Living Ancient Wisdom

Lia Golledge
4 min readJan 6, 2024
Found this book at Archives Fine Books, Brisbane

Happy New Year 2024 and welcome back (assuming we’re all going on holiday)!

On my visit to Archives Fine Books, Brisbane, I found an intriguing book called ‘Living Ancient Wisdom’ by Paul Devereux. We know that the world is full of historical monuments, temples, sites, and they all offer wisdom and ‘lost knowledge’ that we all can learn in this modern time. We can begin to experience the world as our ancestors did and apply their ancient wisdom to our own lives today.

The AI interpretation of the book and the bookstore :D

World Centers

Many ancient cultures possessed the concept of a sacred world center or navel. Whether it’s for the city, temple, our own body (navel), site, etc. It is believed that The World Center at the intersection of the four directions is the crack between the worlds, the place where communication with spirits and gods is possible. It can also be seen as an anchor and a grounding point for us. It helps us to go back to our body by being aware of it, or by creating our own ‘center’ at home, using any type of spiritual decoration or scents, we can recenter and ground ourselves.

Pilgrimage

The earliest form of ‘holy day’ tourism as we might recognize it today, as initiated by the ancient Greeks, who called it theoria. The Greek traveler would journey to special places, and try to get a fully rounded sense of a site, not only by studying and exploring it, but also by finding out about the legends and local knowledge concerning it.

I found this insightful. As the world opens up after the pandemic and all tourist destinations are packed during the new year, I question again what’s the purpose of traveling? It seems that it’s either to be stuck in a place with thousands of other people, eat in a restaurant with the same food you can eat at home, buy something you can buy anywhere else in the world, or stay in an overpriced accommodation.

Pilgrimage by definition celebrates a special place; one goes to a sacred destination and returns from it. Some famous pilgrimage destinations are Santiago de Compostela, where the writer Paulo Coelho famously walked on this pilgrimage and came out with several bestselling books afterward, and one other popular example is the Muslim pilgrimage to Hajj in Mecca.

To practice pilgrimage in our daily life is to learn to do sacred walking, to slow down when we walk. Use all your senses as you walk. If you’re in familiar territory, make an effort to notice new things, details in the surroundings that you have missed previously.

My afternoon walks

Try walking in the same route in daylight and at night. Observe the different sensory impressions you receive. The dominance of the visual sense is reduced at night, so it is easier to use hearing and smell to greater effect like the scents of plants and flowers.

Heaven on Earth (Sacred Geography)

It’s been a goal of us to bring the heavenly phenomena into relation with the earthly environment. We have the urge to mirror heaven on earth in many forms, it shown in some of the sacred places. One of the ways to contemplate this is to take a lot of photos from all angles, details, looking into and out of the monument, and a panorama of the surroundings. Collect other memorabilia, such as essential oils that remind you of any characteristic scents associated with the place (aroma of cypress, wildflowers, etc)

On my trip to a family’s farm in Marlee, New South Wales

Divination

The word ‘divination’ derives from a Latin term meaning ‘god-inspired.’ Although usually equated with telling the future, divination also has many other applications, such as seeking the cure to illness, gaining knowledge and personal insight, obtaining answers to specific questions, etc.

Some of the practice of divination is through palmistry, feng shui, i-ching, dreams, astrology, oracles, and many others. I’m drawn to i-ching-based divination in the modern system called Human Design and Gene Keys. I also feel aligned with feng shui. One thing that I haven’t tried, and I probably should try to be more intentional, is to dream. To intentionally ask questions that I need to answer before I sleep and get the answers through dreams.

Overall, it’s a great book to remind ourselves of the wisdom we used to have and apply it in our everyday lives to hopefully ground ourselves back to the center.

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Lia Golledge

Founder Coach. Fractional CMO Remote Skills Academy. Co-Managing Director Girls in Tech Indonesia. Author of 33 books.