Posts Tagged as: sacred

Journey to the Sacred. Finding Sanctuary on the Inca Trail.

Machu Picchu, experienced through the eyes of Photographer Tatiana Plakhova,

Machu Picchu, experienced through the eyes of Photographer Tatiana Plakhova, who meditates on the emergence of a self-reflective universe, or noosphere

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

Healing Space

The Healing Power of Architecture

Wiñay Wayna

Wiñay Wayna

wyna wayna

Wiñay Wayna sanctuary study by Marjory Mejia. Plan, oblique & details for the documentation of community ruins on the Inca Trail. The research for the thesis results in deeper understanding of sacred space in Inca culture. Wiñay Wayna was a ceremonial community that integrated temples, residential areas and agricultural terraces with fountains that celebrated the flow of water and beauty of the landscape.

healing space

Drawing collage of Inca Trail by Marjory Mejia. The Inca Trail is a 27 mile path (4 day journey) that leads to Machu Picchu, with various ceremonial stops along the way. Like other pilgrimage paths, it is a physical, sensual, and spiritual journey. The walk on the trail involves the movement of the body through time and space, revealing an intimate connection with the landscape. It is in the spirit of this natural and cultural landscape context that I designed the sanctuary.

sacred space sanctuary

 Sanctuary proposal by Marjory Mejia. Plan | Section | Elevation. This is the site of my proposal, the last place where travellers and pilgrims spend the night before continuing onto Machu Picchu. The site sits on a steep slope at a crossroads; to the right is the path to the Inca community of Wyna Wayna, and to the left is the two-mile path to Machu Picchu

Condor Meditation | Contemplation Center.

Condor Contemplation Center by Marjory Mejia. Plan | Section | Elevation. The sanctuary / place of refuge embraces the trail, which travels through the project in an architectural promenade inviting the traveler to descend the path that terminates in the condor. The condor is a structure that opens up to the elements and holds the site with its wings, offering framed views of the landscape & a space for contemplation and remembrance. There are steps that wrap around its head and connect the two levels of the wings, which adapt to the topography of the site.

axonometric marjorymejia

Axonometric view of sanctuary by Marjory Mejia. The program includes spaces for eating, sleeping & meditating, which acquire a new dimension, one filled with the realization of the sacred. The stone circle gathers around the fie and sits on a natural plateau with terraces that cascade and ripple down the mountain. This space opens up to the east direction and offers views of the site and surrounding mountains.

healing space

Axonometric view of Sanctuary by Marjory Mejia. The thesis excavates the Cosmovision of the region and conceives the place of sanctuary / refuge as an organism that grows from the earth as part of the landscape. This Inca Cosmovision as expressed and revealed through the materiality of the place of sanctuary / refuge,  is able to heal the fragmented soul of the modern traveler, visitor, pilgrim.

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,

Home: from prison to freedom

madre selva

Do you feel imprisoned, stuck, estranged and alien in your own skin, home, land? The journey from prison to freedom is about removing the negative connotations of home, expanding our perception of this sacred space, taking it on a journey from prison to freedom. I am writing this article to claim the sacredness of the home as a safe haven where to nourish your life force, stir your creativity, feed your soul, enliven your spirit.

Jul 28, 2013 | continue reading →

The sensual spiritual bathroom, a sacred space of flow

feminine space

The bathroom can be the most neglected space in the house, evoking feelings of guilt, shame or plain fear. We often respond to this triggered emotions by over sanitizing this space; making it cold, sterile, bare, silenced, desacralized. Our dwellings seem to hide the bathroom or seek to subdue its design as we disconnect from body and soul. This is a call to celebrate the bathroom as a a place of flow, communion, transformation, self-care and well being for our sensual, spiritual selves.

Jun 30, 2013 | continue reading →

Ode to Feminine Space. An architecture of flow. An architecture of the feminine


We are sucking the soul out of our lives and not replenishing it. And yet we feel that something is missing, yearning for a different kind of experience of wholeness that deeply feeds, awakens, and revitalizes our souls. Are you longing for intimacy, deep communication, connection? This is an invitation to notice, liberate, express, and experience the feminine: the feminine dimension of our being, the feminine dimension of space, the feminine dimension of the sacred…

Jun 18, 2013 | continue reading →

Riding waves in a magical, real world

5.clock wynwood

There is a kind of magic that is born from the soil of experience, the magic of the mundane if you will, which under the light of awareness, shines sacred. I wonder if some of us are wired to experience life in a magical realist way. Asi parece. Magical realism is not just a literary genre; it is a way of living, of perceiving life, of engaging the world..

Mar 12, 2013 | continue reading →

In the belly of this wild, sacred dance


We have come to be danced…
…the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance…
~ Jewel Mathieson

Mar 1, 2013 | continue reading →

Feminine flow, unfurling through space

In Elements of Loïe Fuller, Jody Sperling

I love the sinuous, kinetic, serpentine, swirling, spiraling movements of these beings expressing fluidity. The last one is a woman, a Goddess-like artist able to beautifully embody and transmit this sacred quality, this feminine flow vibrating between the auditory, visual, and tactile dimensions as She unfurls through space.   The work I do is extremely…

Jan 7, 2013 | continue reading →

Rapt in reverence. Let the world touch you

2. magnolia closeup

We often travel in spirals, arriving at the space where we got started. I have been consciously making space for joy and magic in my life.  Magic happens when we listen deeply with all our heart. Listening, seeing, welcoming, receiving creates a beautiful state of receptivity. Such was the flavor of my last trip to…

Apr 1, 2012 | continue reading →

Sacred Flow in the big apple. What you make space for matters..


Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. ~Zora Neale Hurston

As some of you may know I am in the big apple, enjoying a creative breath, pause, space. Even in moments of stillness, life flows incessantly. In the midst of silences, negative spaces and all those lines in between, life brims and overflows.

Mar 18, 2012 | continue reading →

Infused with Spirit, this kind Earth

Rose by Marjory Mejia

So happy to have Infused with Spirit, this kind Earth be my first post in my Unleashing Flow Series! ..I once had a vision, the kind that melts your mind and opens the gates of your heart, wide..And it occurred to me that up until that moment I hadn’t realized something so primal, so imprinted in the memory of my cells. My feet long to walk on the body of the sacred earth and bless her as she breathes in and out, rapt in the beauty of our awakening.

Mar 3, 2012 | continue reading →
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