MYSTERIOUS SCULPTURES OF EARTH DISCOVERED
Hello and welcome to Gaia Prima Angelica. Like the beautiful face you see here, our earth is covered in ageless art, carved in mountains, drawn in rivers and etched in the desert lands.
FOLLOW MY JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
Every landscape image that you’ll discover on our Newsletter pages is a gateway to learning about our planet–from her people and cultures, to their history and myths, to their sacred places and archeology. Through multimedia lenses the Gaia Prima Angelica Newsletter presents a new geography–a new way to see the world.
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While studying the landscapes of the Indian and Tibetan Himalayas, I came upon the perfectly clear image of a face that encompassed the mountain of Gurla Mandhata. From my readings on the sacred texts of Hinduism I knew it to be the face of the Destroyer and Creator God, Shiva.
Stone Reed Boat
I came upon this Great Stone Reed Boat on the shores of Lake Titicaca that strongly resembles the traditional reed boats of the Peruvian and Bolivian fishermen. However, this stone boat is 11 miles long, made of rock, and lies above the harbor, encrusted in a stony matrix some 1,000 feet above the lake.
Guardian of the Temple of Hathor
In the Northwest Desert Lands of Sinai, a sagely and magnificent dragon watches over the Birthing Temple of Hathor, located nearby. Hathor, the “celestial cow” is life giving, gentle and nurturing. However, in her fiery, destructive form she is Sekmat–the Lion Goddess, “Heart of the Sun,” both warrior and healer.
The Majestic Sculptures of The Earth
The discovery of the Lady of the Valley stirred such awe and amazement within me, that I wondered, “could there be more?” This prompted a daily search of Google Earth Maps between 2010 up to present. I found over 170 of these earth sculptures, many being of monolithic size, a few with the astonishing detail of a Rembrandt, while others more like impressionistic, windswept desert etchings.
We need not a human answer to an earth problem, but an earth answer to an earth problem. We stand at a defining moment in history, one in which the earth itself calls out to us to embark upon a resacralization of nature, a new ecological beginning.Thomas Berry, Historian, Eco-theologian and PriestGoogle Earth and its satellites have afforded us an aerial view of an array of landscape shapes that encompass our planet. When viewed from a satellite, the Earth is like a great living museum, filled with extraordinary artifacts. Mountain sculptures, rivers of art, and mythic desert beings lie across the continents as grand collages. Beautifully carved mountains rise into great beings, detailed faces and mystic images appear in the deserts, paintings hug the shores of flowing rivers, and canyons reveal hidden mysteries.
Although we are accustomed to separate nature and human perceptions into two realms, they are, in fact, indivisible. It can ever be a rest for the senses, for the landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from the strata of memory as from the layers of rock.Simon SchamaPerhaps my profoundest discovery rests upon the truth that each mysterious image reflects either the oral myth or the cultural history of the particular place and its native people. For instance, I found an image of Shiva’s icy head with all of his symbols: his blue-throat from swallowing the Waters of Creation, his opened third eye, the serpent he wears around his neck and the golden tiger he wears over his shoulders. Shiva’s image lies in the Himalayas—not the Andes, or the Alps, nor even the Rockies!
In finding this pattern repeated at sites around the world, I began to understand that the honoring of a place, its cultural geography, and the myths of its ancestral people, were evident in the original naming of the place, and in the images that mysteriously grace its mountains, valleys and waters. If the names of these places are changed, disregarded or lost, wouldn’t the traditions and human bonds to the land become diminished and eventually lost as well? Perhaps. Indigenous peoples all over the world have long-held this belief.
Google images are photographs of the earth seen from space—a subject gazing upon an object. The camera lens becomes the link between the two. Its photographs are ‘reproductions’—the marriage of human perception, through the lens, with nature that reveals ‘Herself’ to us. The lens produces a wholly new thing emerging between the interaction of the two. This phenomena is what quantum physicists might call a “participatory universe,” where, at its most basic level, what we observe is influenced by our observations of it. The line is blurred between what is outside and our subjective awareness. At some minor level our consciousness participates in the creation of our universe.
