Sacred Places Around the World

There are sacred places all over the world that have a unique quality and resonance. Some of these sacred places are unknown to most of the world. We all know about Stonehenge, in south-west Wales. The monumental scale suggests that there was great intention in placing the stones for a specific purpose.

Other, lesser known stone circles exist in places like West Africa. In the Gambia in West Africa, an unusual stone circle exists that is also a powerful testimony of great intention. To simply look at these stones is a powerful visual statement that I am quite sure extends far beyond the visual.

wassu stone circles The Gambia-photo by Shauna Mullalley

Wassu stone circles The Gambia-photo by Shauna Mullalley

 

What makes a “place” sacred? Is it a feeling that we get when we are present to a sacred site?  Or perhaps it is the sheer scale of form in what people created long ago. Another question that comes to mind is, “Why did people created stone circles?” Sacred places around the world do not merely have to be man made forms. There are also places such a the Himalayas, and Victoria Falls, and the great rivers of the world that command one to reflect and be still. These monuments in the landscape that people have placed or formed, are expressions of belief. This is what makes them so interesting. We know not “why” particular places were created, such as the Wassu Stone Circles in west Africa. What we do know, however, is that sacred places around the world exist because people throughout all time have been creating and expressing to communicate with the mystery of the inexplicable.

I have been most interested in this expression through the woven world of cloth. Although cloth does not remain intact as well as metal and stones, and other objects that man has created, it is divinely feminine, and as Elizabeth Barber says in her wonderful book, “Women’s Work,” cloth and textiles preceded the written word which is only 5500 years old, and perhaps preceded the spoken word, based upon the evolution of mankind. This makes textiles that have survived the perils of wind, water, sun, and moisture, a means of communication from people long ago to the people of today. Within these textiles are messages about beliefs, preferences, symbols and love, told through the way in which they wrapped the dead, and the colors and motifs used within the woven structure.

Sacred places around the world include places such as the Tarim Basin in western China. There, numerous mummies have been excavated with their textiles intact. The textiles tell an unusual story that connects us with these people that lived thousands of years ago. We see their clear intention revealed in the manner in which they wrapped the dead, and carefully placed families together. The story is told through the color of the textiles, and the manner in which the cordage was spun. It is a sacred moment to see them in their clothing some 3000-5000 years ago.

Sacred places around the world are known and unknown. Perhaps you have a few that you know of that are relatively unknown. What is your favorite sacred place in the world?

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The Nazca Lines in Peru

The Nazca lines in Peru are a topic of speculation and controversy. Why? Because no one really knows why and who created them. There are many different theories as to why the lines were created in the desert. The Nazca lines in Peru are also called geoglyphs and there are over 300 of them. What are they? They are designs, or motifs that can primarily be seen from above rather than on the earth. The designs include things like spiders, and monkeys and lizards, as well a a myriad of other things.

The speculation as to “why” the Nazca Lines in Peru were created include things such as ley lines for water, and another is that they were created by aliens, and then another is that they were created for ceremony of the Nazca people in the years around 400 to 600.  The designs were created by removing the red pebbles on the desert floor, revealing the greyish color underneath, thereby creating a mark on the desert floor

One of my favorite theories of the Nazca lines in Peru was given by a man named Henri  Stierlin, a Swiss art historian and scholar. His theory is that the lines represented a giant loom in which the measurement of the length of the lines corresponded with the “length” of the Paracus mummy shrouds. The Paracus people occupied this area, and their textiles that wrapped the dead were very long pieces of cloth. Sterlin investigated the relationship of the length of the burial shrouds to the Nazca lines in the desert . Below is a picture of the Nazca lines from one perspective.

Nazca lines photo by Nasa

Nazca lines-NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan Aster Science Team

 

The Nazca lines in the image above do indeed look like a form of a suspended measurement and if you have ever warped a loom you know that the first part of the process is winding the warp. I think Stierlen might have been on the right tract. As for an explanation of the figures and motifs, he assigned ritual to those images. What holds true is that the Nazca lines are still an enigma which is largely unsolved.

Monkey- Nazca lines in the desert

Monkey- Nazca lines in the desert


You can read more about the Nazca lines in the desert of Peru here, at National Geographic’s web site.

 

 


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Sacred Places

Sacred Places exist all over the world and reflect the ancient cosmology of people long ago. Sacred geometry is the foundation of many of these places.  What exists as a foundation for initiating places such as Stonehenge or the Pyramids, or NewGrange in Ireland? Below is a utube video of one man’s curious attempt to understand the thinking behind ancient sacred places.

 

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Predictions 2012, 30 years Ago

 

 

Predictions of 2012 are all over the place. I find it interesting to see what people were saying 30 years ago. My own idea of what is occurring is the slow movement into a whole new way of being for all human beings. Watch some of the predictions of 30 years ago below. What do you believe?

