Sacred Sites

Written by Sherrie Locke on 9 Kame, April 2014

My relatives starting taking me to sacred sites as soon as I could walk on my own.  We were taught to always have reverence, always leave an offering.  When I was a child, that offering was most likely from the little bag of cornmeal I was carrying, or maybe a flower.  Now I carry a few things with me to sacred sites: tobacco, cornmeal, copal and a fire source, among others.  Always be prepared!  We were taught to introduce ourselves upon arrival, to say goodbye and thank you upon exiting.

Takalik Abaj is an ancient sacred site dating back to 1200 BC in Guatemala. Mam Maya from the area still do ceremony at the altars at Takalik Abaj.

Sherrie Locke at a sacred site in the archaeological park of Takalik Abaj, one of the most ancient Maya ruins in Guatemala. Takalik Abaj is an active ceremonial site for local Mam Maya.

Each site is different, unique.

When preparing to go to a sacred site these days, I/we research as much as possible in advance about the site and the area (I’m lucky, I have super hero travel companions), then pool our resources and info before the trip looking for overlapping interests and clues.  By the time we arrive we have some idea of our areas of interest.

My travel buddies sometimes think me a bit eccentric and cringe, but I like to begin each day with a traditional aboriginal “foot tapping” to get the rhythm of the group on the same beat for the day.  It helps us to work as a unit, even if one of the group wanders off.

I feel that what you wear to a sacred site is important, as you never know who you might come across.  Just like a trip to a grandparent’s house: you might not want to show up with your butt hanging out.  So at least take a shawl and a hat and be mindful.

I would like to take a moment here to explain something to some of you who continue with the erroneous premise that you are going to “activate” a sacred site.  Please crawl out of your ego.  These sacred sites activate YOU.  Not the reverse.

So if you go out there tromping around wanting to shift things without being direct lineage and without permission and assistance from the ancestors (these cases are rare and usually related to the desecration of a site,) then you just might find yourself up the creek, or with a case of Montezuma’s revenge, or even with a hitchhiker to teach you a good lesson.  Remember, do what thou wilt, but be mindful!

These sites have everything to teach you, you have nothing to give them but an offering — and don’t leave any trash behind energetic or otherwise.  This includes crystals, so if you want to charge them up there fine, but don’t use them to change things (there are very few exceptions to this, and if you are not of the direct lineage and don’t have permission from the elders, then I assure you that you have no business doing any of this).  If you don’t know what I am referring to then, it is not in your base of knowledge to make changes in this regard, so please refrain.

A note about equipment and gear that you take to sacred sites and power spots.  If the sign says, no recording, no photos, no video, then please honor it.  At my family’s home pueblo Santa Clara, we do not allow any recording or photos and are very nice about it unless we catch you (and we will), in which case you will be departing without your equipment. And no, we don’t want to keep your gear, it will be destroyed.

Also, power spots and active sacred sites will drain your batteries quickly, so if it’s important to you, take backup or allow for the drain.  This happened to me recently on a trip to a sacred cave.

So to recap general guidelines:

Have knowledge and reverence for the site and the ancestors.

You are not activating anything, the site is activating you.

Be open to receive.

Hold space, protect yourself.

Don’t be a grave robber!

Avoid talking, try listening for a change.  Many times I find myself whispering to others if I choose to speak at all.

And Above All

Give thanks you have walked on this sacred ground, for now it is in you.

AHO!  Mitakuye’ Oyasin!


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