Thought for the day, Wednesday 14th December

“What makes a place sacred? Is it some hallowed action? Is it the siting of a shrine or temple? Is it the occupation by people who have honoured the spirit of that place? Although there is no part of the earth that is not intrinsically sacred in its own right, our recognition of a place’s sacredness tends to rest upon what other human beings have done at that spot, what they have erected by way of memorial, what holy actions and rites they have conducted to hallow it.

Certain spots draw us to them, there is no doubt. Even if they harbour no ancient monument, if there is no story associated with their borders, we feel somehow at peace or exalted when there. It must be through just that intangible process that our ancestors discovered their own sacred places – places of natural beauty whose potency drew them again and again to spiritual exploration. Some places act as natural thresholds, junctions between this world and the other where we feel in communion with the unseen world and its inhabitants.

Some sacred places can be lost through neglect and forgetfulness; others are lost by a gross act of desacralization. But a place can be rediscovered and resacralized if we attend to the spirit of the place and learn what it is that makes that place sacred. The prospect of the resacralization of the earth is just a lofty idea for many people, but it is one that all of us can foster, in cooperation with the spirits of the earth itself.

Call to mind a place – it need not be recognized by others as a sacred place – where you have felt empowered and uplifted. Dwell upon the qualities and gifts that you associate with that site and how they make connection with your own spiritual path. Take the first opportunity you can to verify your meditation by visiting this place in person. Sense again the spirit of the place.”

Caitlin Matthews

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