Art, Architecture and Healing the Land

Imagine you had a plot of land – quite a large plot of land, large enough to build a residential complex and a shopping arcade and a leisure area, perhaps restaurants, gym, leisure centre, green parkland area and other services – A mini residential area with all utilities and lifestyle choices close to hand.

What would you do? How would you design it?

Quality of life, desirability and saleability determine the need for some green areas and attractive landscaping. For similar reasons there must be some facilities and utilities there. Yet this must make a profit, or at least be sustainable. Where do you expect to make the bulk of the funds for this project? From businesses, offices, service industries, residential homes?

You may have nothing to do with building, architecture or town planning – neither do I – but bear in mind all the considerations you have, when you are choosing a desirable place to live.

Surely these places should all be designed with these considerations in mind: would this be a good, balanced community? Would I myself want to live here? (At the appropriate stage: young single, professional, married with children, retired…) How would you design a balanced community, bearing in mind what already exists, surrounding, and perhaps ‘zoning’ areas accordingly? Would it make sense to have quieter, easily accessible areas for the older part of the population, and a student/young people’s noisier, area, with bars, restaurants and nightclubs, away from residential areas.

If so, then such a design must also take account of transport and services needed to take people to and from the areas they wish to use?

All these considerations, involve an internal community harmony. There is another level of consideration too – harmony within the landscape. Doesn’t it make sense to take into account the natural shape of the land and the resources and natural building materials that are present? If you do not take account of the land, for example – if you do not allow for flood/river drainage, you can end up with serious damage to your homes and buildings.

This whole ‘hypothetical’ discussion is all about planning holistically, in harmony with all around you. And just because it has all been done before, does not mean it was done right, nor that there is not room for fresh ideas, for reviewing the past and renovating for the future.

Surely it is time to take advantage of new developments, new technologies and a new age of fresh minds, to design better communities to live and work in, sustainably, for the future.

For example: if we are concerned about global warming, diminishing resources, increasing populations and other ‘modern ills’ we should be thinking about costing better heating and lighting solutions into new developments and redevelopments. We should be finding better, more harmonious ways of using space, new ways of creating and enjoying community space.

And yes, governments, town planners, builders and architects are concerning themselves with these matters. My point is that more people need to take an active part and to respond to invitations to comment and to participate in the way their own local town, city or community is moving forward.

Why am I writing about this as a shaman, healer and energy worker? Because I believe that shamanism is actually a very practical concern. It has to do with the spiritual wellbeing and health of the community, and this is greatly affected by where and how people live. Traditionally, in Hawaii, their shamans (kahunas) were traditionally the ‘people of knowledge’ and they each had their own specialties. Some had to do with the spirit world and magical realms, but equally there were shamans whose expertise was in hunting, fishing, agriculture and community building.

It seems to me that 21st century healers, energy workers and shamans tend to float about with ‘energy tools’, ‘angelic guides’ and good intent, flowing positive energies into the land. For one thing, this is a remedial approach – trying to go round and fix energetically what has become out of balance. For another thing, many of them do not take the time to notice, respect and harmonise with what is already there. They bring their own practices and tools and ‘do their energy thing’ instead of taking the time to sense the bigger picture and work practically and in harmony.

I’d like more ‘energy workers’ to bring their practices ‘down to earth’ in practical ways. And I’d like everyone else to discover and integrate their latent shamanic energy abilities. Then we can all be shamans and live in harmony and balance with each other and the natural world around us.

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