Did you know that some of the most mystical, powerful and magical places in the world are right here in our own backyard?
Read on to discover some of the hidden secrets and sacred sites of America. While you are enjoying the notes on these fascinating places you can also experience the music of Laura Sullivan, created as a dedication to each of these fascinating places.
1) America’s Stonehenge, Mystery Hill, Salem, Massachusetts
The Mystery Hill complex is composed of monolithic standing stones, stone walls and underground tunnels, caves and chambers covering 30 acres of land near Salem, Massachusetts. Most of the structure is aligned to obvious astronomical points and the site can even now be used as an accurate yearly calendar utilizing the stones that were set up about 5,000 years ago.
During the 1800’s the property was owned by abolitionist, Jonathan Pattee who used the caves on the site as a refuge on the Underground Railroad. Many stones in and around this area of New England have been found inscribed with Irish Hinge Ogam, a form of Celtic writing of the Druids. Who built the site and what it was used for remains a mystery.
2) Chaco Canyon Complex, New Mexico
One of the most mysterious, beautiful and sophisticated architectural achievements of ancient North America is the Chaco Canyon Complex in remote northwestern New Mexico. The site was the main ceremonial center for an ancient people who built the complex around 700 AD. The people’s actual name is unknown, but they are now called the Anasazi’s, meaning “the ancient ones” in the Navaho language. Pueblo Bonito, within the complex, had more than 600 rooms of several stories, and ceremonial structures called kivas.
The Hopis believe the largest kiva in the complex, Casa Rinconada, represents the womb of the Earth Mother. Radiating out of the Chaco complex is a mysterious series of straight lines that extend for miles into the desert. It seems highly unlikely that these were roads to outlying settlements as the lines are arrow straight, regardless of terrain, and go over table-top mesas and up and down vertical cliff faces. It has been suggested that these lines represent the out-of-body spirit travel of the ancient shamans. Scientific research has indicated that the lines often lead to shrine-like structures. Over 500 miles of these lines have been charted thus far and are most visible from the air.
3) Coral Castle, Homestead, Florida
Coral Castle is one of the most remarkable structures ever built. Its miraculous construction has been compared to Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Egypt, and its inspiration to that of the love that motivated the building of the Taj Majal. It is made of coral: quarried, shaped, transported and constructed by a single genius, Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant, born in 1887, who stood 5 feet tall and weighed 100 lbs.
Some of the coral rocks that make up the castle weigh as much as 30 tons, with a total of over 1100 tons in the construction of the entire castle. All of the coral was moved by Ed alone without the assistance of modern machinery. Scientists have not been able to determine how he did this. An experiment was recently done to see if a bull-dozer could move a piece of coral the size of just one of the many pieces used to create the castle, and even this piece of machinery couldn’t lift the hefty hunk of coral. Ed migrated to the US when his heart was broken by his true love, Agnes, who ended their engagement on the eve of their wedding.
Working only at night time when no one could see him, he built the castle to express his great love for Agnes, hoping to win her back. It has been suggested that Ed learned secrets of ancient sciences that defy gravity in order to create his astounding accomplishment. Ed took his secret construction techniques with him to his grave, along with his broken heart. Sadly, Agnes never came to see the monument built for her, although she had been invited.
4) The Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming
Medicine wheels are stone circles that come from most ancient cultures and are found all over the world. Hundreds of medicine wheels are located in North America. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is one of the most revered and is considered to be the hub of many sacred sites whose locations fan out from its spokes throughout the continent. The oldest wheels in North America date back about 4,000 years, to the time of the Egyptian pyramids. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is believed to be between 500-800 years old. Its circular arrangement measures 80 feet across with 28 rows of stones that radiate from a central cairn. Around the periphery of the wheel are five smaller, circles and a circular sunsight. The solstice sunrise magically lines up with the sunsight and central cairn of the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. Its 28 "spokes" may symbolize the days in a lunar month. Who built this wheel remains a mystery.
5) Sitka, Tongass Island, Alaska
Sitka, named for Russian Fur Traders of the region, lies on the Tongass Island, within a chain of Islands off the southeast coast of Alaska. Legends reveal that among the lush trees of the coastal rainforest live the half-human, half-otter people who help those lost in the forest and the sea to cross over to the Above World. Once one has crossed over their souls must be transformed on a totem pole. Souls dwell within the totem poles and whisper their stories to all who come near.
6) The Serpent Mound, Ohio
The Serpent Mound is one of the most significant and mysterious effigies in North America. Many mound effigies were used as sacred burial grounds; although, archeological evidence has found no remains in Serpent Mound. There are however, widespread rumors of the bones of giant people between 7 and 8 feet tall found in various places near the Serpent Mound.
Some believe that the Serpent Mound was designed by the Druids together with Britain’s Stonehenge as part of a larger picture, the Great Serpent being Stonehenge’s Guardian Dragon, and Stonehenge being the Serpent’s treasure. Carbon dating has proved both sites to be built approximately 5,000 years old. Like Stonehenge, Serpent Mound integrates solar and lunar movements into its design. They also appear to coordinate through astronomical connections similar in the design and scale of each, the Serpent mound being based on the constellation Draco, including Ursa Minor and Stonehenge being based on Ursa Minor.
