A popular destination for travelers from every part of the globe, Santa Fe is often visited for its art, architecture, and amazing cuisine. Less understood is the thread that ties all of these elements together: the Sacred. On our tour, explore Santa Fe’s diverse spiritual traditions through museum visits, guided walks, seminar discussions, a Pueblo excursion and more. Understand the connection between land, people, and the Sacred in the Land of Enchantment.
Overview of Sacred Santa Fe
Since its founding, Santa Fe has been a crossroads of different spiritual traditions and the art, architecture, food, and religious practices they each inspire. The city and the mountains surrounding it are held sacred by the many Indigenous Pueblo tribes who still today make their home there. These tribes have done a remarkable job preserving their traditions — and piecing them back together when lost or stolen — and have maintained their sacred traditions through dance, feast days, and arts like pottery and weaving. When Spain claimed New Mexico for its own, European Catholicism was imported into the land and many Pueblo tribes have syncretized their original spiritual ways within the broader framework of the Catholic Church. A diaspora of Jewish immigrants in West Texas and New Mexico eventually made Santa Fe their home as well, so that a deep stream of Judaism can be found throughout the town, perhaps most famously in the farolitos that are placed on the rooftops of traditional homes each winter – a secret way, say local stories, of letting other Jews know that this would be a home where they would find safety and sanctuary.
From the beginning of the 19th century into our current time, Santa Fe and northern New Mexico have been a kind of magnet, drawing in various spiritual traditions – from Zen Buddhism to Kundalini Yoga – and have become synonymous with spiritual wellness.
The early decades of the 20th century also brought European and American painters and printmakers such as Gustave Baumann, Allice Schille and perhaps most famously Georgia O’Keeffe. We’ll take advantage of Santa Fe’s superb museums, robust art market and designation as a UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Arts to explore how ideas of the Sacred were expressed visually.
One of the most magical aspects of Santa Fe is how these different traditions speak to and enrich each other while staying true to their specific origins. The town, land, and people have all benefited from the Sacred that seems to spring up from the very ground itself.
Let yourself be enchanted by Sacred Santa Fe.
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David Saussy is a co-founder of the Symposium Great Books Institute and a longtime Classical Pursuits leader. He has a BA and MA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe and Annapolis, where he studied the history of science and mathematics, music, ancient Greek and modern French; and Eastern Classics, with a language concentration in ancient Chinese. He is a practicing artist, having studied classical drawing with Anthony Ryder at the Ryder Studio School in Santa Fe, and he is currently introducing a classical drawing atelier at Great Hearts Monte Vista in San Antonio, TX. David has long been interested in the concept of the sacred in anthropology, religion, art and architecture, especially of the Tewa people of Northern New Mexico. He has led numerous seminars on sacred texts, from the Bible to the Bhagavadgita, as well as Buddhist and Taoist texts. In addition to his great books work, he is the chief of marketing for Milagro Roots, which offers sacred arts consulting and educational opportunities, and he has edited two published books on the sacred arts.