that is sacred above all."
If we were to speak of the centre of the world in metaphysical terms, this may be expressed as ‘everywhere and nowhere.’ Though often couched enigmatically, the greatest mysteries are nonetheless almost always ‘hidden in plain sight’ indicating the essential and requisite shift in our general perspective; that is to say from the profane to the sacred. To further demonstrate this vital and frequently overlooked key to our engagement with the quality we deem ‘sacred,’ we must examine what usage we articulate by intent.
While many of us may consider how our prehistoric ancestors viewed the numinous realms, beyond conjecture, we remain uncertain. In contra-distinction to this, the later classical world has gifted us a rich legacy of philosophy and experience in that regard. To them it seems, the word ‘sacred,’ rooted in the Latin ‘sacrum’ referred to the gods and all things associated with them, be they animal, mineral or vegetable. Architecture in particular, if dedicated to the gods was described as a ‘sanctum’ – meaning that which is not profane, set apart,’ including a personage of ‘awesome’ (in the correct sense of the word) distinction, in whom the numina of deity resonates.
All derivatives of ‘sacer’ imply a designated space denoted by a boundary surrounding a holy core, foci/altar. The priest in attendance here becomes the one imbued with that essence -‘sacer,’ enabled to fulfill his sacerdotal duties (hence sanctity and sanctuary).[i] As a heightened meta state it finds variant expression within other mystical traditions and praxes ranging from mana to haminja. Of course the generality here may be explained by cynics as the wish-fulfillment induced under impressionable circumstances. Implying that wherever we might sense something other, even if entirely subjective, we will attempt to clothe it with the ‘supraenatural.’