end of the avenue (the best place to watch the standstill from), and started shooting a panorama. Not two shots into it, a car pulled up in the road at the side of the circle, blocking my view of the Sleeping Beauty mountain range – essential for the panorama as that’s where the moonrise occurs. Disaster! But what could I do? I had to carry on taking the pictures and hope that I could sort it out later on when I was stitching them together to make the panorama.

Well, that turned out to be the easy part of the procedure of making the Stellarium landscape. Far more difficult was getting things to line up properly so that the moon would do what I remembered it doing in 2006. In theory, one can align a landscape panorama pretty accurately from the two sets of GPS coordinates; in practice it usually requires much fiddling in the paint package to get things aligned properly. In this particular case it was even more difficult, particularly getting the horizon height correct, and I have spent many hours adjusting the image by a pixel or two in every direction until the moon’s path at the standstill finally approximates pretty closely to what I remember from 2006.

You can download the Calanais landscape from the Stellarium landscapes page (you’ll also need Stellarium, of course), or from a selection of other stone circle landscapes over at The Geomancy Group. I’d be interested in hearing what you think about the landscape – please leave a comment.

Update October 2010: Ian Pegler kindly sent me this multiple-exposure image of the lunar standstill at Callanish that he made using the Stellarium landscape and the GIMP paint package. You can clearly see how the moon rises from the ‘thighs’ of the Sleeping Beauty and rolls along the horizon, before setting behind the Cnoc-an-Tursa hillock. You can’t see it re-gleaming in the centre of the circle in this picture – you’ll have to try it out for yourself to see that.

Ian has also made some fine landscapes for the program that you can find at the links above. Thanks Ian!


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Is Your Bed Giving You Cancer?

Dr. Douglas Fields: Left-Sided Cancer–Should You Blame Your Bed and TV?

Finally! A study that supports what some of us have been saying for years – that metal springs in mattresses act as wave-guides and amplify EMF’s from television and FM signals.

…the length of a bed is half the wavelength of FM and TV transmissions that have been broadcasting since the late 1940s. In Japan most beds are not made of metal, and the TV broadcast system does not use the 87- to 108-megahertz frequency used in Western countries.

Thus, as we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation. Asleep on these antennas, our bodies are exposed to the amplified electromagnetic radiation for a third of our life spans. As we slumber on a metal coil-spring mattress, a wave of electromagnetic radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body’s left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.

I always test for EM fields and microwave density levels during a consultation, and over the years I’ve tested many beds using professional EMF and microwave meters. I have frequently found increased levels and ‘hot spots’ over the springs of the mattress – not just TV and FM signals as mentioned in this report, but also with Wi-Fi, cellphone masts and DECT cordless phones too. Often the levels are considerably above what is considered to be ‘safe’ levels for exposure under normal conditions.

In certain situations the springs can also distort and amplify the natural geomagnetic field, with similar effects. Roy Riggs has done some interesting test work on this with a magnetometer, using a mattress positioned over a known geological fault (see a summary of this on The Geomancy Group site). The jury may still be out from the scientific viewpoint, but in the world of the geomancer the empirical evidence is starting to stack up pretty convincingly that metal-sprung beds and mattresses are not good for your health.

The article is already generating lots of backlash if you read through the comments; there are accusations of ‘bad science’, ‘quackery’ and so forth. OK sure, more studies are needed, and more studies will continue to be done on this and the other detrimental effects of EMF exposure that we are all experiencing in the modern age. But, as we are looking at the effects of long-term exposure to non-ionising levels of EMFs here, these studies are going to be ongoing for many years, and some of us are not willing to be the human guinea-pigs in what is surely the largest long-term experiment in human history.

Personally, I’d rather not take the risk. That’s why I don’t have a sprung mattress, and why I advise my clients to get rid of theirs.

The only UK supplier of completely organic mattresses that do not contain metal and are naturally fire-retardant without the use of noxious chemicals is Abaca Organic, whose mattresses are made from natural latex and wool. They are highly recommended not only for their lack of springs, but also for their hypoallergenic qualities. The Latex Ramsey is the range to look for. Mention that you heard about them here on Western Geomancy!