Other fields of science theorize underlying factors that influence our perception of images in the world. In the psychological study of infants, their gaze is drawn instinctively to the human face—the mother–source of nurturance, safety, and love. We are therefore predisposed to search out patterns of the human face in the natural world. A reductive, skeptical view of the phenomena, pareidolia, therefore views our perception of facial images in the natural world to be false mental constructions. “We see what we want to see.”
In the field of cultural research, our memories and the constructed meaning we make of the world are considered to be based on our cultural context. In other words, what we perceive is colored or mediated by our pre-existing worldview—the history and culture out of which we are born. We perceive images of spiritual or religious significance, appearing in seemingly random times and places, as a means of engendering a sense of spiritual, social, or existential meaning in the world.
From the theological perspective, religious revelation has often been precipitated by a phenomena called simulacra, whereby sacred or spiritual images are perceived in nature or in the heavens, both in awe-inspiring fashion or in the most mundane of occurances.
While acknowledging each of the ideas presented above, the ancient Greeks wrote of a mode of perception consistent with my own. Prior to embarking on this study, I had heard of the idea of Nephelococcygia–a Greek word found in Aristophanes’ comedy, “The Birds.” It has come to be understood as the seeking and discovering of shapes in the clouds. NASA has coined the term, Solar-coccygia to describe images found on the sun. From this Greek concept I have derived the name, Gaiacoccygia™, “the discovery of shapes and images on the earth.”
Our view of the world oscillates on a continuum between ‘the rational’ and ‘the mystery.’ For those skeptics among us, (and believe me, the world needs skeptics!) the beautiful images revealed in this book may simply be viewed as original forms of art, uncanny yet aesthetically pleasing to you. For those who tend to look for the mystery of life in all things seen and unseen, then this collection of earth sculptures may be of far greater significance to you. Our world needs the scientist as well as the poet; the pragmatist and the dreamer. They observe the diverse and abundant array of the earth’s phenomena and forms from their own unique and particular perspectives.
In my view, the mystery of the earth sculptures can never be explained away or known. However, can we consider the possibility that some kind of ineffable, yet mutual relationship may exist between the earth and its human inhabitants?
From their embodied experience of the living land over the millennium, native cultures, through their myths and stories, are the poetic mirror—the co-creators-of the ceremonies that honor nature. The landscape contains the myth, the whole story and all of its elements: the mountain of the healing herb, the river of fire, the hidden path of stone, the singing rocks, the healing crystals, the poison pond, the magic wind tunnel, the whispering gorge, the disappearing sands.
Due to the over-development of our “scientific materialism and religious intellectualism”—what CG Jung called the West’s “airy Christian soul”—we have lost the “bush soul that links us with the . . . ancestral spirit in Nature.” In Jung’s reckoning he considered “matter and spirit as equal mysteries.”
He is asking us to suspend our constant need for rational explanations for the enigmas of life: to see as the artist sees; to dream the shaman’s dream; to imagine the world as a visionary might do. We may begin to understand the pearl that Jung drew from the ancient wisdom traditions—the idea to be ensouled—that is, to recognize the aspect of psyche that has never been separate from the world.
It is with the eyes of the artist that I invite you to visit the images of the earth represented in these pages.
It is my hope that these unique, silent sentinels, whose forms carry the myths and stories of our cultures, will renew the experience we have of our Earth and bring a more life sustaining, ecological awareness to how profoundly tied we are to the body of our beautiful and precious planet.
The landscapes you will see are from 2010 to 2016. Google Earth landscape imagery is updated several times each year by the listed satellite companies at bottom of the map. With each update, landscape images may be changed in appearance due to time of day, shadows cast and high or low resolution quality. Google Earth stores some of the past landscapes in their Historical Imagery file. Some of the images, presented here, have been lightened or darkened for clarity and contrast.