Eighteen years on, this was the first time that we had invited a professional acupuncturist to speak to the TDs. I think we were all left wondering why.
Marcus Mason has a traditional acupuncture practice serving East Cornwall and West Devon. He is also a very experienced dowser and astrologer. The most significant thread of this multi-layered presentation was to demonstrate how the energies found throughout the universe mirror, and integrate with, those felt in the human body. For those of us with an interest in the philosophical basis underpinning dowsing theory - the ‘why’ of dowsing - this approach was pushing gently at an already wide-open door.
Taking the whole subject from first principles, albeit at some pace, Marcus described how planet earth, spinning at mind-numbing speed through space, and wobbling gently on its axis over vast eons of time, generates and modifies huge electromagnetic fields. Additionally, the impact of emissions from the sun, which also storms and spins through the ether, dragging its coterie of planets in its embrace, bathes the earth in solar fields of great magnitude yet great subtlety. Similarly, our moon, partly in reflection of the sun, and partly by its own mass and location, also has an impact on the energy fields detectable - and dowsable - on the surface of the earth. Just when you thought you were at the edge of what you could come to terms with in one pass, up went another image, implying that all this interplanetary and inter-dimensional interaction was just scraping the surface of the informational layers available to the everyday earthling. Then, of course, we needed to imagine that our whole spiral galaxy is itself zooming though space-time, at least relative to other galaxies . . . The information overload was threatening to become almost tangible - and we hadn’t even left the realm of the physical universe.
But MM’s day-job is the management and balancing of the energies of the patient and the punter. The cosmic forces that he had described in such vibrant detail aren’t just buffeting the rocks and the magma of the Earth and her fellow-travellers, they are coursing around us, and through us, all the time. The skill and experience of the acupuncturist is to sense these currents (Marcus uses pulses in the wrist to derive such information) and to gently adjust the human energy fields and meridians by inserting needles at known pressure points.
While the principles of acupuncture are generally well known, few clients will have considered the wider aspects of how, let alone why, such treatment actually works. Most of us are willing to accept that social and medical inputs could nudge our chakras and our auras out of kilter. What Marcus was showing here, was that this is just the tip of the cosmic iceberg - and that a whole raft of other (surprisingly physical) influences can be affecting the human body, its mind and its spirit. Worse still, we have to come to terms with the fact that once we have left the consulting room, and have made it half way to the nearest coffee shop, the world has bumbled and tumbled through millions of ludicrously large measurements of distance, energetically pin-balling its way across the universe in the company of other celestial bodies - and that we should probably just turn round and start the whole needle-piercing bit again!
But Marcus has another important arrow in his quiver. His study of the impact of the planets, and of the source of their ‘earth’ energies, has led him to appreciate the inherent value of astrology. (There was even a brief debate about whether there were dowsable ‘earth’ energies on Mars.)
Like many initially physical dowsers, I came very late to understand that astrology isn’t just a misunderstanding of astronomy in the era before telescopes. Marcus described, not only how the distant cosmic forces affect the planet and, by definition, ourselves but that these forces have distinct qualities. We may interpret them in unavoidably anthropomorphic imagery and language, but all we are doing is trying to make sense of these influences in terms that anyone can understand - at least with a little help from a seasoned astrologer.
That the position of the planets, the sun and our moon, relative to the earth, at or around the period of our birth, might have some impact on our non-physical wellbeing or outlook, actually sounds a lot less esoteric if we take on board the first part of MM’s earth energy scenario. Similarly, the confluence, or juxtaposition, of celestial objects relative to the earth at any given time might well - at least conceptually - have some significant input to the moods or the actions of those sensitive to subtle influences.
To tie up the threads of this vast tapestry, Marcus went on to explain how dowsable planetary grids appear to be formed by the interaction of our world with that of others in the solar system - our own Michael and Mary complex being just one part of one such grid line. A series of images, building up to one showing a tight global matrix of inter-connected lines and nodal points, indicated at least one reason why certain places on the surface of the earth have come to be regarded as special - sacred, if you like. In fact, the well-connected or meditative traveller could not help but feel a sense of wellbeing, of being at one with nature, or even of full-scale enlightenment at such locations.
Marcus has led cohorts of pilgrims and researchers to several of these sites -across Europe, North America and Australasia. Some of his journeys follow the well-known and the well-trodden, but others are more off the beaten track, such as his group visits to islands off the eastern coast of Denmark.
His explanation of the impact of other planets on the surface of the earth had several present wondering about the resonance between this take and Billy Gawn’s finer-grained grids, so beloved of many of us earth energy dowsers.
Many thanks to Marcus Mason and Sue Weaver for such a comprehensive presentation of such a vast and fascinating subject. Given the positive audience reaction, I am sure we will be seeing them again at North Hill in the not-too-distant future.