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Archaeoastronomy, Avebury and Crop Circles

I’ve just returned from a weekend teaching course in Avebury, where I was tutoring 16 students through the BSD’s Earth Energies Level 4 course ‘Understanding Earth Energy Power Centres and Features of Special Geomantic Significance’ . It’s probably the most academic and ‘left-brain’ of all the Earth Energy courses as it covers topics including sacred geometry and celestial mechanics – not the easiest material to teach even when you are interested in the subject. However, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we had a good time exploring the Avebury complex of sites, visiting West Kennet long barrow, Swallowhead Spring and the Sanctuary, as well as the main Avebury circles of course.

The idea of the course is to give the students an understanding of why sacred sites almost always incorporate astronomical alignments to significant celestial happenings – be it a summer solstice sunrise as at Stonehenge, or the sunrise on a saint’s feast day as in some churches and cathedrals – and to show how designing the space using sacred geometry can actually enhance the use of the space by creating a subliminal resonance to the structure.

As modern city-dwellers we are astonishingly ignorant of what goes on in the night sky. It’s rare to find someone who knows what phase the moon is in, let alone find someone who knows how to find north on a starry night. Yet our Neolithic ancestors had an intimate and detailed knowledge about this, and constructed their stone circles as sophisticated megalithic calendars in order to track the turning of the seasons, the long-term cycles of the moon, and even when the next solar eclipse was due. All from just a few stones in the ground! There may still be some old-school archaeologists who dispute the validity of archaeoastronomy, but as I (hopefully) demonstrated on the course, anyone who has been to Callanish and seen the major southern standstill of the Moon can hardly fail to be convinced that the site was constructed purely to observe that specific  event, even if you do have to wait nearly 19 years between standstills.

As to the geometry – well, we were presented with a wonderful example of this overnight with the appearance of a crop formation near the Alton Barnes White Horse

Now, I’m by no means an expert on crop circles and haven’t visited many, but from reading reports by other dowsers and researchers, I was expecting to be able to feel some energy or at least dowse some earth energies in the formation. Yet four experienced earth energy dowsers could find hardly anything of dowseable energy in the formation. There were some small vortices in the centres of the circles, and I did dowse a water line running across the third one down on the central axis, but otherwise – none of us felt a thing. Not a tickle. The lay of the crop wasn’t very neatly done either, and the central axis was a little off a straight line. In short, it seemed to us like a hastily-constructed fake.

Rather poorly-laid crop at the head of the formation

However some people seemed to be getting something out of it. The prone lady at the centre of the ‘head’ circle was either completely attuned to the formation or perhaps simply overwhelmed by the heat?

Tuning in or just snoozing?

Whatever you make of them, and whether they are ‘real’ (whatever that is) or just carefully-constructed fakes, crop circles are still a wonderful expression of creativity in the landscape.

Me? I prefer to keep an open mind on such things, although as Terry Pratchett says, “the trouble with having an open mind of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Sighthill Solstice Sunset

I managed to attend Duncan’s talk about the Sighthill stones on the summer solstice, followed up by a walk up to the circle to see the sunset. I’ve certainly never seen so many folk at the circle before, and we were blessed with clear skies for the event. I was keen to see how the real thing compared with my Stellarium landscape, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was pretty accurate. Here’s a picture of things in Stellarium:

Sighthill solstice sunset in Stellarium

…and here’s the real thing, taken looking over the centre stone, which of course you don’t see in the Stellarium landscape (because the camera was sitting on it). There are too many people about to see the marker stone, but trust me it was  bang on the money:

Sighthill summer solstice sunset 2010

Duncan seemed pleased with all the attention, and was also glad of the clear skies as it is quite rare to get a clear sunset in June in Glasgow. Here he is with the setting sun casting the shadow of its aligned stone onto the central stone, just as he designed it to do.

Duncan by central stone with sunset shadow


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Good Heavens … astronomer bids to rejuvenate stone circle

Good Heavens … astronomer bids to rejuvenate stone circle – Herald Scotland | News | Home News.

2 Jun 2010

It was created in the late 1970s to mirror the rise and fall of the moon and sun across Glasgow on a site of ancient astronomical interest.

Now efforts are being made to rejuvenate the Sighthill Stone Circle, created by amateur astronomer and science writer Duncan Lunan, who brought Britain’s first authentically alligned stone circle in more than 3000 years to Glasgow’s inner city.

More than 30 years later, Lunan hopes to revive interest in the stone circle, which was built by the Glasgow Parks Astronomy Department using funds from the former Jobs Creation Scheme.

When money for the project was abruptly scrapped by the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, four pieces of stone never made it to the circle and are now stashed under a nearby bush in Sighthill Park. It is hoped the circle can now be completed as Lunan intended.

At the stones yesterday, Lunan said: “There is still nothing up here to say who built the circle, who it was built for or how it works. I have been told that nowadays children are afraid of it, that they think it is linked to black magic, that sort of thing. That is something I want to change.”

(Full post here)

I was pleased to see this article in the Herald as I know Duncan well and am very fond of his stone circle, although it is of little interest from an earth energies point of view as Duncan’s focus was purely on the astronomical alignments. In fact it is sited partially over the old Buchanan Street station tunnel. But it’s a lovely little circle despite the graffiti on the stones and the perpetual litter, and on my last visit there a month or so ago I found some floral offerings and a memorial wreath, sure signs that some local pagans have adopted it as their local sacred spot.
The circle has alignments to the solsticial sunrises and sets, the major and minor lunar standstills, and the rising of the star Rigel both for 1979 AD and 1800BC. The four stones that remain half-buried in the nearby bushes would be used to mark the cardinal points.

The Stellarium landscape for Sighthill stones

Last year I created a landscape using the Sighthill stones for the open-source astronomy program Stellarium. You can find it, and some other stone circle landscapes,  on The Geomancy Group, or together with a global selection on the Stellarium landscapes page.
Geoff Holder also talks about the circle in the second half of my Adventures in Dowsing podcast no. 11 and mentions it in his book The Guide to Mysterious Glasgow.


Grahame Gardner is a professional dowser and geomancer specialising in house-healing work involving geopathic and technopathic stress, and the creation of sacred spaces. He is a Registered Tutor with the British Society of Dowsers, is listed on their Professional Register, and served as President of the Society from 2008-2014. He is also a founder member of The Geomancy Group. This article is from his personal blog Western Geomancy.

WANT TO PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE? Non-commercial publication of this article is permitted as long as the tagline (above) with links is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.

Nobel Prize winner reports effects of homeopathic dilutions

Nobel Prize winner reports effects of homeopathic dilutions — European Committee for Homeopathy.

Here’s an interesting story from the European Committee for Homeopathy…

In a recent study Professor Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who co-discovered HIV and who won the Nobel Prize in 2008, and his team report the results of a series of rigorous experiments investigating the electromagnetic properties of highly-diluted biological samples.

The study demonstrates that some bacterial DNA sequences are able to induce electromagnetic waves at high aqueous dilutions. It appears to be a resonance phenomenon triggered by the ambient electromagnetic background of very low frequency waves. The researchers used aqueous solutions that were agitated and serially diluted (the researchers note that the solutions were ‘strongly agitated’ and that this step was ‘critical for the generation of signals’). In other words homeopathic potencies, although the word ‘homeopathy’ is not mentioned in the article.


Druids use rock and magnets to stop road accidents

Druids use rock and magnets to stop road accidents ¦Metro.co.uk.
Druid with L-rods

I heard of this story a few years ago, when ‘druids’ placed quartz pillars on either side of a road in Austria to reduce accidents at a notorious black spot. Now it seems to have surfaced a bit more publicly if this story in the Metro is anything to go by (it also appeared in other papers).
Needless to say, this is the sort of earth healing that many dowsers and geomancers do all the time – you don’t have to be a Druid! Although maybe the robes help…?

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