downloaded from the web (text only) on aug 11 1996 copyright updated June 30, 1996 5701w

"Grey-Eyed Athena Speaks to Odysseus in a Dream" Siren Project Part II

Three artists/composers, Stevan Key, Andrew Enoch and Ramon Sender Barayon, are collaborating in an eight-week city event/composition titled "Grey-Eyed Athena Speaks To Odysseus In A Dream," also known as "The Siren Project Part II."


* Contact with nature spirits that continue to inhabit San Francisco. Please refer to site map.

* Connecting with the voice/mind of the city itself, through various methods of collection and observation.

* The notion of the city as an entity/artifact that has been situated in a place that was already inhabited (i.e. by nature spirits, devas or 'bongas') and has as yet not been brought into a connection with or acknowledgement of the previous inhabitants.

* The use of the Civil Defense sirens as a large-scale sonic periodic gesture that can punctuate for the city and the people living within it (and, we would hope, for the bongas) our tiny process of attempted connection/ awareness.

* The sense of the art/music work/process as an opportunity (at least for the three of us) to explore possible spiritual connections with the place we live.

* Create an archive of various graphics, texts and supplementary materials other than those available above and elsewhere.

Stevan Key penny bongas BONGAMAIL Mail is the movement of information from one site to another. The three key terms here--movement, information and site--are all relative and subject to interpretation. Traditional mail, the transport of physical written pages from one human to another, is being ephemeralized through the use of the net/web. The use of hypertext further opens the information to subjective interpretation, increasing not only the ephemeralization of the commun- ication but also the relative ambiguity of the content. Ambiguity doesn't reduce the specificity or accuracy of a message: ambiguity in the structured message simply opens an interpretive space around the message.

In the European magical tradition, there have been numerous efforts to send messages in ways that are both more secure--i.e. secret--and more speedy than overland transport. In the writings of Agrippa, of Paracelsus, of Dee and others one finds hermetic techniques designed to effect the certain and magical transport of messages. There are strong connections in this among the phenomena of divination, codes and communication. Use of such magical methods reopens the individual today to that for which overland, paper-bound mail is at least in part intended to reduce or remove. Intuition, clairvoyance, ventriloquism and so on: such modes of inter- and intra-intelligence sensitivity have been banished since the European "Enlightenment" of the 17th century (European reckoning), to resurface periodically in such forms as paradoxiphilia, spiritualism, mesmerism and current forms of "New Age" practice.

In the piece "Grey-Eyed Athena Speaks to Odysseus in a Dream", Andrew Enoch, Ramon Sender and I are endeavoring to establish for ourselves a greater sensitivity, openness and connection to modes of intelligence that are both indigenous to the geophysical region now occupied by urbanized San Francisco (City of St. Francis) and also resultant from the complex processes inherent in urbanization itself. We are, among other activities, mapping the living-places of devas, bongas, nature spirits. We are also experimenting in the perception of "voices" of the minds of the City itself.

BONGAMAIL is an effort to move complex ambiguous messages through the informational awareness structure that is the City. There is a complex architecture of consciousness and awareness for and by the City. The notion that this is so is based on the simple idea that the City is composed of and occupied by networks of intelligences that perceive and understand differently than, say, I do. For these intelligences, methods of perception, comprehension and communication will also differ, not only from me, but quite possibly among all of them (how many tribes of intelligences occupy this City?) The techniques, then, for sending, receiving, "opening", "reading" and understanding BONGAMAIL will necessarily be based in intuition and experimentation. The practice of BONGAMAIL will require a trust in the complex thickness of the multifarious overlapping information/systems. Some parts of the system will be mutually incomprehensible, even unaware of each other. Others will likely be heartily redundant.

How long does BONGAMAIL take for delivery? Ramon hypothesized that it would be instantaneous. I'm not so sure. Much would depend on the "size" or complexity of the message/package, on the efficiency/transparency of the delivery route (Is there a BONGAMAIL motto that translates into a correlate for "Neither snow nor sleet nor dead of night shall stay this swift courier from his appointed rounds"?) and on the "antennae" of the receiver. But certainly it must be important to begin experiments with messages that are "simple" enough to be able to move with some residual coherence through the system. Sending a delicate or complex message through an untried transport system would be similar to strapping a crystal vase to the back of a rampant bull, slapping the bull's ass and hoping the vase would get somewhere intact. It may even be that "coherence" is too much to expect of BONGAMAIL at first--at least until the linguistic subtleties of Bongaspeak or Urbanthink are better understood.

