Giaredo canyon - Pontremoli


Magical corners in Lunigiana (Tuscany)

In the fascinating land of Lunigiana, a casket of natural treasures mostly unknown and all to be discovered, the Gordana stream flows, with very cold and crystalline waters. A few kilometers from Pontremoli these waters have carved a spectacular canyon among the rocks, I think one of the most beautiful natural places I have ever visited, it has all the characteristics that fascinate me most in nature: rock, water, wild and indomitable environment, atmosphere mysterious and a twilight that smacks of sacredness. And a rather recent discovery, until a few years ago in fact the riverbed in this place was practically impenetrable, obstructed by rocks, trunks and debris, but a recent flood wave has cleaned up the path, making it accessible (be careful though, it is a wild place, isolated, and reachable only by swimming, it has no access routes for any rescuers and there is no field for telephones).

After the dirt road, you reach the stream and then walk in the water for a few tens of minutes until you find yourself in front of the entrance to the canyon, a narrow, dark and high crack between two rocky walls, a slightly 'disturbing if we want, which recalls a female anatomical detail, and this contributes not a little to create a veil of sacred mysticism in the presence of this nature. Since the most remote times there have been natural geologies and human constructions that recall or reproduce female and male biology, even in very elaborate symbolic forms (think only of the nuraghi of Sardinia, the shape of St. Peter's Square seen from above, and a thousand other examples in every age and culture), were sacred places of worship where in particular the arcane female powers of fertility and cyclicality were celebrated, biological rhythms that can be traced and reconnect us to the cyclicality that manifests itself in many natural phenomena, a magical slit that represents a door, a lock, an access key, to or through other worlds, other dimensions. If you dig deep, you will see that this is the basis of all religions.

Maybe it's my "mental deformation" if I see this image at the entrance to the canyon, but this place also suggests many other ancestral symbols: once you enter, the place is very reminiscent of the interior of a cave, in some places the rocks above they tighten to such an extent as to close the view of the sky, the sounds echo, particular currents of air are felt, some hot and others cold, and the light is very little, so it seems to be inside a cave. The caves were formerly places of worship, entering the cave is symbolically like descending into the interior of the earth and is part of the arcane symbolism of penetrating inside the maternal womb, a journey back in time, to the origins of life and ours consciousness, a journey into our primordial unconscious. This place seems to all intents and purposes the entrance into a natural temple, according to the most primordial cosmic symbolisms, a dark, hidden afratto, a humid and wet, secret crack, a whole series of very suggestive visual analogies, it is like entering symbolically in a female body, passing through its most intimate and sacred access, the one that generates life, that magical portal through which all of us have arrived in this world.

As an example, I want to show you below some images of how there is a deep symbolic intertwining between Nature, Femininity and the Sacred, observe these images without prejudice and meditate, the problem of modern man, one of many, is precisely of have lost the sense of the sacred and the mystery, of having debased and trivialized the foundations of life and of having created totally misleading fake idols, we have inverted the values of life, exchanged, the sacred with the profane, good with evil ! If we try to interpret the language of symbols, apparently so distant worlds, suddenly they seem so close and familiar, east, west, rocks, flowers, human beings, life! Behind all the apparent contrasts, there is a substantial unity that dates back to the dawn of time, to the beginnings, to creation itself. The same little red heart that with so much lightness we use every day in our text messages and in our chats, does not actually represent the heart, the heart if you think about it has a completely different shape. Look at the small gallery of images just above, to get an idea of this symbology, and you will be able to find many others examples both on the web and in publications and books.

This small roundup of images found on the internet is enough to make an incredible journey, the petals of the flower, which is the vegetable sexual oran, are very reminiscent of the female anatomy, and the translation towards the canonical sacred images is impressive, the coincidence is perfect and unambiguous. Then we have the symbolic representation of the sacred Yoni and of the Lingam in oriental cultures, which always represent reproductive anatomies, and how can we fail to notice here too that the symbolism matches perfectly with the plan of St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, with the obelisk in the center, sacred place par excellence. In the Vatican we then find the Pope with his hat which looks strangely very similar to the headdress in the shape of a wide open fish mouth, which the high priests wore in the ancient Babylonian civilization. You see how in a few images, and starting from a suggestion felt in a natural place, we have made an incredible journey through time and space, there is a transversal story that transcends all Orthodox narratives, an unimaginable intertwining between cultures and spiritualities of very different times and places. We are used to reasoning by watertight compartments, by sectors, periods, geographical and cultural borders, but perhaps we should change our approach, because reality looks very different, and it is enough to look at it to see it, look at it without prejudice. It is important to understand history, because it is through the narration of the past that we build our identity and a model of the world.

In addition to this particular anatomical conformation, we have the theme of water, source of universal life. To enter the canyon you have to immerse yourself in these waters, like if you have to receive their baptism, there is no other way than to swim to penetrate and pass inside this slit, to reach this natural temple, gliding over black and deep waters. And once inside, we find ourselves catapulted into another dimension, where the water will accompany us constantly, even with icy waterfalls that drip from the vertical rock walls. Now you have crossed the threshold, and you have left the world behind, here you are in another reality. Here if you have the sensitivity and the will to try, you are in contact with your deepest soul and with your unconscious, your fears, your instincts, you are truly alone with yourself.

