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I’m looking for a word (or literary/biblical reference) that means “a high place close to power and/or god.”

As in “the stage was her ___, where she felt as if she could conquer the world.”

Right now I’ve settled on “dominion,” but that doesn’t quite capture the spatial connotation I’m after. “High ground” is better on that front but lacks the immense power connotation I need.

I swear I’ve got one on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t quite reach it.

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    How about "Mount Olympus"? or "Celestial Sphere"? "Divine abode"?
    – Cascabel
    May 7 at 17:10
  • her Nirvana, sounds like to me. dominion is a very "masculine" word, associated with nasty, colonial regimes and dictatorships. It is also Biblical. Do you want to haul all that baggage? Less la-dee-dah: crow's nest
    – Lambie
    May 7 at 17:37
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    @Lambie The lion has no power over the lamb in paradise, if ever there were such creatures there.
    – LPH
    May 7 at 17:44
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    Actually, one often sees the exact phrase "place of power" used for this.
    – GEdgar
    May 7 at 18:23
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    @PatrickPerini If there was a really good one in German, English would have "borrowed" it by now and changed the spelling and pronunciation to cover its tracks.
    – ColleenV
    May 7 at 18:49
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Cathedral

The stage was her cathedral, where she felt as if she could conquer the world.

Used literally, a cathedral is where the Bishop's throne (or cathedra) is located. Used figuratively, it can be an important location of authority or power, with connotations of religious contemplation or being closer to the divine.

To Susan, an art gallery was her cathedral, her sacristy, her confessional, and her life’s work. (Source)

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  • I also like cathedra! May 7 at 18:26
  • @PatrickPerini I worked it in there on purpose, because I like it too, but I wasn't sure if that would be too obscure for your audience :)
    – ColleenV
    May 7 at 18:31
  • If the word is too obscure for the audience, your context clues aren't strong enough. That's what I always say! 😂 (Cathedral is probably the better choice.) May 7 at 18:33
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    I like reading things that make me want to look up a word to make sure I understand exactly what it means - not everyone keeps a dictionary at hand when reading though ;)
    – ColleenV
    May 7 at 18:38
1

Bastion suggestive of power

Also stronghold

Or zenith

Bailiwick

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"Powerhouse" could render what you are looking for.

(Cambridge Dictionary)
country, organization, or person with a lot of influence, power, or energy:
♦ Germany is an economic powerhouse.
♦ The university is no longer the academic powerhouse that it once was.
♦ She's a powerhouse of original ideas and solutions.

  • The stage was her powerhouse, where she felt as if she could conquer the world.

(ref;) At home , in the kitchen that was her powerhouse , centre of strategic planning and theatre of operations , Yvonne Kelly was having a fit of stove rage.

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  • @Cascabel I believe this means that the stage is the place from which emanates influence, power, etc., and that she could draw from those, derive power for herself. Isn't that the mind of the OP's text? Of course, I think that you have to take "the stage" figuratively.
    – LPH
    May 7 at 16:48
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    @Cascabel I added a specifc example to the answer.
    – LPH
    May 7 at 16:54
  • I've never seen this used in this way, and stylistically (purely subjective) I'm not in love with it, but it's both fascinating and an obviously correct choice! Thank you! May 7 at 17:04
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    I just don't think it works that way. In all the Cambridge examples, powerhouse is used as a generative source i.e., a powerhouse is a prodigious producer. With the stage example maybe she could be a powerhouse on stage.
    – Jim
    May 7 at 17:28
  • @Jim A generative source, in this case, generate something for someone's benefit. If, on top of that, it is your generative source, obviously, you benefit from it.
    – LPH
    May 7 at 17:40
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I immediately thought of "genius loci" but I don't think that applies here so much? Locus (of control/power) might work in the same vein, but I am not so sure the more I think on it. I agree with the use of dominion and domain in any case, maybe a similar word like turf or zone could be used instead.

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  • Hi, Fahad, and welcome. This isn't a typical discussion board - our goal is to provide established usages, preferably with citations (where applicable). Please take the tour and see if you can improve this answer.
    – Davo
    May 7 at 17:27
  • I do like "genius loci" as a suggestion though. I wouldn't have thought of it! May 7 at 17:41

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