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The Sacred Center: The Ancient Art of Locating Sanctuaries [Kindle Edition]

John Michell
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

The symbolism and power behind sacred locations in ancient and modern times

• Explains the need and role for ritual centers in modern society

• Examines ancient territorial centers in ancient Egypt, Greece, Africa and Asia, and Iceland and the British Isles

• Reveals the code of number and geometry behind the idealistic social structure of the ritual center, formed to imitate the heavenly order

Symbols of ritual centers are among the most persistent elements of myth and belief between cultures widely separated in time and space. Every tribe and state had its “generation center,” a sacred area within its heartland where its legendary founders gave birth to its people and established their laws. Within the inner sanctum of the sanctuary was an altar or pillar, the omphalos or navel stone, that marked the midpoint of the home territory and represented the world-pole on which everything revolved. It was the focus of a perpetual cycle of rituals and festivals that passed with the seasons around the country and held its people under the spell of a golden age.

In this book John Michell reveals the precise methods by which the ancients located the appropriate centers and adopted them as sanctuaries. The same principles of ritual geography in the siting of Akhenaten’s capital in Egypt and Megalopolis in classical Greece apply also to the traditional centers of small territories and islands. The rediscovery of these sites--such as the spot at the center of Ireland where the Celtic High Kings were installed--sheds new light on the ritualized order of prehistoric societies and the sacred, scientific code on which they were founded. These revelations from the distant past are of great significance in present times, for in them are the secrets of harmony on every scale, from the personal to the universal. Restoring the sacred center to its former place of prominence offers the possibility of a renaissance of human culture, ideally centered upon the image of a perfectly ordered Cosmos.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2187 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; 2 edition (5 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00462RVCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #873,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 12 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was expecting so much more from this book than it gave. I understand why Michell decided to look for the centres of small islands, as they are much easier to determine than those of large ones, but I really don't want to know quite so much about quite so many of the Faroes. The Isle of Man as the centre of the British Isles was interesting, but in fact Michell may have been wrong to look for geographic centres. The omphaloi (navels) may well be determined some other way, and I recommend Graham Robb's 'The Ancient Paths' for an alternative view.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 14 Jan. 2012
By calexandra - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I find all of John Michell's works are a great read. He takes archeology a step further, in fact many archeologists, especially in Ireland, are starting to confirm what Michell wrote about decades earlier. He is an excellent writer, and makes the ancient past as exciting as a modern mystery novel. I couldn't put the book down. If only Joseph Campbell had been familiar with Michell's work he would have been able to widen his perspective.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another "must have" for your library... 21 Oct. 2013
By Morgaine Bergman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The information in this book is hard to come by but vitally important not only for a basic understanding of how our remote ancestors interacted with the land, but also for establishing our own healthy relationship with the world around us. Puts the landscapes we live in in a whole new light.
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too local for me 28 Nov. 2012
By Richard Charles - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think Michell's "How the World is Made" and "Dimensions of Paradise" are the two most important books in my long life (with the possible exception of "Anna Karenina"), but "Sacred Center" was a case of too much information about too small an area, though the overall point it indeed amazing. It's a slog to get through.
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