Sacredness. This is what we have lost. It’s not the only thing to have been mislaid on the long, dry road to the 21st century, but it’s pivotal. Without it, all is cheap and lacklustre. Without it, we are floundering in the lowest, most profane dimensions of ourselves. Nothing satisfies us. Nothing has value. The beautiful garden of our planet, the animals and plants we eat, sex, other human beings, all appear a type of consumable junk with no intrinsic value other than the temporary gratification they afford us.
When something is sacred it is seen as holy, possessing divinity. It is so valuable it becomes inviolable.
Mud Mountain was sacred to me. Each bud of each flower, each dew drop, each ant and each owl cry meant something to me. Each fold in each leaf, each tree branch, each vegetable I grew was handled with care. There were many personal reasons for my seclusion up there in the Turkish hills, but the sacredness of my land was one of them. I wanted to protect it from a cohort of humans who couldn’t see its preciousness, who seemed only to want to devour it as some type of tourist attraction.
Sacredness. The interesting thing about sacredness is that it is only when we bestow it upon something else, that we are blessed by it. It is a gift from our souls to the world, which is then magnified through matter and showered back a hundredfold upon us. Then we become sacred. And to feel sacred is to embody the highest dimension our ourselves. We become true sovereigns of our worlds.
All this has come to me in Spain. Northern Spain. Where my quest to find my new sacred space is unfolding.
As I drove over the Pyrenees and along the chiselled cliffs of the Bay of Biscay, the land grew a lush plumage of grass and ferns. My van was a white ship rising and falling over a green, velvet sea. I clutched four emblems in my hands. Four clues I had gleaned from my journey through France: Caves, church bells, running water, and a certain angle of golden sunlight. These emblems became my totems. They became sacred. And sure enough, that sacredness illuminated a trail.
Parking on precipices, in streets, on beaches, I felt the texture of each region. The rocky aloofness of the Basque country, the green congeniality of Cantabria, the mountainous drama of Asturias. I revisited places from my first trip here in winter to see if they held messages for me. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they didn’t. Caves called out to me left, right and centre. I hid in their darkened bellies sensing my thoughts heard, and my emotions felt. It felt sacred.
The Atlantic drew me to her. The smell of her intoxicated me, the surf washed me clean. Meditating, I pulled the wisest, most mystical parts of me to the fore. And the land began speaking.
It was then of course, that I happened upon the sacred space.
I cannot name it, and nor do I need to. There are enough sacred spaces for everyone. Vortexes of the Earth’s power exist all over the planet. Everywhere. Even in cities. This wasn’t a city, though. I was wandering through a wet Asturian forest, birds trilling and whooping as though I were in the Amazon. It was early. Mud oozed. It was a forager’s delight. Nettles, wild mint, clover, chickweed, plantain and moss burst from the ground and rocks. Mushroom caps pushed out of from dead leaves. A small river looped in and out, and I followed it to the sea.
On reaching a bluff, I pulled off my shoes. As my toes sank into the cool sand, the waves embraced the rocks. To the right of me three enormous openings beckoned from a rock face. Walking over, I entered one of them, soon finding myself in a wide, nobbled cave complex. One cave. Three openings. And through those openings I once again spied the wisest parts of me, this time reflected in the rocks.
When finally I waded out of the cave and into the silver of evening, a brew of mist was rising from the sea. All at once a flock of gulls rose around me, thirty of more of them, floating on the evening air. They circled me, feathered kites bobbing, rising, falling, rising. And I wept. For how can anything be this exquisite?
This is not my land of course. This is not my own special place. But it is a sacred space. Sacred spaces sing. Because they have been neither polluted nor violated, they reach out and embrace. They whisper. They inspire.
Galloping back to my van, I waited. For I can sense the vibration of a place simply by the words it drops into my mind. I opened my laptop, and let my fingers touch the keyboard. Magic surged through me. I reeled from the force of it. And from that mysterious soup that forms when human consciousness meets Mother Earth, this post spontaneously emerged.
