Whether you religious or simply on the path to spiritual enlightenment, there are many places across the globe to help you with your goals. The following places are some of the top visited and renowned spiritual destinations that can help you on your path to spiritual enlightenment regardless of what on continent you reside.
1. The Power Vortexes: Sedona, Arizona
The power vortexes in Sedona, Arizona, are regarded as places containing mystic energy by New Age believers and were first discovered in the 1950s. There are a total of four power vortexes, which are located at:
- Bell Rock (masculine energy)
- Airport Mesa (masculine energy)
- Cathedral Rock (feminine energy) and
- Boynton Canyon (balance of masculine and feminine energy)
New Age thinking believes that a vortex is a place containing high mystical power. By meditating in these locations, New Age devotees believe that one will experience both spiritual awakening and physical healing.
These four vortexes, discovered by Page Bryant, have become a popular tourist attraction. So much so that visitor centers offer maps as well as guided tours that include North American and New Age teachings.
2. Peterborough Petroglyphs: Peterborough, Ontario
These petroglyphs are a stunning collection containing over 900 ancient images carved into the crystalline limestone. After having been lost, the Peterborough Petroglyphs were rediscovered in 1924 by Charles Kingam.
The carvings are believed to have been made by the Algonkian people between 900 and 1400 AD. However, many other theories exist on where they came from. Presently, they are referred to as Kinomagewapkong: “The rocks that teach”.
The 900 carvings were made using gneiss hammers and show human figures, animals and a dominant figure whose head apparently represents the sun.
3. Coba Archaeological Park: Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Coba is noted for is remote jungle landscape and several pyramids in and among a number of ceremonial roads. Until the mid-20th century, Coba had only been seen by Mayan hunters. In late Maya legends, there are even references to Coba being associated with the sun god.
Coba is not a single site but a large group of sites connected to a central temple complex by a series of Mayan ceremonial “white roads” (sacbéob). There are more than 16 of these roads at Coba and their arrangement and purpose remains something of a mystery. Sometimes, for instance, a sacbe that is miles long will reach a very tiny ruin. Sacbe 1 travels west from Coba in a straight line for an astounding 62 miles to the site of Yaxuna, which is 12 miles south of the more prominent Chichen Itza.
4. Sanctuary of Apollo: Delphi, Greece
The Sanctuary of Apollo is located in Central Greece at Ancient Delphi and was revered as early as 1500 BC. The ancient Greeks saw Delphi as the literal center of the world.
According to mythology, Apollo claimed to spring from the serpent Python, an ancient guardian of Delphi’s Castalian Spring. He claimed to build a glorious temple in that spot as an oracle for men.
At the foot of Mount Parnassos, within the angle formed by the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which held the most famous oracle in ancient Greece. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious center and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world.
5. Callanish Stones: Isle of Lewis, Scotland
The Callanish Stones date from 2900 to 2600 BC. These stones make up of a large stone circle surrounding a burial chamber as well as four avenues leading away from the circle.
According to this author’s interpretations, the ring of Callanish, like many other similar structures in Europe, had both an astronomical observation function and a sacred temple function. The stones were used as sighting devices to track the rise and fall of celestial bodies in order to predict their occurrence during particular periods.
During those periods the stones in the center of the ring became the focus of ceremonial actions. In support of this idea it is noteworthy to mention that the gneiss rock of which the ring is constructed is thickly embedded with a variety of crystals, including white quartz, feldspar and hornblende. Furthermore it has been found by the sacred site energy-monitoring studies of Paul Devereux’s Dragon Project that, during the solstice period the radiation readings at Callanish doubled in intensity.
6. Stonehenge: Wiltshire, England
Stonehenge is an iconic monument believed to have been erected around 2500 BC. It seems entirely plausible that the placement of the stones at Stonehenge creates a sacred space that has an entirely different feel from the world outside. Those who work with energy today recognize that we can make an area to contain the energy for our spiritual work and, most often, that space is within a circle. Fortunately, we don’t have to move tons of rock to make such a space, but, then, our spaces are not quite as permanent or powerful!
