About sacred sites and the healing of the wounded masculine

Sometimes it takes years to discover or understand a sacred site. In the Cathar area it took me more than ten years to understand that the real powerplace wasn’t Montsegur, but the mountain behind it, the Solarac. Somehow the Solarac was invisible to me, while it clearly is the hightest mountain. But the catholic church had named the lower peak next to it Saint Barthelemy, after a Christian saint, and the more heretical, celtic ‘sun’ mountain, became somehow invisible.

In Egypt it took me many visits to suddenly see the vortex in Luxor, around which all the temples, and all the graves in the kingsvalley and the queensvalley were arranged. Maybe it has to do with the personal process that it needs before you may ‘enter’ the holiest of holiest. Or the place requires a certain understanding or higher consciousness before you can ‘see’. Sometimes these sacred places are just hidden in plain sight.

It reminds me of an ahayuasca session in which a shaman from South America revealed his most sacred medicine in the middle of the night. We had by then taken medicine as Ahayuasca, San Pedro, mushrooms etc. so we all expected something very rare. But he held up a cup of water. ‘This is our most sacred medicine: water,’ he said. It took us all this preparation to understand the depth of what he was saying.

During four trips to the Azores in the last two years, together with Anne and several friends and groups, it took me a long, deep and sometimes painful process to uncover the hidden secret of this Atlantic powerplace. Since there are nine islands, many volcanoes and a rough and powerful nature I had to get used to the forces of the elements. The power of water, fire, earth and air is tangible and abundant. My body reacted with illness, disorientation and dark processes into the depth of my unconsciousness. But then, after four trips, suddenly the sacred site revealed itself in its full power. While doing yoga and meditation in the morning in front of the hotel, the powerful volcano of Pico made itself visible through the clouds. While tuning into it I suddenly ‘became’ the mountain. And connecting to it, it revealed to me its secrets. Hidden in plain sight.

I remembered the Disney movie Vaiana, (movies are my way of understanding the world a bit better) and thought about how Vaiana gave the heart stone back to an angry feminine Volcano, rising out of the ocean. By putting the heart back, the angry volcano transformed into Mother Earth herself. Pachamama.

In my vision during the yoga, Pico changed into Shiva, the powerful Indian god of destruction and creation, a masculine counterpart to the goddess. And it needed all the healing of the wounded masculine within myself before I could understand, embody and grasp this powerful masculine creative energy. All my life I have dealt with the theme of the wounded masculine, and suddenly here I felt its complete opposite: the immensely powerful and earthly representation of the masculine force. Not suppressing nor violent, not arrogant, abusive or toxic, but just raw, beautiful, creative, male power.

When we took the ferry the next day to sail from the island Faial to Pico – to bring back the heart stone which was on our altar – we discovered halfway the volcano a pristine, gorgeous and magical valley. The silence and sacredness of it moved all of us to tears. We all got deep insights. I heard just one line, which sums up the work I’ve been doing over the last few years: ‘Bring the tribes together.’ I realised again that all my work started in august 1987 during the Harmonic Convergence, when thousands of people gathered at 12 sacred places all around the world. It became the beginning of my work to do ceremonies at sacred sites, which brought me to more then 35 countries and many more sacred mountains. From the Kumgangsan in North Korea, to the Virunga in Rwanda; from the Solarac in France to Monte Amiata in Italy. From the Belucha in Siberia to Table mountain in South Africa.

I ended up writing five books about all the travels, quests and personal adventures to map these sacred mountains. Somehow they form the acupuncture points of the earth. They comprise the chakras of the living body of our planet. As long as we don’t understand that we are part of a living, conscious and aware organism, called planet earth, we will keep abusing, ruining and destroying her. And for that we need – next to an understanding of the wisdom and sacredness of the feminine – a healthy, wise, powerful and playful masculine.

To bring the two together, we decided with our small group in the Azores we had to do a Yoni-Lingam ceremony. In India they honour the masculine and feminine with a small stone statue: the standing stone in the middle is the lingam, the procreative phallus of Shiva, and the circle around it is the yoni, a representation of the vulva. They poor honey, milk and flowers on the yoni lingam to honour both male and female energies. But how to do that with an island, that forms the highest peak in the ocean?

The first part had been done by bringing the heart stone back, honouring the masculine. Now it seemed time to honour the yoni, and bring them both in connection. Slowly our mission revealed itself. The best way to perform our ceremony, it seemed, was to sail around the whole island over the ocean, 80 miles in one day. We waited till the ocean was at its most quite and rented a boat from the local pirate Norberto. He organises whale watching tours since he was a small boy. With his red bandana, his brown tan and a broad grin he heard of our plan. ‘Yes, that will be possible, I guess. I will be rough between the islands, but on the southside of Pico you might be able to see whales, and on the eastside I know a nice restaurant to have lunch. The way back will be long, but I guess you will make it.’