7) Red Rock Ridge Petroglyphs, Jeffers, Minnesota
On a 23 mile ridge that follows the Cottonwood River in southwestern Minnesota over 2000 pictures are etched in a stone mural, making up one of the most diverse and extensive collections of petroglyphs in all of North America. The symbols are seen best and are at their most beautiful at sunset when they shine like gold.
Among the symbols dating from the oldest 3000 B.C. to the most recent 1750 A.D. are bison, serpents, horned turtles, wolves, lizards and magic hunting rituals. Some of the carvings also depict “bodily transformations” which medical test subjects have reported experiencing at the deepest level of altered states of consciousness.
These transformations depicted in the petroglyphs include the growth of an extra finger or toe, the sensation of the torso elongating, and transformation from human to animal. This suggests that some of the carvings may have been depicted during dream quests by Native Americans to this site. Dream quests were ventures made alone during rights of passage which would sometimes last for several days, often while fasting. The purpose of a dream quest was for those on the journey to overcome challenges, achieve spiritual enlightenment and discover a vision of themselves and their future.
8) Pictograph Caves, Montana
Southeast of Billings, Montana tucked high in sandstone cliffs lay three caves which contain evidence of habitation dating back over 4500 years ago. The walls of the caves are marvelously sculpted over years of wind and water erosion to form images of heads and torsos of people. Over the sculpted walls are mysterious pictographs, many depicting warriors with shields painted in black, white and red. These may have been pictures made or used during ceremonial purposes to gain strength from the cave before going into battle. Many believe the souls of the elders who once lived there still dwell within the caves.
9) The Heavener Runestone, Poteau Mountain, Oklahoma
Located near Heavener is a large stone carved with a series of letters. This stone was originally found in a sheltered valley mostly protected from rain and snow, with its letters pecked out in extremely hard rock. Thus, the carving was found in excellent condition. It is the handiwork of the Vikings as the eight mysterious symbols have been identified by the Smithsonian Institute as being from the Norse 24-Rune or Futhark alphabet used from 300-800 A.D. in Scandinavia.
It is believed that long before Columbus, around 750 A.D., the Vikings came by boat around Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi River, onto the Arkansas River, finally arriving in Oklahoma. Carvings from the first century near the Arkansas River and along several mountains in Oklahoma depict Portuguese ships. Coins dating to the same time period have also been found in the area.
Two more runestones have been found within 20 miles of the Heavener Runestone with variations on the same inscription in the Futhark alphabet. Some interpreters believe the Heavenor Runestone’s letters may translate to “Magic to Gloie” and that Gloie may have been a person’s name. However, the true message left by the Vikings and the meaning behind it to this day remains a mystery.
10) Red Rock Country, Sedona, Arizona
Sedona attracts people from around the world who have learned of the strong earth energies reported here. The beauty and majesty of Red Rock country is mesmerizing.
Once called Nawanda, it was home to native peoples as early as 10,000 years ago. Native Americans of Sedona, and all over North America, have an ancient tradition of burning sacred herbs or incense such as sweetgrass and sage in a ritual called smudging. Smudging techniques are still used today as spiritual blessings to purify, heal, restore peace and harmony, and for celebrations such as welcoming new babies into the world.
11) Hawaiian Islands
The islands of Hawaii were created in the Pacific Ocean by lava erupting up through the ocean floor. As layer after layer of lava cooled it formed molten rock which eventually broke through the surface of the water. This creative process continued until all the island were created, and still continues today. Mt. Kilauea, on the big island of Hawaii, may be our earth’s most active volcano.
The native people of Hawaii have evolved a magnificent spiritual culture closely tied to the earth and its elements. Some of their many deities include Haumea: the Earth Mother, Hina: The Goddess of the Moon, and Pele: The Goddess of Fire. The warmth of the Hawaiian people is as evident as the fire that created their beautiful land. It emanates in their Aloha, which is much more than a greeting: Alo, meaning the bosom of the universe and Ha, the breath of God. You are the glow of Aloha from love’s flame: Aloha Pumehana.
12) Mt. Shasta, California
Mt. Shasta’s powerful presence, rising over 14,000 feet, is awe inspiring from hundreds of miles in every direction. Situated at the intersection of three mountain ranges: the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades and the Klamath, it is recognized by many to be a profound spiritual center.
According to Native Modoc lore, the mountain was created by the Great Sky Spirit who wished for a home on earth. He created a hole in the sky where ice and snow poured from the Above World to create the mountain. He then formed the waters, trees and animals, of the area, blessing each of them with mystical powers. Near Mt. Shasta the reflection of the face of the Sky Spirit can be seen in the full moon.
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Before visiting any sacred site remember to get permission from the affiliated governing agency. Please respect and be sensitive to the traditions of the indigenous peoples who hold the site sacred and do not assume that it is acceptable to perform rituals, leave offerings or take photographs. Walk gently on the earth.