Creating your own sacred space lets you express your very human need for ongoing spiritual nourishment. Whether it's at home, at work or in some "third space" such as a hotel room when traveling, everyone can benefit from creating places where they intentionally choose what surrounds them.
Your sacred space might contain a single object such as a statue, sculpture or private altar you deliberately place in a special location, or it may be an entire room or garden or even your entire home arranged with furnishings, objects and décor that have special meaning for you.
"It's a place to be reborn and renewed every day — a place to find rest," says Las Vegas interior designer Laura Rogers. "It's about drawing yourself inward and getting closer to what's in your heart."
Start by defining what "sacred" or "spiritual" means to you
If "God is in the details," as the saying goes, the places you live and work can make your spirituality more a part of your everyday life. And that can go a long way toward helping you feel more centered, grounded and happy. Your definition of what's sacred is as individual as a fingerprint. Yet unlike a fingerprint, your personal ideas and expression of what is sacred can evolve and change over time.
Decide what you want from your sacred space
Before you begin, think about what you're seeking and decide how you want to use it. Do you want to:
- Create a private sanctuary for meditation and prayer, or simply for quiet reflection?
- Find serenity while you're at home?
- Call up the same peaceful feeling when you're away by visualizing your home space?
- Designate a shared space for connecting with others, or for ritual or ceremony?
- Co-create a family altar that continually evolves with spontaneous contributions from each of you?
- Deepen intimacy through regular family time in a special place?
Find inspiration in what you love
Make your sacred space personal. Choose what tastes, sounds, smells, looks and feels good to you. Choose objects that give you energy, inspire you or help you get into the ritual of your meditation, yoga, prayer or other sacred practice.
Also consider using a screen, curtain or other boundary to make your sacred space feel more contained, relaxing and personal.
Consider your personal reasons and occasions for wanting a sacred space
Creating a sacred space can be something you do once in your lifetime or every day, alone or with loved ones. Get creative with these ideas:
Seasonal rituals to celebrate and commemorate:
- Changes of season
- Movements of the sun, moon or stars
- Endings and beginnings of any kind
- Anniversaries and special occasions
Specific, one-time events:
- To consecrate a new space or transform existing space
- To celebrate a relationship or a success
- To clarify an important decision or change
- To be more present or conscious in any aspect of your life
Where should you locate your sacred space?
A single object can increase your awareness of your spirituality and connection with what is sacred to you. An entire room can invite you into your deeper self. You can create your sacred space:
Where you can see it — across from your bed, desk, sofa or kitchen table
As a small part of any room — whether it's a single object, an arrangement or altar
Wherever you have room — if not an entire room, then a corner of a room (a bamboo screen or shoji screen creates an ideal space), or even a closet
In a secluded area — such as a spare room or a corner of your bedroom reserved especially for meditation
In the garden — out of doors, when nature's voice is what you need
What kinds of items should you include in your sacred space?
This is your personal space. Knock down walls if you need to. What speaks to you, inspires you, moves you?
- Mementos: personal items that are meaningful to you
- Talismans: symbols of peace and safety
- Visual art: your own, your friends', postcards of famous works
- Photographs of loved ones and special places
- Statuary: traditional symbols of divine and protective energies
- Stones and shells that hold memories from special places
- Candles and incense
- Color, light, texture, fabrics, carpets, mirrors, fountains, chimes
- Plants, flowers and other living things
- Musical instruments and favorite calming music or ambient music CDs
- Personal divination tools such as the I Ching, The Tarot, the Runes
- Sacred texts or words of wisdom — from any and all faiths
Use your power of intuition
Whether your life is urban, suburban or rural, whether your home is a sprawling estate or a studio apartment, you can create a special place for simple reflection, traditional meditation, ritual and ceremony. "It all starts with a desire within me to make something beautiful," says Rogers. "I want to make the sacred space in my house as comforting as I possibly can. I might have been inspired by a picture in a magazine, or something in a movie will trigger my thinking. I'll go about finding another piece of furniture to do that or rearrange something and it just happens."
Remember that this space is yours. Honor your heart's desires. Trust your intuition to show you where to put it, what to include, how to use it — and see where it takes you.