I've proposed, then, that a series of experiments take place within the context of "Grey-Eyed Athena Speaks to Odysseus in a Dream". The first such experiment is underway as I type this. This experiment required that at some point, before a specific time agreed upon by all three of us, I would try to intuit a workable message to transmit via BONGAMAIL. I would then focus my intent on coherently informing the system of the City that is to be taken to Andrew Enoch and Ramon Sender, and that it should be transported as expeditiously, effectively and coherently as possible. At some point before the sounding of the sirens on Tuesday (by Ramon, this time), both Andrew and Ramon are to take walks around the City. They are to try to intuit from that which they sense what the message was that I sent.


For the transmission point of this first (recorded) BONGAMAIL delivery, I chose a site that Ramon and I had doused as being Bonga-active. It was additionally charged by being (not coincidentally, I think) a site of extreme and illegal public carnal behavior. It is outdoors and on a hill and is regularly monitored by the police. It is thus highly energetically charged and is the site of a clear (to those who can see it) cultural boundary. I spent some time at this site, around midnight. I tried to stay both intellectually/emotionally clear and connected to the site. I established gentle contact with several humans who were engaged in the serious development of physico-emotional energy. I then found the single tree--a vast eucalypt--that seemed to reverberate with what I sense to be Bonga or deva energy. I leaned against the tree and tried to establish deep contact with the systems into which it opened--up, down, out into the City. I sent out, with the energy that I had collected, the request that the BONGAMAIL system accept a message for delivery to Ramon Sender and Andrew Enoch. As I did this, I looked over to the areas where Andrew and Ramon live and distinctly imagined them in their homes, open to the reception of a BONGAMAIL message. A cool fragrant wind blew gently through the high branches of the tree; the branches creaked quietly. From outside the boundaries of the park, two police sirens suddenly wailed, first one from the West and then another from the Southeast. They were moving toward this Bonga site. From the near distance I heard a human speaking, another laughing quietly. Car horns in the far distance. I stood quietly, leaning against the tree for a long time. I stayed with the palms of my hands pressed against the eucalyptus bark until I felt the vibrating in my hands subside, the sounds around me resolve into quiet again.

As I left the park and walked to my car I laughed and wondered about the connection between BONGAMAIL and silent Tristero's Empire. SK

Andrew Enoch "Bongamail" report for May 24th Friday, May 24th at (approx.) 3:50PM. It occurred at the intersection of Van Ness Ave and the small alley called Willow. The previous night, Stevan Key sent Ramon Sender and myself a message via the city, a process Steve refers to as "bongamail". I was to receive the message while on a walk as we had all agreed. I locked up the small store in which I work and proceeded to walk to a restaurant o get some take-out food. As I walked, I began to actively search for some message, looking at scraps of paper, graffiti, signs, etc. trying to 'pick up my mail'. At first I was exhilarated, full of the promise of incredible synchronicity, I certainly did not entertain doubt in the process. As the walk progressed, my excitement began to turn into stress, an anxiety, a hunger for something to happen, to spring out at me. I realized I was trying too hard, and consciously relaxed my shoulders and visualized the stress flowing out of me, radiating from from my head as my mind eased. Immediately after this 'letting go', my head swiveled around and I found myself looking at something scrawled into the concrete. The message was "We (heart with an arrow through it) you City baby!". I began laughing, it was too perfect, the fact that as soon as I stopped trying, it arrived. As I approached Van Ness, still smiling ecstatically, a very lovely woman walked south across the entrance to the alley, moving with a wonderful bounce in her step and an ease that was extremely sensual. Now, after having talked with Steve about both the message and the method in which he sent it, the woman makes a lot more sense. We both came to the conclusion that the medium, in this case the mail was sent using sexual energy, definitely becomes part of the message. The two are intertwined, background and foreground. The bongamail was received. Andrew Enoch

