Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Personal Sanctuaries

Does anyone here have a personal spot of sanctuary - a particular tree, a building, a field somewhere - that you just walked into and got a feeling about?

Mine is a cemetery. It's on a hill right next to where I live, and always looks down on me with tall, gnarly trees reaching up into the sky at night. The topmost grove of trees creates a silhouette that can be interpreted two ways - a snarling bear if you look at it one way, and a slinking cat or fox if you look at it the other way. Some people may find using a cemetery as a place of spirituality and magick a bit offensive, but the animals, plants and spirits around the place certainly don't seem to mind. I feel welcomed every time I go there, and I have a specific tree along a trail on top of the hill that is my shrine. I had been thinking for a while about whether it was okay to use the cemetery as my sanctuary, and as if in response, the landscaping team installed a number of huge decorative standing stones all around the cemetery. Does anyone else have a spot like this?

I also know that the Japanese have a long tradition of combination cemetery-Shinto shrines, and people will go to the tombs of great Japanese heroes (or of their ancestors) to pray and give offerings of rice and such.

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