A new José Stevens Article

The Manhattan Power Spot: A Shamanic Understanding

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A trip to visit our son Carlos brought my wife Lena and I to New York City in late November, 2011. He recently moved to Manhattan to work as the Creative Director of a computer design and animation company and we wanted to see where he worked and visit his apartment where we stayed for a few days. His apartment building on the West Side has a roof with a fabulous view of the entire city and we spent some time up there in the cold November wind getting to the know the city from that vantage point. Wall Street and the World Trade Center where Ground Zero is now being rebuilt and reshaped is a few subway stops away. Since he had to work all day for the first two days of our stay, we took the opportunity to ride trains and walk extensively throughout the city.

Neither one of us had visited Ground Zero since Nine Eleven and we were inexorably drawn there to visit the scene of such huge events. Several new buildings are nearing completion and there is a memorial there where the old twin towers once stood. We were unable to visit it because it was closed to the public that day but we were able to spend a considerable time in the vicinity of the still massive construction site, scene of three thousand construction workers, cranes, trucks, and building materials.

As we stood gazing at the whole scene from outside one of the New World Trade Center buildings we offered some blessings with tobacco for all those who had lost their lives in that place. We continued to do some shamanic work to bring back balance and harmony to the site. The first step in this work is always to ask permission to be there and then to ask spirit if there is anything needed that we could offer whether it be some prayers, offerings, or simply an icaro or sacred song. To our gratification, this simple request proved to be most fruitful. Instantly we were downloaded with information concerning the nature of the site, why events had taken place there the way they had, and what was needed for the future harmony of the that location.

The responding spirit of that place began to show us a tremendous vortex of energy that seemed to be located around the site of the twin tower that had been located closer to the Hudson River. We walked around the entire construction zone and sure enough we were able to map where the vortex appeared to be. Furthermore we were shown that the vortex had always been there, way before the twin towers had been built and that it was a natural power spot in the land there. This area is at the tip of Manhattan where the Hudson and East Rivers flow together to enter the bay. We knew from our studies of power places and Feng Shui that confluences of two or more rivers are places of huge chi and cities are often built in these locations around the world. They can make great natural power spots and we could certainly feel this one. For this reason, Manhattan became a powerful city and one of the chief financial centers of the world was built right at the tip where the power spot was and is located.

Now, power spots often have unique qualities depending on where they are and what the influences of the land are there. Some are definitely feminine, others more masculine, some softer and some sharper and so on. For example, the power spot located on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California is intensely feminine, magnetic, and artisan-like while the power spot in the financial district of New York is intensely masculine, dynamic, and kingly. This power spot attracted a primarily male population who built financial empires around the location. Eventually, one of the twin towers was built right on the vortex but we were told the power spot did not particularly feel a resonance with the construction of these buildings. In fact, our spirit informant said that it was a violation. In Europe, there are many cathedrals built over power spots but they are buildings with architecture using sacred geometry and these tend to be more resonant with the locations they are built on, usually old pagan temple sites. Within a fairly short time the New York power spot shrugged off its unwanted buildings in a most unfortunate way.

The plans for the old building site are to simply leave a crater where the old buildings were and build new structures nearby. This is acceptable to the power spot there because unless a building is built with sacred geometry it would prefer to remain open and thus more available to the populace at large. During years prior, it had been hijacked by a relative few people for more narrow purposes and it did not want this. Additionally, the responding spirit of that place stated that it would be glad to help the city remain vital, creative, a melting pot of humanity, and a center of expression for many. It seems that it is ready for a new role in a time of changing paradigms.

Upon returning to the roof of Carlos’ apartment building, we could now see the vital location and role played by this massive power spot. It was so obvious now why New York had become such a hub of success over the centuries.

On another day, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn, an old Dutch colony and felt the energy shift dramatically upon reaching the other side. Brooklyn is nice but no longer in the intense grip of the Manhattan power spot. On the other hand, we could feel the power spot all over Manhattan, even over by Harlem, although the distance from the power place to Harlem was longer than it had been in Brooklyn. This is the nature of power spots. They hold very specific territory in their grip. One has to be very careful what they cultivate in the vicinity of a power place and one must make sure they are not working at cross purposes to it. One could say, those buildings were doomed from the day they were built. This in no way justifies the terrorist actions that brought them down, it simply points to their vulnerability to such horrible events.