Report From May 7th

May 7th: Today marked the beginning of "Grey-Eyed Athena", with the three collaborators treking down to Central Dispatch (Fire Department) to prepare to place my index finger on the 'siren test' button. Our contact person graciously allowed the siren test to go for 20 seconds instead of the usual 10. Arriving early, we were given an overview of the place. We learned how the signals from the street boxes are processed (paper tape records a series of dots and spaces that represent numbers that represent street locations). Another computerized system handles public buildings, and in some cases can even monitor whether a door is open or closed. There's a sort of 'war room' with a number of people watching monitors, and a wall-sized board with the numbers of various fire-fighting/emergency vehicles that light up when they're in use. Andrew, Steve and I were really stoked with the whole beginning to this eight-week event! Regarding a map of where the sirens are located: there is a rough one that divides the city into sectors. There are, I believe, 49 sirens. They can be set off in various patterns: one by one, by sector (recently Sector IV sirens were set off as an alert because of a possible chlorine tank truck problem, but all it did was swamp 911 instead of having people turn on their radios). Also the beach front sirens can be turned on by themselves as a tidal wave alert. Things have seemed pretty magical since noon today. Saw an egret fly down 23rd Street for the first time. As we kept reminding each other, "we're in the piece now."Hopefully the magic will keep accumulating!

The siren/nature spirit connection may seem a bit unusual, but the sirens are a sort of 'long wave' pattern that's been constant for years, the peak of the weekly wave being at noon on Tuesdays, the trough midnight Friday, which collaborator Andrew Enoch pointed out is the time of the Black Mass. There are various types of nature spirits. Many cultures divide them into spirits near water sources, attached to trees, to rocky outcroppings, caves. There are the 'elementals' of earth, air, water and fire, and of course the great animal/bird/reptile entities. I've always thought that the culture/tribe that knows the names and histories of the spirits in its watershed is the most harmonious and 'advanced.' Thought of this way, probably one of the most advanced cultures would be the Santal tribe in India that has a very rich tribal lore about their local tree/hill/water 'bongas.' This two-month-long piece allows the three of us a chance to develop/investigate some of these aspects. Steve is checking old maps of the city at the new main library for water sources, I'm building dowsing stuff which we'll use to check out potential sites for nature 'presences.'

Report From May 22nd Reporting in on the third Tuesday siren test. I think the guys down at Central Dispatch are getting used to us. It was pretty busy there today. A street alarm signal came in. It's a bunch of dots on a paper tape roll. These are counted and turned into a number, and the number looked up in a street location book. The location is then written down and walked next door to the high-tek room where three or four guys keep tabs on what engines are where. I'm off to the Dept. Linguistics, Dwinelle Hall, to look up the names of the Guardian Spirits we've doused. One, "Nekeku," the closest 'hit' I've found so far is "Nagayco," a Sinkyone tribal god. But he's way out of his turf, if so. The other word, "Hapnu," might conceivably be construed to mean "People who eat with their fingers."

Collaborator Stevan Key is experimenting with what he calls "bonga mail" (Bongas is the Santal word for nature spirits, the Santals being a tribal group in India). "Expect something unusual on Friday," he said. "Especially outdoors." So.... I took Cassie the Dog for her usual promenade yesterday afternoon, and turning up Vicksburg, I heard this commotion just ahead of me in a ten-foot eucalyptus. A pair of sparrows (I presume, although I have yet to find my bird book) were going through this amazing courtship ritual, totally oblivious to our nearby presence (I ended up about 4 feet away). Chirping loudly and non-stop, the male had his wings half-open, was stooping and marching up and down the branch, occasionally whetting his beak on the bark. The female seemed totally delighted by his performance and was following after him whenever he hopped from one branch to another. The whole display must have lasted over a minute.I've never witnessed such an event before, and thought it seemed a bit late in the season for such springtime goings-on. I had just been thinking of our guardian grandma as well, so I decided this definitely was a case of 'bonga mail' Special Delivery. The mail (oops!) had a white throat with black markings on his cheeks. Definitely sparrowlike. The female was more delicately hued and of slighter build. Very sweet couple.

