The Memory of Water: A Dawning Recognition of Ancient Understanding

Dr Philip Jamieson (with Marianne Schmidt)

The following jointly authored paper was published in Nexus: The Alternative News Magazine 29(3) (April-May 2022) 27-33, 84-85 (available, as published, at https://nexusmagazine.com/product/the-memory-of-water/?v=6cc98ba2045f). Philip enjoyed the opportunity to present on this paper to the Australian Homeopathic Association QLD on Sunday, 28 August 2022.

Water is fundamental to our existence. We are organisms principally composed of water, ultimately dependent upon water to live out our existence upon a planet primarily covered by water. Little wonder that water features prominently in myths, religious beliefs, folktales and other traditions.

Water and knowledge in myths and traditions

While water is central to many ancient myths, from creation to its role in healing and cleansing, one perhaps less well explored theme in that mythology and tradition has been its role as a source of knowledge and wisdom.

Water in wells[1]

Take the example of the Norse god Odin, who in a quest for knowledge gives one of his eyes to the waters of Mimir’s Well. In exchange he receives the opportunity to drink of its waters from which he receives the knowledge he sought. Nor are the waters a source of merely factual information for Odin, but rather of deeper understanding. In sacrificing his eye, limited in its perceptions, he gains a much more profound perception: wisdom and enlightenment.

The story of Mimir himself only reinforces this understanding. Drinking daily of the waters of the well that he guards, he is esteemed for his knowledge and wisdom. Significantly, his namenot only means the Rememberer or Wise One but is thought to bear a historical linguistic relationship with our English term “memory”.

Water in fountains and springs

Mimir’s Well brings to mind the common saying that someone who knows everything is “a fount of all knowledge”, presumably its origins lying in the Bible’s “fountain” or “wellspring” of wisdom in Proverbs 18:4. In a similar vein, Terri Windling has commented on the generality of the theme in fairy tales of “heroes … sent on long journeys to the Well at the End of the World, or to springs in the dark heart of the forest, ordered to retrieve a vial of the Water of Life”, a few drops of this water conferring wisdom amongst other gifts.[2]

Seawater[3]

We also find traditions associating seawater with knowledge and wisdom.

In Ancient Greek mythology, the god Proteus is “the old man of the sea” who is given the gift of prophecy by Poseidon and has knowledge of all things. Reference to the sea is also apparent in a tradition amongst the New Zealand Maori in which the god Tane journeys to the heavens to retrieve the knowledge to guide human existence on Earth. He receives three baskets of knowledge, along with two sacred stones. These stones, an allusion to seawater apparent in their names – Hukatai (Seafoam) and Rehutai (Seaspray) – facilitate the assimilation of that knowledge to ensure that the recipient can achieve wisdom. In Islamic tradition, al-Khiḍr is believed to possess divine wisdom with links particularly to sea travellers to whom he would reveal divine secrets. 

Rivers[4]

There are similarly narratives in which rivers feature linking water with knowledge. In Celtic mythology, Danu, the goddess of the rivers and other large bodies of water (and after whom the Danube River is named), breastfeeds the gods as the supreme matriarch and, in so doing, gives them wisdom and knowledge. Amongst the Celts, there is also the Irish myth of the Salmon of Knowledge which, having swum up a local river and found shelter in a quiet pool, devours all the knowledge of the world that is contained in the falling nuts of the surrounding hazel trees. Neith, an early Ancient Egyptian goddess, is also linked with both rivers and wisdom.In Sumerian myth, Enki is the Annunaki god of wisdom and (fresh) water. In some myths, he has a daughter, Innana (later Akkadian Ishtar), who is likely related to the later goddesses of water and wisdom, the Ancient Persian goddess Anahita and the Armenian goddess Annahit. In a further reflection of an Indo-Iranian tradition identifying water with wisdom, Ahurānīa Zoroastrian water goddess, enlightens thought, speech and acts.

These links between water and knowledge are also evident in the Hindu goddess and river deity, Saraswati. Associated with Persian Anahita, she is a goddess of knowledge, wisdom and the Saraswati River, for whom water has been described not only as her “very being” but also as a “symbol of inspired thought”.[5] In Bali, Indonesia, she is linked to the traditional ritual Banyu Pinaruh. The ritual, deriving its name from “banyu” meaning sacred water and “pinaruh” meaning knowledge, celebrates the sacred waters of knowledge. Indeed, the Vedic texts more generally identify water as a medium to attain spiritual enlightenment, a relationship that also brings to mind the rituals of baptism and similar traditions in other cultures.

In the Japanese Buddhist goddess Benzaiten, whose origins lie in Saraswati, we find a goddess of everything that flows, concepts that also include both water and knowledge.

These are merely examples from an extensive body of myths and other traditions suggesting water to be a source of knowledge, and not simply of fact, but also of wisdom, understanding and enlightenment.

The science of water and knowledge

We are increasingly finding that developments in modern science are supporting the validity of many ancient traditions. So too this ancient belief that water contains information.

In scientific discussion, the idea that water can store and transmit information has been termed “water memory”. In its narrowest sense, this refers to “the ability of water to retain ‘memory’ of substances previously dissolved in it, even when there is a very high dilution factor to the point that no molecule of the substance remains in the solution”.[6] However, such molecular memory is only one aspect of the broader sense in which the term is popularly used, an ability to store and transmit knowledge – not merely factual information, but also of an energetic nature, like our emotions, thoughts, feelings and, as appears from the myths and beliefs we have related, even extending to inspired thought, wisdom, understanding and enlightenment.

The somewhat tortured path to the growing, but still widely disputed, scientific recognition of the ability of water to store information is generally described as beginning with the publication in 1988 by the French immunologist Jacques Benveniste of a co-authored paper on “Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE”.[7] The rather unprepossessing title of the paper belies the consternation that followed its publication. The implications of the study reported were that water appeared to be capable of transmitting biological information about molecules that had at one time been in solution within it but were now absent.

This was treated by many as apparent proof of homeopathy, particularly as it was noted in the paper that the dilutions needed to be accompanied by vigorous shaking for the effects to be observed, an action similarly employed in homeopathy.

While it is at times asserted that the results of that study have never been successfully replicated,[8] there have been a number of studies in the years since pointing to a similar phenomenon. Two noted researchers have been the French virologist Luc Montagnier (who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his contribution to identifying HIV) and Professor Bernd Kröplin.

Montagnier’s research is particularly interesting.In laboratory experiments involving adjacent test tubes of pure water and DNA in water solution, the DNA appears to have been able to transmit information concerning its structure to the pure water in the adjacent test tube, where (with the addition of the appropriate ingredients to synthesize the DNA by polymerase chain reaction) a copy of that DNA was able to be produced.[9]

Further academic support for the existence of “water memory” has also come from Kröplin’s research. He and other researchers at Stuttgart University began studying the phenomenon in 1998. While he published on a number of occasions in the years following, his most recent text, Water and its memory: New astonishing insights in water research, published with Regine C. Henschel in 2017, outlines their supporting research.

Describing their research and its implications, Kröplin concludes:

… beyond [water’s] physical and chemical qualities also memory and information play a significant role in water, and these build a bridge from the immaterial to the material world. These subtle phenomena … can neither be studied nor detected by traditional experimental methods.

Hence, we use a different approach: we investigate the patterns that appear in a water drop after evaporation of the water and photograph them …. We can prove that the patterns correlate with information exposed to the water. …

… By the observed patterns, we realize that water has a particular kind of memorizing and storing information of things that it has experienced. From experiments, we can also see that living organisms, like plants, can “read” this information and act with a unique behavior to the information stored in the water.

Our findings prove the memory of water and also the communication between separate units of water [over a distance of about 1.5 meters] [10].

Dr Robert Schoch in his 2021 revision, with Catherine Ulissey, of his text Forgotten Civilization, points to a number of reviews of “the growing, if still controversial, evidence that water can carry information”, concluding that “[t]here is now strong evidence that liquid water, particularly in living systems, clusters into frameworks with the ability to store and transmit information and mediate chemical and biological functions”.[11]

The mechanism?

