New Zealand sacred sites
By Damien Cornford
I sit here typing this blog with tears in my eyes, as I am saying goodbye to a place which I can now call home. Pretty much all places on this sacred place we call Gaia I call home but New Zealand has touched my heart like no other. Sitting here in the airport waiting for my flight to India, I ask myself what lessons have I been taught here, how has this changed my life?
New Zealand is a place of natural beauty and that beauty is expressed in the eyes and smiles of the people that live here. From the very beginning we were welcomed into the home of Vicky Woo Woo with a big warm hug and that good old fashioned charming saying, “Would you like a cuppa tea or coffee?” and that’s where the stories and laughs begin.
We arrived on Thursday morning into Auckland, the sun was shining and the people were vibrant with colorful smiles. Colette looked at me in the eyes and said, “How do you feel?”, though it wasn’t until on the bus leaving the big city that the feelings began to sink in. The green countryside rolled for miles, dairy farms filled the land as far as the eye could see mixed here and there with corn and hay fields. An overwhelming feeling that I had been here before filled my very core, I was home.
The essence of the land can be seen in the kindness of the smiling faces that surround you, New Zealand is a different place. People here at every chance laugh and greet each other with the warmth of a huge hug. The best memories were sitting with family and friends and just listening to their stories and life. The secrets of life were shared here, with the simple truths that we all search for expressed in simple meanings in the stories told.
In the short time I spent in New Zealand these were the sacred destinations I visited:
We visited two maraes, which are sacred meeting places for the indigenous Maori families; here ceremonies are held to celebrate life. From the death of a loved one to birthdays, families here celebrate together and share everything. The idea is if each person shares a little or what they can then there will be plenty for everyone. This is something we do not acknowledge in the western societies where most people are brought up to look after one’s self, and then we lose that sense of community. The celebrations at the maraes are huge and everyone has their role to play, and I tell you what – you will never go home hungry!
Tokahaere Rock is a sacred destination with a significant story to tell. The story goes that two brothers were in love with the same woman and both wished to marry her. They made a deal with each other that the first to walk to the sea would win the hand of the woman. The catch was that whoever didn’t make it to the sea would be turned to stone. Both brothers agreed to this but neither one of them made it to the sea or to ever take the hand of the woman they loved, and were turned to stone. Tokahaere rock is a reminder of this story and the divine love that each brother honored.
Later that afternoon we made our way to the town of Taupo and swam at Wairakei Terraces. These are pools of hot springs which are selenium rich and boil out of the ground at extreme degrees. When the water makes its way down the terraces it cools to temperatures suitable for swimming. Being Selenium rich makes this a place of deep clearing and cleansing, the selenium removes all negative energies from your fields – matrixes which no longer serve your highest and best good – helping to clear your chakras of all past pain and trauma. This sacred site is something that everyone should experience; feelings boil from the deep depths of your being and you feel like a new person afterwards. One feels more alive than ever and has a depth of peace in their heart that words cannot explain.
Huka Falls, well this is a real surprise, if you are expecting to see a vertical waterfall with a huge drop you are wrong. Don’t underestimate the beauty of this though. You walk over a bridge and then your breath is taken away, your jaw drops with amazement from the pure energy of this horizontal waterfall. The water is pushed through a small gorge and the force of the energy can be felt. This is another big clearing sacred site, the rush of the water and air clears all your energy fields and matrixes from life trauma leaving you feeling amazing.
Lake Taupo is a huge lake on the town of Taupo. On the lake is a floating island made of pumice in which the dead are buried. It is told that when the island makes its way close to shore the spirits of the people on board are transported off the island to the mainland. All through this area hot springs make their way through the ground and run into the lake making it very rich in minerals and good drinking water. Here the peaceful serenity of the town and the lake meet making a quiet little spot to mediate on the shore and soak up the beauty of the area.
The next day we walked around the town of Raglan, which is a beachside town. The people here are becoming self-sufficient, growing all their own food and supplying their own source of green energy through wind generators. The town is filled with arts and craft stores and we were welcomed into an art gallery opening with a glass of local white wine and some antipasto. This is what dreams are made of! The surf beach here is called Manu Bay and is very popular with the locals. Here we enjoyed the afternoon watching the surfers make the most of the last waves for the day.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is one of my favorite sacred destinations we visited on this journey. From the viewing platform it is a quick 10-minute walk to the bottom. The drop of the falls is spectacular and the energy of this area is so peaceful and sacred. You can hear the chatter of the trees and the birds, the serenity is intoxicating. Here you are filled with a sense of peace and gratefulness, that the gods have blessed you and allowed for your journey to bring you to a place of such natural beauty.
Thank you to our friend Vicky for showing us around and being our tour guide for the time there, for welcoming us into her home and sharing her family with us. This made New Zealand home.