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Sacred Sites

Why Go to a Sacred Site?

By: Frank Joseph

If we regard our world as nothing more than a dirt-ball flying through empty space, we may abuse and exploit it at our convenience. But when we realize that the Earth is alive, a biosphere, the true Mother of all life on the planet, our perception changes. An inanimate thing may be used with indifference; only the most ignorant or wicked person consciously injures his mother.

Every time a visitor venerates the "genius loci", or the "spirit of place", at a sacred center, he or she heals the Earth by becoming part of an emerging global consciousness for universal regeneration. Such healings invariably work both ways, and we too, are made whole. Our mind, body and soul find rejuvenation in the original source of wellness, because sacred sites are Earth's chakras. These are certain points or vortexes, concentrations of specific energies corresponding to our psycho-physical condition. Each of us has seven major chakras. The Earth, many thousands. But her chakras are essentially the same as our own, in that they are foci for telluric powers, Earth energies.

We are not entirely healthy---physically or emotionally---if our chakras are unbalanced. Then we require some healing agency (prayer, meditation, catharsis, etc.) to restore our spiritual equilibrium. Earth Mother is presently in desperate need of having her chakras---her sacred sites---put back into balance.

But where do we find these Earth-bound chakras, these so-called "sacred sites"? Many American imagine such places cannot be found where they themselves live, such as Oregon or Washington. Yet, they will be pleasantly surprised to learn that some of the most impressive hallowed centers in the world occur throughout the western regions of our own continent. The rediscovery of these neglected centers makes them all the more alluring. It is, in fact, these sometimes lesser known places of immanent spiritual power which exercise a special hold on visitors.

The purpose of "Sacred Site of the West" is to show readers just where they may find an authentic spiritual focal point. While our guidebook cannot list every numinous location, it does feature some of the most powerful places of their kind. They range from Alaska's "Lost City of the Arctic" and British Columbia's "Mysterious Mountain, to the "Balancing Rocks" of Oregon and Saskatchewan's "Stone Giant". These and 33 other sacred sites await visitors in search of a personal quest to the Otherworld. And that, in effect, is what all these bizarre places share in common: They are gateways from our material level of existence into the spirit realm, the Kingdom Beyond Time.

Reasons for going through such a mysterious gateway are varied, and may encompass a need for physical or psychic healing, or an inner craving for spiritual fulfillment---to have one's soul touched by something greater than oneself, yet kindred. Whatever the compulsion, seeking out the West's magical centers must inevitably reestablish that profoundly mystical link between our deepest inner being and the living planet. They are places of joyful reunion for Earth Mother and ourselves, her children. Certainly, such homecomings are the best reason for visiting the special locations presented in "Sacred Sites of the West".

But these locations will only "work" for us if they are accepted as the gifts they truly are. We must know how to be gracious in the acceptance of such gifts. It is our attitude alone---not any inherent magic at a particular site---that determines the validity and personal significance of our visit. Sacred sites close themselves off to the ignorant and the insincere. But they are wonderfully giving of themselves to anyone who approaches them conscious of the holy ground on which one stands. Guardians of the sacred site open its doors to the honest pilgrim only. Sacred site are landmarks on our own quest through the world. They are guideposts to living, as Joseph Campbell often described, "the authentic life".

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