Interestingly the bedrock beneath Stonehenge is one of the softest of stones: chalk. Sue has experimented with Preseli Bluestone and chalk and found that a ‘battery’ like effect is created. Perhaps this is the key to the Preseli Bluestones at the heart of Stonehenge, building and containing energy much stronger than the surrounding land.
It is well-known that Stonehenge works as a solar calendar aligned to the midsummer and midwinter solstices. Less recognised is that the inner stones are a lunar calendar, aligned with the 19 year eclipse cycle of the moon. The astounding fact is that it is still accurate thousands of years later to within .03 of a day! Perhaps the circle unifies the masculine and feminine, the energies of the sun and moon, and the God and Goddess.
7. Valley of the Kings: Egypt
The Valley of the Kings is a place where tombs were built for Pharaohs and nobles of ancient Egypt. It is also known as Biban el-Muluk, which means “doorway or gateway of the kings”. A total of 62 tombs have so far been excavated by Egyptologists and archaeologists.
The area has been a major area of modern Egyptological exploration for the last two centuries. Before modern times, this area was a site for tourism in antiquity (especially during Roman times). This area illustrates changes in the study of ancient Egypt, which started as antiquity hunting and continues with the scientific excavation of the whole Theban Necropolis.
Only 11 of the tombs have actually been completely recorded.
8. Taoist Mountains: Henan, China
There are a total of five Taoist mountains. Each of these mountains is associated with one of the five cardinal directions, including the center.
These mountains are associated with Taoism, as can be seen from their name – the Taoist Mountains. Taoism has been around for more than 2,500 years and is a philosophical, quasi-scientific and religious tradition.
According to Chinese mythology, the Five Great Mountains originated from the body of Pangu, the first being and creator of the world. Due to its eastern location, Mount Tài is associated with the rising sun which signifies birth and renewal. From this interpretation, it is often regarded as the most sacred of the Five Great Mountains. In accordance with its special position, Mount Tài is believed to have been formed out of Pangu’s head. Mount Heng in Hunan is believed to be a remainder of Pangu’s right arm, while Mount Heng in Shanxi is believed to be made of his left arm, Mount Song of his belly and Mount Hua of his feet.
The mountains are as follows:
- Tai Shan – East
- Hau Shan – West
- Heng Shan (Hunan) – South
- Hend Shan – North
- Song Shan – Center
9. Bodhi Tree: India
The Bodhi Tree, which is also referred to as the “Tree of Awakening”, is said to be a direct descendent of the tree where Siddharta Gautama attained spiritual enlightenment and became the Buddah.
The Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple is called the Sri Maha Bodhi. According to Buddhist texts the Buddha, after his Enlightenment, spent a whole week in front of the tree, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude. A shrine, called Animisalocana cetiya, was later erected on the spot where he stood.
The spot was used as a shrine even during the lifetime of the Buddha. King Asoka was most diligent in paying homage to the Bodhi tree and held a festival every year in its honor during the month of Kattika. His queen, Tissarakkhā, was jealous of the tree and three years after she became queen (i.e., in the 19th year of Asoka’s reign), caused the tree to be killed by means of mandu thorns. The tree, however, grew again and a great monastery was attached to the Bodhimanda called the Bodhimanda Vihara. Among those present at the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa are mentioned to be 30,000 monks from the Bodhimanda Vihara led by Cittagutta.
10. Uluru (Ayers Rock): Australia
Uluru is one of the most sacred places on Earth and can be found in Australia. Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock, which is the name it was given to it by European explorers. This massive sandstone rock is sacred to the Anangu, the Aborigines of the area. However, recently, Uluru has also become important to New Age believers.
Now that I have taken you around the world, you too can start on your path to spiritual enlightenment!