nature spirits Dowsing for Guardian Spirits Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Fri May 17 '96 (06:53) I've been collected early maps -- Planet Drum sells an 1869 Coast Survey map that's pretty interesting, as well as an excellent "Wild In The City" double map (befor 1740 and in the 1990s). I've now got a Cameron 'aurameter,' supposedly the top-of-the-line in dowsing devices, so I've got no excuse for not being able to 'divine' the data required to move ahead on this project. Cameron, the inventor, had a global reputation as a water witch. But he also did some experiments on the human aura that discovered winglike protrusions from the shoulder blades that vary in length from buds' in children to some 20-30 feet in length, a 'beam' extending from the left eye, and what he thought of as a 'receptor' area behind the head. Above the head he dowsed a circle and a cord that leads above to a second body (in adults). Cameron then had the person stand next to the house, climbed a ladder, and doused a third body above the second. Above the third, the cord ended in a sphere with tendril-like appendages hanging from it (in men), and in women an upside-down cone. Children, depending on their age, have less-developed versions of all this. I haven't checked all this out with my device, but waving the aurameter around Judy I did get a considerable 'bounce' around her head. I'll report back... (determinedly holding onto my skepticism...)

Ramon Sender Barayon Fri May 24 '96 (07:39) I've found some pretty interesting correlations at the Linguistics Department's library. Plains Miwok (also north Sierra) had a word: "Nenekety" or "Neknekty" for "Little people 3 feet tall who live in caves and come out at night." Now that must be the local equivalent for leprechauns, elves, bongas, etc., or as close as possible! Okay, so it isn't "Nekeku," but still and all, it's pretty close. In Callaghan's Bodega Miwok dictionary, I found "ha'pu" for "grandmother." Again "ha'pa" isn't exactly "hapnu," but considering that pendulum-deriving words from an alphabet chart is not a highly developed skill of mine, I think I can accept this one as well. So the answer to my question, "Who is the Guardian Spirit of San Francisco" seems to be "the grandmother of the Little People." I think I'll ask if she has a personal name next. Dowsing further with the home-made wand and the alphabet disc, I received in response to the question, "Grandma of the Little People, how would you like to be addressed. What is your 'personal' name?" "ZULYOHB" So, Grandma Zulyohb, is our Guardian Spirit. I also asked if she prefers to be 'met' in any certain spot in the city, and she answered that wasn't necessary. However there was a "yes" to that 43rd Ave/Golden Gate laguna as a special spot for her, so I still want to go check it out. Maybe after next Tuesday's siren event?

Meanwhile we continue to develop energy vortex 'hot spots.' A complete "ZULYOHB" list will be published. Also, when I dowsed for the best place to greet "the grandmother spirit," it seemed to be a small lake in G Gate park off -- is it 45th Avenue that's the wide drive? I got to get out there and look around. I'm really stoked about my 'hits' on these two words...

Continuing: There is a lake at 43rd Avenue in Golden Gate Park called "North Lake." After the siren test on Tuesday, May 28, Stevan, Andrew and Ramon made an expedition to the lake. It probably covers two acres, and is divided in the center by a spit of sand that allows the upper half to remain isolated, and about three feet higher, than the lower half. The lower half is more interesting in that it has a variety of small peninsulas and a very sacred-looking island with a tiny grove of yet-to-be-identified trees. We walked half the perimeter of each lake, dowsing as we went. We encountered two park employees with surveying equipment, a black man and an East Indian women, which we took as a positive indication. A number of Russian-speaking walkers passed by, and we realized belatedly they would have been a good resource for checking out Grandmother of the Little People (Hapu Neknekty) 'personal' name (dowsed from an alphabet wheel earlier in the week): Zulyohb Which has a Russian sound to it, but also could perhaps be: Xuliyohb (pronounced "Shooliawb") This will require further research, and perhaps, since it's a personal name, could just be that.

