Mapa mito-poético de la cuenca del río Barbate / Karmit EvenZur y Manuel Maqueda

Paul Devereux, en su libro Geografía Sagrada, habla de dos términos griegos que se usaban en la antigüedad para denominar a la tierra: Chora y Topos.

“Chora es el más antiguo de los dos términos y era una referencia holística al lugar: el lugar como revelación, el lugar como guardián de la memoria y presencia mítica. Topos, por otro lado, significaba lugar en la forma en que lo vemos hoy en día – simple ubicación y objetivo, las características físicas de un lugar, o topografía“.

Muchas culturas indígenas todavía mantienen mapas de sus territorios en forma de cuentos e imágenes mentales. ¿Cómo sería un mapa de la Cuenca del río Barbate si imaginamos y representamos las cualidades de sus manantiales, acuíferos, cerros, sus ríos y marismas como seres mitológicos que representan la geografía totémica de su paisaje? 

Los mapas siempre han reflejado la comprensión de la humanidad y su relación con su entorno físico.  Los cartógrafos y geógrafos siempre han representado el conocimiento actual de su cultura y el sistema de creencias sobre las tierras que estaban trazando. Los mapas antiguos a menudo reflejaban aspectos del alma del lugar en forma de bestias y monstruos, vientos y manantiales sagrados, dioses y diosas.  La transición a mapas topográficos elaborados con precisión reflejaba la transición de nuestra conciencia de una relación multidimensional con el lugar a una topografía puramente física.

En este mapa nuestra intención es nombrar algunos de los aspectos cualitativos de la zona de la Janda, y exponer las historias de los lugares y la memoria a través del arte, con el fin de inspirar a los visitantes de la zona a valorar sus dones sagrados. 

“Imaginemos el anima mundi como esa particular chispa del alma, esa imagen seminal, que se ofrece a través de cada cosa en su forma visible. Entonces el anima mundi indica las posibilidades animadas que presenta cada evento tal como es, su presentación sensual como un rostro que habla de su imagen interior – en resumen su disponibilidad a la imaginación, su presencia como una realidad psíquica.”

James Hillman, El pensamiento del corazón y el alma del mundo




The imaginal realm, the heart and landscapes 


Throughout our journey together we have been exploring how the imaginal realms may be depicted and understood via physical landscapes. We’ve been exploring how we relate inner-scapes to landscapes, how we go about seeking them, being sought out by them, exploring them and cultivating them. 

The subtlety of these realms make it a slippery terrain to grasp hold of, intangible, sometimes visible, other times hidden in plain sight, other times completely absent from our vision and awareness. 

The young sibling character can offer helpful clues to engaging with this terrain, as he/she offer other ways of seeing and being in the world that modernity, productivity and the colonialist mind set have systemically devalued. 


The heart, as an organ of perception is our connection to the imaginal realms, said Aristotle, and it communicates to us through images and feelings. Thus the Soul of the World of which we are part, speaks to us in pictures and we as storytellers can engage with it and hopefully transmit its wisdom and folly to others☺


Here I would like to offer a couple of quotes about the type of ‘thinking’ that belongs to the heart and the connection and communication with the Soul of the World that is available to us when we engage with this type to heart thinking. I think they both bring more context to the work we have been exploring. 


 “Indigenous cultures’ understanding of the heart’s capacity for sensory perception and cognition was far the different from the kind of mushy sense of heart we now have in the West. To these cultures the heart is a sophisticated organ capable of both perception and a unique form of analytical thought, a thought that was oriented around images filled with feeling, a synaesthetic perceptual sensing that uses a specific form of imagination, what Goethe called the exact sensorial imagination…” …”And the skill of that sensorial thinking, that imaginative faculty, can be developed through practice into a potent perceptual and analytical tool as elegant and specific as the brain. But it is distinct from the kind of thinking the brain preforms; it has a sensorial dimension to it – it is not mere mentation.

It is this kind of imagining that is central to this way of perceiving and thinking. It works with and generates images that are filled with kinaesthetic dimensions and those kinaesthetic dimensions hold within them deeper awareness of the object of our attention. It’s how the imaginal is accessed, how we get to the place where we can touch the mythic, entering the dreaming of the earth.”

From - Plant intelligence and the imaginal realm // Stephen Harrod Buhner



To Henry Corbin a 20th century French Scholar of Ibn Arabi and Sufism, everything is personified and personal. The world is made up of soul and stories, and these can be found in an intermediate world of the imaginable that is neither the physical not the spiritual. It is called the alam-al-mithal – Mundus Imaginalis. 

“…It is the world in which spirits are corporalised and bodies are spiritualised. “ (Henry Corbin, in Imaginal Love by Tom Cheetham). 

The Holon I am looking at now is the system that encompasses la janda, surrounded by the mountain range of the Alcornocales natural park (extending N.E to the serannia de Ronda, and to the west by the temple landscape of Trafalgar/vejer/lamuela and the area. 

This system also holds within it the Bolonia holon which is connected to it and also works as an independent unit. 


Healing of the Waters: We need to heal the grief by accessing the guardians of grief in the landscape. And we need to bring in healing energy to the memory in water, right back to the purity of primordial waters, accessing the ‘water matrix’, purification. In particularly to the underground waters, carrying A LOT of memory of human grief and sorrow. Grieving our dead, the soldiers that We sent out to war. 


The system: 

We stand on the edge of the fresh water / salt marshes interaction. A place where Abzu and Tiamat meet. Here they join in a sacred marriage. Here we have access to the primordial waters, of inner earth and cosmic intelligence. 

(Imelda and I did a ceremony at the shore in Trafalgar last Tuesday. We witnessed a re-membering – that which has been dismembered – their actual bodies dismembered in this landscape.)



Trafalgar is a place where the upward and downward vortex shafts connect with the two parts of the system. The downward spiral feeds an underground water stream that connects to the la Muela/ Patria ridge and the upper to the tip of vejer. The Western facing slope of Vejer ridge in resonance with the Atlantean underground current flowing to la muela. What can we know about this current?  Map dowse to see where it passes. 


The ‘Sea Priestesses’ working with the salt water, and the ongoing union with the land.  We need to continue to honour them ritually. From them we can also learn about reclaiming the wisdom of the inner serpent, healing the split that created a shadow serpent.