Acknowledging the evidence of the studies supporting the validity of “water memory”, the question remains how water functions in this way.

Schoch’s comments point to frameworks formed from clusters of water molecules as somehow lying behind the phenomenon. Underpinning these frameworks is the polarity of a water molecule. Composed of an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms [H2O]), it has an asymmetrically charged structure in which the positive charge of a hydrogen atom of one water molecule is attracted to the negative charge of an adjacent water molecule’s oxygen atom, thereby resulting in a hydrogen bond and, in turn, clusters of water molecules. That frameworks formed from these clusters of water molecules might lie behind the phenomenon was evident even from Benveniste’s original study, the authors of the 1988 paper concluding that as the “dilutions needed to be accompanied by vigorous shaking for the effects to be observed, transmission of the biological information could be related to the molecular organization of water”.

In considering how its molecular organisation might be relevant, Benveniste and his fellow researchers speculated that water might act as a ‘template’, for the molecule that was substituted in their experiment, perhaps by an infinite hydrogen bonded network or through electric and magnetic fields. Amongst the various theories that have been advanced in the years since, this early speculation has been reflected in the two main (although not exhaustive) theoretical models that have emerged in explanation of the mechanism of water memory: hydrogen bonded clathrates and coherence domains associated with electromagnetic fields (EMFs).[12]

The various theories that have been proposed have tended to emphasise processes that in some manner establish structured frameworks, water structures being described in terms such as “coherence domains”, “clathrate frames” [13] and “water pearl” chains,[14] that emerge from the application of some external influence (such as an electric or electromagnetic field, mechanical impact, abrupt temperature or pressure change) .[15]  The coherent framework that results provides the “memory” environment. In one description, analogy has been drawn to the way in which ferromagnetic ordering is used for storing information on a computer disk, proposing that electromagnetic transmission of biochemical information might be stored in the “electric dipole moments” of water.[16]

One further interesting development worthy of mention has been the potential role in explanation of water memory of a fourth phase of water, liquid crystalline in nature and termed “exclusion zone water”[17] (sometimes referred to as “structured water”).[18]

Relationship to homeopathy

It is also worth noting that much of the research into water memory has overlapped that undertaken into homeopathy. Certainly, those who use homeopathy believe in its benefits: practised in virtually every country in the world over the past 200 years,[19] Bill Gray notes its “explosive resurgence” in the United States with the growing popularity of alternative medicine.[20] While the science behind the practice remains widely disputed in mainstream circles, research and theory are also pointing towards similar mechanisms in support of its reality.[21]

Referencing just a few examples, Gray has proposed that the process of diluting and shaking in homeopathy creates clusters of water molecules aligned with associated EMFs. The theory that EMFs are important in the homeopathic process has also been supported by other researchers.[22] Quantum coherence domains (of around 100 nm in diameter) in water have been postulated as storing the original substance information in the form of electromagnetic frequencies.[23]  Utilising quantum electrodynamics principles, such “coherence domains” have been suggested to derive from the progressive dilution/succussion homeopathic processes, coding the original substance information (in terms of phase oscillations) which can then be transferred to patients (by phase resonance).[24]

What types of information may be stored and transmitted?

It is clear that there are a number of theoretical models that may account for the scientific experiments supporting the reality of water memory. Thus far we have been examining that science in the context of the storage and transmission of data and other forms of factual information; in Montagnier’s experiments, for example, information about the structure of the DNA that was in solution in the first test tube. That DNA apparently transmitted information about its structure (through extremely low frequency EMFs it emitted) to water in an adjacent test tube in a manner that enabled a copy of the DNA to be produced in that water.

This occurred between separate test tubes. The information was transmitted between the two via a non-physical means: low frequency electromagnetic waves. Every organ – indeed, every cell – in our bodies produces EMFs. Could the EMFs that we emit from our bodies transmit to water, in this same non-physical way, much more than merely factual information, but also energetic information, such as emotions, thoughts and feelings?

The work of the HeartMath Institute is instructive.[25] Their focus is particularly upon the EMFs emitted by the heart. The most powerful source of electromagnetic energy in the human body, they note that it produces a magnetic field more than100 times greater in strength than that generated by the brain and is able to be detected up to 3 feet away from the body.  They have also found that information about a person’s emotional state is encoded in the heart’s EMF. Via this field, that information is able to be communicated not only throughout the body but also into the external environment, including as between people.

It also appears from Montagnier’s experiments that water is able to record and transmit information via (at least certain) EMFs. Do the Institute’s findings as to the storage and transmission of emotions via the heart’s EMF suggest the possibility of storage and transmission of emotions within water via EMFs? And, if emotions, could this include other types of energetic information such as thoughts and feelings?

Long held myths and other traditions suggest so. While these are certainly consistent with the science supporting the storage and transmission of factual data through water memory, it is equally apparent from them that water memory might also encompass forms of knowledge much broader than merely factual information, even extending to encompass inspired thought, understanding, wisdom and enlightenment.

Emotions, thoughts and feelings are energetic foundations for our development of frameworks of such understanding. If these are capable of storage and transmission by water, their transmission arguably also implies the possible receipt of consequential constructs, like wisdom and enlightenment, by the recipient of the transmission. There are studies that do indeed suggest that energetic information such as our emotions may be the subject of “water memory”.

Memory of emotions, thoughts and feelings?

We noted earlier that Kröplin found that patterns in water drops after evaporation of the water correlated with information to which the water has been exposed. The types of information that it was found impacted the patterns included emotions and music (together with such things as mobile phone emissions and even stones and plants).

This research supports the similar conclusions of others such as Viktor Kovalenko and Russian scientists Konstantin Korotkov and Stanislav Zenin,[26] supporting the existence of water’s ability to remember energetic influences such as emotions. Perhaps most well known is the work of Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto.

Over many years of research, Emoto took thousands of photographs of crystals made from freezing water, having first exposed the water to words of a positive or negative nature. On examining the photographs he found that positively exposed crystals were balanced and well formed, while those subject to negative words were deformed and broken.[27] The water reflected the energy of the words.

The role of vibration?

But how can words alone, kind or otherwise, influence a crystal’s appearance? Emoto says the answer lies in vibration. As Emoto comments, words are a form of vibration. It is the vibration of the words that influences the crystal’s appearance in its formation.

Emoto points to the fact that the entire universe is in a state of vibration. Everything within the universe is vibrating, and at its own frequency. Water has the capacity to mirror those vibrations that it receives.

Emoto is not alone in recognising vibration in some form as the ultimate foundation for water memory. Amongst others who have identified a foundational role for vibration, Physicist Auguste Meesen, for example, has recently postulated that chains of “water pearls” (spherical nano-particles formed by the electric field of charged parts of biologically active molecules) become information carriers when set in rotation at the frequency of the vibrating charged part of the molecules. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton, in postulating a form of hydrogen bonded communication network between water molecules, suggests that the bonds are conduits for vibrational information.[28] Even where the information has been removed, he suggests that so long as “you still have the vibration in the [vibrational energy] field, the water molecules will apparently maintain the continued vibration, so that you can have the information transferred”.

Austrian inventor Viktor Schauberger utilised his understanding of the role of vibration in water memory in designing machinery to generate the ‘living water’ that exists in nature when water flows energetically in spirals and vortices. Information is able to be carried in the resulting microclusters of vibrating energy centres, stored as vibrational impressions or imprints. The more powerful this vortical action, the greater the information storage. Schauberger postulated that where these imprints are beneficial, free of pollutants and toxins, they may be able to restore healthy resonance in the human body.[29] In the context of homeopathy, Gray makes a related observation in proposing that a homeopathic remedy works through vibration, effective when the remedy “vibration” resonates with the patient’s symptoms. In homeopathy too, the diluted substance is vigorously shaken to increase the effectiveness of information storing.