At the lake (which deserves a better name than North Lake) we spotted many ducks, one snapping turtle sunning on a half-submerged branch near "Xuliyohb's Island Sanctuary, "and also a Great Blue Heron in a cane thicket near the island. All dowsing devices seemed to react to the island very positively. After a forty-minute stay, including a ten-minute meditation on the sandy spit, we departed. We are discussing an amphibious night time operation to the island sanctuary, although perhaps because it's sacred to Zulyohb, it should not be entered? But we could bring offerings, incense, etc? This will need to be pondered further. Also the logistics are a bit intense, because it requires rounding up a collapsible boat that will hold three people, and various other bits of equipment.

Recharge Gate Alpha Test The above label was placed on six sites in the Embarcadero area, on Herb Caen Day, Friday, June 14, 1996, with a one-foot antenna, upon "NO PARKING" signs that have two uprights. When checked the following Wednesday, they were still in place, including the antennae that allow the accumulated negative aura material to be discharged on Tuesdays at noon when the sirens sound. The gates registered 'clear' after the Tuesday, June 18th, siren test.

Recharge Gate Beta Test The above label will be printed as a laminated fiery and placed in selected sites around the city. We are also working on a version that can be placed over home doorways.

San Francisco Siren Project Siren 1-8 images with linked poems by Andrew Enoch

Siren1 the music of cities, the city is a song, a long drawn out, an ambience that underscores and swallows and supports and drowns out our lives within it, neonatal San Francisco, Mother city. Every Tuesday, at 12 Noon, the 40+ sirens peal out over the peninsula, a moan that pins down, that punctuates life in the City. A point of demarcation, a division, a beginning and an end. A beat, a rhythm, something to build upon, the low point in the composition, a foundation upon which the life of sound is built. The Civil Defense OM, the mantra the City chants to itself, the beast San Francisco rolling over in its dreams, supported by the siren's exhalation. Sweet and painful dreams, beautiful and chaotic, swirling around Tuesday, 12 Noon. Siren2 They are the key to the codex, allowing for assimilation and the strange sense of we're-all-in-this-together. We siren all at the same time, regardless, and it can reach us almost anywhere.

Siren3 And when we leave, out of the nest, out of the smoking hulk, we know it still goes on, San Francisco and the sirens, inextricable, each dependent upon the other, symbiosis, the coarsing of blood and the beat of the heart.

Siren4 This rhythm as refuge, a stable point amongst shifting time frames and evanescent apparitions.

Siren5 the sun flattens me, the City is a child on a summer's morning smelling pool-party in the air, it nips and whips around me, the buildings arch their backs, stretching, the parks roll over in bliss, I sit like a tuning fork, about to be struck.

Siren6 I am all a jumble, I am pin point of wandering perspective, I creak with excitement, my skin peels away to float like flags from my bones, I run a tight pirate ship, plundering the blue sky for clouds and dreams solidify, become malleable, become this day, this week.

Siren7 It strikes me that the City, like Life, is all things in varying degrees, and if you are aligned with the elements that rise to meet you, the City becomes most beautiful, like Life.

Siren8 Swaddled in mist, the air is tepid, sounds are muffled, intimate like cotton in my ears, the City has the ability to surprise me in a thousand ways, we learn through intimacy, and with architecture, we must move within it, observing perspective, peering through windows and walking down deserted streets at midnight, I spend my time on the intake, drawing in the chaos and then blowing it out onto ramshackle pinwheels, watching the light reflect from my constructions.

Siren Cycle as a Sine Wave by Andrew Enoch [graphic]

