What Makes A Place Sacred?

Usually we think of sacred places as religious places. We may think of a church or an archaeological site as a sacred place. Burial sites are candidates for sacred places or a place where something important happened in the history of mankind. But we don’t need to think of a sacred place necessarily in religious terms, a place might be spiritual but not religious. And there might be natural places as the famous cult sites where people feel that the Otherworld is close to them, places where the walls between different planes of reality are thinner than elsewhere. An extraordinary landscape is a typical candidate where people find peace and inspiration. There are many places where wonders are reported.There are places which have seen repeated visits by strange lights or where other unexplained phenomena happen a lot.  A street or a certain way might also qualify as a sacred place.  For ancient people whole forests were sacred.  Caves have often become sacred places as they were seen as gateways to the underworld. Holy wells are sacred places.

However there are also new places emerging, which haven’t been there before nor have any history, and which could become a sacred place. In Berlin’s the “Devil’s mountain” is not a natural mountain. It was created after World War II when the rubble of the ruins of Berlin was brought to the Grunewald. On top of this artificial mountain was a CIA-field-station for a long time (this is a very brief encapsulation. For a more detailed history of Devil’s Mountain in Berlin please check the web).

Today, it’s a magic place. Young artists from everywhere come around. And there seems to be a tremendous extraordinary energy inspiring the imagination. Maybe if explorers would find this place 1000 years in the future after our civilization has vanished they would indeed interpret this place as a sacred place. The video below captures a little bit of the mood of this great place, a place which film maker David Lynch wanted to buy.

Maybe sacred places can be created. A strong concentration like rituals – not only the old ones but also new ones like intense psy trance parties for example, which are happening all around the world – could do the job.  And it seems to work also the other way around, it’s like there is a tendency at certain places to do a particular thing. It’s a question what or who is leading creative expression. The scenery at devil’s mountain has become a bit of an archetypical scene, something which we remember somehow but is also something new.  An archetypical image we already know from somewhere has found its expression. It’s interesting that only the interplay of human activity and the work of nature as the influence of the weather could have created together such an (apocalyptic) scenery.

Today many people are attracted by abandoned places. Maybe we hope not to find something there we don’t know but something we already know – deep inside.

 

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