Schumann resonances

As early as 1991 the German biophysicist Wolfgang Ludwig made similar observations about the mechanism of homeopathy. He also focussed upon vibration as fundamental to water memory.[30] In particular, he noted that while a single water molecule has many vibrations and emits electromagnetic signals in a wide frequency region, the molecular structures that result from the hydrogen bond linkages in water may produce a much larger number of vibrational frequencies again. Water is able to both store and transmit these frequencies. Some of these frequencies may be harmful to human health but others he argued may be beneficial and, in particular, the naturally existing frequency of 7.8 Hz, the base Schumann resonances frequency.

Montagnier’s experiments are particularly interesting in this regard, because, in order for the DNA-water solution to emit the information-bearing EMFs, it was necessary that it be stimulated by a very low frequency electromagnetic background. This could either be produced from natural sources, the Schumann resonances which start at 7.83 Hz, or from artificial electromagnetic backgrounds with frequencies similar to the Schumann ones.[31] Does this role of the Schumann resonances in water memory suggest a broader connection to the postulated existence of some form of global information field, a field that utilises Earth’s magnetic fields to carry biologically relevant information connecting all living systems and consciousness? In drawing attention in a previous paper to the body of developing research supporting the existence of such a global information field, we observed how science is increasingly suggesting that, through our collective consciousness, we may use this global information field to impact not only our natural environment but also each other.[32]

Our influence on others as “water beings”?

This thesis of a “collective consciousness” has an obvious relationship with the concept of water memory. If, as we believe the foundation for water memory ultimately lies in vibration, there would seem to be the same opportunity for us to use water memory to effect positive change in our social and natural environments. If water has the ability to mirror the vibrations we generate, our vibrations can ultimately energetically impact not only the influenced water but also the recipient of those vibrations transmitted by that water. As some 70% of the human body comprises water, how we feel, how we react to what is around us and how we perceive our place in the world may have profound implications for how we might influence others by communication of those reactions and perceptions through water memory. It is important to appreciate that while clearly this “water communication” may have a positive effect on the recipient where the water has been exposed to a positive external influence, it may equally have a negative effect where reflecting a negative influence. It is for this reason that Emoto invites us to keep love and gratitude in our hearts and to share positive vibration with those around us.[33]

Conclusion

Some years ago, a study of organic matter dissolved in water[34] surprised in finding that “water does not forget”,[35] but retains a chemical memory of the organic material to which it has been exposed. Equally, the nature of water memory appears to be of far wider compass. Not only does water apparently have the capacity to retain a memory of substances previously dissolved in it even when there is such a dilution factor that no molecule of the original substance remains in the solution, there is evidence to suggest that the memory of water is not limited to matters of a purely factual nature. Science is suggesting that water memory may equally encompass wider forms of knowledge, energetic information, such as emotions, that provide foundations for the development of frameworks of understanding such as wisdom and enlightenment. These revelations about the memory of water are consistent with numerous myths, religious beliefs, folktales and other traditions. Nor does water appear merely to have the capacity to store the information that it receives – at least in certain circumstances, it also appears to be able to transmit that information.

While there are various theories postulated for the mechanism underlying water memory, we believe that the evidence is pointing towards its foundation as ultimately lying in vibration, that water can mirror the vibrations it receives. As Nikola Tesla so aptly observed, “[i]f you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”.

As we are all mostly water, the vibrations we generate through our emotions, thoughts and feelings may determine the “memories” we create in water and how therefore we may influence others. Many indigenous cultures have long pointed to the unity of all things – that everything is one – the collective whole. As individuals, we are each responsible for the vibrations we emit and the effect they have, not only on other individuals, but also on that whole.


[1] On the material following, see Christensen, C., This is Why Odin Sacrificed His Eye in Norse Mythology, Scandinavia Facts (https://scandinaviafacts.com/this-is-why-odin-sacrificed-his-eye/); Sutherland, A., Giant Mimir And The Well Of Wisdom In Norse Beliefs (11 April 2018) Ancient Pages (https://www.ancientpages.com/2018/04/11/giant-mimir-and-the-well-of-wisdom-in-norse-beliefs/), Wikipedia contributors, “Mímir,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=M%C3%ADmir&oldid=1069374560; New World Encyclopedia contributors, “Mimir,” New World Encyclopedia (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Mimir&oldid=692982).

[2] Windling, T.,Into the Woods, 12: Water, Wild and Sacred (13 June 2013)(https://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2013/06/into-the-woods-11-wild-waters.html).

[3] On the material following, see Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Proteus” (24 January 2022) Encyclopedia Britannica  (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Proteus-Greek-mythology); “Proteus” U*X*L Encyclopedia of World Mythology (24 January 2022) Encyclopedia.com  (https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/proteus); Spiller, C., “Tāne’s Journey to Retrieve Knowledge” (January 2011) in Marques, J. and Dhiman, S. (eds.), Stories to Tell Your Students: Transforming toward Organizational Growth (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2011) (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304647888_Tane%27s_Journey_to_Retrieve_Knowledge); Anon, Khidir in the Enclyclopedia of Islam, sourced from Campo, J.E. (ed), Encyclopedia of Islam (http://khidr.org/encyclopedia.islam.khidr.htm), Brown, J., The Darvishes or Oriental Spiritualism (Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford, London, 1927) at 100.

[4] On the material following, see Jay, N., “Danu – The Irish Mother Goddess”, Symbolsage (https://symbolsage.com/danu-irish-mother-goddess/); Windling, T., supra,  O’Neill, B.,“Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Salmon of Knowledge” (2 March 2020) Your Irish Culture (https://www.yourirish.com/folklore/salmon-of-wisdom); Wikipedia contributors, “Neith,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Neith&oldid=1064595616); World History EDU, Neith – Origins, Family, Meaning, Symbols & Powers (updated 20 September 2021) (https://www.worldhistoryedu.com/neith-origins-family-meaning-symbols-powers/); Mark, J., “Inanna” (15 October 2010) World History Encyclopedia (https://www.worldhistory.org/Inanna/; Cornwell, B., “Healing Water Goddesses: Four Sacred Guardians” (31 January 2021) Parabola (https://parabola.org/2021/01/31/healing-water-goddesses/); “Inanna-Ishtar” Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History (1 February 2022) Encyclopedia.com (https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/inanna-ishtar); Wikipedia contributors, “Armenian mythology” (18 January 2022) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Armenian_mythology&oldid=1066513154); The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies, Iranian Religions & Beliefs: Anahita; The Deity of Water, Fertility, Healing and Wisdom (https://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/anahita.htm); Mark, J., “Anahita” (4 February 2020) World History Encyclopedia (https://www.worldhistory.org/Anahita/); Wikipedia contributors, “Anahita” (23 January 2022) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anahita&oldid=1067511272); Wikipedia contributors, “Anahit” (28 December 2021) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anahit&oldid=1062412717); Wikipedia contributors, “Ahurani” (29 October 2020) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ahurani&oldid=986060789); Allen, R. (Allen P. and Saunders, C., eds), “Zoroastrian mythology: Ahurani” (14 May 2019) Godchecker (https://www.godchecker.com/zoroastrian-mythology/AHURANI/); Schlerath, B., “AHURĀNĪ” (updated 29 July 2011) Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, p. 688; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahurani-feminine-deity-of-the-waters; Heaphy, L., “Saraswati – Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Music and the Arts”, Kashgar (https://kashgar.com.au/blogs/gods-goddesses/saraswati-hindu-goddess-of-knowledge-music-and-the-arts); Ludvik, C., Sarasvatī, Riverine Goddess of Knowledge: From the Manuscript-carrying Vīṇā-player to the Weapon-wielding defender of the Dharma (Leiden, Brill, 2007); Anon, Rituals, Water, the essence of life: water ceremonies from around the world (https://www.rituals.com/en-nl/mag-travel-water-rituals.html); I Ketut Wijaya, “Banyu Pinaruh Day Bali – A Celebration of the Sacred Water of Knowledge(15 July 2018) Bigbog Bali (https://www.bigbogbali.com/2018/07/banyu-pinaruh-day-bali-celebration-of-the-sacred-water-of-knowledge.html); Deepa J. & Fawcett, B., (2001). Water, Hindu Mythology and an Unequal Social Order in India (August 2001) (Paper presented at the Second Conference of the International Water History Association, Bergen, August 2001) (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265066856_Water_Hindu_Mythology_and_an_Unequal_Social_Order_in_India); Wikipedia contributors, “Benzaiten” (3 December 2021) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Benzaiten&oldid=1058470555).

