What Makes a Sacred Site Sacred?

What Makes a Sacred Site Sacred?

Ooof! Big question. Many answers. It depends on who you ask.


A google search turns up helpful answers and interesting people. So much so that I’m sure I could write many posts, and maybe even possibly, a book. Should I add another blog-to-book topic? Probably. Though, that is then another project to manage. It’s great starting things. Even better, to complete them. I’ll give it some thought.

For now, let’s stay focused on this blog post. 😂


The healing waters of the Lourdes Grotto from Saint Bernadette’s story drew me in like bees to honey when I was about eight to ten years old. I can’t quite remember my exact age. Though I do remember being in awe of the healing waters, and I wanted so bad to go Lourdes France, and it all felt so impossible with me living in a small prairie town in mid-northeast Saskatchewan in Canada.


For those who may not know of Saint Bernadette, the story goes that she received visitations from the spirit of Mother Mary, Jesus’ mother, when she was 14 years old. She followed instructions she received in her visions and revealed the sacred waters within the grotto at Lourdes, which has become a pilgrimage site.


I wanted to heal my eyesight because I have been wearing glasses since I was five years old. I wanted to heal the vitiligo – patches of white skin (depigmentation) — that supposedly skipped a generation and I was the unlucky one who was stuck with it. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to believe I could be healed.


I remember struggling with a quote from the New Testament at that time. Yes, I was raised in a traditional religious environment. This quote was about having the faith of a mustard seed to be able to move a mountain. I’ve learned a lot since about the power of belief and setting intentions and creating one’s reality, but of course, I didn’t know that then.


Honestly, I felt like a double failure. I felt like a failure for wanting to be healed meaning I wasn’t accepting myself for who I was as I was. And I felt like a failure that I didn’t have the faith of a mustard seed to move a mountain to get the healing, to find my way to France. Maybe I’ll get there after all with this blog project. 😜


There are many sacred sites dedicated to Mother Mary and extend beyond her specifically to encompass the divine feminine. I get into that a little further down.


Up first in the Google search results on what makes a sacred site sacred…


35 Years Visiting Sacred Sites as a Photographer and Anthropologist


map of sacred sites Martin Gray visited
Global Sacred Sites World Map

Did you know there’s a guy who spent 35 years visiting over 2,000 sacred sites all over the world?


I was flabbergasted when I found Martin Gray’s website World Pilgrimage Guide. This is a lovely little gem of a website. Martin is a photographer and an anthropologist. He offers a list of books you can read to find out more and provides information about specific sacred sites on a world map. He shares his reflections on his own experience.


There’s a lot to unpack about sacred sites just on this one site. It’ll take a while for me to go through it, and most certainly use this website to learn more about where I’ve already decided I want to go, and to figure out new places to visit.


So yeah, maybe a blog-to-book project makes sense. Still thinking about it. 😊


So what does Martin say about what makes a site sacred?


Quite a bit, actually. He has categorized them. He lists factors that contribute to the power of the place. He talks about the visual beauty, the location, the sacred geometry, building materials, the influence of light and colour as well as sound and music and aroma, and so much more.


If I blog a book on this topic, I think it’ll need its own domain name too. I can see photos and videos evolving out of this too. In fact, this idea is starting to merge with another idea I bumped into last week while working on the telesummit project for this website. Things are starting to percolate. I love that feeling! More about that feeling which I call my Sandbox of Experiments.


Martin Gray is one dedicated guy, systematically visiting, photographing and writing about sacred sites. Also,  traditional knowledge keepers are a great source of information too to learn more about sacred sites and what makes a site sacred.


The Keepers of the Traditional Knowledges: Protecting Sacred Land


Indigenous Peoples worldwide are devoted to protecting and preserving the land. Honouring sacred land is an important part of that duty.


Traditional knowledge keepers hold a great deal of knowledge. Just because it’s not in a book that you can check out from a library does not lessen the value of that knowledge. It just means that the library is set up a differently. It has its own set of protocols that must be honoured and respected.


Listen to Hopi Messenger Thomas Banyacya speak of his commitment as a Hopi to steward the land entrusted to the Hopi people on the website for the Sacred Land Film Project.


This is another gem of a website talking about sacred land and what it is and means. There is a lot of information here too to unpack over time: films, videos, reports, school materials, maps sacred land and so much more.


The authors of the Sacred Land Film Project speak to the differences of definition of the words “sacred” and “site” of western and indigenous cultures.


Where people of Western cultures may equate “sacred” to “sacrosanct” meaning “inviolably holy, people from indigenous communities, “sacred” may mean “spiritually alive, culturally essential, or simply deserving of respect.”


In addition, for people of Western cultures, what is considered sacred (or sacrosanct) usually refers to a specific place. Spiritual sites for the indigenous are more encompassing and may in fact be several places which are deeply interconnected.


Another aspect to consider when considering “sacred sites” from an indigenous cultural perspective is that almost all are tied to the natural environment and have links to ancestors or creation mythologies – which often includes specific stories, rituals and practices.


map of protected, threatened and endangered sacred land
Sacred Lands Film Project: Map of Protected, Threatened and Endangered Sacred Land

On this website, the efforts to establish an international definition of a sacred are briefly discussed and an operational definition of a sacred site is shared with readers. Nearly 20 characteristics are listed under three main headings: (1) description of the site, (2) spiritual aspects), and (functional value).


I love how the map represents locations around the globe and links to a report about that site. The reports have lists of resources too so you can find out more about a location. In addition, the website authors have identified the extent to which the sites are under protection, threatened or endangered.


Endlessly fascinating! I can’t wait to learn more.


About Nodes and Nulls Making Up Sacred Sites: Channeled Information from the Other Side of the Veil


About five years ago, as I was reading a ton of books to help me work out the story world of a speculative fiction story project I’m working on (using a pen name), I started reading The Gaia Effect.


