Report by: Jonathan Evatt, KSFA Founder and Chairman
Each year I do a pilgrimage, by car and walking, to specific sacred sites around Aotearoa. It usually starts with, or at least includes, 9 days in Tāmaki region (greater Auckland), working with the many volcanoes and other special sites in that space. From there I head south through many regions of the North Island. After crossing Cook Strait the journey makes a big figure-eight loop way down south, not far from Invercargill at the southern tip of the South Island, and from there north again, finishing up in Golden Bay (at the northern tip of the South Island).
This year it required 28 days, a flight from Nelson to Auckland, and 4800 kilometres (2980 miles) of driving. That’s a long way in a small country like New Zealand. Although, had I more time, I could have covered at least twice that. Maybe next year. It includes a fare amount of walking and hiking too, which is what I enjoy most. A powerful and satisfying journey deep into service for Mother Nature.
The primary purpose of such a pilgrimage is to consciously connect with specific lakes, rivers, mountains, fiords, and coastal areas, in the spirit of sacred and loving reciprocity. According to ancient lore, Mother Nature depends on conscious, heart-centred human beings to feed, nourish, sustain, and harmonise Her creation. We are conduits of Her conscious loving grace, wisdom, and life force. It is through us, with an open heart, She can impart those energies in deep and special ways to the ancestral and guardian spirits of this earth. Spirits who ordinary Man (male/female) thinks of as little more than “places” and “geological formations”. We live in times when most are spiritually blind to, and therefore ignorant of, what we are in reality a part of. You see, every mountain, river, lake, etc., is a living being in its own right, and makes up the greater living being of the Earth.
I’ve been intentionally visiting many of the sites for over 20 years. Each time I am there, it’s like meeting up with dear old friends. I always discover and learn something new about the spaces I enter. We have a bit of a catch-up and reconnection face-to-face, and heart-to-heart. Well, the heart-to-heart connection is ongoing from where ever I am, so when I show up physically it’s a chance for us to look each other in the eyes, and connect in stronger and more tangible way. I receive from the spaces entered into, and those spaces receive from me. That’s the reciprocity that naturally occurs. And it’s through that reciprocity the sacred service occurs.
Some spaces have a wonderful smell, and are very lively, like in beloved Rotorua, pictured below.
Even with a month on the road, there was a lot to fit in. So, most mornings I was up around 3 or 4 AM, and usually on the road by 6, when it’s still dark and quiet (sun rise was after 7 AM at this time of year).
Some spaces I like to arrive at before Tamanuiterā (the beloved Sun) breaks through the dark of the night, so we (the space, the Sun, and I) have a chance to all connect in that serene moment of night shifting into day.
May is a very special time of year in New Zealand. For a start, there are far less tourists on the roads, making it easier to get around. More importantly, it’s late autumn, so in the South Island there are areas where the trees are ablaze with fiery hues (see below), and vast planes of long golden grasses. The early mornings are dark, crisp, and silently serene. Also, we had some fairly early snow falls this year, adding such a splendid and awe inspiring feel to many of my long hours driving through white capped alpine ranges.
If you’d like to learn more about the importance of sacred sites, there’s an article about that here.
If you feel moved to learn more about the role of being a guardian of the Earth and your local environment, please reach out and contact us.
Contribution / Support
It cost the foundation approximately NZ$2,400 to complete this journey (not including food, and the lost income for a month).
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