[5] Ludvik, supra at 32.

[6] Deyhle, A. and GCI Research Team, “Properties of Water – Does Water Have Memory or Consciousness?” (7 October 2012) HeartMath Institute (https://www.heartmath.org/gci-commentaries/properties-of-water-does-water-have-memory-or-consciousness/).

[7] Davenas, E., et al. “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Against IgE.” (1983) 333 Nature 816–18.

[8] For example, Wikipedia contributors, “Water memory” (2 December 2021) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Water_memory&oldid=1058185890).

[9] Montagnier, L. et al, “DNA waves and water”(2011) J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 306 012007 (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/306/1/012007/pdf); Montagnier, L. et al, “Transduction of DNA information through water and electromagnetic waves” (2015) 34(2) Electromagn Biol Med 106 – 112 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270594226_Transduction_of_DNA_information_through_water_and_electromagnetic_waves).

[10] Quote from Kröplin, B., “Memory and communication in water”, World in a Drop (https://www.weltimtropfen.de/index_english.html); also “Research: The communication of water – water and sympathy”(September 2016) World in a Drop (Interview with Regine C. Henschel by Ulrich Hinsen for ManagementRadio Germany) (https://www.weltimtropfen.de/forschung_kommunikation_english.html).

[11] Schoch, R. with Ulissey, C., Forgotten Civilization: New Discoveries on the Solar-Induced Dark Age (Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 2021) at 278.

[12] As noted in Meessen, A., “Water Memory Due to Chains of Nano-Pearls” (2018) 9 Journal of Modern Physics 2657-2724 (https://www.scirp.org/%28S%28351jmbntvnsjt1aadkozje%29%29/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=89620); Upadhyay R., “The Possible Mechanism of Memory through Nanoparticles and Exclusion Zones” (20 February 2017) 7 Water 158 – 176 (https://www.waterjournal.org/uploads/vol7/upadhyay/WATER.2016.4.Upadhyay.pdf).

[13] Vysotskii, V. & Kornilova, A., “The Spatial Structure of Water and the Problem of Controlled Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions in Water Matrix” (2006) 10.1142/9789812774354_0042 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237397381_The_Spatial_Structure_of_Water_and_the_Problem_of_Controlled_Low-Energy_Nuclear_Reactions_in_Water_Matrix).

[14] Meessen (2018) and as described in Meessen, A., “Virus Destruction by Resonance” (2020) 11 Journal of Modern Physics 2011-2052 (https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=106157).

[15] As noted in Vysotskii & Kornilova, supra.

[16] Widom, A. et al. “The Biophysical Basis of Benveniste Experiments: Entropy, Structure, and Information in Water” (2010) 110(1) International Journal of Quantum Chemistry 252 – 256 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229869574_The_Biophysical_Basis_of_Benveniste_Experiments_Entropy_Structure_and_Information_in_Water).

[17] See, for example, Upadhyay, supra; Ullman D., “Exploring Possible Mechanisms of Hormesis and Homeopathy in the Light of Nanopharmacology and Ultra-High Dilutions. (April 2021) 19(2) Dose-Response” (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/15593258211022983).

[18] See, for example, the wellness enterprise, What is Structured Water? (1 July 2014) (https://thewellnessenterprise.com/what-is-structured-water/)

[19] Ullman, supra.

[20] Bill Gray, An Introduction to Homepathy (https://billgrayhomeopathy.com/introduction-to-homeopathy/).

[21] A recent consideration of possible mechanisms appears in Tournier, A. et al, “Physicochemical Investigations of Homeopathic Preparations: A Systematic Review and Bibliometric Analysis—Part 3” (2021) 27(1) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 45–57.

[22] Recent examples include Vithoulkas G and Berghian-Grosan C., “The Spin of Electrons and the Proof for the Action of Homeopathic Remedies” (2020) 13(3) J Med Life 278-282 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7550134/).

[23] Del Giudice, E. and Preparata, G., “Coherence electrodynamics in water” in Schulte, J. and Endler, C. (ed), Fundamental Research in Ultrahigh Dilution and Homeopathy; 1998: 89 – 100 (referred to in Ullman, supra).

[24] Manzalini A. and Galeazzi, B., “Explaining Homeopathy with Quantum Electrodynamics. Homeopathy” (August 2019) 108(3) Homeopathy 169-176 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30901775/).

[25] HeartMath Institute, Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance – Chapter 6 Energetic Communication (https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/energetic-communication/).

[26] Kovalenko, V., “Spin Nature of Water Memory” (2013) Science Journal of Physics Article ID sjp-206 (https://www.sjpub.org/sjp/sjp-206.pdf); Kovalenko, V., “Analogy of Memory Properties of Water and the Ones of the Brain” (2013) Science Journal of Physics Article ID sjp-261 (https://www.sjpub.org/sjp/sjp-261.pdf); Somabandhu Kodikara, Discussion With Pro. Korotkov – Part 3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfZH3al0gBI); Vladimir B.. (trans. Pulich Pravda Ru, A.), Do Not Offend Water – It Remembers Every Word You Say (17 June 2006) (https://www.energytherapy.me/do-not-offend-water—it-remembers-every-word-you-say.html).

[27] Emoto, M., (trans. Thayne, D.), The Miracle of Water (Atria Paperback, 2011) (esp at vii-viii); Emoto (trans. Thayne, D.), The Hidden Messages in Water (Beyond Words Publishing, Oregon, 2004).

[28] McLeod, S., Bruce Lipton on Homeopathy – Karma Singh interviews Dr. Bruce Lipton in July 2010 (22 July 2015) Little Mountain homeopathy (https://www.littlemountainhomeopathy.com/?s=lipton). See also Lipton, B., The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (1st Hay House edition, 2008).

[29] Discussed in Bartholomew, A., Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger (Floris Books, 2014).

[30] Wolfgang Ludwig (interview) (http://www.umh-umwelttechnologien.at/pdf_englisch/engl_ludwig_art.pdf) ; Ludwig, W., “Wolfgang Ludwig: The Memory of Water.” (2003) (https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Wolfgang-Ludwig-:-The-Memory-of-Water-Ludwig/2920c1f1ee3cf553f63e68ce958bb80717106cf5).

[31] Montagnier L. et al (2011). Potential relevant applications of the Schuman resonance are considered in Alrais, A. et al, (2017). “Schumann Resonances and Their Potential Applications: a Review Article” (2017) 27 Mordovia University Bulletin 476-489 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321916355_Schumann_Resonances_and_Their_Potential_Applications_a_Review_Article).

[32]Jamieson, P. and Schmidt, M., Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need (8 July 2020) (https://wordpress.com/post/innerscribe.home.blog/207).

[33] Emoto (2011) at 141.

[34]Koch, B. and Kattner, G., Preface “Sources and rapid biogeochemical transformation of dissolved organic matter in the Atlantic surface ocean” (2012) 9 Biogeosciences 2597–2602 (https://bg.copernicus.org/articles/9/2597/2012/bg-9-2597-2012.pdf).

[35] Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. “Science News: Chemical memory of seawater: Scientists examine biomolecules dissolved in the ocean and read them like a history book” (2012) ScienceDaily (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001102433.htm).

Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need

Featured image at https://pixabay.com/photos/world-earth-space-hands-globe-3268457/ by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

The world is in the middle of a viral pandemic. Hundreds of thousands have died, many millions have been infected. There is a need for healing. There is a need for change.

Global meditations

Earlier this year organisations such as Unify and Global Peace Meditation sent out a call for action. They proposed a worldwide mass meditation.[1] It was planned to take place for some 20 minutes on the evening of 4 April, from 10.45pm EST that evening (timed to coincide with the energies of a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction). More than a million people participated.

One of the stated aims of this global meditation was to help address the pandemic. And indeed the daily number of known new coronavirus cases worldwide which had been consistently growing in the days before, was noticeably lower over the next several days.[2] Clearly, there appears to have been a temporal relationship. But was it causative? Such variation has hardly been unique to these specific dates. The number of daily new coronavirus infections around the world has been consistently fluctuating. Equally, while there is no necessarily causative relationship, this correlation in time does invite consideration of whether there is other evidence that in conjunction could support such a causative relationship. Continue reading “Plugged into the Planet – Timeless understanding in a time of global need”

Seeing the NAZCA through new eyes

Featured photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA

We have previously published this co-authored piece, Seeing the NAZCA through new eyes, that I wrote with my writing colleague, Marianne Schmidt, on the following link: https://starburstwisdom.wordpress.com/2019/12/24/seeing-the-nazca-through-new-eyes//

For ease of access, we have now decided to also reproduce the post below.

Seeing the NAZCA through new eyes

Philip Jamieson and Marianne Schmidt

Long associated with the famous but enigmatic Nazca Lines, the Nazca culture justifiably fascinates the public mind.  The Nazca emerged on the southern coast of present-day Peru around 200 BCE and survived until ca. 750CE.  It is believed that while other pre-Incan cultures (such as the Chavin and Paracas) also created some of the Lines, the majority were the work of the Nazca culture.  The Lines are a collection of more than 2000 so far identified giant geoglyphs (ground-produced designs and drawings) located on the Peruvian coastal plain and depicting hundreds of straight lines, as well as various geometric designs and pictorial representations.  A research team from Yamagata University in Japan has recently reported identifying another 143 such geoglyphs, thought to have been created at least as early as 100BCE to 300CE.

Somewhat unusually for Nazca geoglyphs, they depict humanoids, as well as many different animals (such as birds, monkeys, fish, snakes, foxes, felines, and camelids).  Most significantly, the team announced the discovery of one of these geoglyphs through the use of sophisticated IBM artificial intelligence (AI) technology, employing its capacity to analyze large and complex data sets much more swiftly and efficiently than is possible with the human eye, an application of AI that holds significant promise .

It is this AI-identified geoglyph that has particularly caught our attention.

Unfortunately we have not been able to obtain permission to reproduce the image but it may be accessed on the following link:

https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/files/7615/7381/2393/PRESS_RELEASE_nasca191115EN.pdf

The image is of a humanoid.  This is immediately of interest for, as we have noted, humanoid imagery is relatively uncommon amongst the numerous geoglyphs that have been found.  In considering the image, Mariannne has received a number of insights about its form and purpose.  We offer these to readers for their consideration.  We not do so from the perspective of professional archaeologists and scientists, but as “outsiders” who share with those professionals a deep interest in human history and evolution.  We hope to demonstrate a process whereby the figure’s meaning may potentially be discerned through an understanding of ancient mythology, spiritual principles and intuitive insights.  We believe that considering these perspectives in conjunction with more traditional archaeological and scientific analyses is the process most likely to lead to closer understanding of the “truth”.  To that end, we proffer Marianne’s perspective as one that may add to the debate in understanding these perplexing creations.  People are of course free to take our insights, thoughts and analysis on board, or not, as they wish.

There has been much written and disputed about the purpose of the Nazca geoglyphs, and indeed it seems clear that there may well be different purposes in their creation, depending on both when they were created and the form they took.  We believe that this particular AI-identified image has a deeply spiritual, religious significance that may well lend support to the theses of those who have identified a similar theme in their interpretation of the geoglyphs.  Equally, our interpretation adds a dimension that we are not aware has been previously advanced.  While we believe that the geoglyph was created to convey a spiritual lesson, we believe that it may have concerned not only the Nasca, but also a neighbouring culture, the Tiwanaku.

The AI-identified humanoid figure

The figure is relatively small by the standards of the Nazca geoglyphs, only around 4 metres long and 2 metres wide. It is a frontal depiction of a standing humanoid, waving what appears to be a club in its right hand.  It has a diminished left leg, no apparent left arm, three “eyes” on its face and a block-like head.  There are also three protrusions extending from the top of its head, all of similar length but different width.  It has been created by removing the black stones that cover the landscape to form a solid-coloured surface of the white sand beneath, a technique which helps in identifying its probable age as according to the study it was a technique employed in creating geoglyphs dating to the period ca. 100BCE – 100CE, if not earlier.

As with the AI-identified humanoid, figures identified from this period by the Japanese study tend be relatively smaller, with most less than 50 meters across. They were also created beside paths (as in the case of the AI-identified humanoid) or on sloping inclines and are believed to have likely been used as some sort of waypost for travellers, designed more to be looked at than as a location itself for practising rituals.  To our minds, ancient “billboards”.  But if billboards, “advertising” what?

The role of shamans

We believe that the answer to the question of the message intended to be conveyed by these geoglyphs lies in understanding the role of shamans in Nazca culture.  Professor Donald Proulx of the University of Massachusetts has commented that the Nazca religion was based on an active, sacred relationship between humans and nature, with spiritual forces shaping the human condition and shamans acting as intermediaries between these forces and the everyday world.

The Japanese study also identified a second type of geoglyph, generally larger in scale and created later, likely in the period ca. 100 CE to 300 CE.  It seems clear that shamans likely played a very significant role at least in relation to these geoglyphs.  Given they are believed to have been animal-shaped ritual places, shamans would almost certainly have played central roles in the ceremonies practised at these sites.

It is also interesting that it appears from the Japanese study that these ceremonies involved the destruction of pottery vessels.  The creation of humans from clay is a recurring “creation” theme in various ancient cultures and religions (for example, in Christianity God formed a man from the dust of the ground: Genesis 2:7).  Marianne has suggested that consistent with this theme, humans might readily be perceived ritually as clay pots or vessels, and their ritual destruction in these ceremonies an attempt to invoke the destruction of those groups of humans ritually represented or, less likely, a ritual re-enactment of such a destruction that has occurred in the past.

In any event, it seems reasonable to assume that given the very likely role shamans played in the rituals performed at the sites of the later geoglyphs (identified in the Japanese study) that shamans also very likely had similarly important roles in relation to the earlier “billboard” geoglyphs.  The question is what exactly was that role?

In an illuminating paper considering how total solar eclipses may have inspired the Nazca lines and geoglyphs, Robin Edgar has suggested that the geoglyphs “served not only as an impressive offering of art honouring [the Nazca] gods but very possibly were even intended to be ‘signals’ to these … gods in an effort to communicate with them”.  Our view is not dissimilar, but for us the “billboard’ geoglyphs identified in the Japanese study (the AI-identified humanoid amongst them) served not so much as messages to the gods as messages from them.  And in Marianne’s insights it is the shamans who received these spiritual messages and reflected them in the geoglyphs.

The significance of eclipses

In illuminating this shamanic role, we were fortunate to have available to us Edgar’s analysis of the possible role of eclipses in Nazca spiritual life generally.  He notes there to have been an extraordinarily high incidence of solar eclipses in the region of southern Peru during the period of the Nazca civilisation, with several coinciding with the construction of the geoglyphs we are considering here, most likely created on the Nazca plateau around 100BCE to 100CE.  He believes these eclipses would have had a profound effect on the Nazca, and in particular we would suggest upon their shamans, conduits of the spirit world interpreting the gods’ messages and wishes.

