The Artist's Guide to Opening Sacred Space (for your creative spirit)
You know the feeling when you walk into your favorite yoga studio, massage room, meditation room, a temple or a beautiful cathedral? Your breath slows down, your shoulders relax and your senses open. You feel as if you've stepped into another world, a sanctuary, a quiet space that exists between places. It might be the intense depth of the scent of incense, the soft caress of drifting smoke, the sight of delicate lilies sitting on an altar or the way the light filters across the floor that makes you feel more alive. It might be the sound of a sweet melody that seems to balm your soul. Whatever it is, you recognize it when you feel it because it immediately makes you feel more expansive, grounded, or calmed (really whatever it is that you need in that moment).
Sacred space is a space that has been intentionally cleared and you call in the energies you need to help you with your creative and healing work.
What if I told you that you could create this kind of space for yourself? What if you could create a sacred space to help you connect more deeply to your creative spirit?
It’s a lot easier to connect with the creative pulse within yourself when you feel clear, relaxed, and calm in your mind and body. The space around you can have a major impact on making you feel that way. So opening sacred space is a way to intentionally clear out any unhelpful energies and set a clear boundary around the place you work, so that only helpful, creatively flowing vibes can enter.
Why create sacred space?
- Sacred space cleanses the area and the people who enter it.
- Shamans believe that smoke helps disperse negative and unhelpful energy that might be hanging around or clinging to stuff. So when you use some sort of small fire source (a match, a smudge stick, or a candle even) you can rid your space the negative vibes that might be hanging around.
- Opening sacred space extends an invitation to your creative energy to come in and assist you in your creative endeavors.
- It helps clear the space of any negative or unhelpful energy.
- It is a way for you to express you gratitude to your creative energy.
Where and when to open sacred space
Anyone can create sacred space. There are no special qualifications other than your intention to do so. Opening sacred space for your own creative endeavor is an awesome idea, but here are some of the things you might want to open sacred space for are:
- your at home yoga practice
- a yoga class you are teaching
- an art making session
- a special gathering like an art night or a women's circle
- your house (I like to open it in my house every so often as a reminder to myself that the sacred is always available to me)
What tools and materials do you need to open sacred space?
A great part about creating sacred space is that it can be done very simply without any special tools or experience. All that you really need is your intention. But there are a few fun things that you can also help set the tone:
- flowers/elements from nature
- music or drumming
- crystals or other objects of beauty
- burning incense, sage or palo santo
- a candle
- an opening prayer or inspirational poem
- essential oil or rosewater
Step-by-step guide to opening sacred space for your creative spirit
These are the steps that I use when I open sacred space in my own studio, but these are just guidelines, as you try it out for yourself, feel free to make up your own steps!
1. Find quiet time and gather any items you'd like to use to aid you.
2. Spend a few moments to get quiet and find your breath.
3. Set your intention to create sacred space. Perhaps jot down your intention or a few words that describe how you'd like your space to feel.
4. Light a candle, burn some sage, or anoint yourself with essential oil or spritz some rosewater.
5. Read your opening prayer or poem
6. Hold the space. While you do whatever work you've set out to do while in your sacred space, continue to stay in with your intention. I like to glance at flowers or other objects I bring to the space, keep a candle lit or play soft music as little reminders that I'm in sacred space.