Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shamanism – How to Create Sacred Space

Remember the old TV commercial with the frazzled mom at the end of the day pouring bath salts into the tub and exclaiming, "Calgon, take me away"? She probably didn't define it that way, but she was seeking her own sacred space. Sacred space is something we all need especially these days when we are constantly bombarded with noise, stress and fast-paced living. Magical practitioners and shamans also create sacred space before performing many of their rituals and practices. According to which traditions or magical practices you follow, there are numerous ways to create sacred space. Here are a few simple ones that anyone can do.

1. Sun Yellow Candle - Take a Sun Yellow candle (a bright yellow candle that has no orange overtones) and paper or wooden matches. To create sacred space with the Sun Candle, you will need to "charge" it, or program it to do so. To charge the candle:
- Stand or sit in the South facing North with the Sun Candle in front of you
- Light the candle using wooden or paper matches (do NOT use a lighter)
- Wait until the candle flame is steady and tall
- Hold your hands up to and around the flame, focusing your attention on the candle and flame.
- Say the charge verse below in a voice of command (a strong, powerful voice)
Child of Wonder,
Child of Flame,
Nourish My Spirit,
And Protect My Aim!
If there are other people in the room with you, you can change the "My" to "Our" and make the words "Spirit" and "Aim" plural. Leave the candle burning in the room for at least 30 minutes (be sure the candle is on a protected surface such as a plate and is not a fire hazard). At the end of 30 minutes or when you feel ready, blow out the flame (don't snuff it).

2. Sacred Place – Sit in a quiet, comfortable location and close your eyes. See yourself walking somewhere that is pleasing to you. See all the details, smell the smells around you, hear the sounds around you, feel the weather conditions. Start to see a place ahead of you that you are going to. See what it looks like in as much detail as you can. It might be an opening in a wooded area, or a gazebo by a lake or anywhere that you find pleasing and relaxing. Keep walking until you arrive at the place. Breathe deeply in your sacred place and decide what you will put here. You might want to put an altar of some kind or your magic books or special artifacts or magical tools. Feel yourself being in this place you have created and spend as much time as you can there. When you are done, retrace the steps you took to get there and return to where you started. You can then return again and again to this same place anytime you wish or need a getaway. I find sometimes in the middle of a particularly stressful day that just seeing the place in my mind and anticipating the next time I can go there helps to calm things down for me.

3. Sacred Circle – Find a place either inside or outside that is at least 3 feet in diameter. Burn sage in a firebowl, smudge stick, or incense burner. Starting in the east direction, carry your firebowl or smudge stick and walk towards the south creating a circle using the smoke until you return to the east. You can also use a chalice (tool of the magical element of water) with spring water in it and a pinch of sea salt (representing magical element of earth) and go over the circle you created with your smoke, sprinkling the water. Then starting in the east direction invite each of the Winds into your circle in this order, Winds of the East, Winds of the South, Winds of the West, Winds of the North and finally invite Sky Father and Earth Mother into your circle. You can use this space you have now created to meditate, perform a ceremony of some type, drum, chant or just sit with the higher powers you have invited in. When you are done, remember to thank each of these higher powers for being there and bid them farewell starting with the Winds of the East, then south, west, north, Sky Father and Earth Mother.

Creating Sacred space gives us a way to experience peace, serenity and a connection with the higher. It is necessary for anyone following a spiritual path of any kind and allows us access to third force and our inner voice or spirit. Spending time in your sacred space is healing for body, mind and spirit. So give it a try, "Sacred Space, take me away".

You can get all your ritual supplies in the webstore at the Esoteric School.

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