Sacred spaces have been used throughout history, around the world, in different religions and for various reasons. Having a sacred space allows you to have a place to escape to. This space is somewhere you should feel safe and comfortable, a place that allows you to decompress, relax, heal, focus and disconnect in order to reconnect. This space should feel like home (the warmest, coziest feeling of home that you can think of). This is a space for you, away from the chaos and clutter of the rest of the world. A space to simply be.
What are sacred spaces used for?
Sacred spaces can be used for anything really. Here are a few ideas behind the intention of creating a sacred space…
- yoga, meditation, pranayama
- prayer, rituals, ceremonies
- writing, journaling, reading
- creating, art
There are an endless list of reasons to create a sacred space and these are only a few ideas.
(*Usually sacred spaces are not a place for work. But if you are passionate about your work and it is something that is soothing to you, grounds you and helps you to connect back to yourself, it may be a good idea to create a space to do so. If you are creating a sacred space with an intention of devoting it to something other than work, but would also like to have a sacred space for working, I recommend creating two different spaces for these two reasons. For example, I created a small space in one corner of my room to do yoga, meditate, write, etc. I am also very passionate about my work but it often draws me away from my yoga practice so I have another space in my room that I have dedicated to my work.)
How to begin creating a sacred space…
- Decide what your space will be dedicated to.
- Choose a space. Sometimes it can be difficult to create a sacred space because you might not have a lot of space. Fortunately, creating a sacred space can require as big or as little of a space as you want. Dedicate a corner of room to be used. Maybe even a closet. You can also create your sacred space outdoors. Maybe you have a spare room, this can be your sacred space. Whatever works for you…get creative! (I have a an extra shower that is never used. Although I don’t use this as my sacred space I have thought of it often!)
- Clean and clear you space. Start fresh…clear everything out of your space! Get out the broom, duster, even the mop if you need to. You want to come into na ew space with clarity and that cannot be done with any clutter. (It is also good to regularly clean and maintain your space to keep it as welcoming and comforting as if it were new.)
- Decorate your space. This is where it starts to really get exciting! There is a lot that can be added to your space so we’ll go into more detail about this below.
- Create a practice. It is important to connect with yourself, your values and beliefs. For this reason it is good to get a practice going for whenever you come into your space. I recommend creating a habit of coming into your space at least once daily (maybe first thing in the morning or before you go to bed). Decide what you will do in your space. What did you dedicate this space to? Maybe you will come here daily for 30 minutes of yoga. Maybe you will come into this space each night for prayer before you go to bed. Maybe you will come into this space in the middle of your day to do a grounding practice of journaling, creating art, etc. Whatever it is that you created it for, start dedicating some time each day to focus on this in your new sacred space.
Decorating your space…
If you don’t know exactly what you want to add to your space right now thats okay! It will likely change and evolve as you do. Whatever you put into your space should be of some importance to you. Remember this is your space and it is representative of your passions, beliefs and values. Here are some ideas of what to add:
- Grounding objects. Think anything that connects you to the earth. Plants, stones, crystals, shells, feathers.
- Inspiration and motivation. Paintings, pictures, objects related to your practice (i.e. a yoga mat), a book that inspires you, maybe you want to include tarot/oracle cards, a bible, etc. Anything that gets you into your element is welcomed.
- Comforting objects. Pillows, a blanket, a cozy shawl, a cushioned yoga mat, etc.
- Objects that represent you/your beliefs/values. This may be any form of art work, maybe a statue of a diety, a cross, a bible, the koran. Personally, I believe in earth based spirituality so there are a lot of crystals, stones, shells, even seeds and a dried rose in my space.
- Objects that represent people/things that are sacred to you. A picture of loved ones, memoirs from loved ones, etc.
- A journal.
- Any type of art that speaks to you.
- Sage/Palo Santo.
Some other things to keep in mind when adding objects to your space are…
- Objects that represent the elements:
- earth: grounding objects mentioned above
- air: Palo Santo/sage, incense
- fire: candles, I also have a lava rock from a volcano in Guatemala.
- water: I like to take tea into my space with me, but you can also just keep a bowl of water or maybe a painting of landscape with water. I also have coral and shells from some of my favorite places around the world that remind of the ocean.
- Objects that appeal to the 5 senses:
- touch: comforting objects such as soft blankets, a cozy shawl, a cushioned yoga mat, cozy rug, pillows. I also like to have stones with different textures that I sometimes hold.
- taste: It is not necessary to have something with taste in your space but this is where bringing tea with me into my space comes into play again.
- smell: candles, incense, essential oils. I really enjoy calming smells in my space like lavender. It may be nice to have scents that bring back positive memories for you. You may also want to look into and include smells that relate to the 7 chakras or are recommended for your zodiac sign. This will allow you to connect back to yourself. Diffusers are also a good addition.
- sight: make sure your space is pleasant for you to look at. It may take some time to arrange objects around to get them to your liking. This is also where cleaning and managing your space is important. Keep it clear of clutter. Maybe you don’t like to have a lot to look at in your space, this okay. Keep it simple. Maybe you like to have a lot of objects that stimulate your mind visually, this works too. You may also want to think about the lighting of your space. Do you like bright lights? Or is it more comforting and homey to you in a dim space. Maybe you like the idea of both. Personally, I like to let sunshine in sometimes and I have created my space next to a window to do so. Other times I like dim light so I light candles and have a small light that is very dim near my space.
- hearing: Maybe you like silence, this is important to keep in mind when choosing where to create your space. I like to listen to music while I practice yoga, meditate, etc. but I also like to sit in stillness. I have a speaker to listen to music and created my space in the corner of my room furthest away from my door to avoid as little noise as possible for when I am craving silence and stillness.
- The 7 chakras…It may be a good idea to include objects that represent each of the 7 charkas: grounding, creativity/sensuality, confidence, love, self-expression, intuition/clarity, universal connection. These may be represented in objects you have already thought to include in your space, or maybe you simply include a picture/painting representing the 7 chakras.
Since this is your space and you are creating it for you and only you, there is not much I recommend not including your space. But as I mentioned, if this space is not specifically for work, I do not recommend bringing your work into this space. I also do not recommend bringing electronics into your space unless it is for reasons related to what you have dedicated your sacred space too (i.e. using your computer to watch a yoga video, using your phone for music, etc.)
The reasons for creating a sacred space are endless and the benefits are as well. Whatever it is that you dedicate your space to, have fun doing it and make it all about you!