C is for Creating Sacred Space
Creating sacred space is something that each individual must determine for themselves. For some people it may be a small corner of their bedroom used specifically for meditation or daily devotion and for others it may be a circle of stones to sit inside of at their favorite clearing in the woods, a familiar place on the beach where they are close to the ocean or their living room floor. Creating sacred space is as individual as each practitioner is. There is no specific place you have to be, no specific tools you must have with you, no special words you have to say. It is any place you choose to tap into the energy of the divine. While an obvious sacred space may be your altar, there are numerous spaces inside & outside of your home that can be transformed into someplace where you can invite the divine to visit and commune with you.
You may choose to listen to music to get you in the right head space or you might just close your eyes and listen to the sound of nature around you. You may need a visual marker indicating your space… draw a line in the sand, gather sticks or stones to mark your circle, use candles or place elemental associations in the direction you associate them with. If you don’t need a visual marker, you might choose to simply envision one, that’s fine to. Do whatever makes you feel as though your space has been prepared. It is, after all, YOUR sacred space that you’re creating.
For me, I like to use sea salt & water that has been blessed with an incense of some kind to cleanse the area. Generally I walk the circle, stopping at each direction to acknowledge the elements and ask their protection. Sometimes I use a sage smudge stick and other times I may blend my own incense to use. If the mood strikes me I may mark the circle with visual cues, but often times I merely walk the space and cast a circle of protection around me sprinkling the water & smudging the circle along the way. My usual mantra when casting is “Keep that which is needed within and that which is not without.” I try not to define energies as simply good or bad because I draw from all sorts of reservoirs. For me, it isn’t about good or bad, if my intent is to remain protected while within the circle, I invite the protection of those deities and elementals that feel compelled to protect me, whoever they may be. My desire in casting is to utilize only what I need and leave the rest. Usually I do this until I feel compelled to stop, which is often after 3 or 4 turns around the circle. Since I enjoy the ceremonial aspect of ritual, that is how I typically do things in group ritual or if I am outdoors. Although I don’t feel it’s necessary to have blessed salt water and sage or other incense, it does help to transfer my thoughts from mundane thinking to magickal thinking.
For me, magick seems strongest when all of my senses are engaged. When I am in the comfort of my own home, my preparation is much less formal. It may consist of listening to meditative music, burning incense or lighting a candle… generally I do this at my altar. On occasion, if more space is needed, I have used the space of my bedroom or living room floor. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to carry out all of the pomp & circumstance, you can create a sacred space simply by meditating on the area being free from all influence & casting a protective barrier around yourself. Let’s say you’re at work and need to be discreet, the ability to mark or create a circle is obviously not ideal… a small corner of your desk or maybe even the window sill can house a few trinkets that you feel help create a sacred space for you. Maybe a candle, stones, sea salt or a small container of blessed water, animal spirit guides, incense or a small plant or vase of flowers. Be creative and use what suits your needs.
There are no rules to how you create a sacred space. I personally don’t even do it the same way every time. As the space I’m working with changes, so do my practices. On the rare occasion that I find myself IN a sacred space that required nothing from me, but to be in it… I may only say a prayer to my patroness, Brighid, as an offering of thanks. This happened to me walking in Muir Woods earlier this year. It was magical, serene & gave me a sense of being amongst the Gods. No creating was necessary, they created it for me.
I offer a few suggestions, but they are not the only ways in which to accomplish it… you will have to figure that out for yourself. So experiment with different ways to create a sacred space and find the ways that work best for you. In my opinion, with any practice of witchcraft, it is best to have these 3 things: flexibility, creativity & clearly defined intent. The rest is whatever you decide to make it.
Here’s to creating sacred spaces wherever you may roam!
This entry was posted on March 13, 2012 by Bridey. It was filed under Pagan Blog Project 2012 and was tagged with brighid, circle, clear intent, consecrating, creativity, flexibility, mantra, muir woods, nature, sacred spaces, sea salt, smudging, water.