Many ancient cultures believed that the sun and the moon were sky dwelling gods.  The relationship between the two was predictable, patterned and understood.  But an eclipse changed, and challenged, that relationship, visually and energetically.  A full solar eclipse in particular would have been a terrifying event to the local population who would have been thrown into an unnatural darkness.  For the Nazca, as for other ancient civilisations, this would have represented a challenge to the natural order, a portent of coming destructive change, potentially even “the end of the world”.  Given their fears, we could expect people to look to their shamans to guide them through these dark and terrifying times.  These were people who could “see in the dark” by reading energies beyond the visible spectrum of light.  It is no surprise, then, that the humanoid figure we are examining includes what appears to be the ‘third eye’ of intuitive insight.  It is also noteworthy that the head of another Nazca humanoid figure identified prior to this recent Japanese study is dominated by two enormous eyes (and for this reason sometimes called “the Owlman”), a person with supernatural vision – in our view, a shaman.

lc3adneas_de_nazca2c_nazca2c_perc3ba2c_2015-07-292c_dd_46

The Owlman, Nazca Lines

Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA

This interpretation is supported by the arm gestures of the Owlman figure.  The Q’ero are an indigenous community believed directly descended from the Incans, living a relatively isolated existence in the Peruvian Andes.  With one arm in the air and the other facing towards the earth, this Owlman figure is reminiscent of the pose adopted in the following extract from the ‘four directions’ invocation used by Q’ero shamans:

Place one palm on the earth and the other arm up

Mother Earth – Pachamama

I pray for your healing

Let me soften into your wisdom

May I take great care of you so that my children and my children’s children

may witness the beauty and abundance you offer me today

In his paper, Edgar draws attention to the belief by numerous pre-Columbian cultures that the celestial jaguar god devoured the sun and moon during their respective eclipses.  We believe this also to be consistent with our thesis of shamans having “eyes” with supernatural vision to “see in the dark”.  For cats see well in the dark and jaguars are covered in spots that look like eyes.  Marianne has suggested that jaguars’ spots may well be symbolic of the stars themselves in the night sky, each star an eye/[“I”].  As eyes are the windows to the soul, a shaman could commune with these eyes’/[“I”s’] souls and they did so through their own celestial soul which is symbolised by the middle eye in the “power” figure.  Indeed, shamans in many cultures (including ancient Egypt) associated themselves with spotted animals – and Marianne suggests most likely because they were able to ‘see in the dark’ and read many eyes’/[“I”s’] souls/stars.

It is therefore our view that during the unusual cosmic environments and energies of these eclipses the shamans were receiving insights from their gods, “downloads” of spiritual law and understanding that they then sought to reflect in their geoglyphs.  These “downloads” were messages for a collective audience, visions and illustrations of right-living and the consequences of wrong-living.   For us, the geoglyphs produced from such events are likely therefore to be instructional in nature, intended to pass on messages of spiritual law and understanding.  A significant parallel can be drawn here with certain Australian Indigenous practices.  It is well known that the larger Nazca geoglyphs appear to be designed to be seen best from above.  The Indigenous peoples of the Australian central and western desert region are internationally renowned for their artwork, commonly identified as Papunya.  Their style is “figurative”, often using a dotted matrix form, together with elements such as lines, circles and spirals, to depict their country and their Dreaming stories as if seen from above.  Christine Nicholls has observed that this practice “sometimes refers back to the old days when large ceremonial ground paintings, sculpted from coloured earths and sands, were dotted with clumps of animal down or the feathers of cockatoos or emus”.  And in representing their Dreaming stories, the narratives that speak to their “worldview”, their land, religion and law, the artists may pass on directions, social and moral guidelines, about how to act in dealing with others and the surrounding natural world.

Visual messages

Of course, the Nazca lines and other geoglyphs are generally far more expansive, both in size and geography, than the artworks of the indigenous cultures of the Australian central and western desert.  For some this suggests that their interpretation required viewing from above.  Perhaps, but this is also clearly not true of many of the geoglyphs.  The research team at Yamagata University had previously found various geoglyphs broadly clustered along different routes leading to a temple complex.  While this has been thought to suggest that the complex was once a religious center where pilgrims would have brought offerings, the team also concluded that the geoglyphs lining those routes had been placed to be seen from these ritual pathways, and presumably therefore intended to be seen as part of the pilgrimage.  Indeed, it is clear that the smaller “billboard” geoglyphs identified in the recent Japanese study were also clearly intended to be looked at from ground level.  This contemplation could have taken place while walking along the paths beside which they were created, or in those cases where they were to be found on sloping inclines, the incline was likely intended to provide an opportunity for them to be more easily viewed.

Marianne suggests that the paths may well have been like “Pilgrim Ways”, with the geoglyphs’ instructive and thought provoking images designed to help pilgrims find their spiritual way.  A study by two archaeologists, Clive Ruggles and Nicholas Saunders, would appear to provide some support for this possible interpretation.  They identified one of the Nazca geoglyphs to be a labyrinth, and apparently intended itself to be walked, and given its physical integrity perhaps only occasionally, as for example they suggest by an initiate, pilgrim, shaman or victim.  They conclude that its significance might lie “in metaphysical correlates associated with spiritual beliefs, rather than repeated use by humans”.  In our view, the “billboard” geoglyphs identified in the Japanese study likely had a similar purpose.  In a society without the written word, they may well have served in effect as a visual representation of spiritual law – a pictorial Bible if you will.  And, just like the Bible, some of these images may have been prophetic whereas others might have been describing stories from the past or parables with a moral thread woven within them.  Perhaps the geoglyphs formed part of what Lynne Kelly in her book, The Memory Code, has called in ancient cultures “a structured system for memorising vast amounts of rational information”, as “Australian Aboriginal songlines, Native American trails, Inca ceques [ritual pathways] and many other landscape paths created by indigenous cultures were the result of training their memories”.

Ruggles and Saunders suggest that the labyrinth they identified, its overall design asymmetric and unaesthetic to a Western eye, may well be an analogue for the wider Nazca pampa “where many straight lines and geometrical features that are not visibly associated from one location are nonetheless ultimately recognised as being connected as one moves along or around them”.  As they recognise, their labyrinth may be merely “a microcosm of a larger organising principle similarly ‘hidden’ on the wider pampa, and whose conceptual significance emerges only from a combination of prior ritual knowledge, styles of movement and glimpses of intervisibility”.  The fact that we find the geoglyphs so difficult to decipher is because they reflect the different time and cultural context in which they were formulated.  They were also encoded in the symbolic language used by shaman and, as such, if you asked an Andean priest what they mean, you might gain greater insights into their meanings!

Whether as part of a “Memory Code” and/or a “Pilgrim Way”, or something else again, we believe that one purpose of at least some of the geoglyphs may have been instructional, to provide guidance and understanding of spiritual law and proper human behaviour.

Interpreting the purpose and meaning of any particular geoglyph involves deconstructing the figure.  The process of deconstruction allows us to better understand the symbolism that has been used, which in turn enables us to attempt to determine the specific spiritual or other message intended.  Which brings us to the focus of this paper, of the meaning of the AI-identified humanoid?

A “warrior”?

Clearly, at the most obvious level of interpretation, the figure appears to be brandishing a “club” in its right hand, an apparent image of a “warrior”.  Given the early dating attributed to this geoglyph, this interpretation is consistent with the observation by Proulx that representations of warriors in early Nazca ceramic art are also nearly always depicted in a frontal, full-face manner holding weapons such as clubs in their hands.

But a figure brandishing a club may equally be understood more generically as a symbolic expression of domination, through the exercise of power, of which warfare or conflict is but a particular application.  We consider that the “club” in this case may well represent such domination, and the “warrior” more properly then to be understood as a “power” figure.

Sun/moon duality

In the context of our discussion of the role of eclipses in the creation of these geoglyphs we noted that many ancient cultures considered the sun and moon to be sky dwelling gods.  In South America, the later Incan civilisation is known to have seen the universe as a duality, with the sun as masculine and the moon feminine.  Edgar has suggested that the Nazca geoglyphs show a similar spiritual understanding.