the Intuitive Communication with Extra-Human Intelligence Book List Several months ago, in the thick of the first part of the Siren Project, Andrew and I spent a good deal of time talking about trans-human minds, particularly those that are active within the complex habitat of the city. Many of the most interesting ideas about such matters seemed to be coming from science fiction and fantasy novels--no surprise there. So I asked Andrew to put together a list of books that dealt with interesting forms of mind and interesting methods of communicating with such minds. This is the list: UBIK--Philip K. Dick The Dice Man--Luke Rhinehart Shockwave Rider--John Brunner Permutation City--Greg Egan Kamikaze L'Amour--Richard Kadrey Hot Head (Hotwire)--Simon Ings City of the Iron Fish--Simon Ings Dream of Glass--Jean Michael Gauron Feersum Endjinn--Ian Banks The Wasp Factory--J.G.Ballard Expiration Date--Tim Power Last Call--Tim Power Iron Dragon's Daughter--Michael Swanwick Ss of the Tide--Michael Swanwick City--Clifford Simak Queen City Jazz--Kathleen Ann Goonan Diamond Age--Neal Stephenson Mirror in the Sky--Mark Gestov The Judas Mandala--Ian Watson Babel 17--Samuel Delany Gonna Roll the Bones(short story)--Fritz Leiber Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone--Ian McDonald Parable of the Sower--Octavia Butler Neverness--David Zindell The Broken God--David Zindell The Dune Series--Frank Herbert The God Box--Barry Longyear Starmaker--Olaf Stapledon Submitted by Steve Key

On Tuesday, Stevan suggested we request "bonga mail" in the Friday newspapers. Ramon suggested the theme of "grandmother and spirituality." On page A 25 on the Opinion page of Friday's San Francisco Chronicle, I found the following: "Remembering Ma-ME"by Jessica Oliver, 11 years old "Remembering Ma-ME" Francisco Middle School in San Francisco. Ah... The sweet aroma of incense... It beckons my memory to when I was little, watching my grand-grandmother burning incense and praying to Quan Yin (The Chinese Goddess of Mercy), Sahm Bo Fut (The Three Gods) and for the loss of her husband, Chung. She would put a tiny spoon of cooked rice in three tiny bowls and she would put tea in three other tiny cups. Also, she would put fruits and steamed chicken on the altar to pay her respects to the gods and goddesses of the kitchen. Gracefully, she would lean down and chant these words over and over again, holding her prayer beads: "No Mo Au Lae Tau Fut." These words tingled in my ears so peacefully, and they sounded like a soothing lullaby. I asked her what those peaceful words meant: the enlightenment and energy within, Also, she said that she was praying for me to have health, happiness and a good education.

What I love about Ma-ME` (the Chinese name for great-grandmother in a respectful way) was that not only was she my great-grandmother, but she had a good sense of humor. Sometimes Ma-ME` would make funny faces that would just make me hysterical. .... Clipped for brevity .... I'm proud to learn how to chant these soothing lullabies like Ma-ME` did....Now the sweet aroma of incense is fading away, and Ma-ME` has gone with it. But I'll always remember her and treasure her in my heart. Quan Yin smiles on me with Ma-ME`'s face. RSB

To misquote Hakim Bey, ...the realization of the siren's sound, of its unique self (or ubermensch) must reverberate and expand like waves or spirals or music throughout the City to embrace our direct experience or intuitive perception of the uniqueness of this moment, this reality, itself. This realization engulfs and erases all duality, dichotomy, and dialectic. It carries with itself, like an electric charge, and intense and wordless sense of VALUE: it "divinizes" the City. Submitted by Andrew Enoch

Sirens - Who Are They? Siren Bird of Heaven Russian Lubok, 18th Century, Historical Museum, Moscow The Siren is very popular in Russia. Accompanying text describes how the creature also appears in India as the Apsaras, who dispense delight and bliss on the heavenly planes. They embrace the deceased's soul in their arms and carry it in ecstasy to Paradise. The Sirens of Greek mythology were three sea nymphs, usually represented with the head of a woman and the body of a bird. Daughters of Phorcus or of Achelos, the Sirens inhabited an island surrounded by dangerous rocks. They sang so enchantingly that all who heard were drawn near and shipwrecked. Jason and the Argonauts were saved from them by the music of Orpheus, whose songs were lovelier. Odysseus escaped them by having himself tied securely to the mast and by stopping up the ears of his men.

