Visiting Sacred Spots

Keen Category: Spiritual Advice

A woman meditating in the lotus position on the beach

There are countless spots on the planet considered powerful, sacred, and holy. Power spots such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the prehistoric megalithic structure of Stonehenge and the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru are some of the most popular destinations of pilgrims seeking spiritual transformation. If you have had the chance to visit one of these spots, you undoubtedly have a story you've told at least a hundred times.

From geological wonders like Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Australia to architectural wonders such as the 12th and 13th century cathedrals strategically positioned on the Rose Line in Europe, sacred spots are spectacular to the eye and touch us beyond the senses. When we visit, we gain entry into a rich history of spiritual heritage and are pushed through a portal into what mystics and spiritual seers deem divine territory.

Sacred spots can produce peak spiritual experiences for those whose intention it is to open to the energies that infuse the area. Travelers on pilgrimages experience visions, heightened consciousness, transcendence, heart opening, and healing. The transformative nature of the energies ignites the higher mind, soul and spirit of the individual and opens a window into unseen dimensions. The experiences are often described as magical, otherworldly, transformative and meaningful.

The term "power spot" is said to have originated in the 90's when a well-known Japanese psychic named Kiyota Masuaki, coined "power spot" to mean a place where the earth's energy can be collected. However, spiritual portals, vortex points as well as the intersections of the planet's energy grid lines have been recognized as "power spots" for centuries.

Power spots to indigenous tribes are often designated as sacred ceremonial land because the area is rich with spiritual tradition. The mythologies and legends of the tribes passed down generation to generation often tell of the site's importance. Also, there are those places considered holy by religious traditions such as the Temple of Jerusalem and healing waters of Lourdes. The energies have built in these places over time because for centuries people gathered in prayer, ritual and ceremony raising the vibration of the area. Those energies can be experienced by those whose hearts are open and especially by those who have a well-developed psychic sense. With the heightened consciousness catalyzed by the energies at a sacred spot, new potentials emerge from deep within the soul. The shift can be life-changing and long-lasting.

If you are called to visit one of the hundreds of sacred places on the planet you'll want to rely on more than a guidebook to make your journey memorable and a transformative experience. Here are some enlightened basics for making the most of your experience:

  • Intention Powers Your Experience
    In 1989, I visited Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, known to the Hopi and Navajo as the sacred land of their ancestors. According to Hopi mythology, the rock formation called Spider Rock is the home of the earth goddess Spider Woman. She is said to guard the portal from where the tribes of the Earth first emerged. My intention set the tone for my experience within the canyon. The night before my partner and I arrived I said a prayer in preparation, asking to see the canyon through Navajo eyes. When we arrived like magic we were taken aside by a Navajo elder and taken down the steep, less-traveled Navajo trail to the bottom of the canyon. The descent to the bottom of Canyon de Chelly was a about 1/2 mile and I gripped the side for the rock wall most of the way down holding on for dear life. I didn't know at the time if my dizziness and vertigo was from the high energy or from a sudden fear of heights. But when we reached the bottom, I was awakened. My Navajo eyes had been opened. Colors were vibrant and brilliant and the rocks came alive, appearing like ancient faces carved in stone that reminded me of a Amando Pena painting of the same canyon in which the sandstone walls were painted to resemble Native American spirits. I was humbled to tears and continued my cathartic crying jag for more than an hour as I greeted the faces in the rock one by one. The spirits talked to me. Through my intention to see the canyon through Navajo eyes a whole new view of an ancient world opened up to me.

  • Tuck Away Your Guidebook and Be Guided by Your Intuition
    Guidebooks can be full of information, pointing out the features of the landscape, the history of the site and other details most travelers wouldn't want to miss. But with your nose in a guidebook you may miss the point of your journey – to experience something out of the ordinary and more spiritually uplifting. There may be natural signposts and magical encounters with wildlife along the way. A bird perch on a rock just above an ancient pictograph or petroglyph, a crow cawing summoning you to move in a particular direction, or any number of intuitive hunches pointing you to towards the invisible dimensions of the land will reveal more than you might imagine.

  • Loosen Expectations
    When I visited Stonehenge, I fully expected a lightning bolt of energy to ignite my third-eye, because I heard many stories of the powerful energies emanating from the monolithic stones constructed in a circle by ancient Druids. But when I arrived to the area it was so commercialized that you couldn't get within a hundred yards of the stones because of an encircling tourist barrier. In fact, the only energy I tuned into was the static buzz of hundreds of tourists chattering as they walked round the outskirts. But my hopes were renewed 20 miles down the road at Avesbury, another ancient Druid site build in the same prehistoric period. No, the monolithic stones set in a similar pattern as Stonehenge weren't as grand, but the energy emanating from the stones was so powerful it was mind-altering and produced a natural high. Remember, expectations that are too high can devalue your experience.

  • Honor the Sacredness of the Land and You Will Be Honored with Visions and Dreams
    Pick up litter as you find it, leave stones and pot chards undisturbed, show respect for every creature and hold gratitude for the path you walk. Do everything with reverence, holding open your heart to embrace the beauty and magnificence around you. In this way, the ancestral energies and spirits will honor your quest for spiritual transformation. You might be initiated and awakened to your soul's memory of an ancient time in your own soul's legacy, be awarded with a transformational dream or given secret keys of spiritual knowledge tied to the site if you are worthy of the offering.

  • Record Your Experiences
    In a journal, make notes along the way, jotting down what you see, hear and have envisioned while meditating. Your thoughts will be of a deeper nature and you may be surprised by the poetic rhythm to your writing and the insights you derived from your experience that flow from your pen. Writing down a dialogue between you and a rock may sound nonsensical, but the voice of the ancestral spirit housed within it deserves your open ear. Your dreams during your journey will be memorable – uplifting, lucid, transcendent and full of spiritually meaningful symbols. You'll want to record these dreams so that you can contemplate them later and gain insight into their special meanings.

If you are planning to visit a sacred spot, whether you consider it a serious pilgrimage, a vision quest, or just a needed vacation, give yourself ample time to explore both the visible and invisible realms and to soak in the energies. The more time you spend the more likely it is that you'll have a peak spiritual experience.

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