This post has come to you thanks to the Mud Sustainers and all those supporting this site on Patreon. If you'd like to follow this journey as it happens, or to simply express that you'd like this blog to continue, consider pledging and joining the Patreon feed where I post more photos and thoughts as they arise.
23/10/2017 08:22:59 am
It's such a privaledge to share this journey with you. I often think of you being alone but you are not really alone you have us eager readers and friends there with you because of your generosity in sharing in such exquisite detail. Sacred, yes people are sacred too need I say more.
23/10/2017 04:21:39 pm
Dearest Dianne, thank you. Ah aloneness. It's only in that silence that I hear the Earth speaking. And then of course I'm not alone:))
23/10/2017 09:18:17 am
23/10/2017 04:22:05 pm
23/10/2017 03:42:24 pm
23/10/2017 04:22:41 pm
So so wonderful to know this feeling is shared.
23/10/2017 04:05:34 pm
We have just finished walking the Camino. There are just so many abandoned properties along the trail
23/10/2017 04:23:17 pm
Yes, many abandoned villages in Spain. Hope the Camino was magical for you.
23/10/2017 04:14:47 pm
I concur Dianne!
23/10/2017 04:24:06 pm
Yes we are all fine artists, I so agree. Thank you Barbara!
23/10/2017 07:34:23 pm
Thank you Atulya. Such beauty, such wisdom and insight. Your writing is sacred and I feel privileged to read your words and be touched by the stillness and the sacred within and without.
23/10/2017 07:40:43 pm
25/10/2017 01:55:54 pm
Yes northern Spain is beautiful. The slower pace, the simple life, and water. It's balm to the soul.
24/10/2017 04:26:29 pm
I'm glad you got out of that cave before high tide---be careful out there!
25/10/2017 01:53:26 pm
Thank you Willy! Yes, I had my eye on that. Tides are still a bit of a novelty to me after years on the Med.
25/10/2017 01:57:42 pm
Yes, we just witnessed this. But I honestly think if anyone anywhere believes they're going to escape the next 50 years without some sort of climatic upheaval, they're delusional. It's not a regional issue. It's a global one.
Actually it's not so much global as personal...until we, especially in the west, recognise how much we have to cut our consumerist lifestyle and work collaboratively in groups again...and then act accordingly (the key!).then we are all responsible for what is happening; despite any recognition or worship of the godliness of the world around us
24/10/2017 09:46:52 pm
25/10/2017 01:43:08 pm
Yes, the sacredness is what flows beneath the grimy surface that makes it life at all. Thank you for this reminder, and for painting ways towards that which is holy.
25/10/2017 01:58:34 pm
Perfectly put as always Claire.
8/11/2017 04:14:41 am
Another wonderful share of a beautiful land, Yes, sacredness is the soul, the soul of the land around us touching our soul and so many people no longer feel that sacredness any longer, nor do they have any moral boundaries. So much seems to have been lost over the past 40 to 50 years. I am not sure we will ever get it back so many people have turned from their intrinsic values and are looking for the wrong things and valuing the wrong things. When the power of love overtakes the love of power then and only then will there be peace. Too many people worship money over God and too many people defame God by killing in his name. Seems that when something is found or created that could work toward the good it is used for evil instead.
9/11/2017 03:21:52 pm
Beautiful Sandi. " So many look for Nirvana thinking it is something outside themselves when Nirvana actually comes from the peace within ourselves and the contentment of our environment." After Mud Mountain and Rotty, I know no matter where I choose, nothing lasts forever. What counts is not the longevity or long term 'security' of a project/home/relationship, but the extent of joy, peace and inspiration I experience within it. It's that intensity of 'beauty' that guides me:)
10/11/2017 01:11:25 am
As I sit here shoving potato chips into my mouth and downing coke zero, celebrating my last day with a needle stuck in my arm for four weeks before my fortnight starts again I am wishing I had my "special" place" that lets one connect spiritually and heals your sole -- but it will happen in God's time.
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Atulya K Bingham
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