And so our journey around the island began, on the last day of our gathering. I had had a bad night, and woke up feeling miserable. The idea of sitting in a speedboat for a whole day seemed the worst plan to me. Another member of our group was ill as well and decided to stay in the hotel. I shared at breakfast how I felt, and decided to go ahead with our adventure anyhow. I could always step out half way and return.

When we arrived at the harbor, Norberto was waiting for us. He introduced us to our guide: a young Portuguese woman, called Zuga, but she looked suprisingly much like Vaiana from the movie. She had tattoos of turtles on her legs. ‘I’m a marine biologist, but my main passion is turtles. They are more than 150 million years old. One of the oldest species on earth…’

And so our adventure started. First we had to cross the straight between the island of Faial and Pico. The waves were relatively mild for our small boat, but I still felt weak and nauseous. South of Pico we saw two whales and my mood improved. But only after lunch I felt much better. The sight of Pico was clear, powerful and present. The farther we sailed, the better I felt. On the east side of the island we halted and drifted for a while. One of us – Kylian, a student of 21 years – jumped overboard and went swimming in the ocean. Taking a break from his study in watermanagement, he wanted to feel and experience water in a more experimental way. And there he was, splattering between the waves.
In the meantime I sunbathed on the small deck of the boat. We all relaxed, and enjoyed the powerful play of the water element.

At the end of the afternoon we arrived at three quarts of our trip around the island, at a small harbor of Sao Roque. It was here that in former times the whales were slaughered, sawed into pieces, and thrown into black ovens to make oil. The place still has a rather dark energy. Sunset started to set in and we still had our last quart to sail. It would be the most rough part. The wind had become stronger and straight in our face, the waves were higher and the air became darker. We all put on our rain gear, strapped the cap over our heads, and prepared for the last two hours over the ocean, back from Pico to Faial. Normally I would dread these sort of circumstances – I’m more of a wood person, not so much of a sea person – but my sickness was over and I really started to enjoy the sheer power of the ocean. We had called our gathering ‘the Wisdom of the Waters’ and only now I understood what that meant. Not the mystical, energetic or mythological aspect of water as I had suspected, but the rough, powerful and lifegiving force of it. This wisdom was about pure power!

While heading straight towards Faial the sun peaked through the clouds, and gave all of us a mystical vision of the future. We were euforic, enthralled by the ceremony that we had performed. We did it. 80 miles in one day around the island. Honouring the Yoni Lingam of the Atlantic Ocean. Awakening Neptune, king of the ocean, lord of Atlantis; honouring Sedna, the forgotten Inuit Goddess; who had been cast out and abandoned by patriarchy. They all seemed to accompagny us on this last stretch of our journey.

What it would all mean, what the result of our ceremony would be, if ever, I had no clue. I was just in the middle of it. Enjoying the ride. And I knew an important part was still to come: a worldwide gathering during the climate conference in november 2025 in Brasil. My soulpurpose was shown to me in vibrant colours and 3D experiences. Gathering the tribes.

When our gathering was finished, we took the ferry again for the last part of our journey: the flower ceremony in the town of Maddalena. Every 13th of May the local people celebrate the day of Fatima, to commemorate her apparition some hundred years ago. She warned humanity against wars and destruction. Will we be able to get her message after all, or go down fighting each other? With the wars in Ukraine and Gaza going on the future of humankind seems very bleak.

The villagers of Maddalena made flower mandalas on the road that lead up to a small chapel on the volcano, dedicated to the Lady of Fatima. Just before the procession started we helped an African family from Cap Verde to do their part of the road. We formed figures of clay, flowers and petals to make a path up the mountain. How symbolic to honour the lingam, I thought. Somehow the citizens of the island preserved the ancient tradition of honouring the volcano, the gods and the divine in a very beautiful and devoted way.

Coming back to the mainland of Portugal I fell seriously ill. I had to digest everything I had felt and seen. Doing ceremony doesn’t come without sacrifice. Everything needs balance. The light and the dark. The good and the bad.
In the end I was deeply fulfilled with what I had experienced, both on a personal level as well as on a collective level. I had cast out some of my own shame and masculine wounds, and felt a renewal of my power and mission. Something I would love to share with you in the nearby future..

  • Will be continued –

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20-27 july, Montsegur, Pyrenees
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