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Sacred Space

Creating Sacred Space
by Illuminations.com

Build your own altar

Fill your spiritual center with candles, flowers, treasured photographs, childhood keepsakes--a note from your grandmother written to you as a small child, perhaps--all the things that have special meaning for you. Of, if aspects of nature resonate most for you, bring pebbles, shells, or dried leaves to your altar space. Don't worry, you can't "do it wrong." This is all about you and you alone.

Create a sacred space.

The personal value of a sacred space within your home rests in its ability to reflect and recall moments that have disappeared in linear time, but that linger in memory and feeling. An altar or sanctuary helps unify those fragments of our lives that somehow unravel and disappear from view if we don't take a moment every now and then to pay them the attention they deserve. You may decide to dedicate space on a corner table, and make a place to stop and reflect on objects that matter to you, that hold deeply felt meaning. You may choose to fill it with candles, flowers, treasured photographs, childhood keepsakes, and a piece of coral found on a distant beach on a special day. In the process of creating the space, you are honoring the objects for their spiritual value, and you are honoring yourself for recognizing their importance.

This tradition of setting aside an inviolable area for personal treasures transcends cultures. In Japan, where living space is as a premium, craftsmen long ago designed the tansu as a solution to cramped living quarters. The stepped chest made use of the space under a staircase. Today it continues to be revered both for its architectural purity and its storage sensibilities and can also be used as a home "altar." Not all enclosures need be works of art. Their beauty often lies within. It originates in the intention behind them, and it resonates in a feeling of wholeness that transcends place and time and helps provide continuity and richness in all aspects of life.

Create a safe sanctuary

A wooden tansu, makes an ideal starting place for a personal altar. Lacking a tansu of one's own, however, there are many other ways to achieve the same effect. Arrange your things on a small table, for example, or on a pair of tables, a bureau, a shelf or two of a bookcase; even on a windowsill. Wherever it feels calm and safe, that's where your sacred space needs to be.

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