Spiritual places in Western Europe


Castles, monasteries and cathedrals were often built on what for many was already a sacred or magical place. As with the holidays, already existing things were reused to facilitate the integration of the people into the new faith. Yet there are still places where one can find the roots of the old faith.

The Brocken

In the Harz Mountains in Germany there is a place that is still sacred for many witches. In The Brocken, the transition to Beltaine was traditionally celebrated, the so-called Walpurgis Night. For centuries, stray, unredeemed souls and natural spirits were liberated from their shackles. The fact that these were called again by name and therefore not forgotten were strength their energy and allowed them to feel free again. The witches gathered here to celebrate this special evening with flower offerings and wine gifts. New witches were often consecrated, others renew their vows to the Hecate, Anubis or Morrigan, all divine representatives of magic and witchcraft.

The first written mention of such witch abbatten on the Brocken dates back to 1300. Unfortunately, today's activity has become more of a commercial event, with little consideration for the past. Yet the foggy mountain continues to have something mysterious. How beautiful would it be if, as in the old days, women and witches meet here again.

Chartres

The current place of Chartres has a long tradition of worship. Already in pre-Christian times a Mother Goddess with child was worshiped at this place. In Julius Caesar's time it was a sacred place in the forest where the druids met once a year.

The Cathedral of Chartres is without doubt a place of riddles and mysticism. Although the cathedral was destroyed or burned to the ground several times during the Vikings, it was built over and over again. The current building is therefore the sixth church building that was erected on this site. Nonetheless, pieces of the former construction have still been preserved, including the royal portal on the west side, as well as the crypt. And although the oldest construction dates back to the 8th century, its ground plan was already proportionally based on the golden mean. The royal portal contains images of the founding fathers of science (Pythagoras, Euclid and Aristotle) and allegorical figures representing the Free Arts (music, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry and dialectics).

The floor is covered with a stone labyrinth that pilgrims had to follow to admire the beautiful stained glass windows. On the floor you find a round bronze pen and in one of the windows there is a white circle. On June 21 at 12:00 exactly - exactly on the summer solstice - the sun shines (as it shines) through the circle exactly on this bronze pen.

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Stonehenge

This place doesn't need much explanation to know that magic and spirituality are wandering around here. These colossal stones were erected a millennium before a talk was druids. Some studies suspect that the stone circle served as an observatory, given the exact alignment of the stones during the rise and fall of the sun and moon on the turns of the sun.

Archaeologists suspected that the later druids used the circle as a temple. Until a few decades ago, the site was simply visited without any restrictions. Unfortunately, the commercialization started here too and you now have to pay to get to the stones. But since this is a very clearing, there would still be specific walking routes that can take you to the stones for free.

Glastonbury

The ruins of Glastonbury also stand on sacred ground. Joseph of Arimathea would have brought here the Holy Grail - the cup of Jesus's last evening feast. This place is bursting with folklore around the legends of King Arthur. In earlier times Glastonbury was surrounded by foggy swamps and water, making the higher area considered an island.

According to tradition, this would have been the site of the mysterious Avalon, the training place for followers of the ancient faith. Here one would teach new witches in the doctrine of ancient traditions. And here, too, King Arthur would have been brought and buried along with the Holy Grail.

There are many spiritual places to be found here, all connected by an ancient path that also passes through the magical hill of Tor.
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Tara

In Ireland, not far from Dublin, lies a special hill called Tara. In ancient times, around the 5th century, Ireland was still cut off from the world and the old faith still prevailed. The high kings of Ireland had their throne on the hill of Tara. So was Cormax Mac Art, who remittedly donated part of the hill to his priestess Tea. Every year she invited all druids, Celts, magicians, priests and priestesses and other initiates to celebrate the year celebrations on Tara. Tea loved the hill so much that she wanted to be buried there after she died. According to legend, she would have found her last resting place there.

Yet Tara is more than just a physical insider place. Long before the Irish inhabited the country, the mythical people of Danu would have lived there. The Tuatha De Danann - also known as the Elf people - considered the hill as a magical center on which they crowned their kings. However, when the people of Danu lost a battle against an occupying man, the country was divided in two. After this, the human occupation received the above-ground land and the underground land was attributed to the Tuatha De Danann. There they would still live within the hills and deep caves, like Elves of yesteryear.

For J.R.R. Tolkien, the stories about the Tuatha Dé Danann were inspired by creatures such as the valar and the elves. The arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann to Ireland is mainly reflected in the arrival of the Noldor to Middle-Earth.

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This last place appeals to me personally. It was therefore also the intention to visit this hill during our trip to Ireland. Unfortunately, the corona epidemic stood a stop to that. I hope to be able to make the trip next year and to explore this beautiful environment.