It's great to see this new forum on the board. And the photos and accounts already posted are great!
Over the last year I've been working on a book that will be published in April 08 by Borders Books called 'Sacred Places - A Guide to the World's Most Sacred Sites'. In the course of researching for this, I've discovered how big and fascinating this subject is, and since so much of the research couldn't fit into the book I figured we could start a website with that as the starting material, but then others - such as yourselves
could contribute more - expanding the collection I've made of fifty sites to as many as we like!
I have a domain name - http://www.sacredplaces.info
- and have set up pages for the first 50 sites. I want to add in movie clips, photos and links to interesting web material, which should take about another month, and then I'll publish it to the web.
So if you have a site or sites you'd like to contribute - please post them up here. Then I'll contact you directly when I have time to ask if you can supply any photos, more info etc., and then I can paste it up, with your authorship credited or not as you wish. Just please make sure what you write is not just pasted in from another site. Of course you can quote from other sites, but make clear it's a quote and give links. If you find a good Youtube clip, give the URL. If you have a photo, make sure it is ok copyright-wise.
Here's what I discovered in my research:
* Many sites suffer from too many visitors
* 'Spiritual tourism' is big business and along with conventional pilgrimages accounts for serious environmental impacts
* Much of this is sadly just yet more consumerism. In the old days a pilgrimage was a serious undertaking, today for many its a question of curiosity combined with a desire to 'take energy' from a site rather than contribute anything to the world
* Despite this, there is a growing awareness of their importance and we can help to foster a different approach.
* As Druids we can try to foster a 'think globally, act locally' approach. In other words study sacred sites over the globe and then see if you can create a sacred site or care for one in your locality.
* This is not a 'killjoy' approach that says 'never travel' - but wait until it is really a deep soul-need not just a whim!
* With the internet armchair pilgrimaging can be satisfying. You can fly there on Google Earth. If you set a good viewing angle you can have great fun - try flying up the Brahmaputra river, along the banks of the Ganges, or over Machu Picchu in Peru!
Then you can watch some movie clips on youtube about the site, to get a feel for what it's like.
Then you can research it on the web.
A few hours like this (a fraction of the travelling time) and you will know more about the site than most people who have flown there.
Then you can tune in and 'fly' there in your meditations and dreams.
Even accounts of this process would be nice for the site.
This project I feel fits very much for us as lovers of the Earth, so do get the word out and I look forward to reading your contributions!
Many many blessings,