The past week or so, I have been exploring several sacred landscapes. A sacred landscape is a space, either in your inner or outer world, that provides an arena for different kinds of spiritual activity or ceremony. It is a place where one can go to do ceremony, meditate, or commune with the spirits of the natural world. It can be out in nature, in your spare bedroom, or even in your imagination. No matter where you create this space, the energy there should be quiet, contemplative and peaceful.
This past Friday night, I had a group here at my house to cerebrate the Autumnal Equinox with a shamanic fire ceremony. The sacred landscape was my back yard with the focus of the ceremony centered on my fire pit. The weather that day was very windy with wind gusts upwards to 30 mph and rain was forecast to come through around dinner time. I wasn’t even sure if a fire would be possible under those conditions. Nevertheless, shaman magic prevailed once again, and by the time we got outside for the fire, the wind had died down almost completely, and we had a perfectly clear sky above. The stars, planets and our Milky Way galaxy provided a sacred landscape above us, and the participants energetically provided the sacred space around the fire. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Three different days during the last week I was out in the canyonlands of SE Utah with my friend Virginia researching the very large sacred landscape that exists west of Hovenweep National Monument. This landscape includes standing stones, ancient rock art, many line of sight alignments with a local mountain, solstice and equinox sunrise and sunset markers, and a huge stone circle. Clearly the ancient people of this land either lived here or gathered in this area for their sacred ceremonies.
During the trips last week, we completed the work in the canyons that we had been researching for several years, and moved on west to a new location. The rock art in this new area has been identified as being made during the archaic period, so it is at least 3-5,000 years old! At the top is a photo of the very oldest rock art that we found. The energy of this new area is quite different than that of the other canyon that we had been investigating previously. I can only assume that the lifestyle and of course the types of ceremonies that were done in the 2 places were quite different as well. Here are more photos of the ancient rock art.
Yesterday, Sunday, we hosted a local rock art expert who had not been to the area before, and so revisited some significant sites in both canyons. As I was walking through a large open area that many researchers had walked through before me, I stumbled upon a very significant monolith that was lying prone in the dirt. I say significant because there were no other large boulders around it. I was surprised that no one had documented it. As opposed to the many standing stones there that are marked by a white tip where the dark staining had been rubbed off by the ancient inhabitants, this monolith had a white abraded area on its surface just inches from the ground. Below is an example of the many white-tipped standing stones in the area.
I love to tune into the energy of these big boulders, and I did just that with this one. Anyone can do this by quieting the mind, putting your hand on the stone and channeling the energy. She is definitely a female, and a representation of the Earth Mother. She has a symbolic form of a woman, and a scooped out area where I imagine the womb would be located. I have named her Madonna. Now how the ancient people used her, I don’t know. I would have to spend more time with her to gather that information. Clearly though, this monolith is part of the sacred landscape of that area.
I encourage each of you to find your sacred landscape, whether it is out in nature in an isolated spot, in your own backyard, in your house or in the map of your consciousness. Use that landscape often to connect to the greater you that exists in the cosmos.