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Sacred places

"The earth is speaking all the time. We just need to learn how to listen."

A friend asked me recently what I mean when I talk about the connection I feel to the landscapes I love to paint. Her question led me to reflect on the journey I barely knew I´d been on, from the painting I was wrapping that morning to send out into the world, and the inspiration behind it: Mother Nature, Gaia, the ground I stand on and the natural beauty I love at these enchanted places, Glastonbury, Stonehenge and my beloved Knowlton here in Dorset.The energy flows through me, floods my mind with colours, images and light that flow from my my brush onto the canvas.

Glastonbury, the sacred heart of England, has been known as a spiritual, healing place since the megalithic era, 5000 years ago. The first Christian church in the British Isles was built there and legend tells us this is King Arthur´s Avalon and here is where Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail from Jerusalem after the resurrection. The air crackles with energy. Druids used the Tor as far back as 2,500 BC for the initiation of priests and priestesses. I have spent many hours sitting here in meditation before drinking and filling my bottles with the healing waters from the White Spring below. Just as an earth wire allows the current to flow, I feel grounded, inspired and at peace here.

Glastonbury Tor stands at the centre of the English Ley lines which radiate outwards to other ancient sites, inter-related through geometry and astronomy, including magnificent, mysterious Stonehenge, which lies directly on the lines. The yellow, red, orange, purple sunrise here lets my spirit fly and paints my canvases for me. The raw power and timelessness here make my problems seem small, a reassurance that this “too shall pass”, my sanity saving mantra which is tattooed on my arm.

At times when it seems hard to believe, I walk at Knowlton Henge, bowing my head to enter the natural, ancient cathedral space formed by the yew trees which have stood there for 3000 years. The creaking “wishing tree” at the centre is festooned with ribbons and relics in remembrance of loved ones and times past, and in hope and prayer for future healing. Here my heart connects with the God of my understanding.

I walk around the tranquil ruins of the Norman church with my dog, or a dear friend, refreshed and at peace.

I listen carefully and then I go home to paint.

Marja Brown

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