Sacred Places

A little while ago Lupa wrote about the small sacred places where people can find a connection to nature.

When we talk about “nature”, the first thing a lot of people picture is a wilderness setting with little to no overt human influence. These are certainly a significant part of nature, but they are not the sum total of nature itself. Most of us didn’t grow up right next to vast forests, fields and deserts, and even if we had we wouldn’t have been allowed to ramble across them unfettered. Instead, what many of us had were small open lots, parks, yards (our own or neighbors’) and the like. Because these may have been all we had, they became the definition of “nature” for us, and that imprint can last a lifetime.

For myself, when I was in my own small places, my fields and little patches of woods, for that time I was free and autonomous. I could explore those scant half-acres with impunity, and as a young child they seemed so vast and inviting that I didn’t want for more space. Instead of hiking for miles, I was exploring every inch of the land, every stone and stump and tree and pathway. I can even still remember the smells of sun on stone and cedar branches. That attention to detail is something I’m still learning to recapture as an adult recovering from the trauma of losing those places to destruction.

I’m by no means an environmentalist: conversationalist would probably better describe me. I am not a tree-hugger or nature worshipper, and my gods proudly guided the expansions of civilization and the development of complex engineering that started the path to modern technology. I like my air conditioned house, my efficient car, my imported fruits and vegetables (and coffee!), my internet connected phone, and especially modern medicine (without which I would surely be deaf). But I also love to be out in the elements, among trees and brush and running water. And although my house was not located near empty fields, there are plenty of parks near where  I grew up with wildish areas.

And as I got older, it was these places that I and my friends learned magic.

My peculiar magical art (which you will here a little about tomorrow) is very heavily based upon elemental energies and their interactions with one another. And the best way to learn to sense and manipulate those energies is to immerse yourself in them in a natural state, especially if you are looking at how they flow from one to another and blend together to form a whole.

Yeah, I can be deep and stuff.

As best as I can tell, Lupa operates in a completely different manner than I do. I have contacted and worked with spirits, but generally not local spirits or genus loci that inhabit particular areas. Much of my interaction with my own sacred places is on that elemental level of feeling the ebb and flow of your surroundings rather than who or what lives there. And unlike Lupa, who suffered a great loss when her sacred place was slated for development, I am lucky enough that mine is a designated public park. And while there is obviously some level of development, there are small areas that offer a wildish space.

So, in homage to Lupa, and because I wanted an excuse, I decided to take you on a little tour of my own sacred space.

First, a few notes on the video:

  • I shot the video on my cell phone, and had it in the upright position. I didn’t think about how this would affect the dimensions of the final product. Sorry, I’m new at this.
  • Sorry for the shaky, I hope it’s not too disorienting.
  • This is my first actual editing job. Apologies for the sloppiness.
  • It had been a long time since I had been to that park, so I didn’t remember my way through some of it. That’s why I seem confused as to where some places I used to visit were.
  • I pretty much just wandered through the park for 40 minutes rambling at the phone. Sorry if I get too boring or off topic. Stream of consciousness, yo.
  • The edited video is still almost 30 minutes. I do a lot of talking about myself and my past. I will not be offended if it is too long and you don’t want to finish it.

So, for those who are so inclined, here is a view of my own small sacred space:

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15 responses to “Sacred Places

  1. Congratulations. You just made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve only watched the first few minutes of the video; I’m going to finish it once I sit down here with some sewing. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

    • Didn’t mean to make you cry. But thanks for inspiring me. To return there, to remember how important that place was. Recognize that people don’t need a lot to connect to the world around them, and that you have made people see that.

      • Well, it was *good* crying, to be sure! I just really appreciate that you took the time to revisit someplace that special to you and shared it here 🙂

      • Maybe we can start a thing, get others bloggers to do the same. Or at least post pictures.

        I’m going to try to get some spots at Camp Gaea at Heartland this month, too. And I have a few other places I might share. But glad you liked it.

  2. Did you ever notice any change in energy when your altar had raining water under it vs. the dry season?

    Perhaps Bumblebee wanted to remind you that the e.r. is just another grand edifice the Romans would have been proud of building and putting columns in front. 😉

    • Never noticed any change depending on water level before, but I might now. Might be interesting.

      And I think the bee was just a reminder that despite its beauty, nature is just as happy to kill you.

      • Happy might be a strong word. But I doubt if nature would be too burdened with guilt should you incautiously get in the way of a stinger.

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