We find in the “power” figure a reflection of this spiritual sun and moon duality.  We believe that the right side of the figure is represented as embodying his masculine energies, boasting a strong right arm wielding a club. His left side by comparison, embodying his feminine energies, is diminished – the eye drawn furthest to the left is the smallest, so too the extrusion rising above the head on the far left side, the left arm completely absent (although possibly merely later lost through damage to the image) and the left leg withered.  The representation appears to focus on the strengths of his masculine energies, recognising the feminine side of his nature to be conversely withered and out of balance with his masculine energies.  As represented, it is clear that in this imbalance, while his strengths as a figure of domination are emphasised, it is difficult for him to move forward in a balanced manner because of his neglected feminine qualities.

The feathers

We also believe that this symbolism is continued in the three protrusions extending above the figure’s head. They are likely to be feathers, as wearing a feathered headdress was certainly a feature of the later Incan monarchs (as, for example, the Statue of Pachacutec in Machu Picchu).

adrian-dascal-EwmrF4advRY-unsplash

Statue of Pachacutec in Machu Picchu

Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

Feathers in shamanic tradition are symbolic of the soul’s journey to and from the spirit world just as birds are regarded as spiritual messengers.  Similarly it is often said that the eyes are the windows of the soul – a portal through which the soul may travel.  As such, the symbolism of a feather above each eye may well symbolise soul communication to an aspect of the divine in Andean cosmology.

In addition, given that each feather differs noticeably in its breadth, it is likely that the overall size of each feather is an indication of the strength of the type of ‘vision’ symbolised by the corresponding eye.  Hence, the right eye would have connected to the masculine sun god (‘Inti’ in Incan cosmology). The sun god was likely associated with characteristics of the left hemisphere of the brain, ie. logic, reason and language – all characteristics of the divine masculine. It is noteworthy that this is the broadest feather and so it is reasonable to assume these were the strongest aspects of the culture that the figure represents, and as is reinforced in the other elements of the figure, at least of that period.  The central feather likely symbolised a connection to the supreme god of the Andean pantheon Wira-qochan (“world teacher” and creator god) through the pineal gland or “third eye” (which appears to be represented immediately below it). This is the second broadest feather, which suggests their spiritual connection to the ‘world teacher’ was weaker than their connection to the divine masculine but stronger than their connection to the divine feminine. The eye on the left would have connected to the feminine moon god (‘Killa’ in Incan cosmology) – the right hemisphere of the brain – symbolising the creative, artistic and non-linear thinking of the right hemisphere of the brain – all divine feminine characteristics. The left feather is the smallest, meaning these feminine characteristics were weakest, as is also reinforced in the other elements of the figure.

The Third Eye

We have already drawn attention to what we believe to be a representation in the “power” figure’s head of a third eye.  The third eye is well known as representing a gateway to higher consciousness, towards a state of enlightenment.  It has not traditionally been recognised as amongst the beliefs of ancient New World civilisations, although the North American Hopi mythology refers to the “opening of the doors in their heads” which is certainly suggestive of the third eye.  Moreover, Richard Cassaro has compiled an extensive collection of representations of such symbolism, including from Incan and pre-Incan cultures in South America.  We believe that the “power” figure provides another example of this symbolism, and in the Nazca culture.

The womb

In considering the figure’s eyes, it is also to be noted that the left and right eyes are both round, with the larger on the right arguably representing the masculine sun god, the smaller on the left the feminine moon goddess. The central eye (third eye), on the other hand, is oval shaped, a symbolism similarly reflected in a 16th century drawing of the altar of Qorikancha, the most important temple in the later Incan civilisation, in which Wira-qochan (the Incan creator god) is represented as an oval, representative of the womb of all creation.  In the drawing, Wira-qochan is positioned between its first two creations – the sun to their right and the moon to their left – the divine masculine and feminine gods.  Wira-qochan is also positioned above both of its creations, signifying its genderless nature (it is beyond gender) and its role as the creatorix of both.  The oval shape is significant in that it is the shape of a womb – the womb of all creation – for the “world teacher” is the creator.  The terraces of Moray in Peru are also oval shaped – embodying the same creative principle.

Marianne has pointed to the fact that this is actually a principle that also finds its expression in modern science today – the field of quantum potential – a central concept in quantum mechanics.  Yet we find representations of the concept not only in Incan tradition but also in various other ancient traditions.  Other ancient deities that appears to represent the same concept of quantum potentiality include the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Greek goddesses Sophia and Artemis, and the Roman goddess Diana.

The figure’s northerly orientation

We consider that the direction that the figure is facing may also well be significant in deconstructing its meaning.  It is clearly northerly facing. We have already referred to the ‘four directions’ invocation used by Q’ero shamans.  In that invocation, the shamans invoke the North in the following terms:

Face the north with one arm up and the other palm open to receive

To the Winds of the North

Royal Hummingbird

Ancient Ones

Teach me about your endurance and your great joy

Come to me in the dreamtime

With honor I greet you

In this invocation, the North is represented by the Royal Hummingbird and ancient ones, which are called upon to come to the speaker in the ‘dreamtime’.  Marianne suggests that the reference to the Royal Hummingbird may well be to “the eternal”, for the hummingbird’s wings beat in the shape of the symbol for eternity. The Ancient ones is probably a reference to the ancient gods of the Andean pantheon, just as Indigenous Australians refer to communing with the ancient ancestor beings that shaped the formation of the world.  In today’s vernacular, this might be describeded as communing with the forces of nature.  And given that the dreamtime is the state of communion with the spirit world, it is surely no coincidence in this invocation that in Andean cosmology the hummingbird represents the highest level of spirituality.

We believe that it may well be that in the figure’s orientation, there is an implication that the source or inspiration for this image has come from the ancient eternal ones – the gods of the heavens – through a dreamtime experience (trance like state in which shamans access the spirit world).

The head

We also believe that while the figure was created by the Nazca, it was related to a neighbouring culture, the Tiwanaku (sometime contemporaries of the Nazca).  The Tiwinaku capital became one of the Andes’ most important pilgrimage destinations and their influence is known to have extended into the Peruvian Moquegua Valley, establishing an agricultural and mining colony there from around 400CE.  The Tiwanaku were noted stonemasons and amongst the ruins of the capital is the “Gate of the Sun”, a solid stone structure some 3 metres high and 4 metres wide that some scholars suggest may be 14,000 years old.

Zonnepoort tiwanaku.jpg
Gate of the Sun in Tiwanaku

By Mhwater – Transfered from nl.wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

To us, the blocklike form of the “power” figure’s head is very reminiscent of the Gate of the Sun.  Indeed, we consider that the allusion is so strong that this may have been intended to be a direct reference to the Tiwanaku culture.  We believe this view is supported by the nature of the Tiwanaku state.  Mathew Bandy has suggested that the Tiwanaku culture was a multicultural “hospitality” state, in which high status individuals – the elite – engaged in acts of hospitality which served to emphasise institutionalised social inequality.  Their society was one also that established a widespread hegemonic cultural dominance, not through traditional militaristic means as such, but through immigration and colonial expansion (including into present day Peru).  In this process they subordinated other cultures within the region, with significant social inequality.

We believe that it is to this hegemonic cultural dominance that the “power” figure is directed.  However, we believe that dominance is merely the visible expression of an underlying spiritual imbalance in the culture.  Indeed, it is interesting that given in the later Incan culture the sun god was a masculine deity, even the terminology of the so-named “Gate of the Sun” is perhaps suggestive of a modern implication of imbalance in the Tiwinaku culture – towards the masculine.

