On the Proper Care and Feeding of a Place
When I first started looking at photos of Uluru, it somehow reminded me of Sedona, AZ – all that iron and red earth. The similarity kept popping to mind as my trip to Australia approached, and I decided it would be a good idea to shore up my energy body and prepare it to get thrown for a loop. You see, Sedona is not an easy place for me to be. I’ve only been there once, but it made an impression. While driving through a road cut near Oak Creek, I had to pull over and ask my partner to take over driving (he was shocked…I LOVE to drive!) I don’t consider myself to be all *that* sensitive to energy (especially compared with some of the super-attuned folks I’m privileged to know!), but the energy in that place felt super-chaotic and disorienting. Overwhelming. If Uluru was going to be anything like Sedona, I wanted to be ready: strong, clear energy body; healthy physical body; strong connection to helpers – all the good stuff!
Fast forward to my first moment approaching Uluru.
I was braced for energetic chaos, but it did not come. All I felt was sweet, flowing presence and power. It was clearly an immensely potent place, but there was zero of the disorientation I had felt in Sedona. As I stood there, dropping my grounding cord, saying hello, making my offerings, it hit me:
This is what power places feel like when they are in balance. This is what it feels like when land that is sacred to humans is well-tended. Held in reverence. Properly fed and cared-for. Whoa.
I realized in that moment that every other time I’d connected with a piece of land, made my offerings, it had felt – to some extent – hungry. Most especially in places where humans dwell (the one exception being the Cathedral at Avila, which did not feel hungry as much as tightly contained. Overflowing with untapped power and definitely not in ayni with the resident humans. But that’s another story. <3) I’d never before connected with a spot on the earth that didn’t feel like it was saying, “Finally! Where have you been???”, like a worried parent who expected you home millennia ago.
Uluru had *none* of that. It was akin to what I imagine sitting with the Dalai Lama must be like: being in the presence of a powerful being, healthy and whole in itself, needing nothing, but nevertheless happy to see you and be with you in all your unique-expression-of-the-divine-ness. Love, kindness, presence, and no hunger.
It was amazing to be there and be welcomed, but not needed. My only responsibility was to keep myself in ayni (right relationship) within the bounds of the encounter. Everything else was in order. Pachamama in her highest, whole, healed state.
This stands in such stark contrast to my experience of Sedona – an immensely potent spot for sure – but, where visitors and residents hungrily source from that power, yet rarely seem to give back or seek balance and ayni.
This sense of wholeness and completeness and well-tended-ness left an indelible impression within me. When I arrived in Sydney after leaving Yulara, I had a STRONG urge to go be by the ocean. Amidst the rain, I took a ferry to Manly and started walking toward Shelly Beach. I encountered several sheltered beaches, but felt powerfully compelled to keep going toward wilder, open ocean. I finally arrived at a pathway leading to an overlook of a wilder, rocky shore, and when I leaned against the railing to look down at the waves, I had a strong sensation of being glued to the spot. I knew I was in the right place, but had no idea what to do. I stood with the wind and the waves and the birds and the rain, and my mind began to wander back to Uluru and that beautiful sensation of wholeness. I immediately got the message, “CONNECT THAT HERE!” So I did. Even though I had no idea how to do such a thing, I set the intention to make the connection and imagined a cord from Uluru to that spot & imagined planting it into the ground. I felt immediately released from the spot. This heavily inhabited place was hungry, and it recognized the magic carried from its sister place.
Uluru and Kata Tjuta and the surrounding land are so beautifully tended by the Anangu – people whose knowledge goes back thousands and thousands of years in a fairly unbroken line. They are able to do this because the land was handed back into their care in 1985 and in their agreement to jointly manage the national park in conjunction with the Australian government they created the space to maintain the balance and teach the Tjukurpa. They maintain this beautiful tending and balance, even with more than 300,000 visitors per year, many of whom arrive with no knowledge of the deep sacredness and meaning of this place. How many other power places on Earth could feel like this if we got serious about recognizing, empowering, and supporting the people who know how to care for them? We are so lucky that there are still people on this planet who hold deep, ancestral knowledge about how to care for certain places, and for the places where the knowledge has been lost, there are those who know how to ask the land for what it needs. Anyone would be hard-pressed to make a persuasive argument that our planet is currently in a state of robust health and balance. It is so important to protect the remaining wild places, and it is equally important to care for our inhabited lands – especially those power spots that sit under places where humans have gathered. Pachamama holds us in the cities, too. We have a lot to learn, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta and the Anangu have a lot to teach us. Now is the time. <3