Clearly no one ever thought to ask the land and the power spot itself for permission to build there. No one performed any ceremony prior to the building the twin towers. Everything was simply taken for granted just as many climbers who scale Everest often do not ask permission to go to the top of this enormous power place. That is why until recently one out of three climbers died on the way up or down. Indigenous peoples tend to know more about land, the spirits there and the type of ceremonies needed to build anything on the land. Our culture knows nothing of this and takes on serious consequences as a result.

Interestingly, St. Paul’s Chapel is built on another smaller power spot near the bigger one. St. Paul’s is built according to sacred geometry and although right next to the twin towers it suffered no destruction at all. It served as a gathering place for an infinite number of people after the towers fell.

Lena and I asked if there was any small thing we could do to help set things right. We were told that offering a little tobacco and a stone forest crystal from Peru would be most beneficial for aligning the power spot with future positive events and releasing the prior destruction and loss of life. Since we could not access the exact site, we found a tiny park near the site and made the offering in a cold late November wind. Our informing spirit let us know this was acceptable since it was very close. It is truly amazing what even a small token gesture can do to set things right in such a place. The spirit of that place indicated that it was most grateful for having been acknowledged for what it was. Finally, someone came along who could see and feel it and understand what had happened. Now this may all sound crazy to someone who does not accept that there are power places and spirits who inhabit them. At one time I would have thought this was crazy too but back then I was truly crazy not to know. Fortunately now, I’m becoming ever more sane when I talk to spirits of the land.

The spirit of that place who had responded to us indicated it was quite ready to get on with things and did not want to be held forever as that place where those horrible things happened. We held that in mind as we passed signs that said, “never forget”. Never forget what? Disaster, death and destruction? Is that what we are supposed to remember forever? Never forget the terrorists that committed the act? Why would we want to remember them forever? Are we supposed to remember those who sacrificed themselves that day? Many performed noble deeds and it is good to remember that human beings are capable of such acts of love and sacrifice for each other. Yet most people today could not name one person who died in the towers or was killed responding. This is not a bad thing because in all truth, life goes on. The spirit of that place wants to be known for all the things it is capable of doing with the right minds interacting with it, not a series of extremely unfortunate events. Why not never forget that power places are important and need to be respected and communicated with if we are to get beneficial results from interacting with them?

Now it would be wrong to conclude that it was the spirit of that power place that caused all the death and destruction. The fact is it did not cause anything. It merely was a witness to the fact that because there was no proper preparation, there would be negative consequences just as there would be if someone were to build a building on sand instead of stone. One is unprotected when they act blindly. If you turn your back to the sea a wave may take you and this is not the ocean’s fault, it is the consequence for being foolish in such a powerful place.

The great power spot in Manhattan is ready to help those that want to be successful in a variety of endeavors. It is interesting that the Occupy Wall Street movement was located very close to this massive power place. These were people who wanted a paradigm shift but were being drawn to the more destructive energy being held in that place. They wanted to see Wall Street and everything it represents come down. This is just reinforcing what has happened there before. Instead, the power spot can and wants to be used for constructive and beneficial new creations, perhaps a new economic paradigm, new business practices that can prosper everyone instead of just a few and so on. So the Occupy people there were operating out of an archaic paradigm, not having a vision of what can be done today. They will need to be replaced by people of vision, people who want to construct and build, not just tear down. This is the great wish of the spirit of that place and it has such power that we believe it will create the circumstances of that wish.

Such knowledge has been lost by the major cultures of the world and thus many unfortunate events have occurred. Yet this knowledge is still held by some of the indigenous peoples of the earth as well as by older souls who intuit it and remember it from times past. In times to come, knowledge of the land, ley lines, power places, and building according to sacred geometry, will be remembered and reintroduced to the world with great benefit. This will take time but slowly it will become common knowledge and people will marvel at the ignorance of people living in the early twenty first century just as we marvel at the ignorance of people living in centuries past who believed the world was flat and that heaven was up in the sky and hell was down below the surface of the earth. Now we are beginning to understand that the earth is perceived by our minds as round and exists as a standing wave in the quantum field and that heaven and hell are just different states of mind.

Perhaps it is helpful to remember that one of the fundamentals of shamanism is to never accept the appearance of things. Nothing may be as it seems. Where we perceive ordinary buildings and streets as places to work and live, they may be highly charged or even toxic with the energy of the land that is meant for a different purpose. The wise elders know that power places are locations to come in pilgrimage, offer prayers, and do ceremony but not places to live and work. They must be understood, spoken to, blessed, and thanked for their service. In this way, we will learn to live in harmony with the earth once again.

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José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman's Way.