Friday, May 27, 2022

From a strange planet - 46

Churches interpreted as power places 

Many years ago I was interested in German books about "power places". These books all start from the same hypothesis. They assume that in older times, there was a class of powerful people and organisations who knew the places with optimal landscape energy. That's where they built their castles and churches. So by exploring churches, castles, holy shrines and places of pilgrimage you can map the most energetic places in the landscape. This might look like this:

St. Michael’s Church - Google Streetview

One of my favourite books from that period describes a project - nicknamed by the authors: the Rally Santa Maria -  where two German researchers travel around churches all over Germany and locate the most powerful energy spots by using pendulums and dowsing rods. They document their findings in huge detail.

On a smaller scale, the same mechanism applies inside buildings. The placement of altars and holy relics inside churches is also governed by energy,  ley-lines and directions of energy radiation. This might look like this:

St. Michael’s Church - Google Streetview

Personally I don't believe in this mysterious landscape energy, but I'm a big fan of churches as places of contemplation and healing. So I have sympathy for this endeavour even though I'm not supposed to believe in pendulums and dowsing rods.

Irish webcam churches interpreted as the focus of the landscape

 Since my discovery of the Irish church webcams I've been inspired to look at these churches from two viewpoints.

The first one is the traditional Catholic viewpoint of the the Real Presence of Christ, which I tend to feel most intensely in the empty church at night, when the only light in the church shines from the altar lamp. For me this is a deeply significant, almost mystical experience. And I feel it even through the medium of the webcam, in the night.

St Peter's Church - Google Streetview Our Lady Queen of Peace Pastoral Area

The second one is inspired by an experience during an Irish bus ride. When we drove past a church one of the older men on the bus made the sign of the Cross. This made me aware that the Real Presence was not only felt and acknowledged in the vicinity of the Tabernacle, but maybe from all places where the church was visible.

St Peter's Church - Google Streetview Our Lady Queen of Peace Pastoral Area

So, in the investigations below, I present the view of the church at night, and then I explore the visibility of the in the surrounding landscape. I try try to find the furthest places that are influenced by the presence of the church as their focal point. I hope you enjoy this exploration as much as I do.

Parish of Kill, Ardclough & Johnstowns - Google Streetview

At night there are just a few lights in the dark. Like:
And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not.
By day there is light and activity.
We explore the places from where we can see the church and its tower.
This is from the other side of the biggest provincial road.
This is from the parking lot in the back of the church area.
And this is from far away, from the other side of the golf course.
The church tower must be there, behind the trees, but it is hidden.
Indeed, you are a hidden God, you God of Israel, the Savior.