|The Dragon and the Ice Castle
Rediscovery of Sacred Space in the Finger Lakes
Part One: Chapter Fifteen
Saturday, February 14, 1988
Sunday dawned bright blue and warm. Despite the sunshine I felt somber as I drove to St. David's that morning. I sat at the outside of the front pew, erect and unmoving in meditation.
After church, I returned home to busy myself in the kitchen preparing lunch for my afternoon guests. In anticipation of digging at Marley's, I called several dowsers to ask for their help. There aren't many dowsers in central New York. My plan was to take them to Marley's to study the place. If we agreed on the burial site, I would dig my hole with confidence.
Jeannie Shenandoah called. She'd just caught another baby, a three day ordeal. She was tired and fighting off sickness. I offered her a compress and acupressure that evening. She wasn't sure she could make it, but promised to try. I replied I would be home all evening. If she came, fine.
At 1pm, Scott and Ellen arrived, good friends I rarely saw, since they lived an hour east of Syracuse. Several years before, Scott consulted me at the Center for Self Healing for advice about his hypertension. After a year following my advice, his blood pressure declined. Recently Ellen, too, came for a consultation, and began to change her diet also.
They had attended Sig Lonegren's program at the Center on Earth Mysteries and Sacred Spaces. Scott learned to dowse and became serious about earth energies and sacred spaces.
On this first visit to my home they brought housewarming gifts to celebrate my first home in many years: handmade stoneware cups. They also brought bags bulging with brown rice, aduki beans, sesame seeds and other food. We chatted amiably as I cooked fish, millet, miso soup, and vegetables.
Rich Phillips called. He needed a ride, so I explained to Scott how to get to his house. Then a call came from a young woman, a recovering anorexic, who was sick and looking for a hot macrobiotic meal. I told her to join our feast.
Later Roger called. He'd been working on a jobsite with his backhoe and just arrived home. He planned to come for our outing, and wanted to confirm he wasn't too late. I assured him we wouldn't be eating for several minutes. Thirty minutes later he joined us around the dining table. He's a burly, robust man, self employed operating a backhoe and bulldozer. We'd met two years ago when his wife Sally developed lymphoma. A large tumor grew in her upper right chest, so large it protruded under her collarbone and through her rib cage under her armpit.
Doctors pronounced the tumor inoperable, and urged her to begin chemotherapy. Gqing against their advice, Sally looked for natural alternatives. In late summer, she came to me.
In the fall, I stopped at their house for a visit. Sally wasn't home, so Roger and I talked. Our conversation came around to dowsing. Roger had learned to dowse for water years before and became good at it. He was interested in ley lines. I explained what I knew about these channels of earth energy and taught Roger to dowse them.
Sally join us, and we spent the afternoon dowsing their land, tracing water veins and energy channels. After a while I found myself standing on top of a modest little knoll covered with pines east of their house. To my surprise I found an orderly pattern of water and energy at its summit. After a few minutes I announced this was very likely an ancient Indian mound.
The crown of this hill was their favorite place to sit on pleasant evenings. They simply felt this was the most peaceful spot near their house. A small campfire and circle of chairs straddled an energy channel descending from a powerful vortex on its summit. Underneath a large water column rose from deep in the Earth.
Roger and Sally went in the house to cook dinner. I stayed outside to study this mound more carefully. Before going inside I dowsed around their house. I was startled to discover two water veins flowed under their house.
Inside, I asked where Sally slept and was shown a downstairs bedroom. In a minute I confirmed my suspicion. The two veins crossed in their bedroom under Sally's side of the bed. The crossing was directly beneath the upper right side of her chest, the very spot in her body where the tumor was.
I'd read in The American Dowser newsletter that European dowsers found that many people with cancer were sleeping over crossings of underground water veins. The explanation was that the Earth radiated a "noxious ray" which disturbed cell physiology, resulting in tumor formation in the part of the body positioned above the crossing. I found this explanation dubious, but here was some undeniable corroboration.
