Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sanctuaries and Sacred Places

Far back in time prominent landmarks, certain woods and groves, forest meadows, certain hill-tops and islands, and many springs had been set apart as holy. A cave, an artificial hill, a standing-stone, or a tree was sometimes such as place. Many were considered still so until recent times. There a such places considered holy today. Often those same locals were intellectual centers, places of teaching and learning. They were to be kept clean and pure. They were places to be kept free of violence and bloodshed. Often too, they were places of healing. Notably, these place often symbolized a center or a beginning.

Some sacred place might be marked by a shaft or pillar. At certain times or places they might be marked by a representation of a cross, a tree, a phallus. Also representations of the mother figure were found in and around some of the older of such sites.

I such places kings were made and laws recited.

These holy places were considered sources of power, inspiration, healing, and hidden power.

I have said that these places were set apart. I meant that they were accepted as different. Most often they were community centers. Where they were not community centers, was in cases in which they were associated, by the dominant society, with over-thrown gods.

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