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Estée Preda's painting titled Cloud Collar Mushroom Totem

Cloud Collar Mushroom Totem, Estée Preda, esteepreda.com

Searching for a deeper understanding of what makes a place sacred.

I spent some time in Hawaii this summer, where Mauna Kea protests were the talk of the town. In case you’ve missed it in the national news, the Thirty Meter Telescope project, proposed for Mauna Kea mountain on the Island of Hawaii, has ignited a firestorm of protests. Some people feel the mountain is sacred and is being desecrated by invasive structures. Others are pushing for the telescope because of its scientific benefits. The discussion got me wondering: How do we define a sacred place? So, I asked some experts for their thoughts. British psychologist and expert in Druidry Philip Carr-Gomm says he found two broad categories as he worked on his book Sacred Places. “One is places that we have made sacred by associating them with an event, such as a miracle, or the place of birth, death, or enlightenment of a particular individual. Then there are places whose beauty or setting has encouraged humans to build places of worship there. I think sometimes it is due to cultural/historical associations—which over time build up an atmosphere that is tangible. The earth’s electromagnetic field also varie …

Kathryn Drury Wagner

Spirituality & Health’s Wellbeing Editor, Kathryn Drury Wagner, is based in Savannah. She’s been a contributor to the magazine for many years, and she loves sharing ways to build a healthy, mindful, and sustainable lifestyle. 


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