By Fahiem Stellenboom
With all its glory and faults, there is something so magical about Cape Town. We have the mountain to ground us and the sea to cleanse us. Endowed with spectacular natural beauty, a rich heritage and a kaleidoscope of cultures, the contrasts are palpable. Our history is deeply rooted in colonialism and slavery, and our society is polarised at socio-economic extremes. There is also no mistaking that we sit at the heart and foundation of a sacred spiritual source.
At more than 300 million years old and towering 1085 metres above sea level, Table Mountain is South Africa’s most iconic landmark. In 2012, it was inaugurated as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’ in the world.
It stands firm and resolute as a backdrop to the Mother City and can be seen from so many panoramas. It is always there, steadfast and majestic, watching over us. In moments of confusion or pain you can reach out and steady yourself on it.
The Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way company explains this hidden gem on their website: “In recent years, people of different spiritual persuasions have come to believe that Table Mountain is one of the planet’s 12 main energy centres that radiate magnetic, electric or spiritual energy.
“Each of the main centres (or “spinner wheels”) are believed to have special properties representing the four elements vital to the earth’s wellbeing.
“Table Mountain is believed to be the earth wheel, sending out nurturing energy and pulsing forth light.
“This may explain why many people find walking or meditating on the mountain a great way to relax and rejuvenate, both physically and spiritually. Many people also believe that thinking positively while in a place of earth energy helps the overall power and health of the planet.”
Cape Town, through an invisible network of ley lines (alignments of ancient monuments and prehistoric sites carrying paths of positive energy inherent in the Earth), is connected to energies all over the world.
There are more than 20 Kramats (Mazaars) located in the city. These holy shrines are the burial sites of men who were brought to our shores as prisoners and slaves in the 1600s, from Malaysia, Java, Bali, India, Indonesia and other places by Dutch colonialists.
The final resting place of the forefathers of Islam in South Africa, these Kramats form an arc around the Cape Peninsula stretching from Robben Island through Bo Kaap, Vredehoek, Signal Hill and Oudekraal, to Constantia and Macassar.
Several of the slaves brought to the Cape were leaders of the resistance against the Dutch colonialists and exploiters in the Far East. Perhaps they were drawn to our shores by a higher spirit?
At the foot of Table Mountain, perched on Signal Hill, overlooking the mountain and the ocean, is the tomb of Sheikh Mohamed Hassen Ghaibie Shah, just one of these many saints.
Now, more than ever, with Covid-19 terrifying us and lockdown isolating us, we should connect to this spirit source, allow it to ignite compassion and care among us and help us heal.
The pictures published here are a small selection of a series of photographs Fahiem has taken of Table Mountain during lockdown from various vantage points in the Mother City and in ‘schizo’ weather conditions.
Please be safe, wear a mask, social distance, sanitise regularly and be kind to others. It is critical right now, we’re in the eye of the storm.
One of the reasons I absolutely love Cape Town is Table Mountain. Just seeing it reminds me to be at peace, remain anchored and most to be grateful. Born in a remote village far in the North and raised in a township in Gauteng, I know that many people from where I come from will be born, live and die without ever seeing the things I’ve seen, like Table Mountain.