Journey to the Sacred. Finding Sanctuary on the Inca Trail.
By: Marjory Mejia
Where does my passion for feminine, organic architecture come from? I heard this question ring in my consciousness, asking me to share with all of you more of what is seeking to resurface in our hearts, spaces, and lives.
My ancestors, like many Indigenous traditions around the world, felt an ancestral pull to honor the body and spirit of the earth and build in harmony with the land. It is this sacred connection to land and cosmos that inspired them to design an architecture that flows not against, but rather, in harmony with the rhythms of the earth and cosmos. Honoring contours of earth, their structures adapted to the formations of the landscape. Their architecture didn’t seek to dominate the land but to enhance its beauty, growing out of the earth in a sculptural gesture that embraced the heavens and played with light during important astronomical events such as the solstice and equinox.
Like many, I did not grow up in direct contact with this ancestral wisdom. It did, however, and to my surprise, slowly and gradually emerge, surface, show signs of aliveness in my life, path, and work. My architectural thesis ten years ago became the sacred trail and ground for my exploration of another way of dwelling and being with Mother Earth, one that humbly echoed the ways of my ancestors.
Why design in nature, on the Inca Trail? In The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History, the Philosopher Mircea Eliade states how “Pilgrimage to sacred places present difficulties to the seeker. The road is arduous because it is, in fact, a rite of passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to divinity.”
I feel I’m coming full circle exploring the healing power of architecture, much like one circle of growth in the bark of a tree. The question I asked myself more than ten years ago for my architectural thesis was how to recover the language of the sacred through architecture’s power to create an experience that expands our awareness and consciousness. In other words, could modern humans who lived in desacralized space re-new their relationship with the earth and learn to reintegrate the sacred in our every day life?
The following drawings represent a moment on the Inca Trail, a journey challenging the traveler to mindfully experience life and its many facets as rituals imbued with the sacred.
Sanctuary on the Inca Trail
The Healing Power of Architecture
Some may think this Andean Cosmovision and consciousness is dead. It isn’t. It dwells in the hearts of many, awakening. There is a myth, an Inca legend that beautifully predicts the reawakening of Inca consciousness from deep sleep. They say Inca consciousness went to sleep with the oppressive conquest and subjugation of its culture and wisdom and that when Inca consciousness reawakens, there will be a new dawn, a new order, a reborn awareness rising from the depths of our being.
Thanks for walking with me on the edge of this ancient, newborn awareness. May our journey become a living prayer of remembrance. And may the fruits of our journey ripen in time, for the benefit of all life. Happy New Moon. With love,