Hierophanies<<< Back

Garajonay
The Garajonay constituted the ancient sacred territory of the settlers gomeros. The etymology of the word Garajonay attributed to the lovers Gara and Jonay, that leaking to the sacred forest to protect of her relatives, her definitive union achieved by jumping from the highest peak. At the top of Alto de Garajonay, located at 1375 m high, is located one of the most important sacred sites of the island, with at least four sake of sacrifice.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Balaitús
Lord of the Storm, angry granitic giant, terror of mountains and their inhabitants, Balaitús has behind it the black legend of the Pyrenees mountains. In the popular tradition and even in classical mythology has remained a cursed mountain of bad feelings.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Savassona Forest
This is one of the enclaves with most occult relevance within Catalonia, a sacred forest that is centered on a rock used in the past as a sacrificial altar. There are also other rocks with symbolic engravings, a center for worshipping stars from the ancient period, anthropomorphic tombs, and two Romanesque chapels which confirm that the sacred nature of the area continued into Christian times.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Sagrado Corazón Peak
Located at 2,211 meters above sea level in the heart of Picos de Europa, every five years there is a mass at its summit bringing together hundreds of devotees who perform the hard climb to the summit to worship the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

The Duratón River Gorges
The canyon of the Duratón River has been considered a sacred place throughout its history, as shown by the several churches and the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of the Angels of the Gorge, as well as enormous caves with crosses and sculpted rhombuses linked to the lives of the anchorites. This site was similarly sacred throughout its prehistory, as demonstrated by the hundreds of examples of schematic cave art.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Pedraforca
Its name -stone gallows- is a clear allusion to the singular forked summit pinnacles formed by two different heights, through which, according to legends, the witches of these deep valleys pass, creating noisy covens in the night of San Juan. On its eastern side lies the sacred forest Gresolet.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Teide
According most of the chroniclers, the Guanches conceived to the mountain as the place that housed the forces of evil, especially the evil figure of Guayota. More recent authors argue that the Teide was for the old canaries a kind of Axis Mundi. The many "nooks" found in the mountain with archaeological remains of stone tools and ceramics have been interpreted as caches to counteract the influence of evil geniuses.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

The Forest of Orrius
Orrius is a meeting place for researchers into the paranormal around the world; they do magical rituals, use ouijas and psychophonic mediums and perform other experiments. In the 1960s it was a pilgrimage site for UFO phenomena. The entire forest is dotted with dolmens, a testament to its ceremonial use in the past.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Cave of the Dolls
Located at an important point of transit, Despeñaperros Pass, this is one of the most important centers of pilgrimage for Iberian culture because there they placed their ex-votos to the divinity, both in the pre-Roman and Roman periods. The original worship site was a cave in the rocky section and a spring and later, at different points in time, successive buildings for worship were erected, between the 5th and 4th centuries BC and the 1st and 2nd AD.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Canigó
Since 1955 the San Juan bonfires are lit with the "Flame of Canigo" and bundles of firewood are transported throughout Catalonia to its summit. This wood burning throughout the night of San Juan. In this mountain are located the monasteries of San Martin of Canigó and San Miguel of Cuixá.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Auñamendi Peak
Mountain with great legends, is considered from immemorial time as a sacred mountain to the Basques.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Source of the Ciraunza River
In pre-Christian Hispania, water in general was held sacrosanct, as an essential and sacred part of life. Among other elements (springs, wells, fonts…) rivers were revered, particularly their sources. On this site various altars from the Roman period were found, including one dedicated to the Nymphs and another to a divinity that appears to have a clear pre-Roman Indo-European origin: Aituneo.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Rolando Gap
According to legend, this spectacular gap in the Pyrenees was opened by Roland, Charlemagne´s nephew, trying to destroy his sword Durandal hitting against the rock at the end of the Battle of Roncesvalles.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Black Cave
Various inscriptions were found inside this cave, giving important information about its ritual use. They all date from the Roman period and are written in Latin. Outside the cave there is a spring whose waters, according to some of the inscriptions, have healing powers.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Adarra
Since distant times it has been a sacred mountain, as shown by the numerous megalithic monuments that mark it. It appears that Adarra has maintained the same symbolic value since those times, because it is the setting of the rituals of renewal on the first day of each year.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

Cap de Creus
This site has a surprising amount of megalithic monuments. The Greeks of the Hellenic city of Empúries built a temple consecrated to Aphrodite and Artemis on this site and, in the 8th century, the Christian monks converted it into a monastery and church. It has also been a source of inspiration for writers and artists, particularly Dalí who was inspired by these formations for many of his works.
2013 / Inkjet print on cotton paper / 122x149 cm / Ed. 6

The word hierophany was coined by the philosopher Mircea Eliade in his work Treatise on the History of Religions to refer to an awareness of the sacred when it manifests itself through various parts of our regular cosmos: a mountain, a forest, a river, etc. It is always the same mysterious act: the manifestation of something completely different, of a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that form an integral part of our normal world.
All Hierophany involves a certain paradox. When manifesting the sacred an ordinary object becomes something else without ceasing to be itself. A sacred rock is still a rock; nothing distinguishes it from the other rocks. However, for those to whom that rock reveals itself to be sacred, their immediate reality is transmuted into a supernatural reality. In other words: for those who have a religious experience, nature in its totality is capable of revealing its cosmic sacredness. The entire Cosmos could become a hierophany.
It could be said that the history of religions, from the most primitive to the most elaborate, is made up of an accumulation of hierophanies, of the manifestations of sacred realities.

This photographic project analyzes, from an empirical and rational perspective, these natural spots that are considered sacred by different cultures. The concept of Hierophany allows us to approach these sites as investigators, in order to try to decipher the role that the landscape has played in our conception of religion.
It is also interesting to see evidence of the syncretism that occurred in many of these sites throughout history, from prehistoric forms of worship (cave paintings) to the New Age trends (telluric forces, LEY lines, UFO sightings) and including the religions of every culture that passed through these regions. There are places that have been sanctuaries for more than 5,000 years.

This series brings up several questions. Is there truly “something” about these places?; Dan nature be impregnated with this “something,” as many believe?; Does nature inspire religious feeling in mankind?’