 

 

 

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Soul and Language

I love language and the power of words. In the early 1900′s Florence Shinn, a metaphysician and an illustrator, used to speak the word for people who came to her with problems. How? Shinn knew the power of words to change thoughts and vibrations. Thoughts are things. Words have the power to change ways of thinking, the world around us, and we can use words to transform our relationship to the world around us. Indigenous people have known this for thousands of years. Soul and language are a part of every culture of the world. This is a wonderful site with so many knowledgeable people, and there are videos with traditional people and scholars who speak about language. Scroll to the bottom to hear Jean OBrien speak about language. Fascinating.

Soul and language are interlinked and if we pay more attention to language, we can BE in relationship not only with others, but with the world around us in ways that are inexplicable. We then can hear the trees, the birds, the sound of the wind, and can identify ourselves in the family of things.

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Soul with Vision

I love interesting and inventive ways of viewing the world through theater and Art. Below is soul with vision and one of my favorite Utube Artists,  Daniel Wurtzel. He has produced some of the most amazing videos with cloth, and this one with feathers. This is truly “soul with vision.

 

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Tapa Cloth, Tahiti, and Ancient Story

Tapa Cloth is a cloth specific to the south pacific which has a history and story that is rich throughout time. One story that is related to the “bounty” and the mutiny that directed the ship back to Tahiti goes something like this: A surgeon aboard the ship documented their arrival to Tahiti. An entourage of women who followed the leaders of the community aboard the ship, were wrapped in layers and layers of tapa cloth. The entourage of women were bounded in tapa cloth so fully, that they had to be hoisted onto the ship. There, they danced for hours, and unfurled the tapa cloth in such a way, that the captain of the ship was then bounded in the cloth as a form of gift giving, and welcoming. Tapa cloth, is sacred to the communities and cultures of the south pacific. In many communities, it is created by the group, rather than the individual. It is made from the bark of the mulberry tree, and is pounded, beaten, dyed, and dried in the sun.

Since most of the sailors and all of the Tahitian men were killed within a few years of settlement, much of the Pitcairner’s culture came from the Tahitian women, until more regular contact with Europeans was established after 1814. While John Adams, the last surviving mutineer, forcibly encouraged the use of English, and taught everyone in the ways of the Bible, the basic domestic tools and functioning of the island were being run by the women in the ways that they knew. One of the most visible signs of this influence was the manufacture and use of traditional Polynesian tapa cloth for loincloths and skirts.

Tapa Cloth, Tahiti, and the Ancient story still exists today, and can be explored by looking at the beautiful designs and processes that are a part of many south pacific islands. Pitcairn is one of the places where the descendants of the bounty’s mutineers exist, and they are a thread to the ancient stories that connect us to Tapa cloth and its meaning. To read the full article about the remants of a lost civilization, go here.

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Sacred Cloth and the Shroud of Turin

Sacred Cloth can be found in many cultures around the world, but one of of the most controversial sacred cloths is the Shroud of Turin, which has the image of a man who was crucified, and this image is infused on linen cloth. A recent article in “The Daily Beast,” sheds some light on the Shroud of Turin, and what is revealed in the cloth itself.

The Shroud of Turin is a large linen cloth imbued with a mysterious image of a tortured, crucified man. According to tradition, it was used, along with other cloths, to wrap the dead body of Jesus, and its image, so believers say, is a miraculous imprint of the crucified Lord. Still cherished by many Catholics as one of the holiest relics of Christianity, the Shroud is regarded by nearly everyone else as a medieval fake, largely on the basis of a carbon-dating test carried out in 1988. Sacred and contentious in equal measure, the relic is exhibited very rarely and is generally kept locked away in a shrine in the Royal Chapel of Turin Cathedral, where it has been housed since the 17th century. There it rests, like a lethargic ghost, occasionally disturbing the intellectual complacency of the modern world, but, for the most part, unseen, discredited and ignored.

Shroud of turin

Perhaps you can decide for yourself whether this image reveals something more than just an image of a man’s face on linen. After a lot of exploration, one can be certain that there are certain extraordinary components to the image, and how it is reflected through the cloth, that make it worthy of careful consideration. The sudarium is another cloth that an image appeared on in 1450.  Some say that it is a high frequency light, that created the image. Whatever your thoughts may be on this subject of sacred cloth and the shroud of turin, it is worth  examining. As for me, I think it is extraordinary, and the image cannot be dismissed as mere ordinary phenomenon. Go to the daily beast and read for yourself.

 

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Higher Consciousness and Vibration

In an area near Asheville, N.C. called Swannanoa, there is a peace chamber. The chamber is shaped like a dome, and is one of 57 or so chambers around the world where people go to sing the vowel sounds into the chamber. This is a vision of Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow. Rael is an Ute Pueblo visionary who has written several books on Sound, Healing and Vibration. One book is called, “Being in Vibration.” Rael’s vision for the Peace Chambers around the world embraces the idea that producing sounds in the form of vowels, is a way to send vibrational messages of Peace throughout the globe.
While the Peace Chamber in Swannanoa is closed to the public, Theater of the Soul is offering “Sounds of Peace” a gathering of sound and vibration twice a month from May through October.

Below is a wonderful interview with Joseph Beautiful Painted Arrow.  For more information about attending the Peace Chamber sound and vibration gatherings, please contact theaterofthesoul1@gmail.com.

 

 

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