There a saying that “Only the Dead know Brooklyn”, and the same can be said for its sacred sights. In many of these sights the ancestors come to life, and each one has it’s own unique power.
Sacred Sights- Prospect Park
Prospect Park is the sacred forest of Brooklyn. The park opened in 1867 and has been a central figure of Brooklyn ever since. It was planned around one of the highest points in the area, Mount Prospect which is 200 feet above sea level. The park and several of it’s buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the surrounding neighborhoods, before the advent of hipsters, have long been the home of Haitian and other Caribbean- American communities. Consequently the sight has often been the home of drum circles, ceremonies, and rituals both open and secret.
Sacred Sights- Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Famous for Sakura Matsuri, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in town. In my post Herbal Magick: Cherry Blossoms I write “Over a hundred years ago, in 1912, Japan gifted the U.S. with 3,000 flowering cherry trees. Traditional Japanese culture views cherry blossoms as a representation of how precious, and also precarious life can be. The beauty of the blossoms is superb, yet temporary. Chinese culture sees the blooms as representative of feminine power and sexuality. While in American folklore, Cherry blossoms bring intelligence, happiness, honesty, vitality, and love. Some Hoodoo practitioners use Cherry Blossom as a road opener spell when combined with orange oil. Clearly there are many ways to utilize this delightful pink blossom.”
In addition to the sea of Cherry Blossoms, the Botanic Gardens is a wonderful place for reflecting, relaxing, and most importantly learning. An impressive display of herbs, flowers, shrubs, and trees are present.
Sacred Sights- Coney Island
One of the places people think of when they think of Brooklyn is Coney Island. It has a boardwark, hot dogs, amusement park rids, and most importantly the beach. Growing up in Brooklyn it always had a bit of a shady reputation. Accidents would happen on the Cyclone, a roller coaster with a rickety character. In addition the Boardwalk, or more importantly under it, was known for some salacious activity.
Sacred Sights: Brooklyn Bridge
Magickally for me bridges are sacred sights that always represent a connection, a transition between realms. In a way they are what we call liminal, or in between spaces. As any witch knows, these in-between spaces is where the magick can happen. The way the Brooklyn bridge is set up people are walking over cars, which are driving over boats. There have been a few times in my life, like the centennial celebrations where the bridge has been closed down. One fond memory is when a Second Line Jazz parade went over the Brooklyn bridge. There is always something happening there, and consequently it is a popular site with tourists and natives alike.
In recent years the city has expanded Brooklyn Bridge park which now goes from under the Manhattan Bridge to almost the neighborhood of Sunset Park. There are boat docks, sports fields, small beaches, a carousel and more. It is one of the handful of places in Brooklyn where it is easy to access the river, so it is a common place for offerings and honorings.
Sacred Sights- Greenwood Cemetery
Greenwood Cemetery is the most popular cemetery in Brooklyn. Founded in 1838, the location sits on over 478 acres in the middle of the city. It is the final resting place of artist Jean Michel Basquiat, composer Leonard Bernstein, politician Boss Tweed, journalist Horace Greeley, Doctor Susan Smith McKinney-Steward, and many other notables. For those who have never visitied let me assure you it is a beautiful place. The grounds are full of statuary and beautiful monuments to admire. Earlier on this blog we got the notion to go visit Basquiat’s grave leaving offerings and prayers. You can watch for yourself in The Search for Samo-
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