Many of the indigenous shamans and Elders we work with at The Pachamama Alliance emphasize how important it is to weave ceremony into everyday life.
They talk about inviting Spirit to guide us and speak and act through us, and “opening sacred space” for that guidance to happen.
Opening sacred space is a very simple ceremony that can take less than a minute. You don’t need special skills, knowledge, or deep shamanic experiences.
And since there is so much that “pulls” us out of consciousness and out of our connection with Spirit, taking the time to open sacred space at the beginning of every week, day, meeting, or other gathering can be very beneficial.
The Pachamama Alliance team gathers every Monday morning to open sacred space around our altar, but you can open sacred space anytime, anywhere.
At the very least, it gets people grounded, connected, and seeing the deeper purpose of our life or work, which can lead to greater happiness, productivity, and collaboration. Give it a try and see what happens!
“Opening” sacred space is actually about “opening” our own consciousness or awareness and “coming present” to the sacred space that is always around us (and if it makes more sense, you can certainly say “acknowledging” instead of “opening”).
Opening sacred space is about three basic things:
Any way you have of doing these things is great–there is no “right” way.
You can open sacred space and create the three realities listed above, whether with a group or a partner (or on your own), by inviting those gathered to:
Use one or more of the ideas above, put them into your own words, create your own, or get inspiration from other traditions and processes.
Experiment with letting the words come to you and be spoken, instead of using your mind. And above all, don’t rush!
A pause or moment of silence and then a breath together is a good way to end the ceremony, followed by a statement like “And so it is,” or “Ah ho,” which is a Native American closing.
And if you open sacred space at the beginning of a meeting or other gathering, it is a good idea to have some kind of a closing at the end to avoid just rushing off to the next thing. This can be as simple as expressing gratitude for guidance received or taking one last breath together.
Thanks to Pachamama Alliance team member Ruel Walker and shaman and teacher Arkan Lushwala for contributing to this post.