In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin limen, meaning ‘a threshold’) is the quality of ambiguity that occurs during a ritual, when participants no longer hold their ordinary reality state but have not yet transitioned into the trance state. It is like standing on a threshold between this reality and the other reality (e.g. the other world whether it be lower, upper or the under worlds)
Source: edited by me from Wikipedia
In nature there are liminal places – those naturally occurring spots where you can walk through into the Otherworld, into places of power. Have you ever been walking in the countryside and suddenly come to a spot where there is a different quality, the air is slightly different, the scent is different and the surrounding plants and trees seem different, as if imbued with a special spirit? These are liminal places. Usually there is no physical sound, bird song suddenly stops and you can no longer hear the hum of insects. Instead there is a mysterious hush but which is potent in its sound.
You feel as if you are entering a different time and place – and so you are! You are on the threshold between ordinary reality and non-ordinary reality. These places can feel a bit scary, sometimes they feel wonderful. It’s as though you walk through a gossamer web although there is no web to see…not with physical eyes anyway. You enter into a place of complete oneness and your soul is bared.
I have come across many of these liminal places in my life…mostly in woodland but also in fields and open countryside too. They are sacred places, and more often secret places. In my experience they have always occurred off the beaten track, where very few people walk. sometimes, even if people do walk through these liminal places they can remain unaware. You see you have to be open to them, spiritually aware of them and their power.
So, what to do when you come across these places? Firstly treat them with great reverence for they are the gateways between this world and the Otherworld. Pass through gently if you wish but why not stay awhile. You have been granted a blessing in being drawn to this place in the first place. Sit and meditated or just BE. allow the spirit of this place to connect with you for it may have a message for you. Take nothing from this place but instead leave an offering, a flower, a gem stone, build a little cairn; show your appreciation and reverence in some gentle way.
Above all be thankful to nature and the Universe that these special places exist…for they are real and powerful places.
Some special liminal places I’ve come across in my life time: