Rev. Dr. Calen Rayne is an accomplished geomancer, a Unitarian Universalist Lay Community Minister, and Adjunct Faculty of Wisdom School of Graduate Studies at Ubiquity University. Calen has traveled extensively and spent time in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia studying with great masters of both Japanese and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, with Bon and pre-literate Bon masters, with geomancers from both Celtic and Druid traditions, and with alchemists of various indigenous religions.
Instruments used for his sound and energy work include dowsing rods, Himalayan singing bowls, shaman drum, ghanta and dorje, tingshas, bonpo shangs, phurbas and other ritual objects from many world wisdom traditions. Calen consults with clients around the world offering his unique blend of skill and experience as the foundation for his geomantic work with earth energies in clients’ homes and landscapes.
Fine Homes and Design had the opportunity to speak with Calen about his understanding of how the energy of the earth informs our home environments and influences landscape design.
FHD: You have studied with geomancers from various traditions. What does it mean to be a geomancer?
Geomancy is one of the terms used to describe work with earth energies. Earth alchemy, Zahori art, sacred landscapes, sacred geography, and feng shui are other terms one might use. The origin of the term comes from geo-, meaning earth, and -mancy, which is the ability to foresee or discern.
FHD: What are the origins of these traditions?
Many elements of geomancy are universally found across cultural and global borders. The tradition of reading or discerning the earth’s energy patterns is as old as humankind. It is a natural response and a matter of survival to want to understand and learn from our surroundings. Long before the development of modern scientific equipment, humans relied on their powers of perception and intuition, which were fine-tuned with the help of simple tools such as dowsing rods. In 1873, Ernest Eitel authored The Science of Sacred Landscape in Old China.
In it he describes the art of feng shui and working with earth energies, which originated in the Sung Dynasty around the 12th century at the same time that European master builders were working on the great cathedrals of Europe. Yet structures for worship and ceremony in most world wisdom traditions appeared centuries earlier and were often sited according to principles of geomancy.
FHD: What are the reasons someone would want to consult with a geomancer?
In ancient traditions as well as today, a geomancer would be consulted when selecting a site to locate a home. Clients seeking property for new home construction are assisted with picking the best location for a home to keep in harmony with the existing eco-field and take advantage of landscape features already present. I also assist clients with assessing an existing home before or after a purchase or remodeling project. In addition to geomancy, I have past experience as a real estate broker, appraiser, and federal housing inspector, which means my clients gain an advantage from a multi-faceted consultation incorporating a broad range of experience and expertise.
FHD: You have studied in various lineages; tell me about some of your most memorable teachers.
I trained with Michael Rice at the New York School of Feng Shui. Michael is a bioarchitect from Ireland whose building designs incorporate sacred geometry to bring balance and harmony to spaces. I find his designs fascinating because they draw out the energy of the land surrounding them, which enhances the experience of the people entering those spaces. His work is the best architectural example of the three levels of experience taught in Buddhism and encompassed in the work I do: the outer, inner and secret meanings of an experience.
On the outer level is the architecture, a physical structure in harmony with the landscape; on an inner level is the sacred geometry embedded in the design, which is a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into enlightened mind; and on a secret level Michael’s work seeks to perfect the balance of subtle energies of the body, landscape, and the clear light dimension of mind.
I spent time in the field with Dominique Susani, a French master builder in the lineage of builders of the great cathedrals of Europe. I learned, as Dominique explains in his book on Earth Alchemy, how to make living and work spaces healthier through realignment with the natural earth patterns. This focus on working with trees, alignment of stones, and the mitigation of negative influences in the eco-field are an essential component of my work.
I also analyze the energetics of sacred sites around the world and bring these practices into my work.
FHD: What is your process when working with a property?
I begin with an extensive questionnaire that enables the client to understand what they expect from the property and helps identify what ancestral memories they might bring forward from previous places they have lived. I then determine the genesis point on the property using a technique learned in the Himalayas to access information from the surrounding eco-field. From this I determine how best to bring the client’s energy into balance with the property and the surrounding eco-field of the land. This might involve installing a menhir, labyrinth, or zen garden, planting trees or making other changes to the immediate landscape
FHD: What are some recent projects you’ve been involved with?
In the last two years I have sited and installed nearly a dozen labyrinths for clients in Europe and North American, including in Orkney, on a small island off the coast of northern Scotland, at a large estate in Devon, England, and in a community space near Culemborg in the Netherlands. I have recently consulted on several home and workspace projects in Portugal, and visited various sacred sites to study their eco-fields. Europeans have a rich tradition of working with land and stones, thus my work is more mainstream in Europe, going back to days of master builders who worked on the various cathedrals and sacred sites on that continent.
FHD: How long have you been a geomancer? Could you explain from your point of view what is happening when you are dowsing?
I have been dowsing since I was five years old, so I have over six decades of experience to draw from when I engage a property. I believe a channel is opened that connects a dowser to a larger eco-field of information, what Rupert Sheldrake describes as a morphic field. My doctoral dissertation discusses quantum non-locality and systematic morphogenesis, based in part on Sheldrake’s work. I became more interested in working with earth energies after studying in Japan 30 years ago.
Since then I have traveled extensively and completed multiple certification trainings to expand my knowledge as it relates to working with eco-fields. My time living in the Himalayas training with alchemists from the first religion there was also valuable. This so-called “nameless religion” is known as “patterns of heaven and earth” or “sacred conventions,” and the core teachings deal with working with existing eco-fields using advanced mathematical principles.
FHD: I have heard stones referred to as “record keepers.” From your perspective, what does this mean? Are there other tasks served by stones? Even the Bible refers to stones as “witnesses.” It is believed that stones and trees carry ancestral memories of the land they are on. They have “witnessed” all that has taken place for centuries around them, so it seems reasonable to believe they have kept “record” of their experiences. Biologists have observed the physical aspect of this record keeping in dendrochronology, the study of tree rings to answer questions about the natural world.
FHD: What is sacred geometry and from your perspective why is sacred geometry important in landscape and home design?
Working with landscapes is highly mathematical. Like interior designers, geomancers also incorporate the golden mean into their designs. It’s well known that Fibonacci numbers exist in nature, such as the golden mean spiral that appears in many patterns of nature, and can be used to harmonize frequencies in the eco-field surrounding a home. But there are variations of Fibonacci numbers like Lucas numbers and a blended set that can be used to harmonize an eco-field as well. When I engage a property, I am analyzing the invisible patterns there as well as the visible components on the property that together indicate the state of harmony and balance. I see a lot of what I do as design.
I apply geomantic principles from many of the world wisdom traditions to make adjustments as needed. A guiding principle of mine is best summarized in this quote by Marko Pogacnik: “Geomancy is an ancient word denoting the knowledge of the invisible as well as the visible dimensions of the Earth and its landscapes. I refer to geomancy as ‘sacred geography.’ By ‘sacred’ I mean the task of geomancy in our present day is not simply to foster public interest in etheric, emotional and spiritual levels of places and landscapes, but also to promote a deeper, more loving, and more responsible relationship toward the Earth, the cosmos, and toward all beings, visible and invisible.”
FHD: That reminds me of the concept of forest bathing we have heard so much about recently. What’s your take on this?
I have been practicing forest-bathing as long as I can remember, although when I was a child growing up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky we called it “playing in the woods.” The practice of Shinrin-yoku was developed in the 1980’s in Japan, during a time I studied there. Most of the temples I visited in Japan had a walking meditation across their grounds, which often included altars, water elements, and ornamental gardens. We try to incorporate some of these features in our sacred landscape designs to assist with necessary adjustments.
FHD: In your opinion, what is the future of home and landscape design with respect to geomancy and sacred geometry? Do you see our relationship with the natural elements changing?
I believe people are becoming more aware of their surroundings and will seek to better position themselves in a larger eco-field to support them on their life journey. It seems possible that people need to come to the understanding that we are all part of an unfolding spiritual story, and that we must direct our energies toward a successful outcome for that story.
I believe we are all indispensable, that we are all part of “the plan.” I once listened to a symphony orchestra perform a lengthy piece, and took note of the man sitting in the back simply turning page after page intently and not contributing. But twenty or so minutes into the piece, he adjusted his tuxedo and picked up a small triangle.
As the orchestra reached a crescendo, he tapped the triangle once, and then sat back down. That “ping” may have seemed insignificant to listeners, but in the mind of the composer, something would be lost without that moment. Each of us is that “ping,” and this world needs our imagination and attention and works to enable the unfolding story of creation to manifest. My intention is to “tap the triangle” as needed when engaging a landscape to help my clients achieve their goals.
For more information about Calen’s work visit www.raynemaker.com.