WHAT IS SACRED SPACE AND THE FOUR DIRECTIONS?

 

Dr. Alberto Villoldo

Sacred space allows us to enter our quiet inner world where healing takes place. Here the mundane cannot distract us, and every act is hallowed and deliberate, although not necessarily serious or ponderous. Within sacred space we experience the lightness of our being. Both laughter and tears come easily. Within sacred space our burdens become lighter, and we can be touched by the hand of Spirit.Sacred space is a healing sphere that is pure, holy, and safe. I imagine it as a shimmering cupola above the area where I do my healing work. Everyone within this space is protected. We can release grief and pain, and experience the joy that often accompanies the healing process. Sacred space also gives us access to the luminous healers ā€“ the medicine men and women who assist us from the Spirit world.You can create sacred space and summon the healing power of nature anywhere on Earth. The invocation I use is described in another post. I did not learn it from anyone, although it has elements in it that are shared by many Native American peoples. It is novel and ancient at the same time.
Although there are certain components necessary to create sacred space, you can in time bring in your own personal expression. Notice that the prayer is anchored in the spatial directions. It calls on the four points of the compass, and above and below. The six directions plus the shaman in the center represent the seven organizing principles of the Universe. Serpent represents the binding principle; jaguar is the renewing force; hummingbird represents the epic journey of evolution and growth; and eagle or condor stands for the self-transcending principle. Heaven is the creative force; Earth is the receptive force. When you summon them, you align yourself with the forces that animate all life.

The shamanā€™s covenant with Spirit is that when she calls, Spirit answers. Powerful medicine people from the Spirit world appear in the form of luminous beings who assist us in our healing work. Literally we use the four cardinal directions to get our bearings in the material world. For the shaman, these directions also personalize qualities and energies. If we can imagine the movement of these energies in the same way that a weather forecast shows the jet stream bringing rain from one area to another, we can understand how energy moves through space.

The qualities of each of the four directions are represented by archetypal animals. These creatures are more than symbols; they are primordial energies or spirits. Each archetype has a life and powers of its own. While the representations vary from culture to culture, the properties of these energies remains the same because they stand for the same organizing principles of nature. The important thing is not what we call these energies, or even which archetype we use, but that we get to know them well enough so that when we call, they respond.

Within sacred space we have extraordinary spiritual assistance available to us. When we call within sacred space, the Universe conspires on our behalf.

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