The planet has been inhabited by humans for longer than we can comprehend, and in that time our ancestors have got to know nature pretty well. Some even say they were closer to the spiritual world than we are, and had greater wisdom about how it all worked.
We can still find places around the world that have been long said to be mystical, and have special spiritual meaning. If you want to visit a place like that, here are some of our suggestions.
The Nazca Lines of Peru are huge and mysterious drawings created in the Nazca desert of Peru. Sometime between 500 BC and 500 AD, people from ancient civilizations moved the reddish pebbles on the ground so that the white surface underneath was revealed. By doing this across a large area, they drew the shapes of animals, humans, trees, birds and fish. The size of the drawings are up to 370m in some cases, and can best be seen from the air.
Scientists think these images may have been for religious purposes but nobody knows for sure. One thing we do know is that they must have been considered very important, because creating them would certainly have been a long and painstaking task.
In Mexico, the Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza contains a mysterious sacred well. The water here has been dredged by archaeologists, who found human remains here, and believe it was the site of human sacrifices as well as other religious ceremonies.
Between four vortex points of red rock in Sedona, Arizona, visitors can see for themselves whether the myths of the healing powers of this area are true. The ancient Native American tribe of Yavapi certainly believed so, and today you can go on tours to try and experience the healing energy said to be released from the ground at these sites.
This temple in Indonesia dates back to 750 AD and it was lost and left undiscovered until 1814. It’s now a very popular place for people of all beliefs to visit, but particularly for Buddhists, for whom it’s a major spiritual centre. The temple has ten levels which represent the ten stages of spiritual enlightenment.
These mysterious ancient stone constructions in England have been dated back to 3100 BC, and would have taken more than 2000 years to perfect. Although the site brings many people of Pagan religion to visit, it’s not clear what the purpose of this circle of structures really is. Many suggestions have been put forward, from an ancient Druid temple to a place of VIking sacrifice, but we’ll probably never know.
The Bodhi Tree
This mighty tree is also known as the Tree of Awakening, and is said to be the place where Siddharta Guatama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. There is some debate as to whether this particular tree is the same tree, or a descendent of the original tree – with the original having been destroyed – but it doesn’t matter either way because it’s still considered a mystical and holy place. Visitors meditate by the tree, as well as leaving offerings and hanging prayer flags.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
This Australian rock formation is also known as Ayers Rock, and is considered sacred by the Anangu people, who technically own it and still hold ceremonies there. One of the locations in which these ceremonies happens is called the Dreamtime track, after the Dreamtime belief in creation that underpins Aboriginal spirituality.