Letter to the Media
Letter to International, Religious, Cultural, Scientific, Political, Economic Organizations
Letter to Interfaith Organizations
Letter to Green Initiatives WorldWide
Letter "The Original Tradition"
Letter "Know Yourself"
Letter "Cosmic Gender"
Letter "Eco-Spirituality I"
Letter "Eco-Spirituality II"
Letter "Sacred Groves"
Letter "Healing Communities"
Letter "Cosmic Governance"
Letter "Cancer as Multi-Etiological Sumtotal Syndrome" (MESS)
Letter "Digital Dementia"
Letter "Mother Healing"
Letter "Stone Age Therapy for Modern (Wo)Man"
Letter "Free Personal Health
Plan in 10 Steps"
SACRED NATURAL SITES/GREEN SANCTUARIES (2)
As you know one of my main aims is to encourage you to found Healing Communities. They are a beacon in the age of hopelessness and increasing chaos. Our situation can be compared with the Dark Ages, the time between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rising of Christianity. It is not something to just fantasize about. The disintegration of society is a fact; its full blown collapse only a matter of time. So it is better to take measures NOW. My proposal is to establish small communities based on spirituality, health and ecology. Previous pages have sufficiently elaborated on the content, hence, the emphasis here is on their direct environment.
To have a common Source of spiritual inspiration, shared values and mutual support is a condition sine qa non. This can be found in the hearts of the community members, a shared holy shrine, a daily spiritual practice and the common commitment toward a sacred site in the immediate surroundings of your habitat. This guarantees an optimal level of inner strength and endurance. You will be islands of life amidst a huge wasteland, after all. Moreover, caring for the environment is one of the key missions of your Healing Community. Healing not only of human suffering, but also of animals, plants, landscapes and cultural treasures.
Accidentally I opened the website of the Bishnoi, a people from Rajastan (India), whose members consider the protection of nature their first religious duty (http://www.bishnoism.com). It immediately caused a shock of recognition in me. It reminded me of my childhood, in which I also experienced nature as my true home. Bishnoi have actually died while trying to protect trees. Their tradition is already 500 years old. They are part of a nation wide concern of protecting "sacred groves". There used to be hundreds of thousands of them in India. In fact, every village was considered part of the body of the Goddess, with corresponding green, bush or forest dedicated to Her.
My suggestion is, that every Healing Community is going to take care of a "Sacred Site" in its nearby surroundings. This can be an existing "Sacred Grove", a place that traditionally is revered by the local people. In absence of that, members of the Healing Community may create a new site, a special place in the landscape, that is taken care of. The purpose is to turn desacralization into sacredness, once again. The major aim is to preserve nature, promoting its pristine character e.g. bio-diversity, protecting it as a place of silence, while occasionally performing rituals or/and ceremonies, aimed at emphasizing the holiness of this particular piece of the "Body of God".
In the same way a holy tree, a holy mountain, a holy valley, a treasured monument or object can be chosen as precious shrines. In our tradition images or/and statues of the Great Mother (Megaliths f.i.), a Cauldron, Sacred Black Stone (Meteorite) the MotherGoddess, Sheela Na-Gigs (Ireland), Black Madonna's or Lotus flowers/symbols (Cosmic Womb) are especially valued. They may be found in a nearby old church, chapel or temple. Since we respect and honor all traditions without exception, no reservations should be made in revering a "catholic" shrine, for instance. In our view all "Madonna's" are manifestations of the Original Mother, after all.
Additionally, all manifestations of the old Vegetation Gods are revered, as well. Maitreya Budda in the East and the Green Men in the West are of particular interest here. Their images/statues may be placed in gardens, groves and other special places. Apart from nearby Sacred Sites, regular pilgrimages could be held to important sanctuaries world wide. It is for every Healing Community to decide which kind of tradition is most suitable to their particular culture. The experience that influenced me most until then was my stay in Japan (1990-1991). I was deeply touched during my walks by small pieces of forest, in which stones were placed symbolizing the Shinto deities (Kami), the small Shinto Shrines, built at intrigueing places or Buddhist statues and temples, often beautifully integrated in their natural environment.
The first written source (among many others) came to me from Celtic Spirituality. During my stay in Ireland - impressed by the Irish Heritage - I read "Celtic Sacred Landscapes" written by Nigel Pennick. The titles of the chapters speak volumes. From "Celtic Symbolic Landscape", "Sacred Trees", "Sacred Stones", "Springs, Wells and Places of Healing", "Holy Mountains" and many more. The books shows the still existing relationship between the sacred, the people and the landscape. A unique phenomenon in Europe, for on the continent this relationship was under the attack of the Roman Church. The latter considered the "sacred earth" a competing religious attitude, which had to be destroyed.
It took a while before the Sacred Groves attracted my attention, once again. It happened through reading the book "Sacred Groves in India" by Kailash C.Malhotra, Yogesh Gokhale, Sudipto Chatterjee and Sanjiv Srivastava. From the cover: "In India, as elswhere in many parts of the world, a number of communities practise different forms of nature worship. One such significant tradition is that of providing protection to patches of forests dedicated to deities and/or ancestral spirits. These patches of forest are known as sacred groves. The tradition is very ancient and once was widespread in most parts of the world. Groves are rich heritage in India, and play an important role in religious and socio-cultural life of the local people. These eco-systems harbour many threatened, endangered and rare plant and animal species".
These books gave me hope. Maybe it is still not too late to restore the sacredness of the earth. The way this sacredness was once deliberately and ruthlessly destroyed fills me with indignation and anger. The Catholic Church should not be allowed to just "apologize" like pope John Paul II did and get away with it. Many transgressions are well recorded, e.g. the details about the destruction of trees, groves, forests, sacred stones, caves....the poisoning of wells, the burning down or/and demolishing of (wooden) altars and temples, the construction of Christian crosses, chapels and churches at sacred places, often with damage to their natural environment, not to speak of the terror exercised against the people, who wanted to stick to their (millennia-old) values. They were the first beginnings of organized "environmental destruction", indeed major crimes against nature and its people. So, if the Church is really serious about its repenting, then it should pay compensation for the damage it once caused.
In practice, we make an appeal to the Church, that it will be giving back all documented once destroyed ancient sacred places - or comparable pieces of land - to eco-spiritual groups and others, all those who sincerely, responsibly and effectively aim at restoring the sacredness of the earth. Moreover should it pay - on the basis of genuine selflessness - money ("Wiedergutmachung") in order for these groups to realistically being able to achieve their aims. Only thus can the Church prove its sincerity with regard to its own alleged "environmental concerns". It can contact us through our "Sacred Earth Project", a subdivision of our "Healing the Planet Initiative".
2006 © Copyright Han
Marie Stiekema. All rights reserved.
Last revising: 07/17/13