In Sacred Landscape: Caves and Mountains (the companion to the forthcoming Sacred Landscape: Groves and Forests and Sacred Landscape: Lakes and Rivers) author Melusine Draco looks at humanity's spiritual connection to the features visible from space (mountains) and their opposite -- caves. "It’s likely that mountains were among the oldest places of worship on the planet. They figure prominently in the earliest religious myths of mankind, and our connection to them is so powerful that many of the world’s oldest folklore harks back to the mystique of the mountains."
Draco first looks at the dangers of mountains, such as Denali's earthquakes, altitude, and dangerous weather, or the Matterhorn's popularity, with tourists sending loose rocks onto the heads of climbers below. Then turns to moiuntains in art before discussing "earth mysteries" and how to connect with those energies within oneself.
Draco then looks at caves through examining some of the most wonderful and awesome caves in the world. Such as the Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave in Austria where ice remains all year around, or the Krubera Cave in Georgia, the deepest-known cave on the planet, with a depth of over 2196 meters. The Oracle Room in the Hypogeum on Malta is fascinating. If a man stands at the entrance and speaks,"a resonance is set up
that reverberates – not only in the Oracle Room but throughout the Temple. If a woman speaks into the chamber, nothing occurs." Of course the author also looks at cave art, with its tantilizing clues about our ancestors. The chapter end with a kind of "pathworking" or guided visualization.
The two of the remaining three chapters --Home of the Gods (Mystical Interlude: Magical Crystals, Sacred Stones), The Spiritual Ascent (Mystical Interlude: Place of Power or Sacred Site?) look at mountains and caves sites considered sacred. The final chapter, and The Ring of Fire (Mystical Interlude: Threshold Between the Worlds), looks at the numerous volcanoes that line the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the Ring of Fire. This area is considered to be the most seismically active region on the planet. Draco's Mystical Interlude discusses how volcanoes reveal the incorporation of all the Elements.
Overall, Sacred Landscape: Caves and Mountains is fine. The focus isn't particular to one tradition or perspective above another, but it lacks depth. It may be best as a jumping off point for someone interested in forking with the energies of the landscape around them.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Melusine Draco
Moon Books, 2020
pp. 96, $10.95