We moved her bed that day. In the next few weeks, the tumor began to shrink. But this seemed to be too little too late. Sally grew steadily weaker, and her bowels and kidneys became clogged with thick mucous as her body struggled to remove the debris which had accumulated in the tumors. In the end, I found myself attending her funeral. Sadly, I knelt by her casket, spoke to her departed spirit and left a white rose on the casket. After that, I decided to dowse the homes of all my other clients with cancer.
Now, as I sat with my dowsing friends around my dining table sharing good food and warm company, my eyes fell to the coal I'd found at Marley's January 31. I picked up the black rock and pondered its significance. I held it close and peered at it. With a laugh I announced, "Look at this. I brought this coal from Marley's as a symbol of the dark industrial forces which corrupted what was once a beautiful land. If you look close you can see this coal has rainbows all over its surfaces. Its glassy surface refracts light and sets off a multitude of rainbows."
I handed it to Scott sitting on my right. As he admired its refracted rainbows I said with a chuckle, "Just goes to show every dark cloud does indeed, have a silver lining." My friends all laughed at this play on images.
When lunch was over I explained the situation I faced and how they could help. After listening several minutes, our extra guest, the woman recovering from anorexia, confided that her mother had been Robert Congel's executive secretary. Startled by this revelation, I commented what a small city I live in.
My explanation included my discovery of the Onondaga Dragon, and I took my friends upstairs to see its serpentine profile on my collage of topographic maps.
Finally, we left for Marley's. The sun still shone and the air was clear and calm, but chill. It was a pleasant afternoon for an outing along the lake. In the company of such good friends and sunshine, I felt less vulnerable to the mood of Marley's. We parked under the Hiawatha Street bridge. Standing beneath the bridge I explained my plan.
"I'd like to conduct this unscientific investigation with some scientific objectivity," I began. "I'm not going to tell you where the transformers are. I'll lead you around Marley's on the railroad tracks. Each of you dowse for transformers buried on the property." I explained how Tim and I found them two weeks before by taking bearings from different locations until we had a fix on them. I described their physical construction.
I was amused to see where Roger kept his rods. He wore calf high rubber boots and stuck his rods in one boot along his foreleg. "Of course," I thought, "where else would a backhoe operator keep his rods? Always handy to search for obstacles in his path of excavation."
We set off along the tracks. I led the way, conscious we could be observed by a watchman. I decided not to dowse, but put on a show for any observers. I balanced on a railroad track and walked it like a performer on a balance beam. My friends ambled along behind, dowsing rods in hand. After a few minutes we were spread out along 100 feet. I stopped regularly to watch their progress. It was obvious they were finding things. I didn't interfere, but let them make their own discoveries.
After a few minutes, I walked over to Roger. "By now the guys at Marley's have heard someone's talking about transformers buried here. They're probably asking each other, 'I wonder which transformers he's talking about?'"
"Yes, I'm getting a lot of contamination near the building. There's several objects buried there. At first I was getting lots of reactions, then I realized I was looking for any contamination the way I do when I'm doing excavations."
Later, I stepped over to Roger again. "Anyone who's been here and studied this area would agree a lot of terrible things were done here. It would be remarkable if nothing toxic had been buried out here in 30 years. Probably some people are saying, 'Of course nasty stuff is buried there. What do you expect? Why does David Yarrow want to open a can of worms? We all know there's worms in it.' My answer is, "I'm afraid those worms might grow up and become dragons. What use is a can then?'" We both chuckled at this.
I looked at Roger impishly and said, "Maybe Pyramid will offer us money to keep quiet about this."
Roger looked with distaste and replied, "You know me, Dave. I don't believe in payoffs." His response made me happy, and I resumed my balancing act on the rails.
Finally we came to the north corner. I walked my friends past the burial site I had detected two weeks earlier. I observed booted footprints in the snow leading to the site and along the edge.
From the record in the snow, I assumed Tim had been by earlier to do his own work. I regretted missing, him but I was confident he had done his work carefully and well.
As they ambled past the burial site I watched closely. Sure enough, they picked up the burials. I continued around the bend another 100 feet and halted. "We've gone past the site where I intend to dig", I said. "Let's backtrack and talk about that area."
We gathered at the four mounds, and I explained my plan to pick the shallowest one. I asked them to tell me how many were there and how deep. Several minutes of silence followed.
