Keep this in mind, and all the places you go and all the places you are "become" spiritual places, including the woods and your home but also your office and somehow even Wal-Mart.
Keep this in mind -- everyplace you go is sacred, because you are spirit and you are there -- and all the many gifts you already have become ever-more apparent.
That noted, there are places that -- because of the energy and mystery concentrated in them, because people congregate there now who, inspired to awareness by some symbol, become intensely aware of spirit -- are known as sacred places.
You may have your own geographic sacred places you go to release your mortal restraints and open yourself to God, spirit, or whatever you choose to call It through prayer, meditation, pondering, or just being, such as the ocean, your garden, a special room ... or somehow even Wal-Mart.
And then there are of course the well-known sacred places, such as churches, temples, mosques and the like within communities, and the world-renowned sacred places such as The Vatican, Mecca, Machu Picchu, and Stonehenge.
But below are seventeen sacred places, many of which are likely new to you. Yes, you may have heard of one or more of them, a few may even be "common" to you depending on where you live, you may have even visited one or more -- and if you have visited one of these sacred places, or if you have anything more of interest to share about them, please describe your experience or what you know below for others! -- but chances are you haven't heard of most of these sacred places.
As geographic places go, these sacred places are certainly worth knowing and visiting! (Click on each link for photos and more in-depth information about each of these sacred places!)
- Brian Vaszily, Founder of the Free Intense Experiences newsletter
It's not just a big rock. It's not even just the single biggest rock in the world. Well-known in Australia but far less so elsewhere in the world, this immense sandstone rock in central Australia that stands over one thousand feet tall is one of the most sacred places to the Aboriginal people, who call it Uluru.
Bahá'í World Centre – Acre and Haifa, Israel
The spiritual center of the Bahá'í faith includes their holiest of sacred places, the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, and the visually stunning Shrine of the Báb. (Also see the spectacular Bahá'í House of Worship just outside Chicago -- most definitely worth a visit if you get here to my hometown!)
Baltimore Basilica – Baltimore, Maryland
The first Catholic cathedral built in the U.S. after the adoption of the Constitution, it has become "the worldwide symbol of religious freedom," to quote Pope John II.
Bighorn Medicine Wheel – Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming
Bodhgaya - India
It is here that Buddha became enlightened after intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. A descendant of that tree still flourishes in Bodhgaya. It also contains a sacred pond where Buddha used to bathe. Watch the video below!
Cahokia Mounds – Collinsville, Illinois
One of the world's greatest cities existed here from 900 to 1300 A.D., with a population of Mississipian Indians larger in 1250 than even London. Their massive ritual mounds, also known as the Pyramids of Illinois, include the geographic and spiritual center, Monk's Mound -- home of the city's ruling priest -- and can still be seen today.
Astrologically aligned to Monk's Mound is the Mound of the Ruler-Priest, where a man who is buried on a bed of more than 20,000 marine shell beads is thought to have been the highest ruler of Cahokia. His skeleton is accompanied by the bones of six human sacrificial victims.
Cahokia experienced a sudden massive population explosion, and then later and just as suddenly, around 1300 AD, a nearly complete abandonment of the city, that is unexplained to this day.
One of the most famous churches in the world from an architectural standpoint, and renowned as a towering monument to Christianity, construction on this cathedral started in 1248 and wasn’t complete until 1880.
30,000 people visit it each day. Be sure to see the pictures of its interior including its awe-inspiring nave and beautiful stained glass windows via the link above.
It has long been a popular site for vision quests.
Crater Lake is also known for the "Old Man of the Lake", the large stump of a tree that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for more than a century!
Every night the river comes to life with hundreds of small lamps lit and sent floating down the river.
Kaneana Cave – Oahu, Hawaii
According to ancient Hawaiian beliefs, humankind was born from this cave, and it was named Kaneana after the Hawaiian god of creation, Kane.
Legend also has it that Nanuae, the ferocious Shark-man born of a human mother and a shark father (and there must be an interesting story there!), lived there.
The cave and the area around it are considered sacred to this day, and is the site of various rituals and ceremonies.
The lake itself, and the islands in the lake, are rich in Andean myth. On the island of Tiahuanaco, for example, it is believed that men and women were made from stones by the creator god Viracocha, who lived in the depths of Lake Titicaca.
All of the stones are solid and made up of the same material, but when you strike certain stones lightly with a hammer -- about 1/3 of them known as "live" stones -- they ring much like a bell or metal pipe.
And no one can explain exactly why.
Many people believe there are spiritual or supernatural reasons, others suggest radioactive or extra-terrestrial reasons, and a unique energy is said to emanate in the place.
A growing number of people today believe Mt. Shasta is a sacred source of harmony and peace, and some even believe it is the entry point into the fifth dimension.
If you are interested in the story of Bernadette ... the muddy puddle, the bitter grass, the police interrogation, the healings at the spring, some fascinating photos ... watch this video that someone put together about The Miracle of Lourdes:
Every autumn for the last 2500 years, thousands of pilgrims visit the temple to celebrate the birth of the philosopher whose teachings deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese thought to this day.
"It is not only the oldest Synagogue in America," noted President John F. Kennedy, "but also one of the oldest symbols of liberty. No better tradition exists than the history of Touro Synagogue's great contribution to the goals of freedom and justice for all."
Umayyad Mosque – Damascus, Syria
It sits on ground that has been sacred to various belief systems for over 3000 years.
A temple to Hadad, the Aramaean god of rain and fertility, first existed on the site around 1000 BC. The Romans built a massive temple to the god Jupiter over the Aramaean temple. With the rise of Christianity, the temple was converted to a church. Then around 700 AD, when Damascus had become the center of the Islamic Empire, the church was demolished and the mosque was built.
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See What Other Have Said About Sacred Sites:
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