Earth Watch by Jennifer Baltz Feng Shui Practitioner Douses for a Deva (skipping the first few paragraphs)"I invited [feng shui practitioner] Nancy Bennet to help me create a comfortable living space at my new home.. "Bennett, who is a member of the American Society of Dowsers, dowsed the home using a pair of small brass rods, looking for and finding several energy currents from telephone lines and water pipes that could affect the energy of the home's occupants. She installed small crystalline rings that help diffuse the currents, and recommended several other changes in furniture placement. Then she dowsed using a pendulum over a map of the property, looking for Earth energies. Just like a traditional dowser looking for water, Bennett used the rods or pendulum to tell her the answer to specific questions. When the answer is 'yes,' the rods swing inward on their own accord, or the pendulum will begin to spin." "...the positive, safe feeling in the home and yard was generated by an Earth deva, or nature spirit. Using her pendulum, Bennett located the deva just where I thought it would be, inside a "fairy ring' of ten young branches around the dead stump of an old walnut tree. "Earth devas love to be recognized," says Bennett. Through dowsing and asking questions, we "met" the deva, and talked with it." "This spirit has lived there long before the tree grew over a water dome, or natural well. It is ancient and has strong affinity for rocks and moving water, although it is very careful to point out that it is not a water deva. In other words, it is more concerned with the Earth and with those who live nearby than with the water flowing underground." "Since first meeting the deva, I have talked with it now and then. Usually while I am raking leaves or pulling weeks in the yard when I hear its wry comments. When pulling a particularly stubborn weed, the deva points out telepathically, "You'll never pull that one out by hand," and, of course, it is right." I will stay in this place until the planet is reborn,' the deva tells me. 'And then I will leave and go to another place. I have been here for 80 million years.' It seems a long time to hang out in one spot, but time and space are not the same to spirits without bodies. What does a deva do with all of that time? 'I watch the area and keep it safe,' it says. 'I watch the energy with other devas around here.' "Looking clairvoyantly, it appears there are as many as eight or ten devas in my neighborhood. The deva says that they 'are the reason people want to live in a certain neighborhood and take care of their places.' You can be sure that in those places where things are run down and not tended to, devas are not around to look after them." Reprinted with permission from Earth Watch by Jennifer Baltz, published in "Psychic Reader" (May 1996). Jennifer Baltz is a San Francisco Bay Area clairvoyant, writer, and psychic teacher. You can reach her via email at, or (707) 527-7654.

Excerpt from HEALTH IN THE ANDES, edited by Joseph Bastien and John Donahus. Environmental harmony is involved in curing rituals observed in Kaata, Bolivia, 1972, when Qollahuaya diviners tried to cure Erminia Yanahuaya, sick first with mumps and later with typhoid fever. The Qollahuayas, a cultural subgroup of the Aymara nation, are famous medical practitioners in the Andes. Qollahuaya diviners cure, not by isolating the individual in a hospital away from his land, but rather by gathering the members of his social group in ritual, and together by feeding all the parts of Mount Kaata. Qollahuayas understand Mount Kaata according to the metaphor of a human body: the mountain has 13 earth shrines that correspond to these parts. When the diviner feeds all the earth shrines, then the body of the mountain is made complete. Metaphorically, at least, this restores health to the sick person's body. The community and mountain interface the physical body, and disintegration in one is associated with disorder in the other. Sickness is usually linked with either a social disturbance or with a land dispute. The diviner's role is to reveal this conflict and to redress it by ritual, which resolves the dispute and reorders the mountain. The diviners' efficacy is due in part to their ability to symbolically order the disintegrating experiences of sickness into the body metaphor for their ayllu. According to Qollahuayas, an ayllu is a vertical land mass with communities on high, center, and low lands. Symbolically, diviners feed the mountain which they metaphorically conceptualize as a human body; they offer blood, llama fat, white wool, and a llama fetus to the 13 place shrines on Ayllu Kaata, which is a mountain with communities on three levels. Apacheta, the head of Ayllu Kaata, is a vast, moist puna area where Aymara herders graze alpacas, llamas, sheep, and pigs. Approximately 120 families live in small settlements throughout this region. Andean's call the lakes of Apacheta "eyes", and, the grasses "hair". Kaata, the trunk, is composed of sloping terraced fields where Andeans farm potatoes, oca, and barley. The community of Kaata is the heart and liver which produce blood and fat, principles of life and power. Diviners live in Kaata, from where they circulate the blood and fat to other parts of Ayllu Kaata. Submitted by Steve Key