I’ve been thinking about what is sacred in my life lately. What is sacred space, and why do we search for it, or work to create it in our lives?
Sacred has several definitions. From one of my favorite online references (dictionary.reference.com): Sacred
devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.
pertained to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane): sacred music; sacred books.
reverently dedicated to some person , purpose or object; a morning hour sacred to study.
regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero.
secured against violation, infringement, etc., as b reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights.
properly immune from violence, interference, etc., as a person or office.
It is difficult to boil this all down into a single, simple definition. But you get the idea—the sense of reverence or holiness.
We often think of sacred space in connection to religion or nature. How many times have you gone to a certain location because of how you feel when you are there? Or sacred space might be a place we create in our homes that is set apart. We could have spiritual icons, photos, items from nature, or candles to help us enter the mindset for meditation or prayer.
I have begun to define sacred as anything—an object, word, person, moment, etc.—that helps me remember my connection to the Divine. Space is what’s in between—the emptiness between words on a page, the silence between notes in a song, the vastness out between the stars. So for me, sacred space is that place or moment in between when my attention is brought back to my connection with Spirit.
In this context, literally anything can become sacred space, because it is a feeling I can choose to create. Whether it is being on the beach with the sun rising across the almost still water, or the moment when I am cleaning up cuts and scrapes on my son’s knees, or taking out the garbage, by bringing my attention to the divinity inside myself, I enter sacred space.
Going to specific places, or setting up distinctive areas are really just triggers to tell our minds that we are going someplace different now. That is why rituals, ceremonies, and church services have a certain pattern to them. Though the details may change, the pattern stays the same every time the ritual or ceremony is performed, so our mind can recognize the shift.
The challenge is maintaining that feeling of connection, or at least being aware of when we are not feeling it, so we can change our focus of attention. There are many techniques for changing a habit, or shifting your awareness, but that is another article. The first step is deciding to carry sacred space with you in your day-to-day life. The next step is to be aware of when you are not in sacred space.
It is a journey I am embarking on, and a commitment I am making to myself: to choose to live each moment in sacred space. Will you join me?
Mary Malinski is Priestess of the Circle of the Sacred Muse, an affiliate of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. For more information, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org