Passion of the People – 1.4.3

Spiritual Landscapes and their Proximity to the Stars 

The landscape is mainly characterized by tourism and culture, and more and more often, with the awareness and deepening of people’s self, a new dimension of perception of the landscape through which the spirituality is born. Spiritual landscapes are not only related to religion, but open up spaces that can be inhabited or inhabited in different spiritual registers. Using the concept of spiritual landscapes, Dewsbury and Cloke (2009) offer an analytical lens through which we can understand “co-constructive networks of relationships between bodily existence, felt practices, and beliefs about things that are immanent but not yet manifested.” Spiritscapes therefore highlights the various ways in which the everyday sensations of the spirit are enacted and acted upon through certain representations and architectures of potential, emphasizing how spiritual presence “brings about real bodily dispositions, markers in the landscape of existence and emotion, leave memories, follow in the body”.

In other words, spiritual landscape describes the relationship between place and religious spiritual beliefs and practices.

Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his 1836 essay “Nature,” “If a man wants to be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays coming from these heavenly worlds will separate him from what he touches.” He raised the stars, despite their constant presence, as portals for complete assimilation into something greater than ourselves.

For thousands of years, people have been fascinated by the night sky. Ancient civilizations, from the Maya to the Babylonians, have been fascinated and mesmerized by the universe. The ancient Egyptians even used the stars to precisely align the great pyramids with the four cardinal points of the Earth.

When we look at the night sky, we are looking at history. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. From its constellation Centaurus, light takes 2.24 light years to reach Earth. The light from this star, as you can see it tonight as a stargazer, began its journey in the spring of 2018. The Andromeda Galaxy is visible to the naked eye from a distance of 2.25 million light years. This light began its journey before the development of Homo Erectus. This information shows us how magnificent the heavens are and why the stars have been given a spiritual dimension. You could say it’s a temporal mediation that can be a very spiritual experience. Looking at the night sky, we can experience the spiritual messages that the stars carry about eternity, the dimensions of time, the meaning of the universe, which usually leads the individual to introspection. Through meditation we can enjoy better spiritual insight than any other world. When we sit in meditation in our spiritual landscape, we see not only the stars, the moon and the sun, but also our inner universe.


Fantasy Sky – Image by steven underhillPixabay
Universe – Image by Gerd AltmannPixabay

Further Resources

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Videos

Video of cave – stars – tunnel

Video of galaxy, universe and stars

Are We Formed From The Stars? Life Behind the Stars.

The Spiritual meaning of the Stars

 Ancient Civilisations that Studied Astronomy


Online Resources

An article about the universe as part of the landscape

Spiritual landscapes: existence, performance and immanence

About Spiritual Landscapes

Scared Spaces, Healing Places: Therapeutic Landscapes of Spiritual Significance

What Can Stars Teach About Spirituality?

Significati Spirituali delle Stelle – The Enlightenment Journey

Significato spirituale delle stelle – Significato-Angeli


Further Readings

What do the stars mean? (Spiritual Meanings)

The Spiritual Stars

Gazing at the stars: replacing your worries with wonders 

Sky as a cultural landscape


Teaching Materials

Spirituality and Education (book)

What do landscapes tell us about our culture?

Night Skies as a Cultural Historical Resource

The importance of the dark sky in the future

How stargazing can teach you to be mindful


For Kids

Learn about the stars and the sun

Astronomy for Kids – The Universe

 How big the universe is?

What is a light year for children? 60 seconds science questions for kids

 Cultural Landscapes