(quote: don jicaram (hatun laika – tutor of alberto villoldo). photo: meirion wynn roberts)
in sessions, workshops and training, we open and hold ‘sacred space’ for us to work in.
one beautiful way of opening sacred space is shown in chris waters (one of my amazing teachers) video :
alberto villoldo describes our opening sacred space as us inviting in the fundamental forces of creation – those that create and sustain life, those that began the universe. In the past, people have symbolised these forces as earth, air, fire, water (while others took these more literally). More recently, various scientists call fundamental forces ‘gravity, weak and strong nuclear forces, and electromagnetism’ (as well as looking for ‘the god particle’).
the laika symbolise these fundamental forces using the four directions, and animals that represent these qualities, as well as the earth (receptive principle), cosmos (related to ‘dynamic principle’) and ‘great spirit’.
the way qualities represented by the animals is described by don jicaram in ‘dance of the four winds’ ;
“these so called power animals are energies of nature, elemental spirits that we personify as animals. i like to think of them as a merging of you and a force in nature. a manifestation of an archetypical energy in time or space. primitive consciousness personifies them as animals, and they assume that form when we connect with them. that is a good theory at least” (don jicaram)
the wisdom of our lineage of our healers/medicine people, are also often invited in to assist in holding this sacred space too.
so in inviting these essences, these energies, with our intention, and utilising these symbols and words to assist focus of intention, this can create a sacred space in which to work.
opening sacred space in this video is q’ero don francisco :
many people have sensed a similar kind of ‘sacred space’ before, for example, when entering an ancient church where people praying for generations have generated this sacred feeling in the building.
the sacred space we work with, I have heard described as the feeling of protection, of being held safely, of feeling like a place of infinite possibilities – like a magical place where anything is possible, a place where synchronicities are more keenly felt/experienced.
there are stories in alberto’s books of how just opening sacred space in a place, has seen beneficial transformations occur in that space. some friends on my training, opened sacred space before they went away, and while they were away there were massive storms. all their neighbours around them had great damage from the storm to their houses, and this couple’s house had no damage at all. in one festival, we opened sacred space, all tangibly felt the difference, and experienced increased ‘chance’ meetings, of meeting the ‘right’ people at the ‘right time’. other times, it’s simply useful in creating where can feel relaxed, and meditate and journey.
.sacred space is part of all sessions. in this sacred space, it can be easier to be with the present moment, to feel the close connection to the sacred, to be able to hear, and be guided by the ‘sacred’ (whether we may feel that to be our ‘inner selves’ ‘higher selves’/the divine/guides/source/our archetypes/our intuition).
.the words by don jicaram in alberto’s book ‘dance of the four winds’ (also in the submenu of this page) gives an example of the words utilised in opening this sacred space, though we are encouraged to find our own words too, so these words vary between individuals, and even between individual sessions, as we let words come to us too, the integrity intention being the essential part of this.
.when opening sacred space we usually turn to each direction and call and greet it after each direction’s call. Some people hold their hand open to each direction, some shake rattles, some drum to the directions (the south, the west, the north, the east, the earth, sun-moon-stars) some play panpipes or similar. we can find the way that feels right for us with what we have, with the focus and intention when opening sacred space being central to this process.
most of us tend to say ‘ho’ or ‘hey’ after each direction – in our training, we also used ho when people are talking, to mean ‘I hear you’ ‘I agree’, and/or’ i have experienced that too, i know where you’re coming from’, and/or to simply show appreciation of what that person as said. saying Ho in opening sacred space has some of these aspects too, as well as being a greeting and appreciation of the energies being called in.
more information on opening sacred space can be found in ‘shaman healer sage’, and ‘dance of the four winds ‘ by alberto villoldo, and examples of opening sacred space words are in the sub-menu to this page; ‘examples of opening sacred space words‘
the four winds course director and teacher alberto villoldo
closing sacred space
usually sacred space is kept open just for duration of the session, workshop/training, then close, using similar words as in the opening sacred space, but instead instead saying ‘thank you for….’ and sometimes ‘may you go now in peace’, or ‘may you be with peace’, or similar.
other times, it may be kept for a couple of weeks before closing, and it can be re-opened again anytime, even straight away afterwards.