Sacred Spaces

Do you have a place you like to go to feed your soul? A place that makes you feel alive and connected?  A place that lets you bask in solitude while never feeling lonely?  A place that is romantic, sad, happy, and uplifting all at the same time?

Dress:  eShakti (Available here)
Bracelet:  New York & Company (Available here)

For me, that place is Cahokia Mounds.  Cahokia Mounds is often regarded as the largest pre-historic Native American settlement north of Mexico and was inhabited by the Mississipian culture.  I was lucky enough to grow up walking distance from the remnants of this intriguing civilization.   The largest mound is Monk’s Mound, the largest man-made earthen structure in the western hemisphere.  It has a staircase that takes you up to the top for a view of the St. Louis cityscape, local farms, and industry.

View from the bottom – The first level of Monk’s Mound (side view)
View from the bottom – Top level of Monk’s Mound (side view)
View from the top:  St. Louis skyline in the distance

My grandpa was an honorary Sioux and had a large Native American artifact collection (most of which was found locally) that attracted the occasional archaeology professor to him.  He was not a schooled man, but he was the most brilliant man I ever met.  He taught me a strong appreciation for ancient cultures and history as well as a love and respect for modern diversity that I attribute to bringing me to the fields of anthropology and then sociology as a college student.  I attended several powwows with him as a kid, and I’ve always seen the Mounds as a special place in part because of the connection to him.  When he left us a couple of years ago, some of his ashes were spread at the Mounds, making this place infinitely more sacred to me.

As a child, the Mounds was simply a fun place to go on school field trips or on outings with my mom or grandparents.  I was fascinated by Woodhenge, wooden posts in circular shapes that served as calendars and observation/ceremonial centers for changing seasons.  I imagined what this area would have looked like before so much of the Mississippi river bluffs were cut down for human expansion, and I wondered what it would have been like to live in the urban center of Cahokia.

One of the circles, re-built in its original location

As a young adult, the power of nature and the significance of this place was shown to me.  I was twenty-five.  I was pregnant with my son.  I was single, lonely, scared, sad, and confused.  Mixed up in a toxic off-again relationship, I thought my world was imploding.  I knew that I loved my unborn child more than anything, but I just didn’t have the confidence that I could make it by myself. 

I went to the Mounds alone to attend a powwow.  I walked around the various booths and took in the sights, smells, and sounds of the event.  I couldn’t shake my emotional distress though and fearful thoughts came flooding in.  Walking around, I suddenly became acutely aware of the natural energy around me, and I opened myself up to taking it in.  I felt the power of nature take over – I felt the sun on my skin and the force of the wind course through me.  I felt the connectedness of all life, and it was at that moment that I smiled, tears in my eyes, and I knew that everything would be okay.

Moccasins:  Minnetonka (kids) (Available at Rosa’s Lost Treasure Chest)
Necklaces:  LOFT and The Limited

Now, everything wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns after this, of course, but that moment was life changing and soul-affirming.  And, it only makes perfect sense that several years later, on the first “date” with my love, that we went to the Mounds, and my then three-year-old son took his hand and called him “daddy.”  🙂

It feels a little weird to have such deep love for a place, but when a space has meant so many things over the years, it is impossible not to feel a soul connection.

A Portion of the Rebuilt Stockades

Do you have a sacred space?

For this dress in another look, see here.

Author: Cassie

I'm the owner/publisher of Style Cassentials, a curvy and petite gal OBSESSED with fashion and strong believer in making clothes work for YOU! I love sharing advice on all things fashion, especially shopping and fit tips!

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  1. My sacred space is the farm I grew up on, now a community green space. It was in the family for 150 years, had views of a lake, woods, and so many spots that just radiated peace. Walking anywhere in those spots any time of year, getting away from my not great family, was soothing. I went back to the land 2 years ago, and walked it with my new family, and it was just as powerful.

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  2. That's wonderful that you could go back and enjoy this space with your new family. I love that I get to share the Mounds with my kids now. 🙂

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  3. I don't really have a sacred place but yours is really beautiful and I love all the stories behind it. I think it's great to have a place that has so many memories and emotions attached to it. I wish I had a place like this in my life that I could go to when I needed to forget a little. But yeah I really love your dress! 🙂


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  4. Curious, but have you tried belting this dress? I really like the dress, but I feel like I would want to belt it to give me more shape…

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  5. I haven't tried yet, but I was actually thinking about trying it with a belt the next time I wore it. Stay tuned! 😀

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  6. Thanks Nina! It is nice to have this place. I don't come here very often anymore, but my fiance and I are actually thinking of getting married here.

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  7. I enjoyed both your outfit and your story here. First off, the dress is lovely along with the comfy shoes. As for this sacred place, this is just a fabulous story of yours. The setting is a wonderful one. Again- I enjoyed both your outfit and your story.

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