What’s interesting about this book’s authorship is that it combines channeled information by the Kryon translated by Lee Carroll, and research presented by the author, Monika Muraynyi, who has a background obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Science and working in various national parks within Australia and New Zealand for over fifteen years. Definitely an interesting authorship mix. 😜


Useful and relevant information can be gleaned from the most unique places. The key is our duty as the consumers of information to discern with solid critical thinking skills the value of that information, its authorship and so on. I have been evaluating these sources of information for several years now and find them consistent and credible. Of course, up to you on how you evaluate the sources of information, along with the information itself.


I first discovered the Kryon when I was looking for ideas on space travel that might be different from what is now the typically accepted hyperdrive/faster-than-light travel “standard” we’ve learned about watching Star Trek, Star Wars, and countless other space fiction stories. Yes, again, more research for the speculative fiction stories and story world. 😉


The Kryon book I read at that time was The Twelve Layers of DNA. You’ll find within these pages a lot of interesting science explaining human DNA. Unfortunately, unlike Monika, I don’t have the science background, so I’ve got some leveling up to do to validate what I learned in this book. And yes, I did find some interesting answers about space travel that is not faster-than-light travel but that’s not a post for blog, but rather one, I think for the fiction writing blog. For some other time. 😉


Getting back to the book The Gaia Effect, you will find a discussion on nodes and nulls which are tied to the Earth’s ley lines and something called the Crystalline Grid. This Grid links to the Akash.


Monika has compiled a whole other book called The Human Akash to help readers understand what the Akash is. For me, this is another endlessly fascinating topic. Assuming the Akash is real even though we cannot perceive it as we generally understand the world today, this is another potential source of knowledge with its own set of protocols and procedures to access the possible knowledge within. Definitely another topic for another time.


I must stay focused on the topic of this post! 😊 So, back to sorting out what makes a sacred site sacred.


The idea is that nodes are geographical locations which feel intense to people because of overlapping elements. It would seem that they tend to absorb energy that is no longer needed. People tend to be drawn to these locations, and often, Indigenous Peoples have traditions in place that honour these sites.


Examples given include: (1) Mount Shasta in California, (2) Sedona in Arizona, and (3) Machu Picchu in Peru.


I was already planning on visiting these three sites, so how cool is that! It’ll be interesting experiencing these locations myself and experimenting with this node-null information to evaluate for myself whether these ideas make sense to me and how I understand the world. More to unfold as time goes on, it seems to me.


The idea behind nulls is that due to the absence of the Crystalline Grid, visitors to these sites feel pure Gaia energy. It is difficult for humans to live in these locations long-term. These sites represent pure creative energy. It seems to that there are strange magnetic qualities to these locations. Consider stories about the Bermuda Triangle.


In fact, examples given of nulls include: (1) Valley of the Moon (also known as San Pedro de Atacama) in Chili, (2) Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and (3) Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean.

map of nodes and nulls from kryon website

I was not planning on visiting these sites, but I may. We’ll see. Some authors have discredited the Bermuda Triangle business as bogus. I look forward to reading what they have to say, to learn more.


Though I am curious to learn more about nodes and nulls. I guess we’ll see what happens next on that. 😊


The Flower of Life Sacred Geometry: Clues to Places of Spiritual Power?


black and white stylized image of a flower of life diagramHave you ever heard about sacred geometry? About the flower of life as an aspect of sacred geometry? Sacred geometry shows up in nature naturally. These forms have also been used to construct buildings and create art. It is a big topic and I’m barely a beginner (too much math for me and the way my brain is wired for words), so I don’t feel comfortable saying much more.


Save the following.


In one of my meetings with an Indigenous Elder, I was invited to learn about the Flower of Life. I decided to buy and read a few books I found called The Flower of Life, Vol 1 and Vol 2. The flower of life looks like the image here.


There seem to be many configurations and permutations of how the circles can be arranged and each arrangement means something. I have forgotten the details, though the book does explore the topic in detail. Google searches turn up interesting results too.


When I was reading these two volumes, something curious occurred to me when the author spoke of visiting sacred sites in the 1980s and then later on at the turn of the century. What caught my attention is his observation that many more people were showing up at sacred sites in the 2000s and beyond then they did in the 1980s.


It was in the noting of this observation that I decided it would be a cool idea to launch a travel blog visiting places of spiritual power – hence this blog. 😉


Marian Visitations and Sacred Sites of the Divine Feminine


fresco of our lady of guadalupeThere have been 500 years of visits of what many claim is Mother Mary. National Geographic has mapped them but you have to subscribe to see it so I haven’t linked the website here. Of course, do a search if you wish.


I found a short list of Vatican approved Marian apparitions, among which is mentioned Bernadette of Lourdes, of which I talked about earlier. This listing gives you an idea of how long these apparitions have been happening. For example, the Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531 and more recently the Mother of the Word in Rwanda from 1981 to 1989.


Of course, there are other sacred sites celebrating the divine feminine. Most definitely, a whole new topic for another blog post. Doing a quick search on Amazon.ca, I found a useful reference called Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations. I’m looking forward to learning more and seeing which one(s) I might add to my list of sacred sites to visit.


Martin Gray, the guy above who visited 2000+ sacred sites over 35 years has listed a bunch of books on his World Pilgrimage Guide website under the heading of Goddess Sites and Marian Shrines. It could be interesting cross-referencing both lists when determining which ones to decide to visit. More to come, I suspect.


So, now that we’ve taken a look at what makes a sacred site sacred, tell me, what do you think makes a sacred site sacred? And do you have a sacred site in mind that you want to visit?


Until we can chat again soon, see ya. ☺

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