Daily Archives: February 28, 2012

Spiritual Places


When it comes to very spiritual Pagan places, most probably thing of Stonehenge.  It’s the most well-known and widely-recognized Pagan landmark.  Those in the US probably think of Sedona, AZ, as it’s a metaphysical and New Age hub.  Other than that, what other places are there?  Do we even need special spiritual places?

I’d like to address the second question first.  Many Pagans revere the earth and consider the earth to be sacred or special in some way or another.  This thinking goes back to ancient modes of thought and belief in which the earth herself was something to worship or revere, and was a goddess.  This has become, to varying degrees, a mode of thought in modern Paganism as well.  The earth is treasured and honored, if not worshiped, and many of us honor and work with personified earth goddesses.

So if we see the entirety of the earth as sacred or special–then what is so special or necessary about spiritual sites?

If you subscribe to the idea of natural ley lines and nodes, then a number of spiritual places around the world are special and of spiritual significance because at those locations the earth’s energy is more strongly felt.  Sedona’s vortexes work from this kind of theory, that those areas are pools of natural energy that we lowly humans can feel and interact with.

We tend to need spiritual places of some kind because we’re human.  We prefer to have tangible evidence, and special places of worship or spirituality fulfill that need.  It’s just as true for Pagans as it is for any other faith.  Even Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have sacred places, and they are faiths and peoples very firmly connected to the earth and who do see the earth as a sacred entity.

Not only that, but spiritual places help bring spirituality into focus.  They can help a person to connect more easily with the divine and with nature than can necessarily be achieved in the home.  Areas that have a natural, more divine feel to them, that speak more directly of the gods and the universe, enhances your connection to the divine and can bring you more into focus.  For example, I can see the stars from my house in Maryland–but from the desert out west, I can see the Milky Way.  My view from home is lovely, but it doesn’t compare to the awe-inspiring view of the universe that I found in Arizona, and it doesn’t give me the same feeling that seeing the Milky Way and all those stars gave me.

So while the earth overall can be our spiritual center, those certain special places around the globe that speak to each of us of something greater, of a deeper connection–those are as worthy of reverence as the earth herself, and vice versa, the earth herself is as worthy of reverence as those special places.

As to what those places are; well, they vary widely.  Some people say their special place is the little grove or forest outside their house.  Some people say it’s a cave, or the beach, or a mountain.  Others say it’s the standing stones in Europe or the natural rock formations in Western America.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge isn’t the only magical place on the earth, and while Stonehenge is still worthy of care and reverence, a lot of people have been saying lately that the area feels tired, depleted, as if the energy of Stonehenge had been sapped.  I’m not surprised–so many people flock to the place every year and take of the energy but give nothing in return.

You don’t need to go to Stonehenge.  There are plenty of other places, some even closer than England.  Sedona, Arizona; the redwood forests in California; national parks; standing stones in England, Ireland, and Scotland; and many more.  A little research will yield a great many alternatives, if you’re willing to look a little deeper.