Angkor What?

Ancient mysteries have captivated humanity for millennia.  I find it rather intriguing that some people (such as Alfred Watkins) have actually made it their life’s work to study and examine the relative patterns connecting earth energy between various sacred sites.  Apparently, it is presumed that the peoples inhabiting these areas “felt” certain powerful energies emanating from the earth and constructed man-made structures at these sites.  Over the years, archaeologists have found that it is not uncommon to find patterns in the placement of sacred mounds, churches, burial grounds, monoliths and other important spiritual structures.  The overwhelming pattern appears to be – “Tah dah!”…a very simple but interconnected) straight-line.  When mapped and examined spatially, these ley-lines (as they are called), provide some startling patterns for scientists to examine.  Watkin’s work in the early 1920’s was groundbreaking in that it described the interconnectedness of such sites in the UK (Blackwardine, near Leominster).  A first edition (1922), very good (quality), hardcover copy of “Early British Trackways” will set you back about $40 – $100 USD (I know this, because it is on my Abebooks “wish list”).  Another of Watkin’s titles, “The Old Straight Track:  It’s Mounds, Beacons, Moats, Sites and mark Stones” (1925) is also available (range $20 to $200 USD).  Abebooks.  I am addicted to Abebooks.

Back to ancient mysteries.  “This is all very interesting,” I thought to myself this morning [skimming through an archaeology book in the morning sunshine], “but what about some of the other sacred sites that are present around the world?”  Well, it turns out that ley-lines and vortices (concentrations of energy) connect Stonehenge Glastonbury, Mt. Everest, Ayers Rock, The Great Pyramid at Giza, and my personal favourite (for some strange, currently unascertained reason) – Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  The first time I saw a photo of Angkor Wat (in an archaeology reference guide), I was drawn to it.  i wouldn’t say that I am obsessed with it – but I make a point of reading all that I can about the site and view every photo that I can of it (oh all right then, I am obsessed!).  Angkor Wat was constructed in the early 12th Century during the reign of Suryavarman II.  The elaborate building was to serve as the King’s state temple and capitol city.  The temple, although constructed in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu, is now utilized as a Buddhist temple in the country of Cambodia (the Cambodians are so understandably proud of their heritage that they elected to use the temple as a symbol on their national flag).  Surprisingly enough, the temple survived relatively unscathed during local civil uprisings and the Khmer Rouge occupation in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Considerable work within the last part of the 20th Century actually involved untangling the temple from the grasping-tendrils of Mother Nature’s vegetative grip (rather than patching bullet holes in sandstone).  Ironically enough, some of the most beautiful photos of the temple are of the forest’s encroachment of the temple – vines and various tropical plants and trees finding sacred root int he walls of the structure.  Today the site is recognized and listed as an endangered heritage site by UNESCO – the surrounding forest is continually encroaching upon the temple and  previous restoration techniques (application of various chemicals to the stone to prevent decay) are hampering these efforts. 

All of this talk of salvage and conservation sounds rather daunting doesn’t it?  You can’t help but feel a little helpless and lost at the thought of losing this ancient structure to the cycles of Nature (we haven’t even discussed the possibility of submergence in the event of a catastrophic rise in sea-level).  I imagine though, when reflecting upon the purpose of the structure, we are to remind ourselves of transience and the “energy” and sacredness that permeates this location.  I’m sure that, in some strange way, Mother Nature is reclaiming her own spirit and energy as she winds her vines and roots around the decaying temple blocks.  Vishnu’s memorial is grand, but the spiritual essence of the site resides in the sacred Earth, the foundation of Angkor Wat.

-Poseidon’s Muse

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