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Nov 16, 2009 at 03:00 AM

images/stories/isis150.jpgIs vortex energy a myth or a reality? Is it subjective or objective? a scientific phenomenon? a personal religious experience? or a fantasy - an invention of the American New Age?

OK, so you think that all this sort of stuff is so much "hooey"... but...why do so many people believe that Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid and other places transmit a mysterious power? And - many people don't just "believe" in this power as if it were an article of faith - they claim to experience it tangibly. Are they all just making it up?


Gnostic tradition is reawakened.



If in all tones and shades this shade I feel,
Come from the black cathedrals of Castille
Climbing these flat black stones of Catalonia,
To thy most merciful face of night I kneel.

from The Black Virgin by Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

Historical data becomes very sparse when one pierces the veil of the Civil War in order to learn what happened in the Shenandoah Valley before that time. The earliest Valley map of any consequence was created by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for General "Stonewall" Jackson for the 1862 rebel campaign. (That map is now at the Library of Congress.)



The Gnostic Tradition Reawakened

Gnosticism (or "knowing") is a doctrine shared by the three great religions of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It holds that as supported by meditation, prayer and divine beneficence, God can be experienced or known directly. Its corollary is that God is present everywhere but that in ordinary experience a veil of unknowing is inserted between human beings and the divine presence.

That this is a shared traditionimages/stories/st_steph.gif and a unifying one, present equally in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, is not immediately obvious, because the three religions involved each call its mystics by different names: in Christianity they are called "gnostics"; in Islam, they are known as Sufis; and Judaism calls its mystics Kabbalists or, variously, Hasidim. But they share the belief that God can be experienced; and for all three, devotion that has the aim of direct knowing of God, or the divine presence, involves penetration of the “veil of ignorance.” Hence the veil is a critically important metaphor. Eastern traditions have their counterparts of this knowing, the universal spiritual path. In moments of such knowledge, time is suspended, and the state of common awareness which prevents us from seeing into the heart of reality, is lifted. Carlo Crivelli's painting of St. Stephen, in which the stones that killed him (his martyrdom was to have been stoned to death) are placed on his shoulders and head, but as if suspended, dramatically symbolizes how the timeless reality of the saint was untouched by physical death.

[image: St Stephen, in the Demidoff Altarpiece, by Carlo Crivelli. This image is in the public domain, from the Wikimedia Commons.]

New Age gnostics, active in the world and exploring the relationship between the visible and the invisible, the profane and the sacred, believe that there are places and situations in which the barrier separating us from the higher planes is more tenuous: such a place, especially as related to location, is sometimes known as a vortex. Vortices are of many types but they are all inherently or at least potentially spiritual, because they present energies that gently "tug" the soul toward awareness of God; and thus the vortex energy of a place combines the characteristics of a veil that separates us from higher reality, and of a portal that allows us to access it. This experience has a Biblical basis. For instance, in the New Testament, touching the robe of Jesus, through which blessings flowed to the woman who could not stop bleeding (see Mark 5), represented coming in direct healing contact with vortex energy.



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