How to Visit Holy Ground
Whenever I’ve visited a place I consider sacred ground, I must both approach and leave it in a respectful way. Otherwise, I have a hard time absorbing the specialness of it and an even harder time breaking loose from it.
I first discovered that I needed a technique for getting the most out of such sites back in 2008. I was attending a large festival that included some sacred spots. The group hosting the festival conducted both an opening and closing ritual, and I arrived too late and left too early.
After attending this festival for several years, I noticed a difference when I did not attend the seemingly minor rituals that connected me to the place and then helped me disconnect. I never even realized that aspect. I’d thought the opening ritual was just to give me the list of rules for being onsite and the closing ritual was merely a way of thanking the few remaining participants for their hard work.
Without the opening ritual, I found I had a hard time settling into the spot. I was cranky. Instead of being excited at being there and having a great time, it took me a full day to feel at home and start to connect with the holiness of the place. Upon leaving, I spent several very cranky days before I seemed to disconnect from where I’d been.
The next time I attended the festival, I knew I’d miss the opening and closing rituals so I developed a little technique that helps me to get the most out of any ritual area, spiritual festival, or even a historical monument (and yes, I really wish I’d done this when I left Gettysburg with all its extreme empathic energy blasts).
When I first arrive at a spot, as soon as I can, I walk the perimeter. Barefoot. Preferably in a clockwise circle or direction. As I walk, I contemplate the physical and metaphysical properties of the place. If I feel that there are unseen beings or guardians there, I try to give them respect and present myself as a visitor of honor and one who is honored to enjoy this place. I am able to connect quickly and find pleasure in the being there at a very deep spiritual level.
Upon leaving, I walk the perimeter in reverse, barefoot. I contemplate with humility the place I have experienced spiritually. I bid it good-bye, with gratitude for the experience. I’m able to walk away gently as I disconnect.