I was startled when Rich announced, "David, what you got here is four holes and five transformers. They put two in one hole. One's only six feet deep." For an instant, I suspected him of reading my mind rather than dowsing, ruining my modicum of scientific control. The others agreed. We pinpointed the shallowest one.
I turned to my other concern. "How about the Onondaga village? Does anyone want to try to dowse that?"
My companions did their inner searching. I watched four sets of rods pointed in three directions. "OK," I said, "be precise about this. The village was abandoned 300 years ago. Be specific and ask for a.village of Onondagas that was here 300 years ago."
I watched again as they questioned their dowsers' minds. Three sets pointed onto Marley's in the direction of the site we located January 24. Roger's pointed northeast across the railroad bed toward Ley Creek. I knew from old maps the area had been underwater 300 years ago. But 3 out of 4 wasn't bad.
I rode back with Scott and Ellen. As we left, Ellen gave me a dark, penetrating look and said, "David, don't think I'm weird or crazy, but I saw something there which made me afraid."
I had no idea what was on her mind, "Oh no, I'm open to any comments. If you think it's important, tell me."
After hesitation she said, "Well, as we walked down the tracks near the bridge I saw someone being shot. I don't think I just imagined this. I think I intuitively saw something in my mind. But I don't know if I saw something in the past or future. But I'm concerned about your safety and wanted to tell you this. You can think what you like about it, but what I saw was definite and left a strong impression on me emotionally."
I replied, "Listen, this situation is dangerous. I don't know what you picked up on, but I take any information as a warning about the danger that's here. I promise you I'll never go there alone and I'll be very careful whenever I go."
That evening, Tim called. As I guessed from the bootprints, he was at Marley's before us. "David, one transformer's shallower than the others—only 6 feet deep. It's the one furthest west. An orange plastic streamer is tied to a bush ten feet west of it."
"Yes, I know where you mean. I saw that orange strip. It seems you selected the same site the rest of us picked out."
After several minutes discussion, I hung up. Sitting in my quiet house, I assessed the day. The dowsers agreed: four transformers were buried along the railroad in the north corner 20 feet deep—as deep as could be dug with a backhoe. A fifth one, for some reason, had been dumped on top of one of the others, lying on its side only six feet deep. That's the one I would dig.
I wrote letters to New York's Assistant Attorney General for Environmental Protection, and a former DEC Commissioner. The former I'd met in March at the Natural Organic Farming conference, where she spoke on pesticide abuse. After the meeting, I talked to her about problems of New York's midwives.
The latter I had met when I was lobbying in Albany for New York State food policy during the last year of Governor Carey's administration. He had been special advisor to Mario Cuomo, and played a role in our New York State Food Policy Council. He'd lived in Syracuse when teaching at the College of Environmental Science. At that time, he lived on Lancaster Avenue a few doors from where I opened the Center for Self Healing. When Mario Cuomo became Governor, he was appointed Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.
|The Dragon and the Ice Castle
Rediscovery of Sacred Space in the Finger Lakes
144 pages, 8.5 x 11 soft cover
available from Turtle EyeLand
My plan was simple. I felt I could trust no one locally to handle the situation honestly. There was too much money, politics, and power. Everyone would take sides for or against the mall, and most for. I needed friends with muscle not tied to the local power structure. The place to look was Albany.
On Tuesday, I would be in Albany to meet the Commissioner of Agriculture. Years before, when I organized the Founding Members Meeting of the Natural Organic Farming Association of New York, I had initiated a lobbying campaign for New York's Department of Agriculture to create an Organic Food Advisory Committee. My effort bore fruit. A Committee was formed, and I was appointed a consumer representative.
While in Albany for the Committee meeting, I would try to meet with the Assistant Attorney General and the former Commissioner to ask for their advice. In case I was unable to meet with them, I wrote them each a letter.
I wrote until 11pm. It seemed Jeannie wasn't going to show, but a strong wind began to blow, rattling my windows. This made me restless, so I began writing an essay about the Onondaga Dragon. The wind blew all night, and I wrote until after 4am.