In our interpretation the figure was created by Nasca shamans, under the direction of their spirit guides, to reflect the need for energetic balance, a spiritual principle relating to the need for balance between divine masculine and feminine qualities using their neighbouring culture, the Tiwanaku, as a negative example.  In this paper we have attempted to deconstruct the image in identifying those insights.  We believe they reveal the intention to portray the Tiwanaku as an aggressive, hegemonic culture of domination (not in the traditional militaristic sense, but in using the representation of a club in the figure to embody their cultural subordination of those who came within their influence) with advanced stonemasonry skills, a moderate spiritual understanding but with meagre creativity, empathy, nurturing and emotional sensibilities.  And given we believe these insights to be instructional in nature, we see starkly emphasised in the figure a message of spiritual imbalance, between masculine and feminine energies.

Whilst it is not known for sure what caused the fall of the Tiwanaku Empire, it has been suggested that it was its sociodynamics.  There is evidence to suggest it was the result of a social upheaval; possibly even a revolt over the control of food supplies by the ruling elite.  Perhaps it is an appropriate symbolism that the Gate of the Sun, when rediscovered by Europeans a millenia after the fall of the Tiwanaku Empire, was found knocked over with a large crack through it.

In developing this thesis, we note that we have not sought to focus upon current views as to timelines in the formation and development of the Tiwinaku culture.  The early history of the culture does not appear to have received as much archaeological attention as the later Empire and we believe that in furthering our understanding of the Tiwinaku culture at the time of the creation of the “power” figure it is appropriate to let the deconstruction of the Nazca figure speak its message

The rediscovery of this NAZCA “power” figure is a timely reminder of the work our culture needs to undertake if it is to survive and move forward in a balanced manner. The emphasis here is on the word ‘survive’ for we need look no further than the Incan, Aztec or even Roman cultures to determine what happens to cultures that express extreme masculine qualities that lead to ruthless exploitation and expansionism.  Having a level of spiritual understanding was clearly not enough to save these cultures, as each had a system of spiritual beliefs which comprised a pantheon of masculine and feminine energies (i.e. Gods and Godesses).  In the case of the Incans at least, their cosmology even espoused the importance of maintaining a balance between these energies in order to retain the goodwill of the gods.  So what went wrong?  One explanation may be that the feminine qualities of collaboration, emotional  intelligence, nurturing, care for the vulnerable and non-linear thinking held insufficient appeal when compared with the allure of riches and power sought by the Incan elite.  The consequences of this lack of balance appear to have been the destruction of this seemingly invincible South American empire  by the even more powerful and ruthless Spanish invaders.  The once mighty Incans became the impoverished servants of their new Spanish rulers.

It should also be pointed out that the need for nurturing, care and balance extends beyond people, to the environment.  It is surely no coincidence that feminine energies have traditionally been associated with Mother Earth.  Somewhat ironically, the demise of the Nazca culture appears likely due to the over exploitation of the natural environment.  Archeologists postulate that the Nazca culture was destroyed by flooding caused by the combined effects of an El Niño and a landscape that had been cleared of trees for agricultural purposes.

Our own patriarchal Western society lies in similar imbalance, with growing calls for greater emphasis in our community upon the feminine – upon the qualities of collaboration, emotional intelligence, nurturing and care for the vulnerable – qualities that in greater prominence may just save our Western society from a similar demise to the Tiwanaku.  Western culture would be well advised to take heed of the warning represented by this new Nazca “power” figure, lest we suffer the same type of karmic ‘rebalancing’ events that were triggered  by the actions of the Incan, Nasca and possibly Tiwanaku cultures.  For if we don’t choose to take the necessary steps to address the imbalances in our society, and the environment in which we live, fate will surely step in and do the job for us.

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References

All internet references are as accessed on 22 December 2019.

Anon, Gaia: How to Hold a Four Directions Ceremony (3 February 2017) (https://www.gaia.com/article/four-directions-ceremony)

Bandy, M., “Tiwinaku Origins and Early Development: The Political and Moral Economy of a Hospitality State” in Vranich, A and Stanish, C. (eds), Visions of Tiwinaku (Los Angeles, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, 2103) at 135-150 (https://www.academia.edu/24665779/Tiwanaku_Origins_and_Early_Development_The_Political_and_Moral_Economy_of_a_Hospitality_State)

Cassaro, R., Discovery Of The Third Eye In The Ancient Americas (18 November 2015) (https://www.richardcassaro.com/discovery-of-the-third-eye-in-the-ancient-americas/)

Coghlan, A., Clearing oasis trees felled ancient Peru civilisation (2 November 2009) (https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18091-clearing-oasis-trees-felled-ancient-peru-civilisation/) 

Eda, M et al, “Identifying the bird figures of the Nasca pampas: An ornithological perspective” (2019) 26 Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 101875 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.101875)

Edgar, R., The Nazca Lines and “The Eye In Sky”: How Total Solar Eclipses Inspired the Nazca Lines & Geoglyphs (2000) (https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/nazca/esp_lineas_nazca_16.htm)

Garces, E., The Inka Astronomy Handbook (First English edition March 2018) ISBN: 978-612-00-3214-5

Ghose, T., : “Mysterious Nazca Line Geoglyphs Formed Ancient Pilgrimage Route” (1 May 2015) Livescience (https://www.livescience.com/50699-nasca-lines-ritual-procession.html) 

History.com Editors, “Nazca Lines” (21 August 2018) History (https://www.history.com/topics/south-america/nazca-lines)

Kelly, L., The Memory Code (Allen & Unwin, 2016)

Nicholls, C., Art, History, Place (Working Title Press, Kingswood SA, 2003)

Proulx, D., The Nasca Culture: An Introduction (1999, 2007) (https://people.umass.edu/~proulx/online_pubs/Nasca_Overview_Zurich.pdf)

Ruggles, C., & Saunders, N., “Desert labyrinth: lines, landscape and meaning at Nazca, Peru” (2012) 86(334) Antiquity 1126–1140

Smithfield, B., The Vintage News: The Gate of the Sun: A megalithic solid stone structure, confusing experts ever since its discovery (19 April 2017) (https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/04/19/the-gate-of-the-sun-a-megalithic-solid-stone-structure-confusing-experts-ever-since-its-discovery/)

Whelan, E., “AI Identifies New Geoglyphs Among Nazca Lines in Peru” (19 November 2019) Ancient Origins (https://www.a ncient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/nazca-lines-geoglyphs-0012881)

Wikipedia contributors, “Creation of man from clay” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Creation_of_man_from_clay&oldid=926688231)

Wikipedia contributors, “Gate of the Sun” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gate_of_the_Sun&oldid=912651337)

Wikipedia contributors, “Nazca culture” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_culture#)

Wikipedia contributors, “Nazca Lines” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nazca_Lines&oldid=931584504 )

Wikipedia contributors, “Tiwanaku empire” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tiwanaku_empire&oldid=930671787)

Yamagata University and IBM Japan, Press Release: 143 New Geoglyphs Discovered on the Nasca Pampa and Surrounding Area (15 November 2019) (https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/files/7615/7381/2393/PRESS_RELEASE_nasca191115EN.pdf) (also see https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/information/info/20191115_01/)

Are Animals Spiritual?

On 21 August this year a woman died in a road accident in China. Tragically, more than 700 such deaths are likely to have occurred in China on that single day. However, in the months since, her passing has become a matter of international public interest as her canine companion has continued to stand steadfastly by the guard rail near the spot where she was killed. Allusions have been made to Hachiko, the Akita dog that for almost 10 years from 1925 waited at the end of each day for its dead owner outside a train station in Tokyo (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-13/loyal-dog-waits-for-almost-three-months-for-dead-owner-to-return/10491620), although there are many examples upon which one could draw of such canine “loyalty”.

I wonder though if the commonly used term “loyalty” properly captures the sentiment behind these actions. I consider them more properly understood as “faith”, a steadfast and unwavering belief that their human companion will rejoin them. Is “faith” spiritual? Are the actions of these dogs evidence to a human mind of a spiritual ethos? And the deeper question: Are animals spiritual? Continue reading “Are Animals Spiritual?”