All the traditions of the world — of every continent and epoch — speak of sentient trees, of gardens protecting precious Trees of Knowledge, of lives of humans, plants and gods intertwined in a shared destiny. They speak of cosmic trees connecting humanity to the universe. They indicate a way for divine consciousness to descend into forms and for human beings to rise to the levels of the Gods.
In today’s mainstream culture, though, the understanding of how the life of trees is connected to ours has been lost. We are not able to identify ourselves as one with the ecosystem in which we live. This is one of the underlying reasons of the global crisis we are experiencing. Nature has lost its sacredness, and we humans have been destroying the very source of our life, leaving a sad and precarious heritage to the next generations.
Over the last 40 years, the Federation has been investing considerable resources in environmental restoration through the acquisition of extensive areas of woodland. Many of them had been exploited for decades only for firewood. They lacked undergrowth and wildlife, and most of the trees were sick or unable to grow properly. There were very little life and diversity.
A reforestation program began, in order to restore the woodland’s natural ecological balance, with the assistance of the University of Turin’s Forestry Department. Many species of wild animals have come back, as well as many beautiful birds and butterflies.
This over 350 hectares of woods – mostly chestnut, birch and oak trees – are now considered as the open-air continuation of the underground Temples. In agreement with the cultures of all the native peoples, we believe that the trees are the wise guardians of the memories of humanity and the living antennae that connect our planet to the cosmos. For these reasons this small forest is called the “Sacred Woods”.
The energetic and spiritual ecosystem of the Sacred Woods of Damanhur creates a special “bubble” of peace, in which one can perceive the slow, vital and joyous rhythm of the plant world. In this context it is easy to experience our breathing become slower, producing a calming effect on the mind. In this stress-free state we can reach more clarity of thought so that insights and new ideas can emerge, to be translated into creative projects and even new inventions.
In Damanhur, indeed, we are convinced that only a respectful alliance among all the species of the earth can allow us to find the solutions that science cannot imagine yet. Biomicry— i.e. the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes — is emerging more and more as one of the fundamental keys to finding solutions to restore the environment. Biomimicry is therefore explored now as one of the possible principles for the creation of a “Parliament of People’s”.
The Sacred Woods are the living, open-air lab in which the experiments of tThe Music of the Plants, are carried out.
In the Sacred Woods there are also dedicated spaces for meditation and contact with trees, as well as many stone spirals and labyrinths that form pathways among and around the trees. They stretch for miles into the woods and each one has a different function.
To create a connection with the energies of the Earth and the Cosmos, in the Sacred Woods The Circuits of the Sacred Woods are similar to those of some ancient civilizations. Inside them the natural energies of the earth are modulated, so that they can be beneficial for human beings, aligning thoughts and emotions.
The first Circuits were traced on the hill in 1995, and more are being added. Each stone is positioned by hand, then cleaned and colored. The larger stones, meander through the whole forest, and create the energetic connections between the different areas; regular and precise mathematical ratios.
Damanhur’s intention is to turn all of this large wooded area into a special protected Park “The Hill of the Temples”, with the goal of maximizing the synergy between the potential of a natural and cultural environment rich in beauty and spirituality with new art forms. A Park dedicated to reviving the connection between humans and Nature, bringing back to life its ancient, sacred meaning.
The spaces of the Temple of Concordance and its Parliament of Peoples will be a part of this Park, that foresees also the creation of:
A “Parliament of Plants”, parallel to the “Parliament of Peoples”, consisting of small bubbles with different microclimates to grow plant species from all over the world;
A Garden of Remembrance with a a Stone Circle and a burial ground, called “Field of Rest”;
A spiral made with hundreds of fossils, to create a physical and emotional experience of walking through the ancient eras of the life of our planet.
A point for astronomical observations;
A small amphitheater for musical performances of plants and humans;
A multi-level spiral with platform for meditations among the tree branches;
Zero-impact glass and wood structures in different geometrical shapes, on stilts;
Ground level and suspended “bubbles” for sleeping in touch with nature.