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Mythopoetic map

of the Barbate river basin

EN / ES 
Pigments on linen 130x100cm / 2020
Karmit EvenZur & Manuel Maqueda 

Paul Devereux, in his book Sacred Geography, speaks of two Greek terms that were in use in ancient times to denominate the land - Chora and Topos:

'Chora is the older of the two terms and was a holistic reference to place: place as    expressive, place as a keeper of memory, and mythic presence. Topos, on the other  hand, signified place in much the way we think of it nowadays - simple location  and the objective, physical features of a locale, or topography.'

Maps have always reflected humanity's understanding of, and relationship to their physical environment.  Map-makers and geographers have always depicted their culture's current knowledge and belief system regarding the lands they were charting. Ancient maps often reflected Soul aspects of place in the forms of beasts and monsters, winds and sacred springs, gods and goddesses.  Many indigenous cultures around the world still hold maps of their territories as stories and pictures in their minds. The transition to accurately drafted topographical maps reflected the transition of our awareness from a multidimensional relationship to place to a purely physical topography.


What would a map of the Barbate river watershed look like if we depicted the soul qualities of its springs, the aquifers, the hills, riverbeds and the salt marshes? If we imagined the gods and goddesses, the beasts and monsters that represent the totemic geography of the landscape? 



  'Let us imagine the Anima Mundi as that particular soul spark, that seminal image, which offers itself through each thing in its visible form. Then Anima Mundi indicates the animated possibilities presented by each event as it is, its sensuous presentation as a face bespeaking its interior image - in short its availability to imagination, its presence as a psychic reality.'


                            James hillman, The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World

Here are a few of the geomantic observations upon which the map was interpreted and painted:


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. 

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


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

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