In a recent workshop held in the Strait of Gibraltar, with Slovenian artist and geomancer Marko Pogacnik, we visited sites along the coast from Malaga to Tarifa, in Southern Andalucia. One of the places we visited was Algeciras Bay, at the mouth of the river Palmones. The bay itself has a big commercial port with many cargo ships using it's services. The river Palmones is one of the most polluted rivers in the area, with a long history of industrial waste being poured into its waters.
Standing on the beach, where the river meets the ocean waters, overlooking the highly industrialised port to our right and the rock of Gibraltar to our left, we tuned into the feeling of the subtle reality of this place. Marko suggested an exercise from a series he calls Gaia Touch exercises, which are inspired by the elemental world and different sacred places. They are part of a universal language of body movements that communicate with all life forms. Our group was invited to try the 'Tear of Mercy' exercise, in which one begins with connecting to the sense of compassion within our heart, then extending our arms, with imagination, deep into the earth, asking for forgiveness from the earth and her beings, and then lifting up the arms to ask for Grace. This is a meditative movement and one can connect with living forces through intention and imagination.
Something interesting happened to me as I was practicing these movements that day in Algeciras bay. As I connected to the depths of the earth, I felt very clearly my personal responsibility in having reached this state of destruction of our natural environment. From a deep memory that got stirred doing these movements, I felt how there was no 'them' (industrial growth) and 'us' (environmental protection) - we are all responsible for creating this, and we are all responsible to get ourselves out of this. This was not an intellectual realization, but a visceral knowing and a 'remembering' that I have a part in creating this reality.
This reminded me what I had read about the indigenous Kogi people of Columbia, who do not have 'I" in their language, similarly to other indigenous languages. In their speech there is 'we are'. "The Kogi are taking full responsibility of the ‘disorder’ and recall: we are creating the disorder; the older and the younger brother. " (Felipe Vivero). It seems to me that understanding this is a big step towards a change in our thinking that can lead to a more sustainable future. We are creating this unsustainable growth. We have the power to change it.
Marko Pogacnik's geomantic perceptions of the coastline between Malaga and Tarifa. June 2015.