Where are they these days, at least the communally recognized variety at any rate?
The sacred tree at the centre of the community’s hoop, the fane around which the life of the people revolve? The hub around which the up and down activity of the group whirls?
They once provided a center of focus and orientation for us as we navigated the choppy waters of life, gave us meaning and direction and offered solace through the inevitable trials and losses that life challenges us with.
All that is gone now, for the most part.
“It had been a beautiful dream… now the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered… there is no center anymore and the sacred tree is dead.”—Black Elk on Wounded Knee
The Sacred Places have been shorn of their power to move and inspire us. Demoted to selfie backgrounds on moneyed people’s bucket lists. Stonehenge, ancient Ziggurats and the Egyptian Pyramids, Delphi and the Sacred Grove of Nemi, the thirteenth century Cathedrals, the Taj, Borobudur, or, deeper in the well of the past, the magical Caves of Lascaux.
Once they spoke to us, now there’s only a stony silence.
Read or scroll through the news of the day and what a litany of ills and what a cacophony of views and opinions, learned prescriptions and remedies. It’s a Biblical Babel and it’s deafening.
What a calming quieting sound, and I don’t even formally practice yoga or meditation.
Anyway, I sit here tapping out these words and know with all my heart that it is up to us to erect new Places, or at the very least plant the seeds which will grow into new Sacred Trees.
Blessings to you….