And just what is a sacred place?
What do you see when you hear those words?
Standing stones raised by ancient peoples upon a windy plain? Dark caverns where
the ancient Mother was first honored? Towering pyramids? Ruined temples to forgotten
Certainly there are places upon this earth that seem to reach out
to something at the core of our being and to connect us with the Divine energies
around us. We actively seek them out, going on long pilgrimages of faith to spend
a few moments or hours in these ancient precints. We leave our offerings, take our
pictures, gather our memories...and then we go back into the mundane, every day world.
wait a moment..... Aren’t we forgetting something here? Aren’t we missing out on
an important idea?
As Pagans, isn’t one of our core beliefs that of the immanence
of Divinity? Do we not believe that the Divine energy permeates all of the Universe,
all of creation, all of the earth around us? Well the, if that’s the case, then all
places are sacred, not just the places we see on the cover of National Geographic
or those to which the Guru of the moment is leading this year’s pilgrimage.
it is more difficult to see an urban city block covered in trash and human refuse
as sacred. It may be more difficult to think of your own backyard as anything other
than something which constantly needs to be mowed or weeded. And where is the sacred
in the chemical tainted marshes surrounding many of our polluted waterways? And herein
lies the problem.
When we begin to think about things and places as being
either “mundane” or “sacred” we are taking a giant step away from our core belief
in the immanence of Divinity. We begin to lose the sense of being a caretaker for
the Earth and the creatures that share it with us, unless they are confined to certain
specific places that we identify as “sacred”. And from this isolation from Divinity
around us come all of those things which we Pagans visit on the Earth that continue
to do it harm.
Our failure to connect to the Divine right beneath our feet
often blinds us to those thing we could be doing to save the world around us. And
when we do manage to give a thought to what we might do, we are often overwhelmed
by the massiveness of the task we face, and hence we are held motionless when action
is needed. Yet each of us holds in our own hands the ability to turn around the damage
humans have done to the natural world and to begin to restore the Sacred to all places.
first step in making a world in which all places are again sacred is to turn our
thinking around on what is sacred and what is mundane, to remember that Deity is
immanent. Do we have to look upon ancient monuments to find the Divine? Is it not
even a more powerful image of the power of life and creation to contemplate the common
weed forcing it’s way through a crack in the city sidewalk?
So I ask you
again....What is a sacred place?
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Copyright © Lark, October 2001