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Creating Sacred Space
The designation of a special place or space that is outside the realm of the usual can have many purposes and functions. It can be a place of meditation or contemplation, a space within which ritual actions are carried out.
The most commonly encountered sacred space is a place of worship. Churches, temples, mosques, standing stone circles and more are found throughout the world, all designated as places that people gather to practice their religious beliefs. Large permanent buildings can mark these spaces, or they might be outdoors and open to the elements. They might be for a big gathering or intimate prayers by only a few. What makes them alike is that they are used only for these purposes, they are marked or dressed with symbols of the faith and often contain sacred objects or relics.Sacred space does not have to be separate from everyday life, and in fact, many belief systems honor the home hearth as one of the strongest sources of Spirit and a blessed location. The hearth was once the anchor of a home and the center for family survival and activity as a source of fire and heat. The mantle shelf found above many modern home fireplaces is still a place for locating special objects and images of beloved ones, living and deceased. For urban pagans, a good mantle is often a favorite location for a main altar as it safely allows for controlled fire rituals in the home.
Home Altars - Spots of Beauty and ReflectionClick thumbnail to view full-size
Books About Creating Sacred Space
Designating A Space As Sacred
Creating sacred space at home can be as easy as picking a shelf or clear spot and designating it just for sacred use. This might be a spot left clear with special cushions for meditating. Or it could be a shelf transformed into a home altar. Or it might be a little patch of the garden planted specially for the faeries.
For temporary sacred spaces, the space is most often marked with ritual objects. A special candleholder, a small altar arrangement, or even the picture of a departed beloved can designate sacred space temporarily. Some things like Day of the Dead Altars are built for only a few days. Sometimes a special candle, a crystal or other totems are all that one can carry while traveling. These can all be used as magickal tools to help mark and charge sacred space. For clearing the energies or to purposefully charge the energies in sacred space, incense is most often used. Via the air, the special smell can circulate to all parts of the space, and items can be passed thru the light smoke to clear and cleanse their energies as well. The Native American technique of smudging involves burning specific dried plants and then fanning the smoke over people or through spaces. Censers are often lit and carried in ritual processions to continue to emphasize the sacred nature of the actions. What type of incense is used varies with culture and religious practice. For spaces where smoke isn’t workable, or for persons with smoke sensitivities, you can substitute scented mist for incense. Adding essential oil to purified water in a small pump sprayer makes this an ease to adapt variation. For people who can’t tolerate any scent, trying just fanning with ritual fans or sprinkle with glitter.
How To Bless Your Home, or Business
Hearth and Home Blessings
The hearth and home are often safe, sacred spaces in pagan traditions. The home can be a private retreat, a place to recharge, and a blessed spot to gather. A house can be just a shelter, but the concept of “home” implies nourishment, abundance, strength, community, and more. Energizing and tending to one’s home can enrich daily life and lay a foundation from which greater magickal workings can flow.
The greatest attention to house energies often come when moving to a new residence. This is often a special focus of apartment dwellers, where the tenants not only turn over more often, but the previous residents are rarely met and are assumed to not have the same respect for the space as an actual owner might show. Many new homeowners would like to not only honor their accomplishment at purchasing a home but bless their new space and having a small ritual often brings that essential feeling of “mine.”
If your moving pace isn’t the hurried rush that seems to accompany many house moves, you may get a chance to be in the space while it is empty of possessions and furniture. If you do, take a short time and just walk through the apartment or house. Notice how the space feels to you. Notice where it is light and dark, and see if you can feel how air currents flow in the residence. Does the house make noises as you walk around? Can you hear sounds from other nearby residents or from outside?
Energizing and Protecting Your Home
Many people feel a new space should have its energy refreshed and cleared after the old residents have moved out. This can be in a new residence or, more frequently, after a change of housemate in a shared home. Burning sage or another smudging herb and fanning the smoke around is the most common method for a quick fix. Misting or glittering are good options for when an environment needs to stay smoke-free.
Blessing The Home
Many people like to set up a few blessed objects or a small altar when they first start moving into a new space. Making a small focused area with a spiritual focus is much like carrying an ember to start a new fire. Moving into a new residence is also a good time to honor any new changes you are attempting to manifest along with other new beginnings (starting a new family, a new job, living in a new city, etc.)
Some people verbally say hello to the new space and offer peaceful greetings to the energies that are present. Other people perform rituals with the intention of asking older energies to move along. This will vary with your own spiritual tradition and intention, and how the space “feels” to you. Touring the entire property or residence is often done during a house blessing. Any specific cleansing and prayers can be done in one area, or repeated throughout the various rooms as you feel necessary.
Protection and Warding
There are occasions when it is appropriate for a home or residence to receive a blessing of protection. For those who have had to leave a home under duress or those leaving an abusive situation, blessing the new house can help restore the feeling of home as a safe haven. Again, with varying traditions, the intention of the protection spell can be quite different. Words and prayers can be spoken inviting only friendly and helpful spirits and energies. For extreme situations of unrest, some may chose to use words that banish or ask that opposing energies be blocked or barred from the home.