Of course to try this experience you have to be alone, if you go for an outing with friends, it will be an equally beautiful and fun experience, but it will not be the same experience. (Be aware, in case you decide to go alone, that you are truly isolated from the world, and alone with yourself, in case something happens to you). I think that there are some places that are "sacred" even in our modern times, and sacred beyond any religious belief, there are things so profound that they transcend any philosophical construction set up by human minds, and I believe that these places deserve due respect, because they offer to us the opportunity to connet with these depth. Of course, you can also have fun, fun is an expression of the joy of life, but coming to certain places with a competitive sporting or challenging spirit, or as you would go to an amusement park, in my opinion is out of place, mainly for ourselves. . It is not a question of what you do, but of the spirit in which you do it.

The physical conformation of the canyon, twisted like a gut, also reminds me, if we imagine it seen from above, the shape of a snake, another ancestral symbol that takes us back to the dawn of time. Remember that we have a snake inside us, both in the form of energy (the Kundalini) and physically, the deepest and oldest part of our brain, seat of primordial emotions and primary functions for life, is the so-called reptilian brain. We have a deep and arcane bond with these animals, and perhaps for this reason that our relationship with them is so particular and they cause so much restlessness in many human beings, especially those who are more disconnected with their instincts, the snake represents the part most irrational of us, but still a fundamental part that always simmer in our depths.

Finally, going through these rocks can remind you, even if here perhaps the association is a bit forced, to the initiatory penetration in a labyrinthine path, even if inside the canyon it is impossible to get lost, it is however possible to get lost in ourselves , in one's thoughts, in one's anxieties, or find oneself, and rediscover that harmony or that contact with the primordial forces of life and nature, far from external interference. Even the labyrinths and the places where you can get lost are always places full of a magnetic charm, they are ancient symbols of our unconscious, places where we undertake unknown paths and face our demons (see the myth of Minos) to then reach the center, the center of ourselves, and finding ourselves. The very conformation of the convolutions of our brain graphically seem the representation of a labyrinth, in addition to the snake, we have a labyrinth inside us, right there, right in our mind. To get lost it is therefore not necessary to do it physically, you can also get lost inside ourselves, immersed in a surreal and out of time place like this canyon.

In certain places the rocks close so close to each other that they completely close the view of the sky above, giving the impression of entering a cave: the light is poor, the sounds echo, the noise and the dripping of the water echo. How can we forget that the caves were among the first places considered sacred since the most ancient civilizations. Entering the cave is a symbolic entry into the womb, into the womb of the Earth, of the planet, of Mother Nature. In some civilizations young people had to pass an initiatory test to become part of the adult world, they had to spend a few nights in solitude inside particular caves, to confront their demons and face their fears, to learn to dominate their own visions and their own anxieties. In these places, in fact, one feels a certain awe, one perceives being in the presence of very particular forces.

Given how many symbolisms, how many implications and how many disciplines can a natural place suggest? Tehy may seem unrelated to each other or have no bearing on the place, but are still instead intimately connected, like an invisible thread, a subtle energy that penetrates beyond the blanket of appearance, just as archetypes, myths and suggestions that hover between these rocks and these waters are intimately and deeply connected to each other.

This is a place that entered my heart, and that I return to visit often, like my personal pilgrimage, photographically it is crazy, the lights are magical, phantasmagorical, and three are the things that struck me most: the environment in itself, magical and unique, the leaves fallen from the trees, which, dragged by the current under the water, seem to dance elegantly to a silent music, and the frogs !

On the way back, you literally feel regenerated, either by the freezing cold water that temper and invigorates the flesh, or by the deep contact with nature, which cleanses your soul from the waste accumulated in the hustle and bustle of civil life, in simple words, you return happy and full of enthusiasm.

The subject matter is so vast as to be practically inexhaustible, my speech will seem a bit confusing due to the vastness of the topics touched and the implications, but it was not my intention to make a speech with a head and a tail, but rather i'd like to throw some ideas, stimulate curiosity and encourage never to stop at the appearance! The journey is very long, and perhaps it will never end, certainly not with this life.

Here you can access the photo gallery of this enchanting and unforgettable place:

Interesting ideas to learn more:





LA FERITA E IL RE: gli archetipi femminili della cultura maschile di Tilde Giani Gallino - Raffaello Cortina Editore

CRUX CHRISTI SERPENTIS di Claudio Marucchi - Atanor editore

LABIRINTO, simbolo universale di guarigione di R.M.L.Garutti, A.Pitt e A.Narducci - Edizioni Mediterranee

IL SERPENTE E IL FUOCO SACRO di Dennis Slifer, Edizioni della Terra di Mezzo

I also created a small gallery of artistic nudes set in this fascinating place, because a female nude in this place is its most natural compendium, it is its consecration, the two entities, the female body and the earth body mirror each other, these two sacred depths dialogue in harmony, they peer into each other's depths: the place consecrates the magic of the body, and the body consecrates the mysticism of the place. There can be nothing more beautiful, mystical and natural than to lay down your arms and abandon yourself confidently in total freedom to the suggestion and call of Mother Nature! It is a ritual bath, purifying and regenerating for our souls, which we too often neglect or forget.

Here you can see my homage to Mother Nature: